The GoGlobal Blog

Back to Reality!

Back to Reality!

After about three weeks of travel, I’m back in Santiago and have my first class tomorrow. But, obviously I do not want to think about that! So, I’ll share a bit about the month of February, which in this program is a month open for traveling! It took tons of planning and stress beforehand, but my trip included five main stops, Torres del Paine, Chiloé, Pucón, San Pedro de Atacama and Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.

From this trip, we have our crazy stories of course, met interesting travelers, ran into the same travelers multiple time because South America is actually so small, ran into a few hostel problems and nearly missed a bus, but it was all so amazing!

Torres del Paine is a Chilean national park known for glaciers, mountains, rivers and lakes. It is known all over the world for the W trek and Circuit trek. These respectively are five or ten days each, and it is one of the most popular destinations for backpackers. We decided to take a tour – don’t judge – not everyone enjoys hiking. This allowed us to see the highlights of the park in one day and continue to travel to diverse areas of Chile during our vacation.

For lunch this day, we were supposed to make reservations to eat at the one restaurant that is in the National park. It turns out we did not make this reservation or bring a picnic for lunch, so we went to a small supplies store which is there for the hikers. Not having the reservation ended up being a blessing in disguise. We enjoyed the only food available in the supplies store for lunch which was chocolate and Pringles. But even more special was spending the time right on the water, of a Patagonian lake being so much closer to the nature than we would have ever been in a restaurant.

torres del Paine Chile

Our next stop was Chiloé, where upon arriving at our hostel we were told that they did not have enough beds for all of us, despite our reservation! It all worked out, but there is nothing like arriving at a hostel expecting a bed for the night and being told “surprise”. Chiloé was the most laid back destination over the month. We enjoyed a penguin tour, exploring the neighborhoods and waiting for sunsets which unfortunately never happened because of the cloudy weather.

The last stop on our “South” trip was Pucón, the adventure capital of Chile. We were able to white water raft at sunset, zip line across rivers and finally “canyon”. I did really want to either paraglide or skydive while I was there, but for the time we were there it was too windy and the conditions were not safe enough. Out of our three activities, “canyoning” was the favorite. It was an unexpected adventure, as none of us had heard of it before doing it. Essentially, early one morning we went to the office and changed into wet suits, booties, helmets and harnesses. After a short ride, we arrived at the start of our trek with the group. We walked along with the river, sometimes crossing it, other times using it as a natural water slide. And then at three points of our exploration we hit water falls. There we were able to repel down next to and within the water falls into caves. Pucón was absolutely amazing!

After this fourteen day trip all of us were quite tired, but we still had a week until school started. So I met with a friend and within two hours we had booked a four day tour in Bolivia to see the Salar de Uyuni! Ironically, near her host family’s house the only place that was open for us to meet up and plan the trip was Fuddruckers! I don’t think I have ever gone to a Fuddruckers in the States, but I will say their milkshakes are not bad! So for this trip we took a 24 hour long bus ride from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama. Now, flights are available but obviously were very expensive when we booked two days before leaving. I liked to believe we are young and can rough it sometimes! Overall, the bus ride was not terrible, except for the fact that the AC broke three hours into the trip.

The Bolivia tour was absolutely amazing. We saw white lagoons, green lagoons, rock valleys, a train cemetery and the Salar de Uyuni. No words can describe it.


So, I’m back to reality pretty soon, after two trips of a lifetime. Classes start tomorrow and the goal is to get a schedule with class times and room numbers before they start in the morning (this is my reality in Chilean time).


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