Tag Archives: Andes

Birding from the Yellow Van II: A more detailed record for the keen

There are so many places to see birds in South America, covering a wide variety of habitats and ecosystems. In the second part of our blog about our experiences of birding in South America, I will talk a bit about some of the places we visited. To make it a bit more cohesive, I have roughly grouped them into seven themes, each with its own accompanying gallery of some of our favourite photos. Continue reading

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Peru’s historical coast: A journey through time

YVD image-February 24, 2016-200To drive along the coast of Peru is to journey through numerous cultures spanning more than 6,000 years, charting the rise and fall of civilazations. As we travelled north up the coast in February 2016, we visited as many archaeological sites as we could to try and get an understanding of the pre-Columbian history of this fascinating country, as well as taking some time to appreciate the rich coastal sea-life. Continue reading

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Canyon & Carnaval: Adventurous driving in Peru part 2

This blog describes the second of two exciting mountain drives to and fro across the Andes of Southern Peru, taking in two of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca and Cotahuasi. This drive took us from the historic city of Arequipa, through the remote Cotahuasi canyon and over one of our highest passes yet, to join the major road to Ayacucho, arriving just in time for the start of its carnaval on 6th February. Continue reading

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Canyon & Convent: Adventurous driving in Peru part 1

We set off from Cusco on Sunday 17th January 2016 to cross the Andes southwards to Peru’s second city of Arequipa. Given we were in the midst of the wet season in the mountains, we expected to simply drive north up the coast of Peru from there, but that wasn’t quite how things developed. This blog describes the first of two exciting mountain drives to and fro across the Andes, taking in two of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca and Cotahuasi. This drive, the first of the two, took us to the historic city of Arequipa and its famous convent of Santa Catalina, via the picturesque Colca canyon and its condors.  Continue reading

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Climbing in Chile and Bolivia: Places with potential

Rock climbing has only recently become a popular activity in Chile and Bolivia and this is most obvious when you see who is climbing – most people are in their 20s. Unless you are a mountaineer, or fancy a go at climbing the formidable Torres del Paine, then the crags are probably best visited as an element of a wider trip to explore the country, as they were for us. Saying that, there is plenty of potential for rock climbing in these two beautiful countries. Continue reading

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Rock climbing in Argentina: A land of plenty


Argentina is a huge country and a great destination for rock climbers. Whether you only go to one of the well-developed crags, each of which could easily occupy much more than a week of your time to explore fully, or just sample these crags in passing and discover a few hidden esoteric ones as part of a grand tour, Argentina has a wealth of options.
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Magical Lake Titicaca

On the Isla del Sol

Titicaca (or Titiqaqa in Quechua) is the largest lake in South America and, sitting at 3,812m,  the highest navigable lake in the world. Coming here was one of the most anticipated parts of the trip for me, perhaps largely for what it represented. It straddles the border of Bolivia and Peru, at the top of the Altiplano, and sits at the heart of the historical cultures of the high Andes.

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A year in the van in review

A year ago today, the van was pushed out of it’s shipping container, given a push start by a fork-lift truck and then made it’s first journey on South American soil straight to the nearest VW garage! A year later, these 12 pictures are our highlights of our first year on the road in Latin America, along with some reflections…. Continue reading

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Bolivia 1 – pt 2: From Potosi, to Sucre, and down on to the plains below

From Uyuni, our journey across Bolivia took us north and east, first, to the historic mining city of Potosi, then onwards through the lovely city of Sucre and slowly (via very bad roads), down from the Andes and onto the plains below, near Santa Cruz, from where we headed East towards the wetlands in Brazil. Continue reading

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Bolivia 1 – pt 1: High Altiplano driving – from the far Southwest to Uyuni

This amazing drive, the first half of our first crossing of Bolivia, started with the “Lagunas Ruta”, in the remote southwest corner of the country, and took us across one of the wonders of the world, the Salar de Uyuni – and not without incident! As we left Chile, we were braced for one of the most remote and challenging drives of the trip…
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