written by admin

Useful Websites


  • Hostelbookers – Ratings and online bookings. We use this most of the time, especially when first arriving somewhere.
  • SmugMug – Website we use to manage our photos. Lots of powerful tools – editing, statistics, sorting, etc. We bought a membership for unlimited space and have been really pleased with it! (See our photos!)
  • Travel Independent – I don’t even know how we found this website, but it is a treasure trove of information, travel philosophy, and lists. Extremely helpful for planning what to bring. Full of ideas about where to go. Well worth a read for anyone hitting the road.
  • Tripadvisor – Reviews of hotels, restaurants, etc. More helpful in areas which get a lot of tourist traffic.
  • Oneworld Round the World Airfares – How we booked our trip! They have a really fun trip planner to play with.
  • WordPress – Awesome blogging tools. You wouldn’t be reading this without them!


Websites of places we would recommend

New Zealand

In putting this list together we were devastated to learn that some of our favorite businesses were put out of commission by the recent earthquake in Christchurch. We wanted to include them here anyway and hopefully one day they will be back up and running.




  • Íbero Spanish School – We did three weeks of courses here and it increased our enjoyment of South America 100%. The teachers were awesome!!!! Very reasonably priced and worth the time. Located in Buenos Aires.
  • Buenos Aires Stay– Company we used to rent our apartment in Buenos Aires. Great experience. They speak english and took good care of us.
  • PiraTour– Located in Ushuaia. This tour takes you to a penguin colony where you get to see the penguins right up close. Incredible!
  • La Posta Hostel– Located in Ushuaia. Really nice hostel. A little out of town, but on a convenient bus line. Good breakfast.




  • The Singing Lamb Hostal – Located in Puerto Natales, near Torres del Paine park. This is the absolute best base you could have for getting to the park. Susan, the owner, is full of information and help. You can leave your extra belongings in a locker there for no extra cost while you are up hiking. The showers and beds are possibly the best we have come across. Oh, and breakfast is awesome.
  • Criollo Expeditions – Based in Puerto Natales. Absolutely awesome horse treks. Highly, highly recommended. Read about our trip here and here!
  • Hostal Luna Sonrisa – Located in Valparaiso. If you can spend a little more than your average hostal we recommend getting the apartment they have on the top floor!
  • El Tesoro de Elqui – Located in Pisco Elqui. Lovely garden. Pretty cabins. Sweet swimming pool. Comes with breakfast.
  • Hostal Río Amazonas – Two locations in Santiago. We stayed at the Plaza Italia one. More upmarket than most hostals, would be good for families. No dorms.
  • Thelonious – Awesome small jazz venue in Santiago. Shows Friday and Saturday nights. Local talent.
  • CosmoAndino Expeditions – Tour company in San Pedro de Atacama. We did a day-long tour with them and loved it! Not the cheapest in town, but probably the best. Everything was top-notch.




  • Amazon Trails Peru – Based in Cusco.  Highly recommended for tours to Manu National Park.  Read about ours here and here.