South America

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3Cartagena_iglesia de san pedro

Tour Cartagena: My Favorite Latin American City

Cartagena is irresistible, beckoning travelers with its diversity of sights from 16th century stone walls, forts, plazas, palm-lined Caribbean beaches, to the chic, frenetic urban city –enticing unsuspecting visitors with its Bohemian vibe.  It’s so beautiful, you’ll want to tour Cartagena the first chance you get! I wished I could have stayed longer to explore […]

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argentina landmarks

Argentina Landmarks: Where to Go in Argentina

There are very few countries like Argentina. It has everything from mountains and glaciers, to jungles and desserts,  a world-class capital, and some unique Argentina landmarks. But unlike many places in South America, European influence is very strong in this Latin country, which makes for a unique and memorable experience. Perhaps the most ideal aspect […]

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Pisac Peru

Peru Ruins: 6 Inca Sites That Aren’t Machu Picchu

I’ve been obsessed with the Incas and Peru ruins since my early 20’s. Maybe it’s because the Inca civilization is so enigmatic.  Or perhaps admiration at having created such an impressive culture without written language, monetary system, iron, or slaves. I’d pour over photos of Machu Picchu in glossy magazines, imagining myself standing on that […]

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Best Hikes for Baby Boomers Peru Sacred Valley

Inca Trail Hike and Other Journeys in Peru’s Sacred Valley

“Way up there?” I asked Silver Ballón, our guide, who was pointing up to the 13,000 ft. summit. “Don’t worry. You don’t have to go all the way up. There are amazing views all along the way.” he replied. I immediately thought it was a trick.  And it was, but the very best kind. Few […]

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Exploring Chinchero Peru in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Chinchero Peru was the first Inca site on our schedule in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  Eager to get to my “real” bucket list destination, Machu Picchu, I wasn’t expecting much at the Moray archaeological site. After driving 19 miles from Cusco with AdventureSmith Explorations, I got out of our transport van and strolled […]

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Delfin Amazon cruise

Delfin Amazon Cruises: Adventures on the Amazon River

I stepped back into the dark brown muck and leaned on the tree behind me to get a better photo of the anaconda slithering in my direction. I was motionless for a mere two seconds when Ericson Pinedo, our local naturalist, jerked me back by my arm and quickly snatched the hat from my head. […]

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Lima Peru

Paragliding Lima: How to Survive a Crash Landing

How hard could it be?  I’d already tried tandem skydiving and hang gliding.  I had my first inkling of trouble when paragliding Lima came as we leaped off the Miraflores cliff in Lima, Peru.  But instead of taking flight, we started to descend.  This was the first of several white-knuckle episodes in the Miraflores sky. […]

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Four Reasons Why Pisac Peru is Underrated

About a one hour drive from Cusco, Pisac is the city used as the starting point to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.  The better-known Inca ruins at Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo are spectacular, for sure.  But Pisac itself is one of the most colorful and diverse cities in Peru.  And with far fewer tourists. […]

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Lima Attractions I Wish Everyone Knew About

Many people fly into Lima solely as a stop-over for getting to more sought-after destinations in Peru, like Machu Picchu or the Amazon.  But with a history predating Colonial occupation, Lima itself is worthy of spending an extra day or two.  Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Lima is the third-largest city in the Americas and the […]

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Amazing Things to Do in Ollantaytambo

Dating back to the 15th century, Ollantaytambo was established as the royal estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti and is one of the best-preserved Inca sites and example of Inca urban planning. History The Inca emperor Pachacuti conquered and ruled this part of the Sacred Valley, including Ollantaytambo.  He built a fortress, agricultural terraces, an irrigation […]

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