Backpacker places in South America
The iconic Lake Titicaca, often dubbed the highest navigable lake in the world, is often a highlight of any trip to the region. In Bolivia, there is no better launching point for lake exploration that the quasi-border town of Copacabana. Truth is, the backpacker grotto-esque feel to the place may turn some travellers off. But with a huge variety of accommodation and restaurant choices, it is a one-stop shop type base. Besides the docks, the town itself offers a few experiences: a hike up the Calvario offers wonderful views of town and the lake, a gentle stroll along the lake side and a couple churches and plazas should occupy any traveller land-side.
During daylight the city of Medellin looks surprisingly dull, but when night falls it certainly knows how to pull itself together. The streets of the trendy neighbourhood of zona Rosa only start to wake up when the sun goes down. Here lie cosy wine bars side by side with open air restaurants, top trendy cocktail bars and crowded students joints. The ladies are for most parts ridiculously good looking and dressed to kill, while the males keep a more casual attitude. So go out and get drunk with some of the most friendly and outgoing people in South America... well, in the World.
In the weekend this little mountain town (1800m) turns into a funtown for local tourists, who pour in to fill up the concrete hot springs and karaoke bars. In the rest of the week it is a bit more quiet, where adventure seeking backpackers can get an adrenalin fix. Anything from whitewater rafting to horseback riding, jungle trips and downhill mountain biking all the way down to the Amazon are being offered. Adding to the thrill is the town's location, which is on the lower slope of one of Ecuador's most active volcanoes, the Tungurhua volcano (5,023 m). A big erupted in 1999 forced an evacuation of Baños. Today Tungurahue is still active and is occasional belching smoke and lava out of it's cavity. It can be quite a terrifying experience to see (and hear) one, but cloudy weather will often obstruct the view.