A Gorgeous Road Trip in the Atacama Desert, Chile

The northern tip of Chile, the Atacama Desert and its surroundings, offers a fantastic setting for a road trip, particularly off-road. The Pan American Highway crosses the region from north to south with tarmac roads dissecting the Atacama Desert, the Pampa del Tamarugo and Chile’s Altiplano.

But what better way to experience the overpowering landscapes and to meet Aymara indigenous people in their ancient villages than by leaving the beaten track. Whether you travel by your own vehicle, rent a 4WD or an all-terrain vehicle, enjoy this beautiful road trip.

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San Pedro de Atacama, Chile – 5x Landscapes & Ruins the Atacama Desert

San Pedro Volcano, San Pedro de Atacama,Chile

The 2000-square-km Atacama Desert in northern Chile is one of the most arid in the world. Each year thousands of tourists flock to San Pedro de Atacama, from where they set out to explore some of Chile’s surreal landscapes of the Atacama Desert with natural phenomena and ancient settlements.

Here 5 recommended places to visit in the surrounding Atacama Desert, but first let’s get an impression of this colonial town itself.

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5 Slow Travel Destinations in Chile – Wild & Empty Landscapes

Altiplano in Chile

Chile is a country of extremes. It measures 4300 kilometers from Peru to the Strait of Magellan and averages 177 kilometers from east to west. The country is entirely closed off from its neighbors by the Andes Mountains. The Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world and Nevada Ojos del Salado is the world’s highest volcano.

When it comes to open, wide, and overwhelming landscapes, here are 5 of my favorite slow-travel destinations.

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Flag Day – Carrying Argentina’s Longest Flag

A big holiday in Argentina is Flag Day, when citizens carry Argentina's largest flag through the streets.

When you don’t plan much on your travels, you can stumble upon big surprises. Argentinians carrying the country’s longest flag through the streets of Rosario was one of them.

It turns out that Argentina has an official Flag Day!

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Slow Travel in Ecuador – 3 Days – 3 Sites

From the Peru-Ecuador border of Huaquillas to Guayaquil it is a couple of hours’ drive; I reckon the distance is some 250 kilometers. I had checked my guidebooks and it seemed that the first part of our travels in Ecuador wouldn’t be the most interesting.

I was wrong.

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5 Places to Connect with Wildlife in South America

It may not come close to Africa, but South America is a fantastic continent to see wildlife. Not only can you see animals often and at many different locations, at some places you can touch them, caress them, connect with them (in a responsible way!).

In fact, one of South America’s great travel attractions is wildlife.

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5 Popular Religious Festivals in Bolivia

Bolivian Celebration: the Aymara New Year and sprinkling offerings in the fire

During our 9-year journey in South America, we visited Bolivia six times. In total we spent about a year in this diverse country.

Here we will talk about some of our favorites festivals in Bolivia.

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Check out These Spectacular Traditional Dances in Bolivia

A white masque that is worn as part of La Diablada Dance in Bolivia

Many Bolivian festivals are a form of religious celebration, expressing a syncretism of paganism and Catholicism. Folkloric dances and music each have their unique costumes, musical instruments, and rhythms, and the celebrations may last for days on end, often from early morning to late at night.

Here are a couple of the famous dances in Bolivia that are part of such celebrations.

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Celebrations and Holidays in Argentina

We thought Rosario was one of Argentina’s most ordinary cities in the country. However, Rosario turns out to honor the celebration of a unique holiday in Argentina, making it a special city indeed. One morning we went for a walk and noticed lots of people were gathering along the sides of the streets. Some parts were fenced off, others weren’t.

It was Flag Dag!

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Appreciating Modern Architecture in Brasília, Brazil’s Capital

Touring Brasília's Architecture at night - here, the ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“Why would you want to visit Brasília? It is an ugly city that lacks a soul,” is the most common remark I have heard from Brazilians about their capital. Despite these discouraging words I decided to visit the city for its modern architecture by Oscar Neimeyer and judge for myself.

My verdict: “Brasília is an ugly city that lacks a soul.”

Yet I stayed a midweek and enjoyed every single day. What happened?

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