¡Jungle Crafts!

By now you know that I have spent a good bit of time exploring the Amazon rainforest.  One of many things that fascinates me about Amazon culture is the impressive knowledge of the jungle’s natural resources.

Indigenous communities throughout the Amazon have learned over centuries how to utilize the rainforest for survival.  These cultures rely almost entirely on plants and plant materials for survival.  The plants provide them with food, medicine and materials for shelter and clothing.   Continue reading “¡Jungle Crafts!”

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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””

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

I don’t think I saw 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

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.

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.
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”

Rurre, Bolivia – Return to the Jungle

When I was preparing for my second big South American adventure, many people asked me if I planned to revisit anywhere I had already been.  For the most part, I was only interested in seeing new things.  But there was one place I  absolutely had my heart set on to revisit: Rurrenabaque, Bolivia.  From the moment I left this town last year, I knew I hadn’t had enough.  I needed more of the charming small town, more of the beautiful local people, and more of the Amazon. Continue reading “Rurre, Bolivia – Return to the Jungle”

At the Bolivia/Argentina Border, Again.

La frontera… Otra vez.  So my second “first impression” of Bolivia was equally as strange and frustrating as my first. Continue reading “At the Bolivia/Argentina Border, Again.”

Iruya, Argentina

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Iruya, pronounced to us non-Argentinian’s as “eh-roo-sha”, is incredibly beautiful.  In fact, as you can see from my photos, it is damn near impossible to take a bad picture of this little mountain town. Continue reading “Iruya, Argentina”

San Pedro De Atacama

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San Pedro de Atacama is a very small town in the middle of Chile’s Atacama desert.  The town itself is a quaint, lovable desert town, like many of the small desert towns in this pocket of the world.  But let’s be honest, people do not come to San Pedro for San Pedro.  People come to San Pedro as a launching point to explore the vast and incredible surroundings of the Atacama desert.  This is the driest place on earth.

So what is there to do in the world’s driest desert? So. Freaking. Much. Continue reading “San Pedro De Atacama”