Category Archives: Archaeological Sites

The Pisac Ruins- Gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

As we wandered through the colourful markets of Pisac, all I could think about was visiting the Pisac ruins. “No more shopping,” I urged Mike, “let’s get to the ruins!” I was eager to see this spectacular site, known for its steep hillside of agricultural terraces. The Pisac ruins were the only archaeological site in […]

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Tiwanaku, Bolivia- Visiting the Ruins of an Andean Civilization

One of the joys of travelling is learning about different cultures, especially ancient ones that no longer exist. I knew nothing of Tiwanaku culture, or the city that was the centre of their empire, until I visited the Tiwanaku archaeological site on a day trip from La Paz, Bolivia. Exploring the ruins with our guide, […]

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Flying Over the Nazca Lines- Peru’s Mysterious Geoglyphs

“Coming up on the right, whale,” one of the pilots announces over the speaker as we approach the first geoglyph on our Nazca Lines flight. Palms sweating with excitement, I stare intently out the window, camera in hand and ready to shoot as soon as I spot the whale. The pilot banks the plane, angling […]

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Hiking the Inca Trail- What to Expect on the 4 Day Trek to Machu Picchu

Of all the things we did and places we saw during our 3 weeks in South America, hiking the Inca Trail in Peru is our favourite memory. It even climbed the ranks as one of our all-time cherished travel experiences. And to think, I was a little hesitant to do it. I’d heard so much […]

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Visiting Machu Picchu- Peru’s Hilltop Inca Citadel

Machu Picchu- just hearing the name conjures up classic images of this hilltop Inca city, high in a tropical forest of the Peruvian Andes. These ruins, once concealed by the jungle, have gone on to become an icon of the Inca civilization and Peru’s most visited tourist attraction. About Machu Picchu- History and Discovery Machu […]

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Orongo- Ceremonial Village of the Birdman Cult

Set between the sprawling crater of Rano Kau and the plunging cliffs of Easter Island’s southwest coast, is the small ceremonial village of Orongo. Orongo is a much different site than any other place on Easter Island. There are no famous moai statues and no huge ceremonial platforms. It’s the only place on the island […]

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Rano Raraku- Carving Site of Easter Island’s Moai

Scattered across the slope of a volcano are hundreds of stone heads, their serious facial expressions gazing out over Easter Island’s barren landscape. These are moai- idolized by the original Rapa Nui culture and obsessively built here at Rano Raraku, one of Easter Island’s most fascinating sites. About Rano Raraku Rano Raraku is the quarry […]

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4 Days in Easter Island- A Self-Guided Tour of Rapa Nui

“We’re most looking forward to spending 4 days in Easter Island,” I’d say when friends asked about our upcoming trip to South America. “What’s Easter Island?” some would ask, a quizzical look on their face. “You know, the place with all the stone heads,” I replied, trying to hide my shock that they didn’t know […]

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Photo of the Week: The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Greece

This week I’m featuring a photo taken at Mycenae during my 2007 trip to Greece. The aptly named Lion Gate is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae, an archaeological site in the north-eastern Peloponnese area of Greece. Mycenae was a major centre of Greek civilization and powerful kingdom way back in the second […]

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Photo of the Week: Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius

The origins of Pompeii may be unfamiliar to most, but the city’s catastrophic demise is a story known around the world. Pompeii was founded by the Campanian Oscans in the sixth or seventh century BC. The city was built on prehistoric lava from the precariously close Mount Vesuvius. In 80 BC, Pompeii was captured by […]

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Photo of the Week: Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

In the centre of Athens, just southeast of the Acropolis, stands the ruined Temple of Olympian Zeus. In 1515 BC, Athenian tyrant Peisistratos laid the foundation for what he envisioned being the greatest temple in the world. Unfortunately, construction was abandoned five years later when Peisistratos’ son, Hippias, was overthrown in 510 BC. Over the years, […]

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Photo of the Week: Theatre at Epidaurus, Greece

Epidaurus was once celebrated as a place of miraculous healing but these days, visitors don’t come seeking a cure for what ails them, they flock to see the remarkable 3rd-century theatre. It’s hard not to let your mouth fall open when the theatre at Epidaurus first comes into view. I remember being shocked at how […]

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Palatine Hill- The Mythical Founding Place of Rome

One of my favourite days in Rome was the day I visited Palatine Hill. As I walked around this beautiful hill, past gardens and remnants of opulent palaces, I imagined how luxurious it must have been when it was ancient Rome’s most exclusive neighbourhood. As Rome’s most central hill, the Palatine sits between Circo Massimo […]

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Ancient Delphi- The Navel of the World

Nestled between the rugged peak of Mount Parnassus and a spectacular valley of cypress and olive trees, is Delphi- regarded by ancient Greeks as the most sacred site in the world. Delphi is said to have been founded by Zeus, who determined it to be the centre of the world. Mythology holds that Zeus released […]

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Photo of the Week: Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved Doric temple in Greece. It was built on the western edge of the Ancient Agora in honour of God of the Forge, Hephaestus. The temple has 34 columns, a frieze depicting nine of the Twelve Labours of Heracles and was once surrounded by foundries and metalwork shops. […]

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Photo of the Week: The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon was first built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa (whose father-in-law was Augustus). The temple was rebuilt around AD 120 by Emperor Hadrian but Agrippa’s name was left inscribed over the entrance. The Pantheon is famous for it’s extraordinary dome, the largest masonry vault ever built. It’s considered the most important achievement of […]

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The Acropolis- Athens’ High City

From almost any point within Athens, you can see the Acropolis standing high above the city, a monumental beauty built in homage to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. When I arrived to Athens, I could not wait to see the Acropolis. Walking towards it and getting my first glimpse was exhilarating. I knew the Acropolis […]

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