Mocoa is a day-hiker’s dream. This lush landscape is streaming with trails waiting to be explored in the mountainous jungle terrain of Colombia’s Amazon. I’ve given Mocoa a little nickname, “jungle-lite”. I gave it the name because I think this is the perfect place for someone to visit who might be a little nervous about diving deep into the wild, but has the curiosity to sense the jungle. The day hikes around Mocoa are a great way to dip your toes into The Amazon and get a feel for it without going “full on Tarzan”. You will surely see colorful butterflies, interesting plant-life, and stunning waterfalls. But beware, It is highly likely you will leave ready for more jungle. Continue reading “Mocoa, Colombia ~ Jungle-lite”
Many long-term travelers choose to skip the spectacular Islands of Galapagos for one unfortunate reason: the cost. I myself debating saving this destination for “later in life” as it’s own separate trip. Ultimately, I realized I couldn’t spend nearly 2 years exploring the South American continent without visiting the Galapagos. I am very glad I didn’t skip over these Islands on my adventure. And I learned that you don’t have to break the bank in order to visit. Continue reading “10 Ways to Have a Blast in The Galapagos ~ On A Budget”
“Stupid tourists”. Ever wonder why locals everywhere make fun of tourists? Wonder no more. Continue reading “There Are Some Crazy-Ass Backpackers Out There.”
You may know by know that I am quite enamored with the rainforest. Iquitos, Peru is another launching point to the Amazon. The main reason to visit Iquitos is preparation before a jungle excursion and rest afterwards. Iquitos boasts that it is the world’s largest city inaccessible by car. Continue reading “Amazon Junlge – Iquitos, Peru”
Moving right on along in my South American adventure… I stopped at a respite for a couple days of absolute joy in the sandy dunes of Huacachina, Peru. As the blog title suggests, Huacachina is a real-life, actual desert oasis. The small lake surrounded by mountains of sand as far as the eye can see, attracts people looking for a short and fun getaway. Continue reading “A Desert Oasis – Huacachina, Peru”
Two millennia before the Inca would exist to create Machu Picchu in Eastern Peru, the Nazca people ruled the deserts 197 miles (317 km) to the West. The region is scattered with ruins, leaving behind clues to this ancient civilization. Continue reading “Nazca, Peru”
First of all, Machu Picchu is amazing. Even if your tour is as terrible as mine was. No matter how you choose to do Machu Picchu, you should choose to do Machu Picchu.
With that said, I would do it very differently with the hindsight I now have. Continue reading “How Not To Do Machu Picchu”
Meet Miguel. Born and raised in the heart of the Bolivian Amazon, this Native Bolivian Indian knows how to live off the land completely. He puts everyone on survivalist reality TV shows to shame. Although he did not grow up in one of the “uncontacted” communities that have received recent attention in the Amazon jungle, he comes from a primitive tribe in the same region, likely with close genetic relationships. This community lives a natural lifestyle without modern amenities. Continue reading “A Modern Day Tarzan Story”
I don’t think I did this region properly. I don’t often say that. But considering that the Inca Ruins were among the places that I was most excited to explore in South America, I have to be honest and say that if I ever do it a second time in life, I will do it differently. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time and am thrilled that I finally made it here. But those of you planning your Cusco trips, please learn from my mistakes! Continue reading “The Ruins of Cusco & The Sacred Valley – Learn From My Mistakes.”
When I first set my sights on South America, Machu Picchu felt like the pinnacle that had to be reached. My initial plan was to start in the South of Patagonia, and finish 4 months later in Cusco, the launching point for visitors from around the globe visiting the wondrous Inca ruins. That is not what happened. After 4 months, I hadn’t even reached Peru. So I returned to South America a second time, this time with 6 months to spare. The second time around, I still had my heart set on visiting Machu Picchu, but I no longer envisioned it as the climax of my journey. After being awestruck by so many unexpected things along my way, Machu Picchu became another exciting stop along a journey that would continue well beyond.
Having spent a full month just in Cusco, 1 blog post doesn’t seem like fair attention to this fascinating place. So I am going to break this up into 3 posts. This post is dedicated to the City of Cusco, as well as the Inti Raymi festival that I was lucky to be able to celebrate there. Continue reading “Cusco, City and Celebration”