Avoiding Europe in the summer…and other places to go instead.


We’ve seen way too many tourists this summer. Europe always has a lot of tourists, there’s a reason it is most people’s favorite continent (including ours). We’ve spent the last 3 summers in Europe. But I think we’ll be taking a break from that over the next few years. It wasn’t just our recent stay in Lisbon – we were in Split (Croatia) in July and it was unbearably packed with tourists. Split is one of the places we love but, as with Lisbon, the character of a place changes when there are too many tourists at one time: prices rise dramatically, locals are suddenly not as friendly, food quality drops. Parts of Europe also get unbearably hot in summer. [Read more…]

Why I won’t be going back to Brazil

Brazil map

If you’ve read the last few posts you’ve probably figured out that I wasn’t crazy about Brazil. I’ll say it now: Brazil was for me the most disappointing place I’ve been on vacation. My opinion is based on 2 1/2 weeks of travel within a small portion of Brazil, so take my opinion for what it’s worth…but as equally as I can say that I loved Colombia during my 2 visits, I can also say that I really didn’t enjoy Brazil.

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Reasons to see Iguazu Falls from the Argentinian side – Photo Essay


I’ve seen all these websites comparing which side of Iguazu is best, the Brazilian or Argentinian. My opinion is that you absolutely have to see both – they’re both different and if you’ve come all the way to this part of the world to see the falls you have to see both sides. But if I HAD to chose then I would choose the Argentinian side. [Read more…]

Amazing Iguazu Falls, Brazilian side – and getting attacked by angry Toucans


We took the plane from Rio to Foz do Iguazu. Unlike the mountainous area surrounding Rio, the terrain in this area of Brazil is flat and featureless – until you suddenly see Iguazu falls and the cloud of mist rising into the sky. [Read more…]

Ilha Grande & Paraty, Brazil – Beaches, hikes and beautiful scenery


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Why we didn’t like Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


I expected Brazilians to be like those friendly, beautiful people you see in the travel ads.

My first upfront experience with a Brazilian was at the airport when I was taking my backpack off the luggage carrousel. I suddenly felt a whack on the back of my heel. [Read more…]

Why we love Colombia

Reasons we love Colombia

I’ve been to Colombia twice now and I really love this country.

The geographical diversity is amazing. The multiple mountain ranges mean that climatic zones can change within a few kilometers. Example; Santa Marta and Taganga are [Read more…]

Photo Essay and Safety Tips on Taganga, Colombia

Taganga, Colombia header

Taganga is a small village popular with backpackers. It also has a reputation for drugs, theft and muggings – I read a description of the town that basically summed it up like this: “Great if you are the hippy backpacker type who likes drugs and selling beads”.  [Read more…]

Parque Tayrona, Colombia – beaches, bugs, and encounters with soldiers

Parque Tayrona, Colombia, header

Parque Tayrona is worth seeing for it’s wild, rugged beauty. Isolated, you can walk along its beaches and not see anyone. The surf in many places is violent, the breeze strong. The coast is made up of many bays, usually separated by huge round boulders. Some of these bays are safe for swimming. Looking inland you see the heavily wooded hills of the Sierra Nevada which further adds to the sense of peace and isolation. We loved it, it’s a beautiful place. [Read more…]

Travel Tips on what to see and do in El Rodadero & Santa Marta, Colombia

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Above: The beach at El Rodadero

Two hours east of Cartagena is Santa Marta. My Lonely Planet guide had gone into quite a lot of detail on Santa Marta’s attractions. Really, in all honesty, there is really no reason to be in Santa Marta. The attractions are the towns and parks around Santa Marta: El Rodadero, Taganga, and Parque  Tayrona. [Read more…]