When Chris and I left Cambodia in December last year, we had a rough idea of the places we wanted to visit during our 2014 trip to South America. Having said that, despite being an efficient German I have learned over the years that having too detailed an itinerary is not always the best way of traveling as so many things can change along the way and anyway, sometimes being spontaneous is much more fun. So whilst we accept our travel plans may change during the course of our eight month South American adventure, we nonetheless have a rough plan of some of the places we would like to see, with the top five countries on our wish list being as follows:
Although we have been to Brazil before, we will never forget our visit to a favela in Rio, or when we flew over the majestic Iguassu falls in a battered old helicopter. We very much fell in love with Brazil then so we have decided to visit the country again in 2014, not least because there is the small matter of the World Cup finals taking place and being German I have high expectations, as always. 😉 We will either go to Manaus in the North via an Amazon cruise from Peru or to Cuiaba in the West, very close to the Pantanal. Both are places we haven’t been to before and both are full of exciting wildlife which we’d love to experience.
We are actually in Bolivia as I write, settled in the beautiful colonial city of Sucre for a few weeks to take some much needed Spanish lessons. After that we are dying to see the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats). I’ve heard so much about the stunning countryside around the salt flats including wild flamingos, alpacas, and beautiful mountains and deserts. We can’t wait to get there soon!
Peru was the first stop of our South America adventure and we have already seen some amazing sights including the mysterious Nazca lines and the gorgeous sand dunes in Huacachina. However as January was the height of the rainy season we haven’t yet done any Peruvian trekking. Despite the fact that I suck at trekking at altitude, I really love torturing myself in the mountains and so there is no way I am not going to return to Peru to do the famous Inca Trail leading up to Machu Picchu.
Colombia excites me. I don’t know if it is the dangerous image it has (or at least had) or if it is the sheer diversity of the country. There are so many places I want to visit there from the salsa capital of Cali, to the outdoor adventurist’s dream that is San Gil, or Cartagena with its beautiful Caribbean beaches. Of all the places to stay in Colombia though I would most love to undertake a 5-day jungle trek to the lost city, La Ciudad Perdida near Santa Marta. The fact that you can only reach it via a grueling trek only adds to the sense of adventure and, as anyone who knows this blog probably appreciates, I am a repressed adventuress so this kind of trip is right up my alley.
Ever since I read Conan Doyle’s book The Lost World as a child I have been dying to visit the source for the author’s inspiration – the mysterious Roraima region in South East Venezuela. The Roraima region is not too far from the famous Angel Falls, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall. I can understand why Conan Doyle choose the eerie landscapes and misty table mountains of this region as a backdrop to his best-selling book as it seems to be the perfect setting for a book about prehistoric creatures, and one I’d love to explore as soon as I possibly can.
So there you have it folks, these are our top five places we hope to visit in 2014. On which note, I’m off to find a big map and pencil so I can plot my route!