Why you should visit Ushuaia in Argentina

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world in Tierra del Fuego on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia means ‘the bay facing westward’ in the language of the original Yamana inhabitants. The town is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel. It is in Ushuaia where the Andes meet the southern ocean in a sharp ski.

happiness
Ushuaia the most southern city in the world.

Ushuaia was once a penal colony for political prisoners and criminals. Nowadays it is a busy adventure hub for tourists. Antarctica cruises start here in Ushuaia’s port.

Ushuaia
port in Ushuaia, Argentina

The Tierra del Fuego National park is 63,000 hectares huge but only a small part of it is open to the public.

How do you get there:

There are daily flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.

In case you are planning to see El Chalten, El Calafate and Torres del Paine National park in Patagonia first, you can take a bus from Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is a small town of approximately 100,000 people, Chile’s southernmost city. The estimated travel time via bus is approximately 12 hours depending on the border. Once you get close to Ushuaia the scenery suddenly changes. It is worthwhile experiencing the bus ride if you have the time.

What to do in Ushuaia:

In winter the town is a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers.

There are plenty of hiking options available in the Tierra del Fuego National park. Also sailing, kayaking and even scuba diving options are just minutes away.

Ushuaia is the base for cruises along the Beagle Channel to observe the marine wildlife. Expect to see lots of sea birds, sea lions and penguins. In case you cannot get enough from penguins, you can book a trip to the penguin colony and walk around the little cuties and get a bit closer to see the king penguin.

The Beagle channel:

The Beagle channel is named after Darwin’s expedition vessel and is a strait in Tierra del Fuego Archipelago on the extreme southern tip of South America partly in Chile and partly in Argentina.The channel’s eastern area forms part of the border between Chile and Argentina and the western area is entirely within Chile. The Beagle Channel is about 240 kilometres long and about 5 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.

Harbor cruises are usually four-hour morning or afternoon excursions to cormorant colonies

sea birds from the Beagle Channel
sea birds from the Beagle Channel

and to sea lions.

sea lions from the Beagle Channel resting on the rocks
sea lions from the Beagle Channel resting on the rocks
southern american sea lions from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia.
southern american sea lions from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia.

You will be cruising along small beautiful islands:

Beagle channel near Ushuaia
Beagle channel near Ushuaia

and pass the lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘end of the world’ on the north shore of the Beagle Channel:

View of the Lighthouse 'Les Eclaireurs' called 'End of the World' near Ushuaia on the north shore of the Channel
View of the Lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘End of the World’ near Ushuaia on the north shore of the Channel

After a few hours on the boat you will finally arrive at the penguin colony.

Magellan penguins from the Beagle Channel
Magellan penguins from the Beagle Channel

The Magellanic penguins were named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who observed the penguins in 1520.

a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.
a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.

If you prefer to take the bus to the penguin colony tour you will pass some interesting rough scenery on the way.

the trees are shaped from the strong winds in Ushuaia
the trees are shaped from the strong winds in Ushuaia

Reached at the colony you will be able to get closer to the penguins

King penguin with attitude
penguin with attitude

and also see the famous king penguin.

king penguin on the penguin colony, Beagle Channel
king penguin on the penguin colony, Beagle Channel

When you are visiting Patagonia, make sure you stop in Ushuaia and enjoy the wildlife and scenery.

Have you missed my previous posts about Patagonia? Just click on the following links:

Enjoy reading.

Happy travel.

 

 

The magic Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia

Patagonia is an amazing and beautiful place in the world. There is so much you can see. In case you have missed my first post about Patagonia click here.

Now I want to introduce you to the magic Perito Moreno Glacier. It is approximately a 2 hours bus drive away from El Calafate where plenty of tour companies offer daily visits.

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno glacier was named after the explorer Francisco Moreno who studied the region in the 19th century. The ice formation is 250 km2 huge and 30 km long. It is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water.

Perito Moreno Glacier in summer
Perito Moreno Glacier in summer

The glacier is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia which is still growing. The toe of the Perito Moreno glacier is approximately 5 km wide and 60m high above the surface of the lake ‘lago argentino’. The total ice depth is roughly 170m.

This massive river of frozen water and huge chunks of ice move down constantly crashing into the lake waters below.

massive ice mass from Perito Moreno Glacier
massive ice mass from Perito Moreno Glacier

You can go on a boat trip and get as close as possible to this glacier.

the huge Perito Moreno glacier makes a boat look like a toy
the huge Perito Moreno glacier makes a boat look like a toy

Being in front of this massive glacier is just an incredible feeling.

Ice glacier
Ice glacier

The view from the boat trip:

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier

From here we left to Puerto Natales and prepared ourselves for a three day hiking trip in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

Stay tuned and happy travel.

 

Why should you visit Lake Titicaca – photos from Uros, the floating island

Uros island

You made it to Lake Titicaca, great. Once you visited Taquile Island, another must to see are the floating islands. I have been to Uros Island, but before you actually go I recommend to have some local lunch. Since I was on a gadvanture trip, we were lucky to be invited at a family’s place who cooked just for us.

The entree was a home baked bread which you can see in the bowl on the top of the photo, together with a tomato and chilli salsa, followed by a yummi quinoa soup and as main a fresh trout from Lake Titicaca. It can’t be any better than that.

Peruvian trout
fresh trout from lake titicaca

The family who cooked for us were dressed up in traditional clothes and very friendly. The Peruvian cuisine is seriously the best I know. It uses lots of fresh produce, vegetables and the super seed ‘quinoa’. If you love eating healthy like me, you will be in paradise.

Peruvian lady from Lake TIticaca
This Peruvian lady cooked the most amazing trout fresh from Lake Titicaca. We had quinoa soup as a starter, some homemade amazing bread with tomatoe salsa and fresh trout from the lake.

The little cheeky boy was playing hiding with us. What a cutie.

Peruvian boy
a little peruvian boy on Taquile Island

…the little boy with his grandpa. A traditional Peruvian family living in simple conditions and seem to be the most happiest people you can imagine.

happy family from Taquile Island, Peru
happy family from Taquile Island, Peru

Once you have a happy tummy, go and visit one of the floating islands. I have never seen something like this before and couldn’t imagine you can live like this. As you can see on the photo, a storm was approaching.

Floating island, peru
Uros the floating island on Lake Titicaca, Peru

Once you arrive at this little island you will be welcomed by singing locals in their colourful traditional clothes:

Uros island
the women from Uros the floating island in Peru, Lake Titicaca

A little girl was happily jumping around, being very excited about the visitors:

traditional floating island
little girl from Uros Island, Lake Titicaca

…a bit curious too:

little girl from Uros Island, Lake Titicaca
little girl from Uros Island, Lake Titicaca

…now being exhausted after running around:

playing little girl on Taquile Island, Peru
playing little girl on Taquile Island, Peru

The locals selling their handcrafted art:

Life on Uros Island, Peru
Life on Uros Island, Peru

Lake Titicaca was the last place in Peru before I travelled further to Patagonia. I fell in love with Peru, the friendly people who live happily in their simplicity. The Peruvian cuisine is one of the best I know, it has an influence of the asian cuisine but uses the Peruvian natural ingredients.

I definitely will come back to Peru. I am currently thinking of doing some volunteer work in Cusco in the next year. If anybody of you had some great experiences to share, I would be more than happy to hear about it. Please feel free to comment.

More travel stories from Patagonia will follow soon. Stay tuned.

Have a lovely day.

Alex

When one door closes, another door opens

colourful Santa Catalina

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where things don’t go ahead as planned. Maybe you were applying for your dream job and you didn’t get it; maybe your heart just got broken by your partner or you booked your amazing holiday but then it got cancelled because of external other reasons you couldn’t control. These are typical situations where a door is closing. We get disappointed and wonder why this happened. We are sad.

But hey, remember, everything happens for a reason. The job you were hoping to get, did not work out for you because a better one is waiting for you just around the corner. The partner who broke your heart wasn’t loving you, so why would you want to waste your time. Maybe your soul mate is waiting for you but you need to be free for him. Maybe your dream holiday wasn’t such a great choice and you are getting a better deal for less money now.

Keep in mind, where one door closes, another door opens. We need to free up our mind and believe in ‘everything happens for a reason’. Your mind will be open and suddenly you can see things clearly. New ways will show up just in front of you. It may take some time but at the end of your journey you will realise and learn why the first option was not a good one for you


When one door closes, another door opens

The photo below was taken in Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru. I loved the colours of the doors. You can see how one door leads to another one. Go for it and open your mind. Do you want to read more about Arequipa in Peru: click here for Part 1 and click here for part 2.

colourful Santa Catalina
colourful doors of Santa Catalina

Continue reading “When one door closes, another door opens”

Why you should visit Lake Titicaca – photos of Taquile Island

You are in Peru, fell in love with that country and don’t want to leave yet? I fully understand. Why don’t you take a bus and travel from Cusco to Puno, Lake Titicaca. More details on that trip here: Photos that make you want to travel from Cusco to Puno.

Puno itself is not a very interesting town in my opinion but it is great for an overnight stay before heading to the islands in the morning.

I recommend to take a boat to Taquile Island and experience the traditional culture of Peru. The island is 45km offshore from Puno and about 2,200 people live here. Taquile is approximately 5.5 square km big with its highest point being 4,050m above sea level.

So what can you expect to see? Enjoy the photos:

Continue reading “Why you should visit Lake Titicaca – photos of Taquile Island”

Does money makes you happy?

happy smile

Have you ever noticed when travelling that people and kids in third world countries appear to be happier than people in the westernised world? Why is that? So, money does not make you happy?

Most of the westernised people seem to be too focussed on the material things they own and cannot get enough from money. The driver for lots of people is money. Kids are growing up with ipads and smart phones, watching TV and have plenty of toys. I wonder how kids nowadays will learn to appreciate the things they own. They get used to the habit of getting everything they want. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of people out there who are not like this, however, the majority are unfortunately focussed on money. Surely you need it to survive, to pay your rent and to buy food, I get this but when people make money to be an important driver for their actions in life and thinking that more money makes them happier there is something wrong. Money might make life easier but you can’t buy happiness and love with it.

Travelling to Peru opened my eyes. On our way from Machu Picchu to Cusco we stopped to see the beautiful scenery and approaching sunset but when I saw the little kids in their traditional clothes with their donkey I immediately was drawn to them. Most of the kids in Peru don’t have all the fancy toys the westernised children have. They are poor but happy. Those kids don’t need an ipad and a phone to play with. The little cute girl had the most beautiful smile I have ever seen. Observing this makes you think. Most of the people in that country don’t have a hot shower or just a small little shelter to live in but they are friendly and happy because they consider their family and friends the most valued assets in their lives.

Happiness comes from the inside out and not from the material things you own. Declutter your life and appreciate the little things you see and have around you every day. You cannot buy friends and family, you cannot buy love and you cannot buy health. Yes you can buy medicine but you cannot buy a healthy and happy body because this starts with your mindset. Love yourself, your family and friends, be healthy, smile every day and be grateful for the little things in life. Did you wake up being healthy? That is already a reason to be appreciative. Happiness comes from your mindset and not the assets you own.

People are just as HAPPY as they make up their minds to be

happy kids
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Look at this photo and imagine you are there…can you see the happy smile and the simplicity?

happy smile
the most beautiful smile in the world

I hope this post will make you think and reflect on your life. Being grateful and smiling every day is a huge step forward in finding true happiness.

Have a happy day.

10 photos that make you want to travel from Cusco to Puno via bus

grassland

You just returned from Machu Picchu but you don’t want to leave Peru yet? Great choice. I recommend you take the tourist bus (there is a train option too) from Cusco to Puno which stops on some interesting points all the way to Puno. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the landscape from Cusco to Puno actually is. There is also a public bus option which is the budget version but it doesn’t stop for you to explore the scenery.

1. Let’s start with the first stop at Gate Rumicolca, an Inca site:

Inca site
Gate of Rumicolca; 30 km from Cusco, Peru

Continue reading “10 photos that make you want to travel from Cusco to Puno via bus”

The best rainbow photos from Iguazu

rainbow Iguazu

Seeing the Iguazu falls from the Brasilian and the Argentinian side is already breathtaking and amazing but also being able to see rainbows and double rainbows over the falls is just incredible.

Have you been there already? Then you know what I am talking about. If not, have a look at some rainbow images from Iguazu which makes you wanna travel to Southamerica straight away.

rainbow Iguazu
the double rainbow in Iguazu

The double rainbow over the devil’s throat:

Devil's throat
the double rainbow over the devil’s throat

View to the Argentinian side.

rainbow over Iguazu
rainbow over Iguazu

Are you hungry for more images from Iguazu and want to read the story Stranded at the brazilian border in iguazu and what now?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Roy G. Biv.”

Have a lovely day.

 

The sunrise and animals calling Machu Picchu their home

sunrise Machu Picchu

You want to make sure you don’t miss anything when going to Machu Picchu? If you have not seen my previous post about Machu Picchu please click on the following link: why is machu picchu such a magical place and photos you haven’t seen before.

Here are some more insights of what to expect followed by a quick survival guide.

Expect the sunrise to be slightly different

In my opinion the best times to see a place is either at sunrise or sunset. Places turn into this beautiful golden colour. For photographers definitely a must. So it was absolutely clear to me to get up very early to see the sunrise at 5:30am. However, our group decided to be there slightly after the sunrise which confused me but I trusted our tour guide. In the end it was perfect. What we have to remember that Machu Picchu is mostly covered in fog and clouds in the early mornings and you won’t see any sunrise. We could see the beautiful scenery of clouds coming in and moving out, so Machu Picchu played ‘hiding’ with us. A magical theatre to watch: A panorama shot taken early in the morning.

Machu Picchu in fog
Machu Picchu early in the morning covered in the clouds.

Continue reading “The sunrise and animals calling Machu Picchu their home”

Why is Machu Picchu such a magical place and photos you haven’t seen before

Machu Picchu is arguably the most magical place in the world. Everyone knows it, has been there or it is still on your bucket list to visit. But why?

Machu Picchu is the lost city of the Incas located in the High Andes of Peru in the Urubamba Valley approximately 6 hours drive from Cusco and 2,453m above sea level. Luckily the spanish conquerer have never found that magic place. The Machu Picchu ruin had capacity for around 1000 residents and is known as the most sacred Inca site. It was forgotten after the collapse of the Inca empire and rediscovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham.

Machu Picchu is hiding behind the clouds
Machu Picchu is hiding behind the clouds

Continue reading “Why is Machu Picchu such a magical place and photos you haven’t seen before”