In Cusco, Peru on the first Sunday of every month, a corner of the main square Plaza de Armas fills with indigenous crafts vendors from around the surrounding hills. If you get up early enough, you’ll have a chance to not only check out their wares without the crowds, but you’ll also enjoy a bit of conversation with the vendors about where they come from and how they acquired their skills. Continue Reading »
Tag Archive for: Cuzco
Maybe you’ve seen the photos coming out of Peru over the last week or two: raging rivers, washed-out bridges, mud-buckled railroad lines, and tourists being airlifted from under the shadow of Machu Picchu in the town of Aguas Calientes.
We’re here to suggest — despite it all — that you keep Peru on (or consider adding it to) your travel bucket list.
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We began this piece by writing a narrative tracing the hiccups in our Salkantay to Machu Picchu trek, but soon realized that our lessons learned go beyond Peru’s tourist-laden Inca corridor.
So what happened? Our guide got drunk two nights in a row, tried to pinch us for more money with unplanned and overpriced transport, didn’t buy our Machu Picchu tickets in advance, missed our meeting on the day of Machu Picchu by two hours, and mismanaged our return train and bus tickets to Cusco.
Not bad, eh? Continue Reading »
“Oooh, Machu Picchu!” Even my mom caught the hype when I told her we were headed there last week. As excited as she’s been about our travels, I think that was the first “Oooh!” of our trip she ever uttered.
We kept our expectations low, however. Maybe it’s our reflex reaction to the prevailing travel wisdom: “Machu Picchu is the granddaddy of South American sights.”
But add to Machu Picchu a hike to the foot of a hulking 20,575 foot (6,271 meter) glacier, a walk through Andean valleys, and a skim of the Peruvian jungle. Throw in a diverse and upbeat group of travel companions to share the slog across switchbacks and up giant staircases, and the march to Machu Picchu becomes an event, a series of accomplishments and a trip well worth taking.
That was our Salkantay Trek. Continue Reading »