Italia: Amalfi Coast and Tuscany

After having returned to the concrete jungle aka New York City from a three month long backpacking trip into the South American jungles, mountains, and beaches, I started itching within a few months to leave the city and breath easily once again. The invitation from the Umbria Film Festival in Italy for a screening of Peace…

Uruguay: My new love affair!

I won’t hide the fact that I was beyond shocked to find Uruguay as a super modern, progressive, young, and beautiful country while expecting it to be old/historic/authentic such as Peru, Bolovia or Paraguay (oops!). But I was sort of relieved when I heard the same misconception from most of my fellow backpackers. All of…

Argentina: A short visit to Buenos Aires

When I landed in Buenos Aires following the 2 months I’d spent in various mountains and jungles of South America, I felt like I had returned back home to Turkey. Buenos Aires reminded me of Istanbul so much especially during the shuttle trip from the airport to the city center:  the people lying on the…

Argentina: Volunteering in an Eco Yoga Farm with Hare Krishnas

After having spent 2.5 mos in the South American jungles and mountains with my giant backpack in my company, my next stop was the most peaceful place on earth in Argentina: Eco Yoga Park, which also happened to be a Hare Krishna ashram. Starting from day one, I found myself in the middle of an…

Peru, Iquitos: Belen market and the visit to indigenous tribes

On our first day in Iquitos, we wandered the streets of Belen market and explored the stands that sold vegetables and all types of meats including chicken, turtle, alligator, monkey, amazon deer, piranha and many other fish. We made our way to Paquito street that offered a wide range of herbal medicine selection including ayahuasca…

3 days on a cargo boat on the Amazon River (from Colombia to Peru)

We concluded our stay in Leticia (Colombia) on Friday, Jan 24 by taking a cargo boat from Santa Rosa, Peru at 7:30 pm. We arrived in Iquitos, Peru at 12:30 am Sunday, Jan 26. Ticket cost: 80 soles (~$26 USD) For clarity sake: Brazil, Colombia and Peru intersect in this part of the Amazon. You can…

Vision Quest Camp and Leticia, the Colombian Jungle

A Vision Quest is a rite of passage in some Native American cultures. It is usually only undertaken by young males entering adulthood but it is now offered to everyone who is striving to finding the path. It is a commitment that people make for 4, 7, 9, and 13 days in consecutive years. The Quester is planted…

Ecuador: Surfing paradise, Canoa

Canoa is a cute little fishing and surfing village on the Pacific coast. To get there from Quito, I took a Reina Del Camino night bus to arrive to the beach the next morning. The ticket cost $10 and the bus left the terminal close to La Mariscal at 10:45 pm. The road was supposed…

Ecuador: Quito and Otavalo market

1.5 hours and $290 USD later, I arrived to Quito from Medellin, Colombia with Taca Airlines. The night before I left Colombia, I made arrangements to stay at Vibes Hostel in La Mariscal, which is an area also known as Gringolandia. Its trendy bars and posh restaurants caters to both Quiteños and western tourists.  You…

Colombia: the secrets of Bogota and Medellin

Colombia, the land of indigenous people, waterfalls, palm trees, wast green valleys, glamorous rugged mountains, white beaches, aquamarine waters, plastic bags in all shape, color and forms, horses/cows/mules (+ their shit), policia, arts, and drugs! Days in Colombia: 35 Cities visited: Bogota Cartagena Santa Marta/Taganga/Palomino Salento – La Zona Cafetera Medellin Colombia is a secret…