Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Backpacking in the Andes

My last week in Argentina was spent backpacking in Bariloche and San Martín de los Andes, in the southern part of Argentina. My travel buddy on this trip was an amazing friend and Argentine native who has been traveling here almost every summer since he was a child, so he knew the ropes.

The trip was off to a rough start when we missed our bus from to San Martín by three minutes. We resisted the urged to panic and figured out that we could take the next bus. The only problem was that it was a little after 9 am and the next bus wasn’t until 2 pm. Our luck turned around immediately when we tried hitchhiking and the first person we met was a friendly man on his way to San Martín to visit his mom. He offered us a ride and we learned our lesson to always plan on arriving earlier than you think is necessary.

The summer heat was in full swing in Buenos Aires, but we experienced some chilly days since we were at a higher elevation. My favorite hike of the trip was the 10 kilometer (about 6.5 mile) hike to Refugio Frey. It was steep and hard and supposed to take four to five hours, but we did it in three. Once we reached the peak of Refugio Frey, I immediately made a snow angel.

I couldn’t have asked for a better last week in Argentina. We saw the desert and the mountains and the beach, and made some delicious dinners and tried some of the region’s best chocolate along the way. Living out of a backpack for a week made me appreciate the simplicity of traveling light, and it was refreshing to feel so connected to nature.

I’ve truly caught the travel bug after living abroad for 5 months. I’ve seen a lot, but there’s so much out there to see. My favorite moments abroad have been when I take a moment to look around and am absolutely in awe by the scenery that surrounds me. I’ve experienced so many of those moments in Argentina, and now I’m inspired to seek them in other parts of the world too.





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