Sanford, in an exclusive interview with The State Media Company, said he decided at the last minute to go to the South American country to recharge after a difficult legislative session in which he battled with lawmakers over how to spend federal stimulus money.
Sanford said he had considered hiking on the Appalachian Trail, an activity he said he has enjoyed since he was a high school student.
"But I said 'no' I wanted to do something exotic," Sanford said "... It's a great city."
Sanford said he was alone on the trip. He declined to give any additional details about what he did other than to say he drove along the coastline.
As for that story about the Appalachian:
When asked why his staff said he was on the Appalachian Trail, Sanford replied, "I don't know."
Sanford later said "in fairness to his staff," he had told them he might go hiking on the Appalachian Trial.
The paper reports that after the brief conversation, the guv was "escorted away by an aide."