Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

December 5, 2010

South America Overview

Filed under: South America — Tags: , , — admin @ 4:20 pm

South America

I flew into Buenos Aries from Sydney after a horrendous 14 hour flight. It took me a few days to readjust my body clock. Meanwhile I was really enjoying going to the Costanera Sur reserve on the shores of the River Plate. It took me a few days to get to Esquel after stopping off at Bahia Blanca and Neuquen.

Grey-necked Wood-rail
Buenos Aries, Costanera Sur, Grey-necked Wood-rail (Aramides cajanea)


Talon skiing at La Hoya

I met up with a few Canadians at La Hoya. That is Talon above. I stayed up the mountain for a couple of weeks and then moved down into Esquel and stayed at a hostel for a couple of months.

La Hoya fly park, Jean

This is Jean, a ski instructor at La Hoya, getting some air in the Fly Park. They had some great jumps set up and everyone was getting into it.

Me Skiing
Me skiing la hoya

I got this photo taken by local photographer. I was skiing at the Sol piste. After leaving Esquel in late September, I had a marathon 48 hour bus ride to Salta in Northern Argentina. Then up to the border with Bolivia at La Quiaca, where I was strucken down with altitude sickness for about 3 days.


Into Bolivia with a train from Villazon to Oruro, bypassing the Uyuni salt flats. After a couple of days at Oruro, I hopped on a bus to Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Puna Teal
Puna Teal (Anas puna)

Copacabana was a really nice place if you avoided the tourist ripoff joints. I did manage to get sucked into a boat ride to the Isla del Sol which was a great disappointment.


I got a bus across the border to Puno, where we changed buses to get to Arequipa. From Arequipa, I hopped on the Lima bus and got off at the Paracas National Park. Paracas was fantastic. I got lots of photos of new birds along the shores, went on a tour into the desert on the edge of the ocean and had my first taste of cerbiche.

Inca Tern
Inca Tern or Zarcillo (Larosterna inca). Islas Ballestas, paracas , peru.

The boat ride to the Islas Ballestas was fantastic. We saw heaps of cormorants, boobies, sea lions and my favourite, the Inca Tern. After that, it was off to Lima where I stayed next to the beach at Barranco. There were lots of Black Vultures circling about the city, which gave an eerie feel to the place. I rented a surfboard up the coast at Huanchaco, then it was off to Chicama.


Chicama is the longest left-hander in the world. It goes for more than a kilometre. You have to jump off the wave down the beach and walk back out. The water is very cold so you have to wear a long john wetsuit and the current is very strong.

Oasis hummingbird
Oasis Hummingbird, Lobitos

Mancora is in the far north of Peru and is very hot. The water here is warm, so you can surf without a wetsuit which is a welcome change. Further south is the break of Lobitos which has some great surf. The locals really charged it and I got some great photos.


From Lobitos, it was down to Lima for a few days, flew to Puno, then back into Bolivia to La Paz, Cochabamba, Villa Tunari, Buena Vista, and the capital Santa Cruz. Back into Argentina to Salta, Rosario, Parana, Gualeguaychu and Buenos Aires, where I caught the plane back home.


  1. WOW – What a RIDE! Sounds like it was GREAT!!!

    Comment by Kerri — December 5, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  2. Thanks Kerri.
    It was a bumpy ride!


    Comment by admin — December 6, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  3. You’ve seen some great birds Steve! What’s the total count so far?

    Comment by Mark Young — December 6, 2010 @ 10:26 am

  4. thanks mark.
    i don’t know. i have not had a chance to count them all. its been mad.

    one day.

    Comment by admin — December 8, 2010 @ 3:19 am

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