South America: I have taken a further step in my fascination with such a place and my mind has been broadened by its peace. This time, I stayed in some locations longer than I should have, and others not so much.
Filled by a dreamy, less chaotic, nostalgic vibe, these towns aren’t big enough to do much more. However, for the off-the-beaten-track type of wanderer or spiritual lover, this continent provides some of the best, weird and wonderful spots to just kick back, do some yoga or read in a hammock.
I have come to appreciate the feeling and experience of such places, rather than just the thought of them. Some travelers will search for these destinations, while other don’t find much appeal to them. But if you really indulge in these types of paradises, they can and will eventually become an addiction. Think of it as a natural non-product or substance drug that has the ability to create freedom in your mind and give air to the soul. It is a release from one world into another, into a portal of simple and pure living.
Relax In South America:
1. Itacare, Brazil – North of Rio: Away from the craziness of a just finished World Cup, and the overwhelming streets of Rio, is a surf and beach town called Itacare. I got stuck in this location for maybe too long: 10 days in total, although I’m not regretting it. Since I was in Brazil, a caipirinha or two was never too far away. It provided nice, lusty beaches and perky forestry areas; in fact, I did Yoga in the rain by a forest next to the beach.
2. Agua Calientes, Peru: The place everyone stays before heading to a world wonder and Peru’s number one tourist attraction, Machu Pichu. But I didn’t stay in Agua Calientes long enough. It was enwalled with mountain cliffs and running streams through its middle that never seemed to stop its flow. It was peaceful and out of the way – the floor and stairs before heaven.
3. Minca, Colombia: Away from the hedonistic city of Santa Marta, Minca is a small settlement up in the hills. It is very quiet, with limited shops and stays, but exactly the venture a nature lover would want. I did Yoga under the trees on an early misty morning and slept in a quiet hammock, watching the sunset during the evening. As such, it was easy to get lost here.
4. Banos, Ecuador: As a stop off point for backpackers between the top and bottom cities of Quito and Guayaquil, Banos is simply great. Over-shadowed by its tall mountains with waterfalls flowing nearby, it holds a lively city; its tucked away structure, however, creates a more personal effect. Its nearby volcanoes and valley areas almost invite you to stay here forever, away from it all.
5. Cabo Polonio, Uruguay: This location is off the beaten track for backpackers, although locals know a lot about it. It has a settlement of less than 100 permanent residents and is sandwiched between two beaches, with sand dunes running parallel with one. The self-made and decorated accommodations use just about every bit of material to create each respective design. Its lack of electricity and basic facilities attract anyone, from backpacker hippies to Argentinian feminists. Imagine the end of the modern world, where some settlements need to start again. Cabo Polonio is that.
Now that you’re a bit more acquainted with South America, also take a look at what types of foods the continent has to offer: