Crossing A Continent: From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland!

written by Sabrina
published on July 25, 2011

My time in Lima was coming to an end! In my South-America Itinerary I already told you that my flight back would be from Sao Paolo, Brazil. So it was time for a cool challenge: from Lima to Sao Paolo overland! Flying was too expensive and I still had some weeks left, so why not overlanding 🙂

Leaving Lima

As a goodbye dinner, we were planning a fancy dinner  at Astrid y Gaston, one of Peru’s most famous restaurants. We went with some of my closest friends in Lima and enjoyed a 12 course dinner in our fancy dresses. The 12 courses consisted of some of Peru’s typical dishes like Ceviche (raw fish) and Cuy (cavia). We were allowed to bring our own wines, so after 3 hours of fine dining we were all very full, satisfied and happily drunk :).

After this, people started to say goodbye and leaving Lima. We still had some exams to go, but I couldn’t really be bothered to study. I already passed all my courses without the grades of the final exam, so the stress was far away so it was quite a relaxed week :).

Finally I passed my courses with 2×8, 2×7,5 and 1×6,5 .. not bad for an exchange :). Together with passing my courses I now officially finished my bachelor programma at Maastricht University! Awesoooooomeee!!!


So after all the exams and last University trouble I took off to Cuzco together with a friend from Lima, Julia. We had booked a so-called Inka Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu and this trip really had everything that I could have wished for!!

Together with an awesome group of Dutch people, French guys, New-Zealand/Australian people and a bunch of Chilean girls we took off for our first day. This started with an uphill drive of a couple of hourse to 4200 meters. Then we got on our mountainbikes and flew down the mountain over a partly asphalt/dirt road. It was sooo amazing.

Loki Inka Jungle Trek Review

Mountainbiking with a view and a sexy outfit

The views were stunning and the adrenaline kick was great! When we got down we stayed in a small village, had some cold beers and washed all the dust of our hairs. Early bed time, because a 20 km walk was waiting for the second day. Again, it was a great day! 2 hours uphill climbing which was really though, but then some 18km plain which was good fun. We ended up at some hotsprings to relax all the sore muscles!

That night we stayed at a village a bit bigger and it was time for party! With our group of 20 people we occupied the whole “discoteca” and drank the cheapest dirtiest sweetest cocktails and had a serious blast! Next morning it was early rise to go Zip-Lining! Hanging on a cable, zipppppping over a beautiful valley! Definitely one of the most amazing things I did in 8 months, such adrenaline!!

After some more hours of walking we arrived at Aguas Calientes, the town where people land to get to Machu Picchu. The next morning we woke up at 5 to climb up some 1000 steps. We arrived completely soaked and then had to get in the cue to get more soaked, it was raining sooooo much!

So when we finally got in it was pretty dissapointing, but YEAAAAAAAH at 2pm it finally cleared up and we got the most amazing views over Machu Picchu!! After this amazing trip we had still one day to explore Cuzco and I ate a Broodje Kroket in a Dutch cafe.. amazing after 7 months :)!!

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Jungle Trek to Macchu Picchu

Copacabana en Lake Titicaca

Unfortunately we did not have too much time left to explore Cuzco because we both had to move on! We took a night bus to Bolivia and arrived in the town of Copacabana around midday next day. It was stunning weather.

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland - Copacabana

From there we took the most slow, boring and bumpy boat ride ever to Isla del Sol to relax and get a decent night of sleep (which was heavily disturbed by the donkey that made noise every hour!). Exploring Isla del Sol and Lake Titicaca was amazing and a really good experience!

Santa Cruz

Getting back to Copacabana we took a bus to La Paz. As I had already been here, the weather was shitty and I was a bit in a rush, it was here that I said goodbye to Julia. It’s so stupid to say goodbye to someone after you lived together and spent a lot of time together in such a semester!

From La Paz, I took a direct bus to Santa Cruz to relax for a couple of days. I had 3 awesome days in very warm sunny weather and stayed in a hostel with a pool 🙂 . Santa Cruz was a pleasant town and although there was not that much to do, it was a good place for a stay-over before moving into Brazil.

From Santa Cruz to Bonito

After the chilled time in Santa Cruz, I was going to take a nighttrain from Santa Cruz to the Brazilian border. It was called “el tren del muerte” which was kind of scary haha! The hostel was so kind to arrange my trainticket, because the ticket office opens and closes at those times it’s convenient for them 😉

Actually, the train was not so bad! It definitely didn’t live up to its name as I survived 😉 . I made it to the Brazilian border and was all good to go! From Quijarro I had to go to Corumba, and from there one take a bus to Bonito.

The little town of Bonito is an absolute joy! A tiny town but lots to do. The highlight of Bonito is swimming in the crystal clear waters nearby!

The Pantanal

From Bonito, I moved on to The Pantanal. This is a wetland, jungle-like area with lots of wildlife! I booked a 3 day, 2 night stay on a farm. We went on boat tours, hikes, horse riding and got great food! It was really so much fun. The wildlife we saw was amazing. Ever heard of Capybarra’s? Neither had I 😉 Really fun little animals! Although we didn’t see jaguars, we saw plenty of alligators and went fishing for Piranhas again 😉

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland - Pantanal

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland - Pantanal

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland - Pantanal


From the Pantanal I travelled to on the Iguazu Waterfalls. I was in a nice hostel and went to see the waterfalls from both the Argentinian and the Brazilian side.

I witnessed one of the highest waterlevels in history due to the heavy rainfall over the last weeks. Although this made for an extreme and loud spectacle, it made it difficult to really get walk around and get good pictures. Many of the walkways were closed because it was simply too wet and dangerous!

On the last day, before my plane, I visited the 3 country point and took a symbolic picture 😉

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland - Iguazu

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland - Iguazu

On the 3rd of August I decided to take a flight to Sao Paolo. Flying is often cheaper than bussing in Brazil! And it’s a lot faster too!

OK I’m done – on the way home!

Although several of these places made it into my top 10 of South-America, I was super tired! All those hours in buses, planes, trains.. I decided to book a last minute flight to Sao Paolo. And when I arrived at the airport, I couldn’t even be bothered to spend my last 5 days in the city! I went to the bookings office and changed my flight date to… 5 hours later!

I informed my family and friends, relaxed, checked-in my bags and then it was really time to say goodbye to this beautiful continent!

I will spend some days at home and then I will move on to Norway to a new adventure! On exchange for my master programme. First a welcome / party week and then a seminar week on Social Media somewhere in Norway to meet my fellow students.

Some reflection

I’m sure it’s going to be great! Hope everybody is safe and well back home, cannot wait to be back for a while 🙂 . Im mostly looking forward to hagelslag, een lekkere saté, throwing my toilet paper in the toilet and not in a bin, guaranteed hot showers and people not trying to rip you off all the time! What I will miss here is the awesome food, the mostly friendly and interested people and the amazing things to see and do! 8 months on this continent are coming to an end, but it was an am amazing experience!

See you soon everybody, un beso y abrazo!

From Lima to Sao Paolo Overland

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  1. Abrazo Mama!! Hasta pronto!! xx

  2. Goed om te horen dat je zo’n onwijze toptijd (gehad) hebt daar:) Jammer dat we je net missen maar who knows tot in Bergen! Kus!
    ps. Tren del muerte?? be safe!;) haha

  3. Leuk verhaal weer sab!! Wat een mooie dingen moet jij gezien hebben… Nog veel plezier in Sao Paolo en tot volgende week!! xx Char

  4. Sounds like you had an epic adventure! 8 months on the go is pretty exhausting though, I’m not surprised you’d had enough in the end 🙂

    • Haha it was an adventure indeed!


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