Tora Adventure

Two people exploring the world, seeking adventure & unique experiences.

Top 5 South America

Can’t decide where to go in South America and limited on time? Here is our top 5 of each country, with links (hold cursor over document for links)

Note the average cost per day is broken down as follows : food/drink (3 meals a day and snacks, includes the compulsory sampling of the local beer), accommodation (per person mainly sharing a private room (dorms are slightly cheaper) entertainment (mainly organized tours), transport,(getting from place to place) and miscellaneous (medicine, laundry, border taxes, visas, replacing lost items, etc.)


Top 5 Colombia

  1. Ciudad Perdida, Hiking to the lost city
  2. Tayrona National park, Relaxing in hammocks where the beach meets the jungle
  3. Mocoa, Looking down the waterfall at end of the world
  4. Salento, Discovering the world’s tallest palm trees
  5. Guatape, Admiring the amazing views on top of a large rock.


Average cost $38pp Cdn per day ($6 food/drink, $10 accommodation, $12 entertainment (mainly lost city trek), $9 transport, $1 miscellaneous)

Best stay– La Serana, Salento, Beautiful hostel in the middle of the countryside surrounding by coffee farms.

Best food – Salento XXX Coffee plantation tour, we got to hand make coffee from scratch from picking to grinding the beans to roasting, and it was the best coffee we have ever had in our lives.

Best experience- Hiking to the lost city “Ciudad Perdida”

Worst experience– Peanut butter and bread (our lunch) being stolen from a hostel in the middle of the countryside nowhere near any shops. Therefore we had to walk back into town (30 minutes) and then back to the hostel to start the hike.


Top 5 Ecuador

  1. Galapagos, Spying on animals, Link to cruise experience, Link to land experience
  2. Quilotoa trek, Hiking around a beautiful crater lake
  3. Amazon, Riding down the river in a canoe
  4. Diablo Nariz, Enjoying a scenic train rain down devils nose
  5. Vilcabamba, Admiring the world’s tallest peak (from the center of the earth)

Average cost $84pp Cdn per day (note this includes Galapagos cruise ($6 food/drink, $9accommodation, $63 entertainment (mainly Galapagos 8 day cruise), $5 transport, $1 miscellaneous)

Best stay– Caiman Lodge, in the Amazon

Best food –Prawns with rice, we were super excited when we walked into a local Comedor around the corner from our hostel with massive lines every night in Quito and received an abundance of sauces with our meal (after eating bland white rice with no condiments (not even chili) for weeks this was amazing)

Best experience- Galapagos cruise

Worst experience– Accidently leaving phone at cloud forest hostel in the middle of the Quilitoa loop (we resolved this by taking a $US15 taxi back to the hostel after hiking for hours and returning just in time for the next bus- we cut it really close, cudos to our crazy taxi driver)


Top 5 Peru

  1. Huaraz, Trekking is essential; day trips or the 3 day Santa Cruz, but the highlight was the 8 days in Huayhuash.
  2. Machu Picchu, what top 5 list of Peru couldn’t include this?
  3. Choquequirao, an alternative Inca trek near Cuzco
  4. Lake Titicaca, hanging out like a local at a homestay
  5. Colca Canyon, similar to the Grand Canyon in the USA, go trekking for a couple of days

Average cost $28pp Cdn per day ($5 food/drink, $6 accommodation, $9 entertainment, $5 transport, $3 miscellaneous)

Best stay– Caiman Lodge, in the Amazon

Best food –chocolate cake in ICA, the bakeries always had an amazing choice of fresh and moist cakes, it was hard to walk by without sampling.

Best experience- 8 day Huayash trek through snow capped mountains to glacier lakes.

Worst experience– Hostal Virgen Del Carmen (after staying 3 days)  telling us just before checkout our room was booked and we needed to leave. The real reason there was a festival in town and they wanted to charge double for our room. We ended up walking around town for hours trying to find another room as everything was booked out.


Top 5 Bolivia

  1. Salar de Uyuni, 3 day safari on the salt flats
  2. Death road, Risking our lives mountain biking death road
  3. Sucre, hiking to Crater de Maragua, waterfalls and dinosaur tracks with Condor trekkers
  4. Potosi, hanging out with miners
  5. Isla del sol– we didn’t have time to visit the island but from many other travellers we heard it was a highlight.

Average cost $33pp Cdn per day ($7 food/drink, $7 accommodation, $12 entertainment, $4 transport, $3 miscellaneous)

Best stay– Caiman Lodge, in the Amazon

Best food –Mouth watering home made sausages (chorizo) in the Sucre market.

Best experience- 3 day condor trekkers trek to waterfalls, villages and dinosaur tracks.

Worst experience– Toby getting food poisoning in the Salt flats.


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