Lonely Planet Writer

This Belgian couple are honeymooning through South America in a 4x4 for seven months

Most people experience a come-down after the excitement of their wedding, but for Sarah and Dimitri O, the party hasn’t stopped yet. The Belgian couple set off to explore South America from Antwerp in November, and have spent seven months travelling in a 1992 Toyota Land Cruiser, which also served as their wedding car.

Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America
Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Sarah and Dmitri met at work in 2012 and were married in August 2016. They flew to Buenos Aires and embarked on their dream honeymoon in November.

Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon
Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

The plan is that they will travel until their money runs out as this is their dream honeymoon. “We love searching for a spot to set up camp, build a fire, cook, eat outdoors and spend the evening under a beautiful starry sky,” they tell Lonely Planet.

Sarah and Dimitri O at Machu Picchu.
Sarah and Dimitri O at Machu Picchu. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Dmitri is a digital nomad working from the road, while Sarah takes care of the blog on their website, Global Honeymoon.

Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon.
Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

The challenges include that they can’t always count on having a good internet connection, and taking showers can be limited to rivers, official campsites or the occasional Airbnb/hostel. “It can take up to four days before we can shower,” says Sarah. “We don’t smell though – thank God for wet wipes. I had to change my priorities, like not wearing make-up, which was difficult in the beginning.”

Sarah and Dimitri O at Volcano Totumo in Colombia.
Sarah and Dimitri O at Volcano Totumo in Colombia. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Sarah and Dimitri say they rarely argue and have learned to diffuse situations before they turn into a fight. They would highly recommend this type of honeymoon, but it’s not for everybody. “Spending 24/7 with your partner in a small environment will create stress, and some relationships don’t survive this type of travel,” they warn.

Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon in a 4x4 since November. Image: Caters News Agency
Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

“We have a budget to manage, a household to keep and a lot of places to visit, and being away from home for a long time brings its challenges. So, if you’re considering travelling like we do, maybe start with a road trip of two or three weeks back home and see how it goes.”

Sarah and Dimitri’s Highlights

Best Road

The Carretera Austral in Chile. We took two weeks to cross the 1000+ km road across glacier lakes and rainforests.

Sarah O in Puntas Galinas.
Sarah O in Puntas Galinas. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Best Wildlife Experience

Meeting sea lions up close in Punta Ninfas, Argentina. We descended a cliff where we could walk around between hundreds of wild sea lions. We lay down two metres from a group and watched them all afternoon.

Sarah and Dimitri O meeting the sealions.
Sarah and Dimitri O meeting the sea lions. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Best Adventure Experience

Wild water rafting in Futaleufu, Chile, with the first class five rapids.

Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon
Sarah and Dimitri O have been travelling across South America on honeymoon. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Most Worthwhile Climb

Rainbow Mountain in Peru, which was also the hardest climb. It was four-hour hike going from 4000 to 5200 meters above sea level with a storm at the top.

Sarah and Dimitri O on Rainbow Mountain
Sarah and Dimitri O on Rainbow Mountain. Image: Sarah and Dimitri O

Most Beautiful Wild Camping Spot

On top of a cliff in Peninsula Valdes, Argentina. We woke up with an endless sea view and the sound of the waves.

Best Off-Road track

Ruta 13 in Argentina. We read scary things about steep dips and falling off cliffs. Good thing we met a local who encouraged us to take it. Turned out the road was gorgeous and challenging in a fun way.