Views 22 May My Top 5 South America Travel Destinations
 |  Category: Tips & Testimonials

Ingmar Griffioen, a.k.a. El Grifo, spent nine weeks travelling the continent and to study Spanish in Buenos Aires and in Cusco. We, at Dos Manos Travel Agency asked him what he enjoyed the most. In his response, he said he would have loved to stay longer and enjoy the many new friendships with his fellow students at the AMAUTA Spanish School, as well as visit more places. Even so, he provided us with a Top 5 of his most beautiful and impressive travel experiences in South America:

  1. Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu

    My Top 5 South America Travel Destinations One of the seven recent world wonders and the place on your ‘to-see’ list in Latin America. Due to its superb setting, which makes the ‘lost city’ invisible from the valley below, the Spanish conquistadores were, thankfully, oblivious to its existence. The impressive Inca ruins have only been discovered about 100 years ago, but the proximity to the fascinating old capital of the Incas, Cusco, and the unbelievable experience of hiking the Wayna Picchu mountain offering its majestic views over the remains of Machu Picchu as well as the green Urubamba river valley flanked by the peaks of the mighty Andes mountains, make this a true number 1.

  2. The thrill of mountain biking in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

    A spontaneous invitation by my Dutch buddies and Swiss mountain specialist Simon to replace somebody’s reserved spot, turned out to be tremendously rewarding experience. My Top 5 South America Travel DestinationsThe start of this extraordinary 48 km. mountain bike tour was at the charming town of Chincheros, and passed by the Inca archeological site of Moray and the remarkable Maras salt mines (Salineras) on the way. The beautiful green and rugged countryside outside Cusco made this the most stunning ride I have ever done; easily beating the Belgian, Croatian, Slovenian, Austrian and German mountain ranges! The 1200 meter downhill ride to Urubamba completed an adrenaline filled daytrip, without a scratch to show for it!

  3. Football match in Argentina: Boca Juniors – Atlético de Rafaela

    Most definitely the highlight of my time in Argentina. A match in La Bombanera, Boca Junior’s stadium in the rough neighborhood of La Boca, must be the ultimate football fan’s dream! We were lucky because Boca took on the number 2 at the time, Atlético de Rafaela, and won 3 – 1 in a very attractive game. A lot of passion, especially amongst the highly fanatic fans who were frenetically jumping, chanting and waving flags for over three hours, resulted in an unprecedented party. In the stadium (and even more in the newspaper next day) we came to realize why there was so much pressure on the match; the rivalry between the most important fan groups had caused many threats and fights leading up to the day of the match…

  4. The Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo and Chincheros

    A very pleasant sightseeing trip in the Sacred Valley. I already passed through Ollantaytambo two times before while visiting Machu Picchu. My Top 5 South America Travel Destinations Then I only got to know the train station with no time to visit this incredible ancient settlement. Especially the fortress build against the steep hill is impressive, with views to all wind directions in between the mountains. At another friendly town called Chincheros, they are still excavating what allegedly are the remains of an old palace belong to an Inca emperor. The village alone is definitely worth the visit, also on the traditional Sunday market, and can easily be reached after 50 minutes by bus from Cusco (it takes the same time coming from Ollantaytambo).

  5. Crossing the Andes from Mendoza to Santiago de Chile

    My Top 5 South America Travel Destinations I had already planned the trip to Santiago de Chile from Argentina. From there I was to take a flight to Peru to continue my Spanish language course in Cusco. However, what I didn’t realize was that I therefore had to cross the Andes, near the highest peak of the Americas! This turned out to be a very long but extremely beautiful scenic bus trip. After my arrival in Cusco I saw more snowcapped mountaintops, but never got so close to the snow as here (and much more exciting than wintertime in Europe!)

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