INSPIRATION & EXPERT ADVICE FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS

INSPIRATION & EXPERT ADVICE FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS

Category Archives: South America

Mirador las Torres- Hiking to the Base of the Towers in Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park, in Chilean Patagonia, is known for its spectacular hiking trails, but the most iconic hike is to Mirador las Torres, a lookout at the base of the park’s three distinctive granite peaks. Known as Torres del Paine, or the “blue towers”, these rocky peaks overlook a dazzling turquoise lake nestled...

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Visiting the Magic Water Circuit in Lima- A Night of Fountains, Colour and Lights

Nearing the end of our 3 week trip to South America we spent some time in Lima, a city that didn’t really impress us apart from one (literal) bright spot- the Magic Water Circuit. With 13 fountains, the Magic Water Circuit in Lima has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the...

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Cusco’s Historic Centre- Exploring the Capital of the Inca Empire

As the first stop on our 3 week trip to South America, Cusco was an introduction to the Inca history and Quechua culture that make Peru such a fascinating destination for travellers. In Cusco we discovered a city quite literally built on Inca foundations. Spanish colonial cathedrals and churches stand over Inca temples, long arcades...

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Ruins Near Cusco- 7 Archaeological Sites Worth Visiting

Cusco is the point of arrival for people wanting to visit Machu Picchu, the most famous Inca ruin in Peru, but there are many fantastic, lesser known ruins near Cusco that are also worth exploring. As one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in South America, and capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is rich...

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Visiting Sacsayhuaman- An Inca Fortress in Cusco, Peru

The uphill walk from central Cusco to Sacsayhuaman was slow going, since our bodies hadn’t adjusted to the high altitude yet, but the excitement of seeing our first Inca ruin kept us motivated to push on. In between frequent breaks and gasps for air, I hoped that the effort would be worthwhile and Sacsayhuaman would...

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Photo of the Week: Sacred Valley, Peru

The Urubamba Valley is not simply an area to travel through en route from Cusco to Machu Picchu, it’s a destination in its own right. Known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, this scenic expanse of land is packed with archaeological sites, small villages, colourful markets and weaving communities. If an adrenaline rush is more your style, you’ll find...

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Getting to Know Sucre- Bolivia’s White City

When I was researching possible destinations to visit in Bolivia, I stumbled across Sucre. Over and over again I read how Sucre was “The Most Beautiful City in Bolivia”. Intrigued, I did a quick image search on Google and was instantly sold on visiting once I saw the photos that showed up. White washed colonial...

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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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Photo of the Week: San Pedro Apostol Church in Andahuaylillas, Peru

On our last day in Cusco we drove part of the Andean Baroque Route, a scenic road in the South Valley known for its four churches of the Andean Baroque artistic movement. We visited only one, San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas, about 40 kms from Cusco. San Pedro Apostol may not look very grand from...

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A Walk in Moon Valley- La Paz, Bolivia

Take a name like Moon Valley, combine it with a penchant for unique landscapes, and you can bet I was intrigued to visit Valle de la Luna in La Paz, Bolivia. In a city surrounded by dramatic terrain, Moon Valley is a showpiece of the region. Tall, tan-coloured pinnacles rise up from the eroded hillside,...

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How to Spend 3 Days in La Paz, Bolivia- Our Itinerary

There was only one place during our 3 week trip to South America that I was nervous about visiting- La Paz, Bolivia. A lot of what I’d heard about the city was not positive. On blogs I read stories about encounters with fake police, and heeded my guidebook’s warnings about taxicab “express kidnappings”. Then toss...

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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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Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile- Photo Series

We found ourselves in Santiago, Chile more out of necessity than any real desire. We were going to Easter Island for a few days and Santiago is one of only two places you can fly there from. Since we were passing through, we decided we should spend at least one day in Santiago exploring the...

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Learning How to Sandboard in Huacachina, Peru

“I’m sandboarding in Peru!” I yell at my GoPro as I proudly surf down the wind-sculpted dunes of Huacachina. This is my first time sandboarding and I’ve got to admit- I’m better than I thought I would be. Maybe it’s because I have a good teacher, Victor “Dito” Chavez, a professional sandboarder and snowboarder who...

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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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What to Expect on Your First Trip to Bolivia- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

Of the three countries we visited during our 3 week trip to South America, I was most nervous about visiting Bolivia. People either seemed to love it or hate it, so we had no idea what to expect on our first trip to Bolivia. We spent 5 days in Bolivia visiting La Paz, Sucre and...

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The Uyuni Salt Flats- Our 1-Day Tour of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

Bolivia was never on our radar as a place to visit until I started seeing photos of the Uyuni Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni). I was drawn to its simplistic beauty- crusty white salt covering miles and miles of land so flat there was no end in sight. Then of course there were those funny,...

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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. So when it came to planning our...

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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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We describe our travel style as "laid back luxe" and enjoy a mix of outdoor adventures and historic sites.

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