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An outdoor adventure and experiential travel blog that focuses on inspiring, stories, detailed itineraries, and sending the wanderlust vibes through video.
10 DAYS IN CHILEAN PATAGONIA // Get inspiration for how to plan ten days in Torres del Paine National Park! Day Highlights 1️⃣ - Kayak Lago Grey 2️⃣ - Hike French Valley 3️⃣ - Puma Tracking 4️⃣ - Summit Cerro Ferrier 5️⃣ - Explore Rupestre Patagonia 6️⃣ - Cruise to Balmaceda Glacier 7️⃣ - Cruise to Grey Glacier 8️⃣ - Horseback Riding Lake Nordenskjöld 9️⃣ - Horseback and Hike Cerro Paine 🔟 - Sunrise at the Base of the Towers Our video showcasing all 10 days can be found on the Going Awesome Places YouTube channel! #goingawesomeplaces #thisispatagonia #patagoniachile #chiletravel #chile #visitchile #chilegram #torresdelpaine #thisischile #roamthispatagonia #chileeestuyo #visitpatagonia #patagoniachilena #poweredbyadventure
HORSEBACK IN PATAGONIA // This is the time I did the half-day horseback riding excursion out to Nordenskjöld Lake in Torres del Paine National Park as part of my stay at Hotel Las Torres. Oh the views! 💡Patagonian cowboys are called “baqueano” here and the lifestyle they live is called “gaucho”. Not only did we get to go horseback riding as part of the all-inclusive experience at Hotel Las Torres, we also got a chance to sit down with their baqueano to learn about the customs of drinking mate, what it’s like to work with horses, listen to their story through music, and get a little hands on with a few baqueano tricks. ℹ️ If you want to know more about what it’s like to stay at Hotel Las Torres, make sure to check out goingawesomeplaces.com #goingawesomeplaces #Thisispatagonia #PatagoniaChile #ChileTravel #chile #visitchile #chilegram #torresdelpaine #thisischile #roamthispatagonia #chileeestuyo #visitpatagonia #patagoniachilena #poweredbyadventure #hotellastorres #lastorres #baqueano #lastorresreserve #horsebackriding #patagonia
2022 // Well that’s a wrap! I’d be lying if I told you I knew exactly how the year was going to go. It started off slow and then spring came and things took off in all sorts of unexpected directions. Looking back, it was a year of growth for Going Awesome Places and exploring new places that really pushed our boundaries. There were certainly a ton of ups and downs but the key was in having a positive mindset and pushing forward. 🥂 to an even better 2023! Thankful for everyone that joined along in our adventures!
NOISE BE GONE // For a long time, I was scared of shooting at high ISO because photos got too noisy and with the smaller sensor of M43 I always tried to never push beyond ISO 3200. Now, with the improved noise control and rendition of the @omsystem.cameras OM-1 and noise reduction tool such as @dxolabs PureRaw, noise is really a thing of the past. The tech has definitely come a long way. Hummingbird - 6400 ISO (this is cropped in about 2x to really show the noise) Monkey - 6400 ISO (no crop) Both photos have the same editing applied but the second in the set has DXO noise reduction. In Costa Rica, you’re often shooting under the canopy of the rainforest so light is at a premium so you’ll need to increase your light gathering capability and that normally means pumping up the ISO eventually. I’m still blown away by how much you can clean up photos now. #goingawesomeplaces #visitcostarica #costarica #monteverde #omsystem #om1 #dxo #noisereduction #highiso #photographytips
AXE THROWING DETOUR // Chantelle and I ratchet up the competition at Burlington’s Bad Axe Throwing to settle who can be crowned champion. With a little pre-game Detour from @muskokabrewery and deepdish pie by @feedyourdragon, the game was ON! This was the perfect date night spot where you can be as competitive as you want. It was hilarious that they had both medals for us and loved that we could bring our own food and drink since there aren’t many that allow it anymore. @badaxethrowinginc has locations all around US and Canada. What’s your holiday detour this year? Axe throwing perhaps?? #goingawesomeplaces #muskokabrewery #ventureoffthebeatenpath #axethrowing #badaxe #watl
HOWL YOU DOING? // There was a huge family of howler monkeys at our resort including little ones like this one. Every day we’d drop by their favourite trees to say hello 👋. The loud and echoing howls 🙉 are unmistakable and are said to travel over a mile in a dense rainforest. Once one starts the howl, everyone else joins in! A trip to Costa Rica almost isn’t complete until you’ve encountered these howlers. 📷 @omsystem.cameras OM-1 150-400mm f/4.5 lens 391mm f/4.5 1/400s ISO640 #goingawesomeplaces #visitcostarica #costarica #howlermonkey #costaricawildlife #monkey #omsystem #om1
ALL THE PRETTY BIRDS // You could say that I’m a bit of a budding wildlife photographer thanks to how good the OM-1 bird tracking tech is so with this trip to Costa Rica, I wanted to really put the gear to use! Splitting time between La Fortuna and Monteverde 🇨🇷, we were blown away by the diversity and colours of the wildlife. There were birds practically everywhere including the Bogarin Trail, Curi Cancha Reserve, Monteverde Wildlife Refuge, and Monteverde Cloud Forest. Now I know why it’s a birder’s paradise here! In Monteverde, we joined up with @estebandailyguidedtours who was instrumental in helping us find and identify all the birds. For a newbie, this was critical! I was also obsessed with the Merlin Bird ID app by @cornellbirds and their photo ID feature. Here are a few of our favourite shots from the trip: - Stripe-tailed Hummingbird - Red-legged Honeycreeper - Ladder-backed Woodpecker - White-napes Brushfinch - Purple-throated Mountain-gem Hummingbird - Wilson’s Warbler - Scarlet-thighed Dacnis - Northern Emerald Toucanet - Violet Sabrewing - White-throat Magpie-Jay 📷 OM-1 with 150-400mm f/4.5 lens with built in 1.25x teleconverter Who’s into birding here? 🤓🙋♂️ #goingawesomeplaces #visitcostarica #costarica #birdsofcostarica #lafortuna #monteverde #wildlifephotography #birdingphotography #omsystem #om1
ARENAL VOLCANO // This is Costa Rica’s best-known and iconic volcano that is quite easy to visit from the town of La Fortuna. It was active right up until 2010 and is currently in a resting phase. We visited on our own with our trusty @adoberentacar rental car. We ended up just making it in the park with just enough time to do the 2km Las Coladas trail which has the main viewpoint and another secret one that’s not well marked. Both spectacularly bring you right onto the old lava flow of 1992 that swept down for months on the west and southwest side of the volcano. As a result, all the rock in this area are the young igneous type. If you think about it, this was only 30 years ago! For most of our time in La Fortuna, the volcano was shrouded in cloud but it opened up just a bit for us to the tip before clouds swept in again. 1️⃣ Aerial shot where we’re tiny ants and barely visible 2️⃣ Set up the tripod for this shot where you can see all of my sweat stains 😂 3️⃣ The first mirador of the volcano that most people see and turn back. If you take the steps down and follow the sign for Mirador Coladas, you’ll get a more clean view of Arenal (without the sign in front). Have any questions about Costa Rica? Let us know! #goingawesomeplaces #arenalvolcano #volcanarenal #costarica #visitcostarica #lafortuna #costarica🇨🇷 #puravida #costaricapuravida #costaricagram
TOUCANS // A bird we were excited to see in Costa Rica was the toucan. Called the Keel-billed Toucan and close cousin to Toucan Sam, these are spectacular birds to see in person with their rainbow-coloured and spectacularly oversized bill. They have a distinctive call and are extremely social so you’ll find a bunch together. When in flight, they look a bit clumsy and they do actually look like the “Flying Banana” that locals have nicknamed them. It’s hard to get up close to this bird since they prefer to be above the canopy and on trees with sparse leaves. I had to pull out the 2x extender on this one to get the full 2000mm FF equivalent reach from Curi Cancha Nature Reserve in Monteverde. We spotted several toucans during our bird watching tour with @estebandailyguidedtours! 📷 @omsystem.cameras OM-1 150-400mm f/4.5 with 1.25x extender Additional 2x extender f/5.6 1/640s #goingawesomeplaces #monteverde #costarica #visitcostarica #toucan #toucans #toucansofinstagram #curicancha #tropicalrainforest #birdsofcostarica
NOT SO FAST // This is a baby three-toed sloth 🦥 we met at the Bogarin Trail in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. When we first got there, it had just stopped raining and it was curled up in big fur ball. We came back after walking the whole trail and with the sun out, the sloth was out and about and by that I mean slowly turning its head. While watching, it eventually got hungry and started munching on the leaves which was hilarious to watch. It was in real time but slow motion at the same time. They weren’t exaggerating when they said they were slow 😂. If you’ve ever wanted to see sloths, Costa Rica is the place to go! Maybe we were lucky but we saw 5 that one day. #goingawesomeplaces #visitcostarica #sloth #costarica #lafortuna #sloths
WINTERFEST // It’s baaaaack! Canada’s Wonderland is decked out with sparkling lights, giant Christmas trees, cheeky reindeers, high flying performances, festive delights, and more! 🚨NEW What’s new for this year are Jack Frost’s Igloos which are clear domes with heaters and couches. There’s also the brand new Lazy Bear Lodge near Yukon Striker which is a wonderfully decorated dining hall which means more food options than ever before. It’s the park’s largest restaurant! ⭐️Highlights for us: - Tinker’s Toy Factory show in the theatre with its high flying acrobatics - Skating on Snow Flake Lake - Watching the tree lighting performance - Festive funnel cakes - Cool Yule Christmas with all of the musical hits Who’s thinking about going this year? #goingawesomeplaces #winterfest #canadaswonderland #experienceyr #visitvaughan #discoveron #christmasfestival #christmasintoronto #vaughan #visitdh #winteractivities #winterfun
NOT THE W TREK // It was a dream of mine to see Patagonia and not only did meet my expectations, but it blew it away. When planning the trip, I kept thinking about whether I should do the W Trek or not but now that I’ve been there, I am definitely in the “don’t do the W Trek” camp because I got to see and do so much more the way I did it with @chilenativo. Check out our gallery of photos to get a glimpse of how dynamic my experience was in Torres del Paine National Park sans W Trek. I’ve been back from Chile for a month now and I’m sharing all of my experiences from Patagonia and Torres del Paine experience on the blog. Make sure to head over to goingawesomeplaces.com to find out all 9 reasons why I didn’t feel any FOMO for not doing the W Trek. 🚨INSTANT SAVINGS If you use “Going Awesome Places” under “Referral Discount”, save 5% on Chile Nativo tour packages. Thank me later ✌️ #goingawesomeplaces #chilenativo #Thisispatagonia #PatagoniaChile #ChileTravel #chile #visitchile #chilegram #torresdelpaine #thisischile #roamthispatagonia #chileeestuyo #visitpatagonia #patagoniachilena #poweredbyadventure #anextpatagoniamagallanes #patagonia
EASTER ISLAND // There a magic, wonder, and mystery emanating from this place where we spent 8 days. We felt it’s mana for sure. It was an archeological trip for the ages where we got to see more moai and ahu’s than we ever thought were on Rapa Nui. 💡QUICK TIPS💡 ✈️ How do you get to Easter Island? You can only get here from Santiago with @latamairlines so if you’re planning a trip to Chile 🇨🇱, make sure to fit this in. ⏳ How much time do you need? Most people spend 3-4 days here. Truthfully, 8 is a lot of time on the island but then again, we saw so much of the island including hiking the North Shore. 🔴 Do you need a guide? Yes, it’s mandatory to have a guide to see the national park which practically encompasses all of the sites where there are moai. We used @gitours_easter_island which we highly recommend. We also rented a car from @insular_rentacar to explore on our own after we figured out from locals which hidden spots we could visit 😉 🏨 Where to stay? We stayed at @takarualodge which we loved because it was right next to Tahai - the best sunset spot on the island. So who’s always wanted to go to Easter Island? It seems hard to get to but with some careful planning, it’s very do-able!
ANAKENA // The popular beach on Easter Island is Anakena but its centrepiece is Ahu Nau Nau that stands on top of the sand with 6 moai - 5 with heads and 4 with top knots (the most together on Easter Island). The rock carvings have exquisite details in their eyes, nose, lips, ears, and hands. They’re well preserved because they were overthrown and sand covered the entire platform until restored in 1978 by Sergio Rapu. The story of Anakena Beach is that some 1300 years ago, the first king landed with twin-hulled canoes and ultimately colonized this far side of the Polynesian triangle. A small detail to notice here is how all of the eyes are carved (concave instead of flat) which means they definitely stood here with eyes at one point. This platform is in fact the first time they found a white coral eye still intact. It was believed that placing the eyes returned their mana/spiritual power back to the ancestors the moai represented. There was so much to learn about the Rapanui during the Cult of the Moai. #goingawesomeplaces #anakena #anakenabeach #moai #easterisland #rapanui #rapanuilove #rapanui🗿 #chile #ChileTravel #visitchile #chilegram #thisischile #chileeestuy #instachile
Flying Kiwi is as uniquely different as bus tours come and it’s just what you want for New Zealand New Zealand is known for a lot of things The one way we were able to achieve epic moment after moment in New Zealand was with an adventure bus tour company called Flying Kiwi. You’re not going to be able to access this from the bus and in between stops it’s expected you won’t need things in there either. The bottom line is that Flying Kiwi is an excellent way to see New Zealand if you’re the type of traveller like us that enjoys being in the outdoors, travelling with other like-minded companions, want to see a great part of the country, and have an itch for adventure.