Graduation Trip Around South America: All Countries Checked ✓

One year.

That’s how long my #GradTripAroundSouthAmerica took.

In this one year, I managed to visit ALL countries in South America, spending a few months in some and a few days in others.

I do not visit a country for one day just to tick it off a list. I spend time getting to know the locals, have some local food, and actually explore the cities. In fact, I couchsurfed in the countries I spent the least amount of time in.

If that is not the best way to know a place, I don’t know what is.

I’ve seen a lot, experienced a lot, and probably grown too. But that would be a post for another day. For now, let’s have some fun.

Since this is my graduation trip, I brought along an inflatable graduation hat and took a photo in every country with an iconic point of interest.

Here we go!

watch this with the sound on!

Country 1: Brazil

Country 1/12 of #GradTripAroundSouthAmerica: Brazil.

This is where I started my year long graduation trip and now, have made a full circle back. I first came to Brazil 3 years ago and fell in love with the latin culture and knew I had to come back. It’s amazing how one country rivals all the others on the same continent in terms of size, landscape and people. There’s more Portugese than Spanish speakers from 9 countries on mainland South America! A challenging place to travel, this country is too big and has so much more left for me to explore.

Taken at Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil.

​You might like:

  • ​Hiking Corcovado: Seeking Christ the Reedmer on the Mountaintop
  • Pedra do Telegrafo: The Most Instagram-Worthy Rock
  • Photogenic Paraty: Of Cobblestone Streets and Waterfalls

Country 2: Uruguay

Country 2/12 of #GradTripAroundSouthAmerica: Uruguay.

I felt safe, relaxed and an overall nice vibe here. Even though I spent too little time in this small country, it was here that I met 2 Singaporean students who welcome me with open arms and later became a source of emotional support on this faraway continent. Thanks guys!

Taken at Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Country 3: Argentina

Country 3/12 of #GradTripAroundSouthAmerica: Argentina.

Argentina was the first place I spent a long time in, going from the icy End of The World all the way up to the otherworldly north, while visiting all UNESCO sites along the way. It is one of the more advanced countries in SA and you can clearly tell an Argentinian apart from other Latinos by the way they speak and how they look. Also made a couple of great Argentinian friends!

Taken at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

You might like:

  • Hiking Fitz Roy and Getting Knocked Down by Forces of Nature
  • 50 Shades of Blue: Trekking Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Ischigualasto Provincial Park: Moonwalking with Dinosaurs

Country 4: Chile

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 4/12: Chile.

I never knew what to expect before heading to Chile but this country has surprised me with its diverse landscape from the dry Atacama desert to the chilly fjords of Patagonia. Not to mention the magical Easter Island (and the best empanadas). Unsurprisingly, it has recently been named No.1 Destination to Visit by Lonely Planet. Definitely worth a visit!

Taken at Easter Island, Chile.

You might like:

  • Cerro Castillo Day Hike: From Village to Castle
  • Torres del Paine: Failing to Hike Nature’s Wonders
  • A Different Valley of the Moon in San Pedro de Atacama

Country 5: Paraguay

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 5/12: Paraguay.

My least favourite country; where I witnessed corruption and racism the day I entered. Also, I had to pay for a visa only to have the requirement removed a few months later.  Although it’s cheap, there’s nothing much to do for a tourist. Not sure if I’d ever return. ​

Taken at Trinidad Ruins, Paraguay.

You might like:

  • Trinidad Ruins: Paraguay’s Lonely Jesuit Gem
  • 4 Steps to Apply for a Paraguay Visa in Buenos Aires

Country 6: Bolivia

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 6/12: Bolivia.

Bolivia wowed me the first moment I stepped foot; with her incredible natural beauty, colourful lakes and the majestic Uyuni Salt Flats. Although it is slightly less developed than the other countries, the low cost of living makes it so tempting to stay for long. ​

Taken at Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia.

You might like:

  • Humbled in Potosi, Bolivia: Cerro Rico Mine Tour
  • Cycling Death Road: The World’s Most Dangerous Bike Ride?
  • Bolivia Visa on Arrival: Get it For Free Without the Hassle

Country 7: Peru

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 7/12: Peru.

My favourite country  This country is so rich in history and has some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen. I spent so much time exploring nature, chasing waterfalls, learning Bachata, improving my Spanish, eating local and partied a little too much. Cusco also happened to be my favourite city. Too much awesome in one country. Even this photo turned out best in the series! 

Taken at Machu Picchu, Peru.

You might like:

  • Vinicunca: The Colourful Rainbow Mountain of Peru
  • Choquequirao Trek: The Real Lost City of the Inca
  • 101 Things to Do In and Around Cusco: The Ultimate City Guide

Country 8: Ecuador

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 8/12: Ecuador.

The furthest city from Singapore, the highest point on Earth, the Middle of The World…a country of many superlatives. Here I stand on Latitude 0, the line that separates the Northern and Southern hemispheres. If I wasn’t rushing through, I believe Ecuador could’ve had much more surprises. Using USD though… Doesn’t make it cheap.

Taken at Middle of the World City, Ecuador.

You might like:

  • Cotopaxi Day Trip: Hiking and Cycling An Active Volcano
  • Getting Lost With Witches & Locals at the Quilotoa Loop

Country 9: Colombia

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 9/12: Colombia.​

Beautiful people, beautiful women, beautiful country. Colombia is no longer that dangerous city the media portrayed it to be and definitely deserves to be on everyone’s South America list. In fact, Medellin won the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2 years ago for its transformation from a drug-fuelled warzone to the thriving city it is today. That, alone, should be reason for more Singaporeans to visit!

Taken at The Lost City, Colombia.

You might like:

  • Cocora Valley Hike: Trees Taller Than Tall
  • Ciudad Perdida: Finding Colombia’s Lost City
  • Quebrada Las Gachas: Guadalupe’s Hidden Red River

Country 10: Venezuela

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 10/12: Venezuela.

This country is like the forbidden fruit. People tell you not to go but it tastes so sweet once you’re there. It has the most incredible scenery, that is different from everywhere else. Going here taught me: If you have the will, you’ll find a way.

Taken at Mount Roraima, Venezuela.

You might like:

  • Mount Roraima Hike: Up On Top Venezuela’s Lost World

Country 11: Guyana

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 11/12: Guyana.

If you ask me… Singapore isn’t the real epitome of a multi-racial, multi-cultural society. Guyana is. It is just not as well-known. Similarly, this waterfall is one of the most majestic falls I’ve seen but it is not well-known outside South America too. What an interesting country.

Taken at Kaieteur Falls, Guyana.

You might like:

  • Kaieteur Falls: Guyana’s Isolated Gem of the Forest

Country 12: Suriname

#GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 12/12: Suriname.

My first impression of this country was the hundreds of Chinese supermarket as the car entered the capital, Paramaribo. The first shop I walked into was (unknowingly) owned by a Chinese, and my first words in this Ductch-speaking country was Mandarin. Yet you don’t see Chinese on the streets or in the restaurants; only blacks, whites, Latinos, Indonesians and Indians. Humourously, the Chinese filled up the casinos. Travelling to unknown countries gives very interesting experiences.

Taken at Paramaribo, Suriname.

*Country 13: French Guiana

Surprise! #GradTripAroundSouthAmerica Country 13/12: French Guiana.

13?! Yes! Technically French Guiana isn’t a country; it is a department of France. However, it has border crossings, visa requirements, its own government, different currency and language from the other countries on mainland South America, so it counts as a country to me. Besides, it IS part of a country. Can’t visit all but leave out one yeah?

Taken at Guiana Space Center, French Guiana.

And now, it’s your turn.

+ There are no comments

Add yours