Tres semanas de vacaciones – América Latina, allá voy

After unsuccessfully learning Spanish one more year, i still wanted to desperately visit Argentina. This time, none of my friends wanted to join, so i went by myself. Here you can see my route, pictures and videos. I can very much recommend this route for a 3 week vacation.
Buenos Aires was worth staying for four nights! A fanatastic city and the nicest capital of latin america. I can recommend to stay in Palermo – safe neighbourhood, nice restaurants and a good mix of people. I will skip listing all the places you can go there – you will figure this our by yourself – just very many beautiful places.
My 2nd stop was Salta – la linda. Its the capital of northwest argentina and the historical center is full of old colonnian buildings. There is a lot to do around salta, like visiting Cafayate, Cachi, do a wine tour, San Antonio de los Cobres (however the train was not going in 2020), Salinas Grandes, and all the nice places between Purmamarca and Humahuaca. I even went further north to Iruya, which was a bit stressful with one night and given the fact that the bus ride also takes some hours. I would recommend to stay 2 days inclduing a hiking trip to San Isidro. The hike up to the mirador del condor was also nice. If you walk further, you can also visit a waterfall from there.
After enyoying some days in and around Salta, i went to Puerto Iguazu du see the waterfall and the national park. I arrived there in the evening and went the next day – for a full day – to the argentinian side. Best take the bus from the terminal, which goes every few minutes. In the national park, lot of walking is involved as there is a lot to see. You can take a boat tour, if you have enough time and came early, else i would skip it. On the next day, i went with a taxi from the terminal to the brazilian side of the park. You dont even have to go out of the car for emigration and immigration to brazil is almost as easy as the taxi parks directly next to the immigration point and afterwards drives you to the main entrace of the park. If you need cash, there are a lot of ATMs right infront of the park, where you can get your Reales (or in my case get cash to pay the driver…). The brazil experience of the waterfall is a bit different – everything is perfectly organized, you dont have to walk alot and you can do the frontal pictures of the waterfalls – which is a better view as from the other side. After spending some hours in the park, i walked over to Helisul – a company offering helicopter flights over the area. If you have to wait – not a problem – go to the bird park across the street. In case you leave Iguacu by plane, you can just take the bus from infront of the Park/Helisul – its a short ride to the airport and it stops directly there. I left from there to São Paulo, where i had a hotel in Luz – near the pinacoteca. It was not the nicest area to go out in the night, so i ate in the hotel and decided to do a walking city tour in the next day. This was a great idea to see the centro. Afterwards i went to the Banespa Building – a skyscraper which was inspired by the empire state bulding. It has an observation deck on floor 33 which allows you to have a wide view over the city. Afterwards i went to Liberdade, home to the world’s largest ethnic Japanese community outside Japan. From there, you can walk (3km) to Avenida Paulista and through the finance district. Sundays, the street is closed for cars! In the evening i took the metro to la luz and checked the pinacoteca and the park around. I walked around 20km that day and went the next day with the metro from la luz to the bus terminal and from there straight to Paraty. I stayed only for one full day in São Paulo and i would say that was pretty much perfect if you want to see the capital.
After arriving in Paraty, the beach and slow pace part of the vacation began. Paraty is an old town and well know for historical center which is a Unesco world heritage. I enoyed a few days in and around Paraty. You can do a lot of tours by boat or around the area to enjoy the weather, the beaches and just unwind. I planned to go from Paraty to Ilha grande for a few days, but on my last day in paraty i was notified that the island was closed to tourism because of Covid-19 (this was march 2020). So i went to Rio de Janeiro earlier to explore the city and go for another helicopter flight. When i checked into the hotel and checked for corona news and the return flight checkin, i was curious about whether Lufthansa will still go from Rio back to Frankfurt in the next days. The frequent traveler hotline told me that there will be the last direct flight from Rio in 2.5 hours (!!!) and that i might have chances to get on the flight, if I go to the airport NOW. So i decided to try to leave early and took a taxi to the airport. On that day, Rio was cloudy and i neither saw the christ the redeemer nor the sugerloaf mountain. Literally everything i saw was a bit copacabana and the maracana stadium far away. When i arrived at the airport, i was lucky – some passengers were offloaded because there weren’t european citizens – and i got on of their seats on the aisle with a lot of legroom 🙂 This really was the last direct flight and every seat was taken. So i was short by some beach days and i decided to come back as soon as possible, maybe in a combination of visiting peru when corona will allow this again….

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