Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve ~ Visiting the Jungle of Ecuador

So you are in Ecuador and want to see the Amazon?  A number of companies offer immersive jungle excursions in Cuyabeno Reserve, and I recommend the experience.  However, the planning part of this can be a bit confusing.  So this post is about what you can expect from your Cuyabeno jungle adventure and how to plan it out in the least confusing and exhausting way possible! Continue reading “Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve ~ Visiting the Jungle of Ecuador”

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Galapagos Under The Sea

“This little clam here knows how to jam here, under the sea”
– Sebastion in The Little Mermaid

Continue reading “Galapagos Under The Sea”

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””

A Desert Oasis – Huacachina, 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”

Nazca, 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”

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”

Copacabana & Isla Del Sol, Bolivia

This was an incredible way to say goodbye to Bolivia after an incredible 3 months (4 if you count last year).  I love this country beyond words! For my the final leg of my Bolivian journey, I visited Copacabana and Isla Del Sol.   Continue reading “Copacabana & Isla Del Sol, Bolivia”