Categories
Mexico North America

Acapulco

The city is one of Mexico’s oldest beach resorts, coming into prominence in the 1940s through the 1960s as a getaway for Hollywood stars and millionaires. Acapulco was once a popular tourist resort, but due to a massive upsurge in gang violence and homicide numbers since 2014, Acapulco no longer attracts many foreign tourists, and most now only come from Mexico itself. However, according to my personal experience visiting the city on 2021, felt safe in any central parts around the seaside even at night. As always, my advice not to blindly follow usual rate of murders per 100.000. Do your own research about real causes and you will see that this type of violence almost always is between gangs and tourists are victims rarely.

How to get here?

As you would to any other major Mexican city. Intercity buses are well connected and domestic flight are quite cheap.

Categories
Asia Bhutan

Bhutan

Among the most secretive and isolated countries as well as smallest one’s with a land area below 40000 km². Bhutan’s highest peaks are above 7000 m tall. Elevation rises from 200 m in the southern foothills to more than 7,000 m. This great geographical diversity combined with equally diverse climate conditions contributes to Bhutan’s outstanding range of biodiversity and ecosystems. From visiting nearly 80 countries, have never seen any other country where traditions are so much enforced. Heritage sites bill insists on national dress in government meetings and in schools. Even building a regular private house requires a local architect and traditional architecture elements in it’s design.

How to get there?

This is the trickiest part, unless you are a citizen of India, Bangladesh or Maldives. Otherwise the cost of visa is 200 USD during low season and 250 USD during high season, the prices mentioned are per single day! Licensed tour guides accompany tourists during their trips and arrange accommodations – independent tourism by foreigners (except for citizens of Bangladesh, India, and Maldives) is prohibited!

In my case, we were in Kathmandu, Nepal already. There you can find different tour agencies who will sort out everything for you. The price was around 1300 EUR for 3.5 days and 3 nights with two guides, excursions and everything included. The country itself is very cheap, visa itself is the most painful part. Probably there are another ways how to save a hundred or two euros, but our time was limited and tourism agency seemed the most logical option.

Flight from Nepal to Bhutan

One of the most interesting and scenic flights in my life, even though duration was only around 45 minutes. It’s very likely to see mount Everest during this flight, choose seat accordingly! From what I heard it’s even better than separate 200 USD flight next to it. Paro airport, which is the main airport of Buthan has very unique geography. With surrounding peaks as high as 5,500 m, it is considered one of the world’s most challenging airports, fewer than two dozen pilots are certified to land at the airport. Flights to and from Paro are allowed under visual meteorological conditions only and are restricted to daylight hours from sunrise to sunset.

Categories
Europe Iceland

Iceland

The most sparsely populated country in Europe with only slightly above 370 000 inhabitants. It’s main island is right below the Arctic Circle. The climate of Iceland is subarctic. Even though most coastal winters are warmer than most of us would think, due to Gulf Stream it has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude. The nature in this country is very unique due to it’s geysers, black sand, lava fields, mountains, glaciers, and many glacial rivers.

Move around

In my opinion, the best option is car rental. Since the country is sparsely populated and many points of interest are very remote, it’s quite logical that public transportation and hitchhiking is not like in other European countries. Be extra careful with hitchhiking, according to my driving experience, there are some parts of country, where maybe couple of cars will pass in hours.

Categories
Brazil South America

Sao Paulo

The 4th most populous city in the world and the most populated in the Western and Southern hemispheres. It’s a home to the largest Arab, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese diasporas, also it’s native inhabitants are representing over 200 different nationalities.

Sao Paulo is one of the most unequal cities i have seen. Vila Nova Conceição for example is the neighborhood with the highest real estate prices above 3000 EUR per m². At the same time there is an area commonly called ”Cracolândia”, where one can see the summary of the major humanity’s issues.

How to move around?

Metro is probably the best option in case it’s located close from your destination, however, rush hours can be insane since it’s one of the most densely populated places on planet.

Ridesharing companies are widely used and are great solution if mobile internet is available. They are also good in terms of safety and especially at night.

Safety!

As you may know largest cities in Brazil are infamous when it comes to safety. My main advise is, don’t generalize locations too much! It depends big time in which part of the city you are located, before booking hotel or doing other activities, would highly suggest to do research about neighborhoods. Don’t enter Favelas (slums or shanty towns) on your own, it’s usually easy to distinguish due to the orange bricks and concrete mixture, which gives an impression about unfinished building.

Categories
Chile South America

Torres del Paine

Located in Southern Chilean Patagonia is rich of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers. Torres del Paine is one of the most famous sites in whole Patagonia.

How to get there?

There’s a bus from Puerto Natales, which can be accessed from Punta Arenas. The area of Torres del Paine is quite vast so please plan ahead transportation. There are tours in Puerto Natales or it’s possible to rent a car, you can try to share it, since almost every visitor is coming for the same purpose. During high season, there’s high demand in tourism! Also keep in mind it’s quite expensive destination, hostels in the park itself were above 60EUR per night.

Weather warning!

I am quite fearless backpacker myself, but this area can experience typical Patagonia’s weather, which is all seasons in one day and winds around 130km/h. Be careful when walking next to the cliffs, the wind is totally unpredictable and can push you out of nowhere.

Categories
Chile South America

Marble caves in Chile

One of the most underrated and unknown destinations in the world. Located in northern Patagonia next to General Carrera Lake. Interestingly, it’s also called Lake Buenos Aires, since other part of it is located in Argentina. It’s important to have a sunny day in order to enjoy Marble Caves as much as possible!

From/to Chile Chico

The marble caves (Catedral del Marmol) are located 160km from very small town called Chile Chico. That’s probably from where you will go if you come from the most common destinations around Santa Cruz province in Argentina. In case you are wondering how to reach Chile Chico by bus from Argentina, it’s easy! Once you are in Los Antiguos, there are shuttles which will take you across border, also walking can be considered since it’s around 10km distance. When you are in Chile Chico, in the main bus station all the information will be available about the bus to marble caves. In case you need accommodation, keep in mind that most hotels around the area don’t advertise online so just look for one once you are there.

From/to Coyhaique

Coyhaique is located 220km from Marble Caves, the same applies here. There are special touristic vans which travel couple of times a day. Keep in mind, it takes time, since it’s not a straight road and some parts are unpaved. From Coyhaique it’s easier to reach other parts of Chile and Argentina, however, keep in mind that those buses might not be departing daily!

Categories
Argentina South America

Ushuaia

As it’s commonly know the Southern most city also called end of the world. The reason I went to Ushuaia was to visit Antarctica, however even with no intentions to do so it’s worth visiting. Best time to visit is during summer December-February, in winter it gets quite cold and snowy, with that being said there are also ski resorts, so it depends on the purpose of the trip. There are plenty of hiking trails around Tierra Del Fuego national park, where it’s possible to reach the ”end of the world”, place were the world’s longest route – Pan-American highway ends. And on the east side of the city there are many more hiking trails with amazing lakes. Organised vans, which can be booked next to the port in the center will take you there.

Categories
Antarctica

Antarctica

Have you ever wondered how to get to this one of the world’s most remote place? And also how to do it for as cheap as possible?

Antarctica is the most remote, coldest, driest, windiest and highest continent. The vast majority of visitors come by cruise ship from Ushuaia in Argentina. According to my experience, that’s the best way. Ushuaia, the city called end of the world, because it is literally. Once you arrive in Ushuaia, there will be many agencies organizing trips to Antarctica. From what I heard from other passengers also is that it’s better not to have a prior reservation. Just be sure to have enough extra time to hang around Ushuaia in case of waiting for the next ship (5 days in my case). I decided to compare many different deals between agencies, to my surprise, they were almost same, but one agency promised me free rent clothing equipment, otherwise the price was same. When it comes to the price, everything below 500 USD a day is cheap. I was very lucky since covid was already in China and lots of seats were available. We were bunch of backpackers and I paid 5000 USD for 12 nights all included, single room and ability to cross the polar circle.