Since I decided to skip Costa Rica, I headed to the next central american country... Nicaragua. I did not have any idea of what to find there, I mean for me Nicaragua is only famous for having been "managed" by the USA and the CIA.
After landing in the San Blas islands, I took a small boat to reach the continent... then reached Panama City in a 4WD (4 wheel drive car). I stayed there longer than expected due to some... issues.
So finally here I was... on a boat going to the San Blas Islands in Panama. This was a 5 days trip: 2 days in the ocean and then 3 days in the islands. And now that it's finished I can tell you I was not feeling so safe about this trip but I decided to do it.
Once a boat had been found for San Blas and Panama, I had a few days to spend... and since I had the feeling to have seen everything worth seeing in Cartagena I headed for another town nearby called Santa Marta. It is mainly famous as a vacation spot for Colombian people. On my side I did not exactly go to Santa Marta but to a village nearby called Taganga, famous around backpackers.
Reaching Cartagena was a pleasure... imagine skipping 24 hours!!! In these conditions, the 1 hour flight was really enjoyable even if the arrival in Cartagena was a little bit "bumpy" :D
So finally I reached Bogota, the major stop of my way northwards to Mexico as, thanks to my job, I know several people there and had initially planned to stay there to rest and relax after those long months of bus.
From Quito, the plan was to go to Colombia and Bogota... The only problem was that the only bus company making the trip directly there was extremely expensive.
After leaving Peru, I crossed the border to Ecuador then headed north to Quito... and on the way, happened to cross the Ecuador.
After visiting the cities of the Incas, I took a night bus (again...) to Lima, capital of the Spaniards.
I guess this is the post you're all awaiting for: the magnificient Cuzco and the legendary Machu Pichu...
After La Paz I continued my trip going to the world famous Titicaca lake, sometimes considered in books as the highest navigable lake in the world (3800m).
After Sucre, I headed to the capital city of Bolivia, La Paz. This city is again located very high in the mountains, from 3600m to 3900m... but surprisingly there are even higher mountains around... probably something like 5000m at least.
After Uyuni I decided to take the night bus to the more interesting town of Sucre... Supposedly 9 hours of bus but technically requiring 11 hours (bolivian magic).
Finally I was able to leave San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni for a 3 days trek in 4X4 in the mountains.
After this exhausting trip I decided to take some rest in San Pedro de Atacama. This town is a very touristic place in the middle of the most arid desert of the world, the Atacama desert. To give you an idea of what this means, there are a minimum of 330 days per year without any cloud in the sky... and on my side I did not see any.
I know that so far I have kept the habit of writing one post per place I've been staying at... but this bus trip through the Andes has been a real experience for me, a in addition I'm planning to stay quite a long time in San Pedro de Atacama and won't publish much for a few days.
After another night in the bus, I ended up in the city of Salta, main city of northern Argentina. Technically there's not so much do do there as this is mainly a stage to northern Argentina like Jujuy or on my side to Chile.
After another night in a bus, I arrived in Cordoba, second biggest city in Argentina, famous for hosting a lot of students and the associated night life.
After a long night in the bus (this time with cama... some kind of business class in buses) I arrived in the city of Mendoza in northern Argentina. This city is a nice and calm city, but it is mostly well known for its vineyards.
After 36 hours of bus I arrived in... Switzerland :P. Just kidding but Bariloche is considered to be the Switzerland of Argentina: mountains, lakes, chocolates, ice creams, german names, wooden buildings in the countryside... mostly because it was founded by immigrants from Switzerland.