There's so much to do in South America. Big name activities like hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru, cycling the most dangerous road in the world in Bolivia, or snorkelling at the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
When you plan your trip, you have to account for travel fatigue. When you have travel fatigue, you find that you just can't be bothered doing any of the things you'd planned on doing in that particular country. You just want to sit in your hotel room and watch t.v. in your p.j.s all day.
It's very easy to forget how exhausting travel can be, I know that when I plan trips I want to do EVERYTHING, and my itinerary soon becomes chock full.
Luckily for us both, there are some amazing little spots dotted around South America that are perfect to recharge and regain that insatiable wanderlust we need to carry on with our trip.
When the bus spluttered to a stop on a dusty nondescript highway, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to get off, but this beach town was just what I needed to sooth my blisters after hiking in Tayrona National Park. We watched monkey play in trees while we sat and drank cold Aguila beer.
In Mindo you’ll find butterfly and hummingbird farms surrounded by a cloud forest. We’d wake to the hummingbirds flying around the flowers outside our bungalow, and make our own avocado and feta sandwiches with fresh bread from the bakery. Mindo makes a great budget location too, we spent $15 each a day while we were there.
Sitting on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, Copacabana showed us a perfect marriage of tourism and local life with stalls selling handmade jewellery and pipes wedged between internationally owned restaurants.
Casa Elemento is home to the world's largest hammock – so if you’re heading to northern Colombia, look it up. Minca is ringed by coffee farms and for four days I did nothing other than lay in a hammock in the sun with a good book in one hand a cup of Colombian coffee in the other.
This lovely beach is far more peaceful than its neighbour Mancora further up the coast. Most distinct about Huanchaco are the reed fishing boats, the pods of pelicans and the fresh ceviche on offer. This is where you want to chill out after hiking to Machu Picchu.
Our stay at the Sol y Luna resort in the Coroico valley was a much needed break after the terrifying bicycle ride down the world's most dangerous road. We paid B$200/US$28 per night for the privilege of staying in an eco-resort in the Bolivian countryside.
This is exactly what I naively pictured much of South America to be like - clashing colours and llama murals - it was also set against a back drop of lakes and the second largest rock in the world. We spent nearly a week here doing a lot of nothing.
These towns share a few things in common; they are located in remote but beautiful regions, they're compact and easy to navigate and there is usually a peaceful hippie vibe. What makes these places so relaxing is that they're relatively unknown by international travellers, but as tourist’s imagined fears of South America relaxes, these amazing towns could lose the peacefulness that makes them so inviting.
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