peru

sea lions swimming ballestas island

Are Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands Worth It?

We almost didn’t visit Paracas Peru.  I was dying to see the Humboldt penguins that live just off the coast in the Ballestas Islands, but it seemed like such a long way to go for some cute, waddly birds.  It wasn’t until I realized there was more to do — far beyond the namesake Paracas …

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how to acclimate to the sacred valley with coca tea

I Acclimated to the Sacred Valley the Wrong Way (But You Don’t Have To)

I acclimated to the Sacred Valley the wrong way. Admitting this kills me because I know I’m prone to altitude sickness and I knew in advance that Cusco altitude is 11,152 feet (3,399 meters).  I took a lot of precautions to lessen the impact.  But even though I did a lot of things right, I …

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ollantaytambo sacred valley scenery (things to do instead of hiking the inca trail)

Photo Essay: What I Did Instead of Hiking the Inca Trail

I’ve never had any ambition to hike the Inca Trail.  There’s little solitude throughout the journey and too much downtime at camp each night, so even though I like hiking and camping, it didn’t make sense to add the iconic trek to my itinerary.  No doubt it’s beautiful, but isn’t all of the Sacred Valley? …

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