14 Days In Peru, Argentina and Brazil

A surreal encounter with Christ the Redeemer reminds me to always keep the faith.

In Fall 2015, the hubby and I ventured to a part of the world we had never been to.

We didn’t know it at the time, but our first visit to South America would be our last hurrah before parenthood.

Revisiting these photos, while processing T’s recent diagnosis, reminded me of a faith-affirming moment in Brazil.

Lima

After an 11-hour flight, we arrived at Lima, the capital of Peru and one of the largest cities in South America.

We had one full day of sightseeing and enjoyed the beautiful architecture and colourful buildings.

Vibrant flowers sprawled everywhere.

We saw olive trees for the first time. Look at those gnarly trunks and twisty dance-like branches.

The unexpected highlight was the Central Park in Miraflores. There were wild cats everywhere!

This girl picking up a cat for herself still makes me chuckle.

Cuzco

Cuzco is a city located in the Peruvian Andes and the former capital of the Inca Empire.

The majestic mountains and jaw dropping view still blow me away.

A friend and I were obsessed with the Llama, Llama children’s books at the time and imagine my surprise at seeing one in person!

Walking through the village in the mountains and through narrow stone pathways felt like stepping back in time.

Visiting a salt mine was a fun experience. We bought small pouches of Peruvian salt that we still use sparingly these days.

I guess this was an ancient concert hall?

We loved the beautiful Spanish architecture – and not a skyscraper in sight!

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is a village in Peru’s Sacred Valley. We stayed for two days to acclimatize to the altitude before visiting Machu Picchu.

Ollantaytambo is known for the ruins of an ancient Inca fortress.

The hike through the hillside stone terraces was breathtaking.

These were guinea pigs in a local’s home. I will not share the photo of the hubby’s dinner!

Machu Picchu

Considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, words can’t describe how breathtaking Machu Picchu was in person.

This ancient 15th century Inca fortress is located almost 8,000 feet above sea level.

You could do a four-day hike to get there or do a daytrip and take a train from Ollantaytambo then ride a bus up a narrow terrifying mountain path.

Exploring the ancient ruins was an incredible experience and I marveled at the ingenuity and magnitude of their engineering.

Here’s one of the living quarters.

We stopped regularly to take in the views. Our heads were literally in the clouds.

Iguazu Falls

After a short flight, we spent the next two days exploring Iguazu Falls.

Iguazu Falls consists of 275 falls and this stretch of double layer waterfalls captures its vast stunning beauty.

The falls are situated on a border shared by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

About 80% of the falls are in Argentina. We we spent a day exploring them by hiking and by boat at Iguazu Falls National Park.

This was one of the walkways that took you to the edge of one of the falls.

This was me channeling Eva Peron. That kid looking at me probably thought I was an idiot for looking at Brazil while lipsynching “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.”

We explored the Falls on the Brazil side the following morning, which had spectacular views of the Argentinian falls.

There were many calmer stretches and this outdoor restaurant was one of them.

We didn’t eat there but we did enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the packed cafeterias.

Argentina is known for delicious steaks. We had ten minutes to eat because we were behind schedule and I inhaled every bite of this meal that I still dream about.

Rio De Janeiro

Our final stop was Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, a city I had dreamed of visiting.

Over four days, we took in many of the local sites, including Sugarloaf Mountain.

The views atop of the seaside city were awesome.

These beautiful stained glass are part of Rio De Janeiro Cathedral, which is dedicated to Saint Sebastian, Rio’s patron saint.

This is Copacabana Beach, the region that the New York nightclub in Barry Manilow’s song Copacabana was named after.

We toured the favelas, which were featured in a chase scene in the film Fast Five.

The guide regularly reminded us we were in a dangerous place. We did not dare doubt her.

We made it out safely and enjoyed a relaxing final afternoon on the beach.

Keeping the Faith

Less than six months after our trip, T came into our lives unexpectedly and life took us on a different journey over the last six years.

As I processed T’s recent FASD diagnosis, I looked back at old photos and stumbled across our South America trip.

I recalled a memory from Rio de Janeiro.

On a rainy afternoon, we visited Christ the Redeemer, situated atop Corcovado Mountain.

Riding the tram up, the fog grew thicker and the nearby tree branches looked dream like.

When we got to the visitor centre at the top, it was raining heavily and the mountain top was covered in thick fog.

Half of our group chose to stay inside, complaining they couldn’t see anything.

Indeed, looking out, I could not see the stairs that led up to the 100 feet tall statue.

The hubby and I ventured out, even though the guide warned us we may not see anything.

As we walked up the stairs, the rain slowed down and as I inched to the top, He emerged from the fog, hands opened wide, looking down at all who stayed committed.

It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life and reminded me to always keep the faith.

In the last six years, our international travel has slowed down – raising a child ain’t cheap! – although we hope to explore the world with T when he is older.

These days, we don’t need to travel 8,000 feet up a mountain to have our breath taken away.

Smaller things make my heart soar. Like T crushing his spelling test this week, earning an “Amazing!” from his teacher, and his proud smile when he sees it posted on the fridge.

Our amazing boy reminds me everyday to never fear the rainy days, to journey through uncertain fog, and to always have faith.

22 thoughts on “14 Days In Peru, Argentina and Brazil

    1. We were only in Rio for a few days so I didn’t get to see much else of Brazil. I really loved Rio and would recommend a visit.

      If we had more time, I would’ve loved to visit Sao Paolo.

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  1. Omg , I am breathless one place to the next, one mountain to the next, one falls to the next. It is a journey of both faith and adventures. And I agree, we don’t have to climb thousands of feet to experience something surreal, breathtaking and stunning. This is a dream travel and I’m glad you shared it. With covid, and yes expenses for 3, world can be more challenging , but if God calls it, nothing is impossible. Love this post! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m glad it resonated with you. Like you, I do enjoy a good adventure and this was the last big world adventure before settling down. I look forward to the day when T is old enough to join us on such an adventure and to also enjoy and get something out of it. 🙏 If you’ve never done South America, I do suggest it for consideration. It is quite amazing. I hope to do Chile and southern Argentina one day. The mountains look spectacular. In the meantime, will just dream and look back at the memories. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do want to see South America one day. If only I’m retired now and can do more traveling. But if God’s will, right. For now, I travel through the eyes and adventures of my Blogger Friends. Thanks.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great memories from wonderful places. That’s why we take photos when we travel. I hope you, your husband, and T will be able to go on a trip like this together one day in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bama! The hubby and I had planned a Japan trip in late 2016 but cancelled it after T came into our lives. We hope to take him to Asia one day, including Indonesia, but he will realistically not be able to do the long flight without driving everyone on the plane batty. 😆 One of these days when he’s older!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like it was such an amazing two week trip. These are some great pictures of you and the hubby. I also loved the one with you and the llama!! So cute!! I can’t get over just how massive Iguazu Falls is with all the various falls and in different tiers. P.S. Now I have the “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” song stuck in my head!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. It really was an amazing trip and I do have to say it made me miss traveling so much.

      I have way too many pictures of me with llamas but thought I’d post just my favourite one. 😆

      If you and K are ever curious about South America, I do encourage it. It is quite the adventure and the scenery is breathtaking.

      And yes, I’ve been humming the Evita soundtrack all weekend now too. 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You should do an entire post that showcases your pictures of you with the llamas!! I have never been to South America before but would totally love to someday. Perhaps in 2023 when travel (hopefully) goes back to normal.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The photos are phenomenal (and I enjoyed the photos of hubby and you). What an amazing trip and I love that you can link back to the spiritual experience to draw renewed strength to deal with the present. I hope you can take T on new travels soon. Spring is around the corner and ontario has a lot to offer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 😊 It was really a wonderful trip and revisiting it provided us with a needed renewal for the present as you said.

      We are so blessed to live in a beautiful province such as Ontario, as you know. Prior to the pandemic, we’ve gone camping twice every summer and particularly love Killbear, Bon Echo, and Algonquin.

      During the first pandemic summer in 2020, we explored Northern Ontario and it took our breath away. We just loved it especially Thunder Bay. I still dream about the glistening blue waters of Lake Superior.

      It is our dream to do an RV Roadtrip across out West. I’ll have to pick your brain when the time comes!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amazing! I love the definition of faith (and life) you present here – you can stay in the car and complain you can’t see anything or you can get out and try and be rewarded for the effort.

    What an amazing trip! The picture you have of Machu Picchu is wonderful. I went with some friends and we did the four day trek so that we came in from the top gate at sunrise. Unfortunately that meant that every time the guide sat us down to explain something about the site, I fell asleep while he was talking. 🙂

    The waterfalls – the steaks – your pictures are all stunning. Thank you for sharing this beautiful trip report with us!

    And I love T’s spelling test!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wynne. I know you can certainly relate to this particular anecdote. It really was one of those goosebumps on your skin moments. Recalling this memory now helps put present concerns into clarity as well. It was meant to be!

      You will have to share more about your Machu Pichu four day hike. I can only imagine how amazing it was to experience. And yes, that sunrise view must’ve been glorious, sleep deprivation or not!

      We did the daytrip option because we both had previous altitude issues and didn’t want to chance a four day hike with the dreaded altitude headaches. So there is a smidge of regret but such is life!

      Time and budget allowing, I hope to take T to explore Chile one day. The Easter Islands are a big obsession and bucket list item of mine. There really is so much more to explore in South America. Maybe I’ll win the lotto one day. 😊

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah – Easter Island!! Wouldn’t that be fantastic?! I agree – South America is great. I love what an inveterate traveler you are and I can’t wait to read about all the future adventures you all embark on!

        Love those goosebump moments! Sounds like a smart idea to skip the 4 day hike – if I remember, there were 3 pretty high passes that we had to go through.

        I love your comment that recalling these memories help put presents concerns into clarity. Wow – so wonderful and profound!

        Sending my best!

        Liked by 1 person

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