Archive of ‘South America’ category

Lady at Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi Lodge is magical. Traveling to Ecuador’s cloud forest, I’m amazed at the changes in landscape. From urban chaos in Quito to dry desolation at the equator, the road winds into the mountains and reveals a misty forest full of birds and butterflies.

Hummingbird in Mashpi Reserve in Ecuador

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Lady in Quito

I thought Quito would be an afterthought. Just another Andean capital. Ecuador has long been on my list of countries to travel to, but the Galapagos Islands were the main reason. But now that I have two days in Quito, I’ve started to realize that the city has a lot more to offer than I imagined.

Church of San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador

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Lady in Lima

Not many people like Lima. When I told my friends that I was traveling to Peru, they all advised me to skip the capital. From what they said, Lima sounded like a dangerous place with nothing to do and see. But I’ve heard the same thing about other cities, and I’ve never found it to be true. I had a feeling that Lima would impress me. And it did.

Boats in the harbor in Lima Peru

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Lady in La Paz

The drive from Lake Titicaca to La Paz, Bolivia is one of the most adventurous I’ve ever experienced. Leaving the town of Copacabana, the road winds through thick green hills and along sapphire waters until it reaches a point where there should be a bridge. But there isn’t. There is only a wide stretch of water with no way to get across. So what did I do?

Bus ferries on the river en route from Copacabana to La Paz Bolivia

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Lady on the Island of the Sun

It was cold in Bolivia. As my bus wound its way around Lake Titicaca, rain spat at the windows and wind whipped across the roof. Gone was my sunny day on the floating islands in Peru. I was entering a new country en route to the famous Isla del Sol, and I was beginning to think that that when the Incas named the Island of the Sun they were playing a cruel joke on the world.

Woman on the Isla del Sol on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia

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Lady on the Floating Islands

I wasn’t feeling well when I arrived in Puno. Food poisoning rendered me useless when I got off the plane in Juliaca, which was the nearest airport to the Peruvian city on Lake Titicaca. But I was in Puno for one reason, and not even illness could stop me from seeing what I traveled all the way there to see: the fabled floating islands.

Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca near Puno Peru

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Lady in the Sacred Valley

After two lovely days in Machu Picchu, it was time to head back to Cuzco. But when my train arrived at Ollantaytambo station in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, I still had one thing left to do: meet one of the town’s most important organizations.

Yarn at the Awamaki store in Ollantaytambo Peru

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Lady in Machu Picchu Town

Most visitors to Machu Picchu don’t see much beyond the famous Inca site. But the town itself has some hidden gems, and after an excellent day of exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu, I set out to discover what else the small Peruvian town had to offer.

Chess set with llamas in Machu Picchu Peru

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Lady in Machu Picchu

I know exactly how long I’ve wanted to travel to Machu Picchu. One of my childhood Spanish teachers was from Peru, and in addition to teaching us his country’s language, he awed us with stories about its culture. When I was in 6th grade, he showed us a video about the Inca Empire that inspired me to travel to the famous ruins in Peru someday. That day came on Saturday.

Machu Picchu in Peru

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Lady in the Land of the Incas

Cuzco isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Most people that travel in Peru use the city as a quick stopover point on their way to Machu Picchu. Admittedly, I may have been one of those people. But when I arrived in the former capital of the Inca empire, I discovered that there is much more to Cuzco than I ever imagined.

Women selling handicrafts in Cuzco Peru

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Lady in the Peruvian Amazon

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the jungle lately. Last month I traveled to Brunei, where I explored the rainforests of Borneo. This month it’s South America, where I just started a trip to Peru with a visit to Puerto Maldonado in the famous Amazon region.

Canoes in the Amazon in Peru

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