South America is a culturally rich and diverse and geographically varied continent. When traveling to South America it is important to understand that each country, though often recognized for its iconic tourist attractions, is not solely that singular highlight. Each country boasts a vast array of, architectural styles, historical backgrounds, languages (and accents for that matter), rural towns, transportation, crops, landscapes and wildlife. It is easy to dedicate a week to a lifetime in each country in South America and continuously stumble upon new sights, sounds, foods and traditions. I highly recommend, before trying to jump from one well-known place to the next, to take the local transit, attempt a conversation with a local and explore the paths less traveled for a truly unique and enlightening experience.
Though planes are definitely the fastest way to reach most South America travel destinations, they are often times much more expensive and they are not what the local people typically use. Opting to travel via bus or train in South America allows travelers to see the country they are in from a very real perspective- land travel allows the traveler to see small towns and parts of the landscape that one might not otherwise have access to. Stopping in small villages and passing through rural areas will ultimately deliver a more well-rounded experience and heightened perspective on a destination. Land travel in many countries in South America’s is the preferred method of travel and, due to that, it is NOT the nightmarish Gray Hound experience many Americans often envision when talking about land transport. There are multiple options for a variety of budgets that range from extremely rustic to luxurious fold down bed/seats with Champagne and flat screens. The only barrier that often prevents tourists from taking these local land options is a language barrier or not understanding schedules. This is where we come in. At Wildland Adventures we appreciate the communities that form the backbones of these incredible austral destinations and, as explorers and lovers of “off-the-beaten-track places” ourselves, want to share that with our travelers.
In many of our itineraries there are chances to take land transport between points on an itinerary. One of my personal favorite land journeys is Peru: from Cusco up to Lank Titicaca. Driving through the rustic Andean villages, beyond the bustling limits of Cusco, while following the streams and rivers that run together to form the mighty Amazon, back to their origins in the high altiplano, one cannot help but feel the grandeur of culture, history and the physical landscape dwarfing them. Upon arrival at the banks of the majestic Lake Titicaca, with the snowcapped Andes beckoning beyond, one completely loses all sense of time and modernity; this is a site where ancient wisdom is cultivated and where the immensity of the natural world demands acknowledgement. Through the ancient cultures and languages, the scenery, and absolutely extraordinary evening storms, Lake Titicaca will do nothing less but captivate its guests.
Your friendly South America travel expert,