Hasta Luego Latinoamérica

Wading pool and fountain at Iquique beachfront park

Wading pool and fountain at Iquique beachfront park

Florence and I have spent two years traveling and living in Latin America, and in some ways it has been a dream come true. My childhood dream of standing on the pampas of Argentina and looking up at the Andes Mountains was made a reality when we first started our journey. We did even better than that. I saw Aconcagua with my own eyes!

Aconcagua, highest point in the hemisphere

Aconcagua, highest point in the hemisphere

I stood beneath the granite towers in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. I will carry those glorious moments with me the rest of my life, like my youthful memories of climbs in the Pacific Northwest.

A frequently asked question from people who have learned of our travels and our Six Monther lifestyle is, “Do you have a favorite place?” Obviously, the places we have chosen to live have been special. We got to know Boquete, Panama, and Cuernavaca, Mexico, as our home. Beyond that, the answer is yes. In fact, we have more than one favorite place.

Pucón, on the shore of Lake Villarica

Pucón, on the shore of Lake Villarica

At the top of my list is Pucón, Chile. This beautiful little resort town on the shore of Lake Villarica sits at the base of an active volcano of the same name. I think we are all in some ways a product of our youth, and in my youth I was a regular hiker and climber in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. Pucón reminded me of home surrounded by snow-capped peaks with skiing facilities, crisp clean air and streams that flowed so clean and pure you want to dip a drinking cup in them to experience the best tasting water in the world.

Florence in the Iquique main plaza

Florence in the Iquique main plaza

Florence’s favorite spot was also in Chile, the far north City of Iquique. From the moment we crested the mountain ridge with the dramatic view overlooking the city she was captivated. Our hostel was across the street from the beach, and we walked over every day. The shoreline of the city was a mile long stretch of park with grass and palm trees and picnic areas. As we sat on one of the park benches overlooking the water, we felt like this is what Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, must have looked like sixty years ago. Families were out with their children and pets. Ice cream vendors were peddling by. The weather so close to the Equator was perfect. It was tranquil – almost magical.

Mike at Torres del Paine NP, Chile

Mike at Torres del Paine NP, Chile

Now we are on our way to Europe. We do not plan to return to Chile for eight years. We still have much to see and do and share. While it is gratifying to know there is a place so special we hope to someday return, for now we say, “Hasta luego, Latinoamérica.” We love you, and we look forward to seeing you again someday.

23 comments on “Hasta Luego Latinoamérica

  1. GC :) says:

    I love this! Your travels are so inspiring! Wishing you both all of the best in Europe! Bon voyage!

  2. I have a soft spot for Latin American culture and hope to replicate some of your journeys when my youngest children fly the coop. Have a great time in Europe and I look forward to your reports.

  3. Such a beautiful place, enjoy every minute! 🙂

  4. I’ve never been to Chile, but it sounds wonderful! Sounds like Florence and I have similar tastes in places, because Iquique sounds like my kind of vacation spot! Celeste:)

    • No question you would love it. It was fun to watch the parasailers glide down from the hills above, too. They strapped in customers to a seat harness and sailed high above the city. Their landing zone was on the beach right in front of us. – Mike

  5. reocochran says:

    I think all of your places in South America sound wonderful, but I would trust your recommendation of Chile! I could not choose so I would split my time between Mike’s and Florence’s favorite places. Certainly you have a vast more experience in this than I do! Congratulations for the first year now on to many more! I cannot wait to hear about Scotland and the other places you will go!

    • I like your idea – split time between Pucón and Iquique. Two idyllic spots, and one warm year round for those not into the winter scene. Although I should point out there are a dozen different hot springs resorts just up the road from Pucón. – Mike

  6. sweetsound says:

    Amazing! Just your pictures take my breath away.

  7. What an amazing journey you guys are on Mike! The photo of Pucón, looks an awful lot like the view of B’ham, from the water. i can see why it reminds you of home. I’m excited to see where your journeys continue. Thanks, as always, for sharing!

    • I appreciate having met you and knowing you are reading and following our travels as our story unfolds. It is like giving a presentation to a friendly audience, and that motivates me to write to a certain expectation of quality. I am grateful for your interest, your support and your inspiration, Dawn. Thank you! – Mike

  8. AmyAdelante says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Mike and Florence! I’m so glad I came across your blog. I spent a year in Puebla, Mexico as an exchange student (circa 1987…), and recall visiting Cuernavaca. I now live in Australia (originally from Minneapolis, MN). I look forward to reading about your adventures in Europe. Safe travels, Amy

    • Mike Lince says:

      It is always nice to learn of others who, like us, experienced the beauty of Mexico, both the land and the people. For so long we were like the vast majority of people who felt Mexico was unsafe, and so they skipped the country altogether. What a mistake!

      I hope to keep you as a contact for the time when we will visit down under. It is through people like you that we learn about places we look forward to visiting. Thank you for following! – Mike

  9. Hey there Mike! Thanks for the “like” on my last post. Hope you’re having a fabulous week. Celeste 🙂

  10. reocochran says:

    I nominated you for your ability to inspire and spread smiles for the Sunshine Award on my most recent post! Thanks for your joy, photos and messages!

    • Mike Lince says:

      You are so gracious and thoughtful, and I appreciate the recognition. The award is that much more meaningful coming from someone as effervescent and fun to read as you. Thank you! – Mike

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