There Are Some Crazy-Ass Backpackers Out There.

“Stupid tourists”. Ever wonder why locals everywhere make fun of tourists?  Wonder no more. Continue reading “There Are Some Crazy-Ass Backpackers Out There.”

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Tarzan Leaves The Jungle

This one is overdue. What do a gas stove, a wooden pepper grinder, a temperature nob in a shower, and a surf board have in common? Continue reading “Tarzan Leaves The Jungle”

Cuenca, Ecuador

I began my Ecuador explorations in the lovely city, Cuenca.  Cuenca has dozens of museums for art and history.  You can visit factories of the famed “Panama Hat” to learn how they are made (Yes, the Panama hat actually comes from Ecuador…).  You can walk the streets or follow the river.  There are even Incan ruins in the middle of city. Continue reading “Cuenca, Ecuador”

Ceremonies Of The Amazon

Anyone who visits the jungle in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia has the chance to participate in a native ritual ceremony.  The indigenous Tacana traditionally practice these ceremonies twice a week, on Tuesday’s and Fridays, and additionally for special occasions and events. Many jungle adventure tours will be sure to include the ceremony in your experience even if your tour does not fall on those days.

These ceremonies are about giving back to Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) for the abundance of resources and life she provides.  They are also an opportunity for the native people to ask for her protection from dangers, providence of food, and general well-being. Continue reading “Ceremonies Of The Amazon”

Amazon Junlge – Iquitos, Peru

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”

Paracas – Peru’s “Little Galopagos”

Paracas is located on the shores in the Ica provence south of Lima.  The bay waters are peaceful and the Humbolt Current runs just a little ways offshore all the way up to the Galapagos Islands in Equador.  The current stirs up nutrients attracting wild sea life in great variety.  A short boat trip away, Peru’s famous Ballestas Islands, popularly referred to as “The Little Galapagos”, rest along this current.  The islands are home to sea lions, penguins, pelicans, sharks, dolphins, whales, turtles and a hundred other bird species.  Not to mention, this place is a fisherman’s dream come true. Continue reading “Paracas – Peru’s “Little Galopagos””

How Not To Do Machu Picchu

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”

The Ruins of Cusco & The Sacred Valley – Learn From My Mistakes.

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.”

Cusco, City and Celebration

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”

Arequipa & Colca Canyon, Peru

Arequipa was my “Welcome to Peru” city.  I had heard from repeated backpackers that the city center was really lovely, and that the nearby Colca Canyon was something that shouldn’t be missed on a good tour of Peru.  So of course, I headed straight there. Continue reading “Arequipa & Colca Canyon, Peru”