Palm trees in the Cocora Valley, Colombia

This year, when travelling through Colombia, I was lucky and got to see the Cocora Valley. Located close to Salento, in the south of the country, it is a valley of green pastures, cows, hummingbirds and wax palm trees. Those palm trees are the national tree of Colombia and the tallest ones in the world. Walking in between them makes you realise how beautiful nature can be and also how small we are.

The Valle de Cocora is not just worth a visit because of the palm trees. Along the way, you will get great views of lush green valleys and you have the chance to spot hummingbirds and other wildlife at the Casa de las Colibris. Plus, the Cocora Valley is easily accessible from Salento.…

Alpacas on Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador

From white beaches to smoking volcanoes, jungle and giant turtles, Ecuador has it all. Despite its small size (it is only about half as large as Spain and smaller than the US-state Nevada), it has a lot to offer. This country full of contrasts can keep visitors busy for weeks.

Personally, I spent a bit more than three weeks here but I didn’t get to see nearly as much as I would have liked. As I said, Ecuador has it all. And to help you choose which activities to do and which places to visit, so you can easily put together a trip around the country, here are my personal highlights that I recommend to you and that you should not miss:…

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile

One of the highlights of my trip to Patagonia was the Torres del Paine national park. My friend and I had planned this trip ages in advance. We had browsed through guidebooks, looked at maps and googled information. We had posted on forums and tried to find out as much about the Torres del Paine National Park as we could. We knew we didn’t just want to go for one day. We wanted to stay overnight.

After lots of research, we decided to hike the W, which is, if you believe the internet, one of the most famous hikes in the world. There were definitely lots of other hikers. But regardless of how famous it is, it is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done.…

Lake Song-Kul, Kyrgyzstan

Despite the breeze, sweat glistened on the men’s backs. Hooves thundered on the ground as their horses jumped while the men held each other in a strong grip, trying to wrestle their opponent to the ground. As I watched, I couldn’t help but think about how accurately these horse games represented Kyrgyzstan. Wrestling horsemen, shouting spectators and all around us a stunning mountain scenery.

Kyrgyzstan is a country not to be missed. If you even remotely enjoy nature and a unique culture, you will want to spend some time exploring the country’s highlights.…

Bishkek

Bishkek is not a typical tourist city. Most people will spend some time here to arrange travel onwards through Kyrgyzstan, but it is not a place they seek out for its tourist attractions. Yet, the city has more to offer than one would think at first glance. We certainly had a lot of fun during the days we spent here.…