Pelicans at fish market, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Most travellers who visit Galapagos end up on Santa Cruz sooner or later, and I was no exception. In fact, I came here twice. Once voluntarily and once involuntarily.

My first, involuntary stay, unavoidable due to all boat connections from San Cristobal to Isabela going via Santa Cruz, lasted only a couple of hours. I used that time to eat a giant cup of ice cream – a decision which I regretted later that afternoon when I took a boat to Isabela and desperately tried not to empty my stomach into the sea.

My second encounter with Santa Cruz was more fortunate. I stayed for three days so I had a chance to properly get to know the island beyond the ice cream parlour.…

Penguins on Isla Magdalena, Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile

With its decent-sized airport, Punta Arenas is an entry point into Southern Patagonia for many travellers. The city might not be the most interesting place in the area (it is far nicer to go out and see the Patagonian nature than to stay here for too long), but it is pleasant enough and a good base if you want to see the penguins on Isla Magdalena.

Besides the Monumento Natural los Pingüinos, there are a couple more things to do in Punta Arenas:…

Storks, Pantanal, Brazil

The cayman did not blink. I looked down on it and wondered how much closer I could get before it would jump and bite off one of my legs. I seemed to be the only one with such concerns. A white bird landed next to the reptile and in the distance, a capybara sniffed the ground, also getting dangerously close to one of the many caymans. I smiled and raised my camera. Click.…