Just like in Asia, we used a variety of transportation methods to get us across South America. Where in Asia we relied mostly on buses and trains, in South America we mostly used flights and buses as the rail network is almost nonexistent. Also, because the countries we visited in South America are a bit further away from each other, we often opted to skip 24+hr bus rides and just take a short flight instead. This made the trip a little bit more expensive, but way more comfortable.
In January 2015, we visited four countries: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. From China we were meant to land in São Paulo, but ended up in Rio de Janeiro instead, where we mainly enjoyed Brazilian food. The highlight of Brazil was without a doubt Costa Verde, although the tour of Rio de Janeiro was very nice too.
After about 15 minutes of heavy turbulence due to a rainstorm, our plane landed safely in Foz do Iguaçu. Because it rained badly and the bus was not clearly marked we opted for a taxi drive into the town. After an unpleasant start we were happy to arrive at our hostel, which turned out to be one of our favorites. The town of Foz do Iguaçu is popular among tourists for one reason: it offers access to the Brazilian side of the Iguazú Falls.
After visiting Paraty and Ilha Grande, we headed to the city where we initially got stranded: Rio de Janeiro. On our first day, we opted for the organized city tour offered by our hostel. On first sight, the tour was expensive, but after adding up the costs for all the entrance fees and transportation, it turned out to only be 10$ more and it would save us a lot of hassle. The itinerary included highlights such as Christ the Redeemer, Santa Teresa and Lapa neighborhoods, as well as Sugarloaf Mountain.
Despite the problems we ran into, we were still in one of the most beautiful areas of Brazil: Costa Verde. We started out in Paraty, where we spend a day exploring the pictoresque colonial town. Our second stop was Ilha Grande, which required us to take a bus followed by a ferry, however, very much worth our time. Immensely popular among Brazilians and Argentinians, this island had much to offer from seclude pristine beaches to challenging, yet rewarding hiking trails.
We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.Read Mark & Herta’s full story.