As some of you know from my Instagram account, I’ve recently arrived from yet another world adventure with my boyfriend. This time we’ve been to 7 new countries and visited NYC for the second time. I’ll tell you (almost) all about it in this blog post.

Me and Gonçalo have a thing for Asia, we’re obsessed by their culture! So most of our trips end up being, not surprisingly, to Asia.

But this time we wanted to explore something different and set foot in a new continent for a change. So we decided to go to South America.

We started our southern american adventure (that later progressed into North America) in Brazil. I’ve always been curious about Brazil, mostly because of the Portuguese history around it. But I’ve never felt the calling - I think maybe because most of my life I’ve been quite a dark and reserved person, while the brazilian people always seemed to me to be so cheerful and outgoing. That was kind of frightening for me in the past. However, people change, and lately I feel so much more attracted to cheerful and uplifting things. And Brazil is just that: Happiness and a smile on your face!

The Arpoador Rock

Me in Rio

Rio de Janeiro

We all have heard that Brazil is dangerous, specially in areas like Rio de Janeiro. And I’m not gonna lie to you it does have some shady places (favelas and such), and you should keep an eye out for your belongings. However, if I am completely honest,

Brazil was one of the places where I felt most at home and safe. People are extremely kind, and of course, being portuguese and speaking the same language is a big plus to fit in and adapt quickly.

We went to Rio de Janeiro and Foz do Iguaçu. Rio is absolutely stunning. I wouldn’t mind living there, for real. Great weather, great people and…great Açaí! It was in Rio de Janeiro that I found out all about my new life passion: Açaí. Hahah, yeah I know. It’s so wonderfully refreshing and delicious. I was lucky enough to be hosted in an Airbnb just in front of Polis Sucos in Ipanema: the BEST place to get Açaí in Rio. And I did not know about it before going there. We went in by chance and later found out they’re quite popular, and let me tell you: I completely agree with the reviews! Their Açaí is great and so is the mandioca.

I definitely recommend that you try their Açaí with passionfruit. Oh, and mandioca with Nutella and banana. Yummy!

Polis Sucos

Açaí

Me & Gonçalo in Rio

After Rio de Janeiro we went to Foz do Iguaçu. And I’m still not sure if I dreamt the whole thing or if it was real. The views are so amazingly beautiful that you feel like you’re in a dream. We visited the Argentina’s side of the waterfalls, mainly because it has the best views, and we were NOT disappointed. There were so many friendly butterflies, cute animals, rainbows on waterfalls and astonishing natural surroundings… It’s definitely worth the trip. The brazilian side is also beautiful, but if you’re short on time, go for the Argentina’s side. You can see the “Garganta del Diablo” from a better point of view.

We even went for a boat ride under the falls and now I can say that I got splashed in the face (and got soak wet) by the Iguazu falls!

We stayed in a guest house in Foz do Iguaçu called Pousada do Chico and this was one of the best stays we had so far. The place is simple but the service is incredible. The hosts are genuinely endearing and they care for you as if you are part of their family. Every night they would offer us dinner (for free) and the awesome breakfast was also included. They even helped us find the best way to get to Ciudad del Este and visit Paraguay. It was super easy actually, but word of advice: Avoid that city. It's filthy and has absolutely nothing interesting to see. All you have is trashy malls and trashy everything.

After Brazil we went to Argentina. We stayed a week in Buenos Aires and enjoyed a Tango show in Tango Porteño. It was quite cheap and the show was good. The dancers were incredible and it was like a theatre show with a plotline and a story - not just the dancing. We did not stay for dinner though, since the speciality is the argentinian steak and we’re vegetarians.

To be frank, I did not fall in love with Argentina as I thought I would.

Buenos aires is a big metropole with a few highlights worth seeing but I think if you’re heading to that part of the world, don’t stay there for too long. Instead book a trip to Patagonia. I believe that must be the best part of Argentina and Chile. It was fun though. While in Buenos Aires we took a daytrip to Montevideo to get to know Uruguay. It was a pleasent experience, though there wasn't much to see.

Gonçalo in Buenos Aires

Montevideo, Uruguay

Iguazu Falls

Ah, Chile! That’s were we went to after Argentina. We stayed a few days in Santiago and then headed over to Valparaiso. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit the Atacama desert, but we’ll certainly be back for that.

Santiago is a very large city, with a population of almost 8 million people. The chilean transport system is great. It was always on time, clean, affordable and took you anywhere you needed to be. We caught a bus to Valparaiso and the seats were so comfortable we fell asleep on the way.

Valparaiso is known for its brightly coloured houses, bohemian culture and beautiful seaside views. The colourful homes surrounding these hills immediately catch your attention, especially on a clear day! They kind of reminded us of the brazilian favelas (because of the way they’re displayed on the landscape).

After Valparaiso, we went back to Santiago and visited Cajon del Maipo and Embalse el Yeso. If I’m honest, I don’t think it was worth the trip. It’s a nice view but it’s just an artificial lagoon with a few surrounding mountains. If you’re short on time, don’t waste it there. Unless you’re in winter time (the snow covered mountains are a lot prettier) or you go on a tour that includes a stop in the hot springs.

Santiago del Chile

Me in Valparaiso

Me & Gonçalo in Embalse el Yeso

After Chile it was time to say goodbye to South America and head to North America (but still in the latino vibes): Mexico. I can easily say this was the best part of our trip. Mexico is incredible.

The food is amazing (and very vegetarian friendly! You’ll always find vegetarian options everywhere you go), the people are nice - if you discard the fact that some of them try to scam you A LOT - and the country is breathtaking. We were a bit reluctant about Mexico because of all the news we hear about people being murdered and the drug violence in the country but our stay was super chill and we never felt in danger whatsoever.

We rented a car a did a road trip that started in Cancun. Although all that night life / party craze is not or thing we still enjoyed it. Mainly because the beach was so beautiful, you could almost forget that you were surrounded by millions of tourists, hotels and fast-food chains. The water is cristal clear blue and the white sand is dreamy. But don’t stay there too long though, if you’re lucky enough to be there in a good time of the year, you’ll find the same amazing beaches all over the coast. So head over to Tulum and enjoy a little more “peaceful” and natural vibe.

Underwater in Islas Mujeres

Cancun Beach

Tulum

We weren’t so lucky though. Our stay coincided with the arrival of massive amounts of algae to the beaches and they were all ruined. There was no blue water, only brown algae filled waves and an awful fishy smell all over the beaches below Cancun. However, you always have the cenotes to go refresh yourself if the beach isn’t being nice to you! That’s exactly what we did.

We went to a few cenotes, but my all time favorite has to be Cenote Calavera in Tulum. It’s a small cenote, super fun for jumps and since it is small, it is never crowded. We loved it.

After Tulum we headed to the best part of our trip: Bacalar. A magical blue lagoon with 7 shades of blue. We had so much fun there! There were no algae to ruin our swimming and we felt like we were in paradise. We have been to the Maldives before, so trust us on this one: it’s even better. You can dive, snorkel, swim or take boat rides on the beautiful lake, so you’ll easily understand why Bacalar is one of the most beautiful places in the Riviera Maya. We had diner in an amazing restaurant called La Playita Bacalar. I had the BEST guacamole in my life and a dreamy strawberry shake.

Of course we also visited the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichén-Itzá in Yucatan, and we were not disappointed either.

Tulum Ruins

Me in Cenote Calavera

Chichén-Itzá

All the historical sites are super well maintained and beautiful. Valladolid is also a must-go if you’re in the area. It’s a picturesque city, colorful and beautiful. It kind of reminded me of Seville in Spain, totally worth the visit.

While we were in Mexico we took a day to make a quick visit to the neighbor country of Belize.

We crossed the border by foot and hoped on a shady van with a few locals to Corozal. Everyone was super nice and spoke perfect English. Turns out english is one of the official languages in Belize. We watched the sunset in their turquoise waters and strolled around town, amazed at all the beautifully colored houses and cute small monuments.

Gonçalo in Bacalar

Bacalar Lagoon

Corozal, Belize

Then…there was New York City. From Cancun we took a flight to our last stop in this trip. There are no words that can describe the city, and nothing I can say that hasn’t been said a thousand times already. Every time I visit NYC I feel like I just arrived home. And I have this overwhelming sadness when it’s time to leave. You feel like you’ve seen the whole world when you go there. There’s not a thing in the world that NYC doesn’t have.

This time we had one new thing on our minds to do there: Try the Impossible Burger!

We read a lot about it on the internet, but never had the chance to actually try it because it only exists in a few restaurants in the US now. (Please Impossible foods, come to Portugal!). My mind was BLOWN. Like, if someone told me that was meat, I would have believed them. It’s that scary. But delicious and great. A burger that tastes like burger and is murder free? What more can a vegetarian want? I mean, I speak for myself. Since burgers are the only thing that I actually miss, aside from sushi… That said, we tried a couple of them. The best one we had was definetly in Umami Burger restaurant in Brookfield Place. And it was completely vegan.

We also took a stroll in Coney Island for the first time and it was so much fun! I imagined it a lot more creepy and abandoned, but it was actually lively, colorful and full of people having fun. Not what I imagined, but I liked it either way. I believe in a foggy day it should have that mysterious look I thought it did, from all movies and series. Haha.

Coney Island

Me in Times Square

Impossible Burger

Well, that sums up a bit of our trip. But if there’s anything in particular that you’d like to know (some advice here and there in case you're planning a similar trip), feel free to contact me via Instagram and ask away! I always reply to my messages, even if I take a while to do so (I do get a lot of messages).

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

Andreia Coutinho

11/06/18 17:16 PM