South America

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Pisac Peru

Beyond Machu Picchu: 6 Overlooked Inca Sites

I’ve been obsessed with the Incas 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 precipice, gazing down […]

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Best Hikes for Baby Boomers Peru Sacred Valley

Best Hikes for Baby Boomers 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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Chinchero

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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Amazon River cruise

Adventures on the Amazon | Amazon River Cruise

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

How to Survive a Crash Landing Paraglide in Lima, Peru

How hard could it be?  I’d already tried tandem skydiving and hang gliding.  I had my first inkling of trouble when 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. Miraflores is an affluent […]

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Four Reasons Why Pisac Is Peru’s Most Underrated City

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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What I Wish Everyone Knew About Lima, Peru

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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Ollantaytambo

Cheat Sheet to 48 Hours 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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eat guinea pig peru

How to Eat Guinea Pig in Peru

On my recent trip to Peru, I was determined to try cuy (guinea pig), a local delicacy.  But not just anywhere.  I wanted the best, so I went to Pachapapa – considered one of the finest restaurants in Cusco. Location: Pachapapa is in the artsy San Blas neighborhood, directly in front of the San Blas […]

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Machu Picchu Inkaterra

Is Machu Picchu Just for Backpackers? Definitely Not!

The magnificent Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is nestled high in the rugged Andes Mountains.  When people think of traveling there, the famous Inca Trail comes to mind.  The Inca Trail is a multi-day trek through mountain passes at elevations up to 14,500 feet.  Sure, the scenery is beautiful and some operators even provide porters […]

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