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A DIY Guide To Trekking Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the wonders of the world that you don’t want to miss; a region in South America at the most southern tip of the world before reaching Antarctica. Southern Patagonia, stretching across Chile and Argentina, has long lured travelers to what is very nearly the end of the world.

There are many options and routes that you can choose from when planning your trip depending on where you’re starting and how much time you have.

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park are the region’s top highlights. For a complete journey through Patagonia, combine visits to both halves of the region; crossing the border from Argentina over to Chile.

There is a fair amount of research you must do in order to make your experience run smoothly, but I’ve provided some very useful tips and tricks that will be sure to make your planning a heck of a lot easier!

When To Go

The first thing you need to plan around is what time of year you’re looking to go. The weather in Patagonia can be extremely temperamental at any time of the year, but will be especially unpleasant during the winter months of the southern hemisphere; June – August being the coldest months.

The best time to visit Patagonia is during the spring and summer months when the weather is warmer, drier, and more predictable than the cooler months.

A lot of people enjoy hiking in the snow, but I found the summer to be a very enjoyable time to hike and camp. This also means less “warm” gear that you’ll have to lug with you if you go during the summer months, i.e. December – March.

Planning Your Route Through Patagonia

The first thing you need to figure out is how much time you have, and what hikes/places you want to see in order to create your itinerary.

If you don’t know where to begin, there are a few major destinations in Patagonia – starting in Bariloche; the furthest north part of Argentinian Patagonia and the closest city to Mendoza and Buenos Aires; both of which have international airports.

LATAM and Sky Airlines are the two major low-cost airlines flying to Southern Patagonia, with flights ranging from $50-$130 depending on the distance and the season; December – March being more expensive.

I spent two weeks in Buenos Aires before beginning my journey through Patagonia, wandering around the city, exploring the Argentinian capital and preparing for the upcoming weeks of adventures.

Bariloche

Bariloche, on the banks of the immense Nahuel Huapi lake, is a major town, and a base for trekking and mountain biking. Bariloche offers everything from short walks to waterfalls to one-day hikes to excruciating multi-day treks.

While Bariloche is famous for the lake in the summer, it is also famous for winter sports. Every July – September tourists travel here from both hemispheres looking for their “endless winter”. At any time of year, this laid-back mountain town is the perfect start to your Patagonian journey.

Getting There

Most people start off from Bariloche which is where the majority of buses arrive from Buenos Aires. You can also fly into Bariloche, which is slightly more expensive ($220 vs $110), but will get you there much quicker.

The flight from Buenos Aires to Bariloche takes about an hour and a half, whereas the bus takes 20 – 22 hours. The bus is a unique way to see the countryside through Argentina, but it depends on your preferences, budget, and time constraints. I personally chose to fly, but every traveler is different!

What To Do

Apurabici rents bikes for $15 a day and organizes half-day guided rides along mountain trails for $50pp. I recommend staying in Bariloche for at least a couple of nights so you can do a few different activities.

Bariloche is known for the Route of the Seven Lakes, which is one of the most popular hikes/drives to do while visiting Patagonia.

The trail goes from Bariloche to San Martin de Los Andes and is roughly 100 km. This route can be done by car, bus, bike or in parts by hiking. It can take a couple of days or a week depending on how much time you have. There are a number of hiking routes to choose from as well as boat tours.

One of the best things about going to Patagonia in the summer months is that if it’s warm enough (or you work up enough of a sweat) you can jump in the glacial water. This water is the clearest, sparkling turquoise water that I’ve ever seen, but don’t be fooled by the warm temperature in the air – the water is freezing! However also a nice, refreshing pick-me-up after a long hike or bike ride around the lake.

Camping or Accommodation

Where to stay while doing the trail will depend on your budget and sense of adventure. Hostels are abundant as well as camping spots, either free or of charge.

If you’re simply exploring the town, Bonita Lake House and Perikos are very affordable ($45/night) options if you’re looking for a relaxed hostel on the lake. Gran Hotel Panamericano is a charming hotel in the countryside, a short distance from the center of Bariloche with rates starting at $59/night.

During the summer months, aka peak season from December – March, I would recommend booking all accommodation in advance.

Los Glaciares National Park

Continuing south, you arrive – eventually – in the extraordinarily beautiful Los Glaciares, the largest protected area in Argentina composed of glaciers, mountains, lakes, and forests, including a vast portion of the Andes mountain range.

The main attractions are the towering Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre peaks at its northern end, and the huge, turquoise-coloured Lago Argentino to the south.

El Calafate

El Calafate is a funky, small town right on Lago Argentino, the largest freshwater lake in the country. With a range of traveler services such as biking, kayaking, and organized tours to Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s a fun place to be with all the ideal tourist facilities.

Its strategic location between El Chaltén and Torres del Paine (Chile) makes it an inevitable stop for those in transit. I immediately sensed that El Calafate had the feel of a ski-resort village with its colorful, timber buildings; boasting a ton of restaurants and bars.

For dinner be sure to check out Pura Vida – offering Argentine “home cooking”, or for a more decadent and intimate experience at a slightly higher price, Mi Rancho. Fuel up on fresh donuts, croque monsieurs, and Colombian espresso for breakfast at Olivia, an adorable cafe in a loungy setting.

What To Do

Many travelers come to El Calafate to see the lake’s world famous glacier, Perito Moreno; it’s world-famous because the ice expands until the warmer waters beneath undermine it, causing an explosion and sending tsunami-like waves out into the surrounding water.

Perito Moreno Glacier is an hour drive from El Calafate. You can easily book transportation through a tour agency or through your hostel/hotel.  These tours cost around $24 roundtrip with an entrance fee cost of $20 (CASH ONLY.)

**Make sure that you have an ample amount of cash before traveling through Patagonia. ATMs can be finicky and sometimes won’t dispense cash. There are plenty of money exchanges around so you can pay in the local currency.

If you have a extra day, or just don’t feel like doing a full day excursion, you can rent a bike in town and ride around the lake. (I say around, but realistically you won’t get too far as the lake is massive.)  I rented a bike for two hours ($8), but I recommend renting for at least three so you won’t be in a rush to get back.

From the center of town, you can bike along the road to a point that separates the inlet where the many different species of birds hang out (a cool place to bird watch, yet a place you don’t want to swim) from the main part of the lake where you can swim… if you dare jump in the glacial water! Disclaimer: not for the faint of heart.

El Chalten

Another popular destination in this region is the trekking mecca El Chaltén, a three-hour drive from El Calafate Airport. El Chalten is a small hiking village located directly in Los Glaciares National Park at the base of the mountains.

Although there is no airport here, the closest airport is in El Calafate. Frequent minibuses connect El Chaltén to El Calafate, a three-hour journey through the sprawling national park. There are a few different companies, but you might want to plan your flight time around the shuttle times if you’re planning to head to El Chalten from the airport.

The shuttle company I booked at the airport was called Las Lengas and left El Calafate at 1 pm, arriving to El Chalten at 4 pm; (I booked an early flight out of Bariloche to arrive in El Calafate by 12:30 pm.)

The shuttle dropped me off at the bed & breakfast, and picked me back up 4 days later to bring me back to the hotel in El Calafate.

Roundtrip this semi-private shuttle cost $50 pp, and stopped at a cool river-side hotel/café/shop halfway through the trip for 20 mins so you could get out, stretch your legs, and grab a souvenir or coffee.

**You don’t have to book the roundtrip option, but it is easiest considering you’ll have to come back to El Calafate to fly out to your next destination.

What To Do

El Chalten is the home of the esteemed Fitz Roy – a towering peak with a number of hiking, climbing, and rafting adventures to choose from. There is another main attraction in Los Glaciares National Park called Cerro Torre, the second largest peak to hike (following Fitz Roy) with a number of trails, and a sparkling glacial lake with turquoise icebergs.

At the north end of the National Park these are the two highest peaks of the mountain range, which together with forests, glaciers and lakes, create one of the most extraordinary sights to see in our country. The two major hikes to see these peaks are called Laguna Torre and Laguna de Los Tres.

Most people do a hike of some sort, but it’s not for everyone. Alternatively, you can relax in this picturesque backpacker town, admiring the views, the condors and the craft beers.

Despite the size, there are a surprising number of cafes, restaurants, and bars of all types of cuisine. I spent 4 nights here and tried a handful of amazing places ranging from burgers and beers, to traditional Patagonian cuisine loaded with hearty portions of meat and potatoes, to a vegan café with fresh salads and juices.

La Vineria has a great selection of ales and Patagonian wines. Across the street, enjoy traditional Argentinian cuisine in a cozy log cabin at La Senyara. For a vegetarian/vegan meal, Curcuma.

Crossing The Border: Argentina – Chile

Logistics

Traveling between Chile and Argentina can be done easily by land or sea. Unfortunately, there are no flights between Puerto Natales (the base of Torres del Paine) to El Calafate. For an overland trip, you’ll need to organize a private transfer or catch a bus.

The drive takes approximately six hours cross the border between Argentina and Chile. Buy your bus ticket to Puerto Natales through your hostel in El Calafate, or head straight to the bus station and buy it through one of the tour companies.

There are several reputable bus companies that connect Puerto Natales and El Calafate, including Buses Fernandez, Buses Sur, Buses Pacheco, Turismo Zaahj, and Cootra. They run daily services that depart between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

The transfer takes five-seven hours – depending on the time spent at customs – and the cost of the ticket is $20 one way. These buses are pretty spacious and equipped with a bathroom, so as long as you have some water and snacks, you should be good to go for your journey across the border!

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales is the home of Torres del Paine, a huge mountain range famous for its “three peaks”, rising high at 3,500 meters, and another stop on the journey south through Patagonia.

This park is very different from the parks I hiked in Argentina. Unlike in Los Glaciares, you must drive to the park or take a bus (public or tour shuttle.) The drive from Puerto Natales to the entrance of the park takes 1.5 hours.

There is an entrance fee to get into the park of 21,000 Chilean pesos, about $32. You must bring this amount IN CASH to the park the day of your hike, or you will not be permitted entry.

This park is a huge, protected national forest – such is Los Glaciares National Park – but has experienced many more natural disasters due to human caused forest fires over the years destroying the land, and is therefore more strictly protected.

The most popular day hike that people do is called Base Torres, which takes you to the lake at the base of the three peaks. The hike is about 18 km roundtrip to the lake and back. You can take a bus from Puerto Natales in the morning, which will then give you a time to meet back at the starting point later in the afternoon.

**MAKE sure you plan your time accordingly so that you don’t miss your return bus back to town.

There are larger hikes such as the “W Circuit” or the “O Circuit” that usually take people three to four days, with a few options for camping sites along the way. Make sure you take a map with you and know where you’re going ahead of time.

Tours

You can also book a full tour of the park through a few different agencies in Puerto Natales near the main plaza. This tour costs about $45 and is a full 12-hour guided tour on a shuttle through the entire park.

This option is great because you get to see so much more than you would from the one day hike. There are 10 viewpoints along the tour, with a two hour stop for lunch and exploring at Lago Grey; an amazing lake with glaciers right up along the beach.

I booked this full day tour through Go Calafate. I was picked up at my hostel at 7:45 am, and dropped back off at the main plaza in Puerto Natales at 7:30 pm, so plan accordingly with your meals of the day!

Ushuaia

Ushuaia is a resort town in Argentina located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, the southernmost tip of South America, nicknamed the “End of the World” and is the last stop of the Patagonian journey.

Apart from being the gateway to Tierra del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia is also the port to sail across Drake’s Passage into Antarctica, an unforgettable adventure that I hope to experience someday! These tours range from $5,000 – $10,000 for a cruise ship to the white continent.

The walk to the glacier is quite long; many people prefer to get an inexpensive taxi from the town to the base, and then hike or get the chairlift (often only running in summer) from there.

Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego National Park, 11 miles (18km) from Ushuaia, is the final must-see of Patagonia for nature and outdoor lovers.

Buses leave from Ushuaia roughly every hour, although it is recommended to depart early in the morning if you are planning on hiking in the park. Visitors must pay an entrance fee of $14 USD.

There are many well-marked trails and short hikes for those wishing to spend the day exploring the park independently.

For those who want to see a bit more, longer trails and hikes are available; Sheep’s Pass takes two days, whereas a longer trek of four days can be done on the Sierra Valdivieso Circuit. The park also has two beautiful lakes and some waterfalls.


Planning your own trip to Patagonia? Be sure to check out these posts to help sort out your itinerary as well!

Guides Insider Tips Latin America Outdoors

6 Days In Argentina: Buenos Aires & Patagonia’s El Calafate & El Chaltén

With Argentina being the 8th largest country in the world, it is no wonder that it has so much to offer. In this beautiful and underrated place, you’ll discover everything from mountains, wineries, glaciers, jungles, waterfalls and chic cities.

During my visit to Argentina, I spent time revisiting one of my favorite cities, Buenos Aires. I then took a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and hopped on a 3 hour plane ride to the remote and relaxing region of Patagonia to explore its awe-inspiring glaciers, steppe and mountains.

Buenos Aires: The Paris of South America is Chic & Elegant
Upon arrival to this gorgeous city, I always feel as if I’ve just teleported to Europe. With elegant neighborhoods like the historic Recoleta area, home to one of the most gorgeous cemeteries in the world, to the hip neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires is reason enough to visit Argentina.

Things to do in Buenos Aires:
Tea time at the Alvear Palace Hotel
Dating back to 1932, this historic hotel was the meeting place for the elite in the ‘20s. If you’re not already staying at this hotel, at least make your way here for tea time at the gorgeous L’Orangerie winter garden.


Sightseeing
• Plaza de Mayo: located in the main square
• Presedential Palace of Casa Rosada
• Recoleta Cemetery: amazing mausoleums and statues


Neighborhood hop
• Recoleta: Parisian style buildings and homes
• Palermo: gardens, monuments and mansions with hip cafes and restaurants
• La Boca: a colorful and picturesque neighborhood with tango dancers and street artists, Boca Juniors soccer stadium
• San Telmo: the old part of the city with a boho atmosphere, cobblestone streets and colonial architecture.
• Puerto Madero: the old harbor of Buenos Aires with a very unique and modern bridge structure



The Tigre River

The world’s widest river: the Rio de la Plata separates Argentina from Uruguay. Sail along the river by an old wooden islander boat and view charming homes, mansions and yachts along the way.
Isla el Descanso
A private island and retreat of an art collector who designed an amazing sculpture garden with bridges, ponds and flowers. We were told stories about life, love and history on our tour of the gardens. Isla el Descanso is remarkably beautiful and the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city to unwind, meditate and reflect. The home also features contemporary artworks of renown Argentine artists like Pablo Reinoso, Baston Diaz, Carlos Gallardo and Jose Fioravanti.

Helicopter Ride
We joined pilot Sebastián of Patagonia Chopper on one of his beautiful helicopters that transferred us from Isla del Descanso to Buenos Aires over the Tigre River. It was an incredibly exhilarating experience.

Tango Show at the Faena Hotel
One of the best tango shows in the world, Rojo Tango happens inside the El Cabret nightclub at the Faena Hotel designed by Philippe Stark. The intimate show will captivate you and take your breath away featuring a 5 piece orchestra, 2 singers and 4 dancing couples.

Where to Stay:
Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
The elegant Palacio Duhau, originally home to the Duhau family, is strikingly beautiful and combines French style architecture with modern touches. The property is made up of 2 buildings with its stunning cascading gardens in between that can be admired from the terraces of both buildings. Don’t miss it at night when it’s beautifully lit up! Rooms are comfortable and minimal. Tip: request a room with a view of the courtyard.





Buenos Aires fast facts:

  • The Argentine currency is the Peso ($)
  • Credit cards are widely accepted in stores, restaurants, etc.
  • As from September 2016, American citizens no longer require the payment of the “reciprocity fee” to enter Argentina.
  • Gratuity in restaurants: Expected tip is 10% of bills.
  • It is perfectly safe to drink the tap water in Buenos Aires, but not so in the country.

El Calafate

   ‘He who tastes Calafate, shall return’ – Tehuelche proverb

About a 3 hour plane ride from the city of Buenos Aires, El Calafate is located in the cast region of Santa Cruz, Patagonia and is famous for its gorgeous glaciers (most popularly, Perito Moreno), desert, lakes, mountains, views, estancias and more.

The choices of adventure filled activities are endless here and the hotels are not just places to store your belongings, they are full experiences in and of themselves.

Stay at a traditional Estancia: Nibepo Aike
A cattle station with sheep, horses, cattle and more, Nibepo Aike was founded in the 20th century and gives guests a truly authentic Patagonian experience. It is rustic and authentic and will teleport you back to olden times when the pioneers lived here. We even got to witness a sheep shearing demonstration! If you love hiking and horse back riding, this is the place to stay.


Admire the shades of turquoise of the massive Lake Argentino
Lake Argentino is the third largest in South America and the largest lake in Argentina. One of the most picturesque lakes I’ve ever seen, don’t forget to look out the window to catch a glimpse of just how large it is.

Visit one of the most beautiful glaciers in the world, Perito Moreno
Located about 80 kilometers from El Calafate center and one of 48 glaciers in Southern Patagonia, Perito Moreno will top your list of the most beautiful places you’ve ever seen. I was in complete awe as I stepped foot on the catwalks to admire different viewpoints of the glacier.

The catwalks are made up of seven balconies, all of which boast a different perspectives of the massive wall. If time allows, I recommend starting from the red and stopping at all viewpoints because trust me, you’ll never want to leave.

Located at the end of the catwalks of Perito Moreno, there’s a great restaurant housed in a gorgeous lodge with giant windows and perfect views of the glacier and some icebergs. I highly recommend having lunch here afterwards.

Minitrekking over the Perito Moreno Glacier
Although I was unable to participate in this activity due to physical complications, this is one of the most popular and exciting activities to do when visiting Perito Moreno.

You’ll take a short boat ride where you will be able to view the ice walls of Perito Moreno up close. You’ll then hike across lush forests to get equipped with crampons attached to your shoes before walking along the 15,000 year old ice chipped from the top of the glacier.

A taste of luxury at EOLO – Patagonia’s Spirit – Relais & Chateaux
Set on 3,000 hectares of land, Relais & Chateaux’s Eolo Lodge is set in one of the most convenient areas, located just 30 minutes from the airport. Lived-in leather sofas, wooden tables and vintage antiques, wool rugs and blankets, giant fluffy pillows and natural light pour in from its massive windows, these are all the features that make Eolo feel like home. The hotel is all-inclusive and breakfast, lunch and dinner are included and delicious.



Take a road trip along Route 40 to visit the town of El Chalten and stay at the completely secluded at Aguas Arriba Lodge.

From Perito Moreno, the distance to El Chalten is approximately 220 km passing along Lakes Argentino and Viedma on Argentina’s version of Route 66, Route 40. This is one of the most scenic drives, so don’t forget your camera!


The small tourist town of El Chaltén features small lodges for mountain hikers and backpackers and is considered the national capital of trekking. People stay here to climb various routes and mountains like the famous and gorgeous Mt. Fitzroy.

Once we arrived to El Chaltén, we transferred vehicles to continue on to our journey towards Lago del Desierto for about 37 km on a very scenic unpaved, gravel road. Once we arrived, a boat was waiting that would take us on a beautiful 20 minute ride to get to the gorgeous and completely secluded Aguas Arriba Lodge.

This lodge is very special and is the only private property (for an exception of a small house and the Chilean border security patrol). It has views for days including the north face of Mt. Fitz Roy in the distance, Mt. Torre and the Vespignami Glacier right in front of the lodge.

The lodge offers various activities and hikes. The hiking guide surprised us and took us on a 1 hour, moderately difficult hike up to the Huemul Glacier. It is accessed through one of the most attractive trails in El Chaltén. Amidst a unique forest, this undoubtedly is one of the most beautiful sites to go hiking and it was totally worth the effort once we set our eyes on the glacier, not knowing what it looked like beforehand.


All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

I was invited to experience Argentina as guest by Destino Argentina and Mai 10 Luxury Travel Company. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Advice Solo Travel Truth in Travel

Truth in Travel: How Hiking with Mansplainers Taught Me to Hit the Trail Solo

“Milk powder is the most complete form of protein,” said Jakob nodding sagely. Just the day before he had tried to argue with the same air of authority that Trump was a feminist. “I’ve brought 2kgs of it with me to give me energy, you should have done the same.”

He shovelled spoonful after spoonful of cement-like gruel messily into his mouth. His stomach was visibly bloating and straining against his down jacket; milk powder was crusting around the corner of his lips. Jakob was a very good looking boy (and he knew it) but watching the powder crusting around the corners of his mouth and dribbling down his chin was more than a little repulsive. He spoke with the pompous, unfounded confidence unique to white males.

It was the second day of the four day Huemul Circuit in Argentinian Patagonia. Although not particularly long hike it is lauded as one of the most difficult, but also most spectacular, in the whole of Patagonia. It involved ziplining over gorges, hiking over a glacier, near vertical climbs on slippery ground and breakneck descents. The views were some of the most mind blowing I’d ever seen.

What had also been mind blowing had been the amount of bullshit spouted by the two boys accompanying us. Patronising comments, dubious ‘facts’ and a grotesque amount of mansplaining.

“That’s not how you pitch a tent,” said Noam dictatorially on the first evening, hovering over us both like a gangly praying mantis. “Hammer the pegs in at more of an angle. You want them at about 70 degrees.”

We were both seasoned campers. Anne was travelling on a strict budget and had virtually lived in her tent over the winter. But Noam always knew best.

“I know a better way to roll up your sleeping bag,” he said condescendingly. “Adjust the straps more on your backpack like this to spread the weight more evenly. What brand are your hiking boots? You’re going to struggle. I’m amazed that your feet aren’t covered in blisters already. I thought about buying that sort of stove and then decided this one would be much better.”

Of the other 20 or so hikers on the trail at the same time as us, a good three quarters were male. One or two girls were hiking with their boyfriends and there was one other mixed group of four like ours with two women and two men. There were several pairs of boys, and boys hiking solo. No girl groups and no girls hiking alone, although the other girls that we met seemed to be as experienced or more so than their male companions.

I read an article once which claimed that statistically women tend to only apply for a job when they have 100% of the qualifications whereas men will confidently apply with 60% and it always stuck in my head. I wondered whether this was the same when it came to hiking, whether women would only set off if they were 100% sure of their capabilities, and that the only reason that there weren’t many girls on the trail was due to a lack of confidence.

“We should tie our food to trees so that the mice don’t get it,” said Jakob one evening. “We can use your dental floss.” We were camped by the side of a glacier and wildlife, even the huemul deer that the trek was named after, had been noticeably absent. The wind was so strong that at moments it had snatched our voices as soon as we opened our mouths, leaving us bellowing wordlessly at each other. We’d lost a plate and pan lid to the fierce wind whilst washing up in the river and we had had to duct tape together one of Anne’s tent poles that had snapped under the strain. But sure, Jakob’s suggestion of tying all our edibles to a tree using a piece of floss seemed like a great idea.

Anne and I stowed our own drybags of food safely inside the tent and watched half amused, half exasperated as Jakob constructed an elaborate cat’s cradle of dental floss and made several futile attempts to attach his box of milk powder to a branch.

On the final day of the trek we rose before the sun. We were camped at a place known as the Bay of Icebergs. The early morning light illuminated icebergs shaped like enormous chess pieces which calved and flipped over in front of us with thunderous bangs, exposing turquoise underbellies. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen.

“Why are you hiking with those idiots?” asked a Dutch boy we’d met on the trek, perched on the rock next to me. “You know that you could do this without them.”

The day before we had only just made it to camp before the sun set. We’d ended up waiting for several hours for Jakob who had eaten far too much breakfast, suffered from indigestion and had to wait for his stitch to pass.

It made me think. Anne and I had been waiting for the boys the whole time. We both hiked and camped regularly. So why did we need two not particularly big and not particularly strong men who certainly had no more than 60% of the skills required to survive in the wild to chaperone us?

That morning we ran naked into the lake underneath the rising sun and swam amongst the bergs. We made coffee and sat on the pebble beach watching the slow yet steady progress of an iceberg shaped like a slug making its way across the bay and as we sat there we made a pact with each other that from that point forward we would hike with other girls or we would hike alone. We had had enough of male ego.

The first time that I set off on a multi day hike alone I was filled with self doubt but I was determined. Of course hiking with someone else is always safer, but there is no reason whatsoever why I need a man to escort me on a hike. Since I’ve been hiking solo or with other girls I’ve met far more people, enjoyed myself so much more, and I’ve been able to pitch a tent without having the angle of the tent pegs scrutinised.

All that I needed to do was take the male ego out of the equation.

 

Solo Travel

These “Honeymoon Destinations” Are Actually Perfect For Solo Travelers

Newlyweds have their go-to romantic destinations they dream of exploring together… but who said those places are reserved for couples only? Today, we’re spotlighting some famous “honeymoon destinations” that are actually perfect for solo travelers!

Greek Islands

Embrace those sunset dreams of Mykonos and Santorini! Sure the Greek Islands are a romantic destination most newlyweds dream of visiting… but it’s actually perfect for a solo traveler too! Imagine it. Days spent exploring the coasts, dipping into cold, refreshing, blue waters of the Adriatic, eating local cuisine, sipping wine. Don’t forget to explore the smaller, underrated islands! You’ll be able to get an authentic look at Greece’s island culture while avoiding the hustle of tourist packed downtowns!

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is just one of those classic honeymoon destinations that are well loved for good reason. The town is laid back, the resorts are incredible, the downtown area is bustling with adorable shops and enough delicious eateries to keep even the biggest foodies feeling overwhelmed. It’s also an incredible spot for solo travelers to kick back, relax and enjoy. It’s well connected to many other famous beaches, Mayan ruins and well, it’s just plain beautiful! Whether you’re exploring Tulum alone or accompanied, you’ll need to get your cameras ready and be sure to explore some of its most picturesque spots. Tulum is seriously a charmer!

Kauai, Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands are just classic when it comes to classic dream vacations. But why argue against that?! Kauai, sort of the wildest island of Hawaii, is a perfect mix of tropical island, wildlife, incredible laid back beach culture and beautiful swaying palms. It’s an incredibly safe place for a solo traveler too! Most locals embrace hitchhiking culture and are incredibly friendly. Kauai just might be paradise on earth!

Iceland

Many newlywed like to think outside the box when it comes to planning their honeymoon destination. Instead of opting for the classic resort vacation, lots of couples are leaning into the more adventurous side of life. Iceland is a treat for the outdoor enthusiast. And it’s an incredible spot for the solo traveler to get in touch with wild nature, the elements and Scandinavian history and culture. Rent a van, tent in the wild, wake up to plunging waterfalls, brisk mornings, midnight suns and friendly next door puffins. Iceland’s natural beauty will have you awestruck.

Patagonia, Argentina

Another adventurous honeymoon destination that’s literally perfect for the solo traveler – Patagonia! The mountainous region that splits Argentina and Chile will challenge you with its awesome hikes to its pinnacles and leave you breathless with its arid steppes, grasslands, deserts, glacial fjords and rainforests. It’s the trip lifetime to see this place in person! Solo travelers will love the group tours that often explore this region. It’s a great way to meet others while on the road while also experiencing one of the world’s most astounding natural sights.

Dublin, Ireland

Ireland is a charming choice for honeymooners! But it’s also a fantastic destination for solo travelers too. Find yourself tucked into a bustling little pub to enjoy a pint of Guinness, get to know the locals, enjoy live music on every street corner, delight in Irish stews and classic dishes. Dublin is a whirlwind of pure joy! It’s also a great starting point for other adventures on the isle, so look into day trips or multi-day explorations of other parts of beautiful Ireland!

Amalfi Coast, Italy

We have a love affair with the Amalfi Coast here at Dame Traveler. It’s an incredibly romantic destination… that’s for sure. With its lush greenery, the hill topped villas covered in ivy, epic sunsets and delicious food and wine – why wouldn’t someone in love choose to explore Amalfi? But! We also happen to think that Amalfi is perfect for solo travelers too. Why? Well, it’s small enough to really get to know the local towns in and out, but it’s also incredibly well connected to other coastal towns via train and boat. Enjoy the most delicious meals of your life after spending long days exploring the quaint, pastel hued alleys of every little town along the coast.

Koh Samui, Thailand

The swaying palms, the clearest waters, the quiet, laid back coast of Thailand. Yeah, doesn’t that sound like paradise? That’s because Koh Samui basically is. As opposed to the party-central Ko Pha-ngan or Phuket, Koh Samui is a little more friendly, chilled and just… beautiful. Solo travelers will learn why it’s the perfect location after they spend one day exploring the island. Koh SamuiKoh Samui.

New Zealand

Another adventurous choice newlyweds select as their honeymoon destination (for good reason!) is New Zealand. Pack up your car, hit the road, spend hours hiking the peaks of the northern and southern islands, sip some of the best wine from local wineries, disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature for a bit. New Zealand is incredible. Solo travelers will love to pack their itineraries with everything this country has to offer.

Kyoto, Japan

The quiet, zen districts of Kyoto are unlike any place in the world. Which is why solo travelers and honeymooners alike will adore exploring this city. Spend your days learning the ancient history of the Gion district, hike through the epic bamboo forests and Shinto shrines, walk the Philosopher’s Path after stopping for a tea ceremony. Kyoto is a feast for the senses.


Whether you’re exploring this world with a partner by your side, or bravely exploring it alone… we hope you embrace the possibilities of all destinations out there in the world. There’s no restrictions when it comes to planning your travels!

Food

Spice Up Your Bucket List With These Unique Destinations

Lost In Time In Suzhou, China | Dame Traveler

Feast your eyes! Today, we’re sharing our top fifteen bucket list destinations we’d love more travelers to visit in this new year. We’ve carefully curated our list to feature some classic beauties, as well as lots of unexpected, under-the-radar destinations as well!

Beirut, Lebanon

Lebanon will completely blow any traveler’s perceptions out of the water. With its ancient relics neighboring modern, sleek architecture, Beirut is a diamond of a city. You can check out our insider’s guide to this beauty here.

Suzhou, China

Known as the “Venice of China,” Suzhou feels like a place stuck in time. The canals of this city are incredibly charming, aged and peaceful. Some of our favorite photos of the year came from our time here.

Lost In Time In Suzhou, China | Dame Traveler
Lost In Time In Suzhou, China | Dame Traveler

Scotland, UK

The land of whisky, magic and tartans… Scotland’s sure to charm any photographer with its stony architecture and rolling hills. We love Edinburgh so much, but we also have lots of recommendations of incredibly unique destinations just outside of Scotland’s major city.

The Maldives

If you’re on Instagram, you’ve definitely seen your fair share of photos from The Maldives. But, truth be told, the islands are famous for good reason. Stocked with oceanic scenes and wild sunsets no photo you encapsulate, The Maldives might be a slice of heaven on earth!

Serenity Found In The Tropical Maldives

Myanmar

Pagodas like you’ve never seen before. Myanmar sparkles with delightful details in every shape and form. Between Bagan’s wild setting and Yangon’s peaceful serenity, there’s so much of this country to encapsulate!

Myanmar: A Photo Diary & Insider's Guide

Lofoten, Norway

Fjords catapulting themselves into the deep, Norwegian waters. Talk about a photographers dream come true. It’s so hard to put down your camera when in Norway. But even more so in the small, quiet and quaint little fishing town of Lofoten.

Norway: Exploring The Arctic Circle's Natural Wonders

Monaco

Experience what we like to call the romantic age of travel in Monaco. This seaside destination is a feast for the eyes (and a great place to kick your feet up)… especially for vintage travel enthusiasts.

Reliving The Romantic Age Of Travel In Monaco

Armenia

Armenia blew us away this past year. The culture and history of this nation is truly mind blowing, as is the Eurasian architecture and ancient sites. It’s a true destination for the traveler who loves history!

Armenia: The Undiscovered Jewel Of Eurasia
Armenia: The Undiscovered Jewel Of Eurasia

Amalfi Coast

Ah, yes… Amalfi. The place we hold so dear to our hearts. The Amalfi Coast is dotted with so many amazing vantage points, lovely details and oceanic scenes.

Cuba

Cuba is just one of those places we consider ourselves lucky to experience first hand. There might not be much more time for travelers to explore this wonder, so if your eyes are keen to see Cuba for yourself – do so quickly!

Tokyo, Japan

Bustling, tranquil, modern and ancient all at once? Yep, that’s Tokyo for ya! Tokyo’s sprawling with so many neighborhoods to explore. In between noshing on bento boxes, ramen and the best sushi in the world, you’ll find yourself in awe of this beautiful city. Tokyo is filled with so many quirky oddities as well as aged, worn relics.

New Orleans

New Orleans delights travelers from the very start!

Peru

Macchu Pichu is a world wonder for good reason. Seeing this wondrous sight for yourself will blow your mind. But don’t forget to get your cameras ready while exploring Cusco before your journey there!

Argentina

Oh how we can’t wait to return to Patagonia again! Argentina’s vantage point of the epic mountains and wild, wild nature is something to behold. The remote and relaxing region of Argentina is ready for you to explore its awe-inspiring glaciers, steppe and mountains. 

Loire Valley, France

Paris may be an Instagram haven, but we also have a strong love for Loire Valley’s beauty. Chateaux, castles, wine, nature? I mean… if that isn’t heaven on earth for a traveler, we don’t know what is.

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