Discovering Little Switzerland in South America

After crossing North America, our Swiss friends Olivia and Raphael headed south: On their trip around the world, they would explore Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador before finally crossing the Pacific into Asia...

Throughout the year-long adventure, looking out for that iconic red flag with the white cross was a way of staying connected to home. Surprisingly, they even found a Swiss flag on the world's largest salt flats at Uyuni!

Yet other times, they would only uncover a Swiss connection by talking to the locals. For instance in Ecuador, where they stumbled across a dairy factory called "Floralp"!

Enough said, here are some of their impressions of Switzerland in South America:

A collection of flags on the famous salt flats of Uyuni (Bolivia)

Bolivia - Salar de Uyuni Swiss Flag

This dinosaur reconstruction at Parque Cretático in Sucre was made with the help of Swiss paleontologist Christian Meyer and his team of specialists. Meyer is the Director at the Museum of Natural History in Basel, Switzerland, and his objective was to develop a conservation project on this paleontological site in Bolivia.

Bolivia - Sucre Dinosaur

Merry Christmas 2011 from Arenillas Beach at Tayrona National Park, Colombia

Colombia - Tayrona National Park

We met the grandparents of former Swiss national soccer star Johan Vonlanthen who is half Colombian. In the famous Tayrona National Park, they have a bakery with fantastic chocolate bread (and bread with other fillings) that will satisfy you all day...

Colombia - Tayrona Vonlanthen's Grandfather

Swiss chicken...

Bogota, Colombia - Swiss Chicken

... and Swiss watches in Bogota, Colombia

Bogota, Colombia - Swiss Watches

To our big surprise, we even discovered a Swiss grocery store in Cartagena, Colombia!

Cartagena, Colombia - Swiss Grocery Store

In the town of Puerto Ayora on the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador), we saw that Floralp is even there with its dairy products. Unfortunately, the house was closed, but a local told us that this Floralp factory was founded by a Swiss immigrant.

Ecuador - Floralp on Galapagos

Standing at the Equator line in Ecuador's capital city Quito: Olivia on the Southern hemisphere and Rafael on the Northern one (i.e. closer to Switzerland!)

Ecuador - Quito Middle of the World

Olivia

Grown up near Zurich as a half-Japanese, half-Swiss, Olivia loves to explore the world! So in 2011, she traveled the globe with her boyfriend. But after any journey, Olivia always loves to come back to Switzerland which is her home and homebase - no matter what.
  • Cedric Favero

    Olivia, how come you missed the largest dairy product factory of Colombia? Just looking at the logo, there is no doubt possible about the origin of its founder. 😉

    Merry Christmas

    Cedric

  • Gintie

    I have an urge to correct you — the country is called Colombia, not Columbia!