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South America Trip Day 9: Arequipa, Peru

After reaching Arequipa early in the morning around 5:00 AM, Peru hop arranged private shuttles for everyone to be brought to their hotels.


Our hostel, Il Riposo, arranged the room for us already so we could catch some more hours of sleep. One night for two just 35 soles. They even had a room available for us at 5:00 AM in the morning so that we could took a few hours nap, great service!


First thing we noticed was the altitude, we had to adjust our breathing a bit to get used to it. It would be our first location at this higher ground, and Arequipa is a great place to slowly get adapted to it.

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5 ways to make travel transformational

It’s a truism that travelling broadens the horizons — but nevertheless, expanding your mind and altering your perceptions remain some of the most powerful motivations for taking off on a trip that’s out of the ordinary.

And if you’re not satisfied absorbing new experiences as they arise and hoping that they become catalysts for changing your outlook in life, thankfully there are more instructive ways of ensuring that your next adventure is as inspirational as you hope.

With that in mind, here are five ways to make travel transformational.

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5 reasons Melbourne’s great for gap year travellers

With its sunshine, beaches, mountains, diverse culture and dynamic wildlife, Australia’s a honeytrap millions of travellers make a bee-line for.

And it’s a popular base for adventurers on an extended sabbatical break, but those who overlook Melbourne for better-known Sydney might be missing a trick.

Melburnians will tell you that their city is Down Under’s cultural capital and an all-round brilliant place to live — decide for yourself with these five reasons Melbourne’s great for gap year travellers.

  1. Sports

Melbourne’s a mecca for sports fans — attending the Melbourne Cup Carnival is a must for horse racing fans, but this year, the city and its state Victoria are also hosting the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, Australian Open tennis, The Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club and Australian Boomers V USA basketball.

  1. Beaches

Melbourne’s a paradise for beach bums of all varieties, so you’re sure to find a sweet spot to chill out, surf and people watch while you’re in residence. For starters, Brighton beach has beautiful Victorian-era bathing boxes and genteel swimming, Mentone has a brilliant boardwalk and laid-back vibe, while Blairgowrie Back Beach boasts delicious fish and chips.

  1. Restaurants

Foodies spending an extended break in Melbourne can feat their eyes and fill their bellies with a huge variety of culinary treats in the city’s world-class restaurants. There are many mouth-watering eateries to engage with, but with dishes like sea corn tacos filled with crab custard, and signature sumptuous scampi, eating at South Melbourne’s Lume might be the most inspirational introduction.

  1. Accommodation

If money’s no object, Melbourne hosts some of Australia’s finest hotels. You can lounge at high-end apartment hotels like United Places, live in the lap of old school luxury at The Hotel Windsor or mix with the beautiful people at trendy QT Melbourne. Alternatively, find a clean and central backpacker’s hostel at urbancentral.com.au — the cash you save on more spartan lodgings can be spent on socialising.

  1. Transportation

Getting around Melbourne is easy thanks to its reasonably modern and punctual public transport system, which features buses, trains and trams. Whatever your preference, buying a myki card lets you hop between different modes to maximise efficiency and savings. And if you’re catching a domestic or international flight, the city’s air hub has awesome facilities and amenities — for instance, finding Melbourne airport parking with Looking4.com is easy and, once you’re inside, eateries like Baxa and Billie Chu will make your taste buds tingle with Asian treats.

These five reasons Melbourne’s great for gap year adventurers are only the tip of a terrific travel iceberg but they should whet your appetite enough to ensure it claims a space on your next global trip.

Australia’s blessed with a clutch of cool cities, but for our money, Melbourne might be the pick of the bunch.

Do you have any Melbourne travel tips? Share them in the comments section.

South America Trip Day 8: Nasca lines and tasting wine

Started the day with a small hike up the sand dune to get a morning view over Huacachina and strolling around the morning glow around the oasis. The reflection of the sand dunes in the water is amazing! After that we had a breakfast infront of the oasis to enjoy the view.


Around 12:45 we had to take the bus again. First stop is at a wineyard called el Catado, here we could taste the local Pisco’s and learn about them. The tour was about 45 minutes and included in the Peru hop ticket. We got a tour through the entire winery, and because of the weather and preference of the people of Peru all the wines are sweet. 

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South America Trip Day 7: Paracas National Park, Ballestas Islands and Huacachina

After waking up, we had to meet at 7:45 am for our first trip: the Ballestas Islands! This place is nicknamed the Poor man’s Galapagos, simply because it is a lot cheaper to see the abundant of wildlife. The islands are a group of rocks located off the Pacific coast near Paracas, housing thousands of birfs and animals like penguins, sea lions, pelicans and other birds.


Oh man, it did not disappoint! We got onto a speedboat with approx 40 other people to head towards the Islands. First we stopped after 10 minutes of boat ride to witness Candelabro, a 2000 year old sand sculpture that is engraved into the Paracas Peninsula. After a few pictures we continued for another 15 minutes to Islas Ballestas.

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South America Trip Day 6: Tambo Colorado and trip to Paracas

Around 7:00 AM we got picked up by peru hop. Peru hop is a bus that can take you throughout the entire country with a pretty sweet deal.


First stop for breakfast of 40 minutes in Mirasur. This was a weird stop. It looked like a circus.. they had horses “dancing” (was just hopping around), a small swiming pool, some kids slides, an alpaca and some horses, some dune buggies and an overdressed place for food and drinks. We ordered prior in the bus for them to order, and you can get scrambled eggs, avocado sandwich or a pulled pork. Last one was the best, overall not worth the money (we paid 31 soles for two, including drinks). Really a weird touristic spot, recommend you take your own food.

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South America Trip Day 5: Lima, Peru

After waking up around 5:30, Oscar, our guide from the Amazon, has arranged taxis for us. First 25 soles to get to the airport of iquitos with our cab driver Fredy. After a breakfast at the airport we had a two hour flight back to Lima. Here, cab driver Walter, also arranged by Oscar, was waiting for us to take us to our first hostel to collect our luggage and drop us to our hostel in Miraflores, the beautiful neighborhood of Lima. After 45 minutes drive we arrived.


After a quick check in to our hostel condors house, we decided to walk around. We first went to the large shopping mall of Miraflores, Larcomar. Here there are a lot of options for food.

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South America Trip: Days 2-4 Iquitos, Amazon of Peru

DAY 2

The alarm bell rings at 3:00 am, after a quick change we get in the cab to the airport to get our 5:30 AM flight to Iquitos with ViaAir. After a very comfortable and beautiful flight, taking us sunrise over the Andes mountains, we arrived at Iquitos. Here, Oscar from Erics Adventure picked us up. First stop, Iquitos centre where Oscar fixed us a local Sim card with 24 GB for 80 soles.


After that we stopped in Iquitos city centre, where a lot of bars and the corners of the amazone can be seen. Especially the plaza is a pretty place to snap some pictures. Not to mention the ferry that has stranded on the dried banks gives a neat view. After that we went to the port, where a big food court is in front of the boat loading dock. Here, we tried some nice local dishes including tortoise eggs and banana tasting like potatoes (5 solas for a meal, 10 for four tortoise eggs). 

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South America trip: Day 1, arrival to Lima, Peru

As an aftermath of our wedding, we decided to backpack for 5.5 weeks in South America! Can you think of a better honey moon for a travelling couple? I think not!


Early in the morning waking up at Eindhoven to catch our 9:30 am flight to Lima via Amsterdam, great excuse to get up early! 
After my sister dropped us at Schiphol, we were suppose to catch the flight that goes via Paris to Lima. Because of the weather conditions we got a free upgrade from KLM: direct flight at 13:15 to Lima!

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Half day trip to Rhine Falls (Rheinfall), the largest waterfalls of Europe

The Rhine Falls (or in German, Rheinfall) is located on the north of Switzerland, just across the boarder of Germany. The waterfalls are not so high (just 23 meters) but their width (150 meters) makes up for it! If you are on a trip through Switzerland, Rhine Falls is definitely worth a stop!

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