Follow a typical day in Cusco, Peru through the lens of my camera.
Now that I am back in NYC after my amazing 2 month journey through Peru, I have had more time to reflect on just how incredible this trip was. Sometimes it takes going back to your old routine to appreciate that special moment in time.
I will still be sharing stories, photos and videos from my journey, but for now, I would like to leave you with a glimpse of some of my favorite moments from Peru.
These are 2 variations of the traditional reed boats on the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Each boat is made entirely of dried reeds and filled with empty water bottles, and is steered with paddles and a Eucalyptus pole. Floating down the lake on one of these handmade boats is a surreal experience.
There are some places in the world that will always hold a special place in my heart. Florence taught me how to sit for hours in cafes and developed my love for pasta at all hours of the day (or night!) Bangkok took away my fear of foreign cultures and food, and Huacachina gave me a totally new perspective on my place in the world.
Located high among the rising sand dunes, Huacachina, Peru houses a giant oasis at its center; life bubbling forth amongst the miles of nothingness. Just a 15 minute mototaxi ride from Ica, this little resort town is the perfect layover on your journey down south to Cusco. Hostels and streethawkers compete for your business in sand board rentals, dune buggy rides, and neighboring day trips.
Rent a board for the day and spend the sunny hours hiking to the highest dune and racing down, snowboarding style. Enjoy the afternoon from a boat and paddle around the lagoon, or just enjoy the view from the surrounding eateries. An hour before sunset, grab a bottle of Pisco and a trek up as far as your legs will take you. Watching the sun change from red to orange to pink as it dips lower and lower is an incredible sight.
As you toast to good friends and a good life, make sure to take a few moments and get lost in the undulating peaks and neverending sand. Time stands still on these dunes, and it is a rare moment to experience such breathless clarity.
Check out a video of the dunes here!
After a shopping frenzy in the tourist trap that is Cusco, I decided to debut one of my latest Alpaca finds while on a tour of the Sacred Valley. While browsing through the piles of chompas (sweaters) I was unsure at first. I was expecting the itchy quality of wool, and perhaps even a strange animal scent permeating the thread.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! Warm and woolly, my sweater held up marvelously against the finicky Andean weather.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the numerous Inca ruins, and marveling at the glorious pop of color against the bleak landscape.
- Photo of the Day: Traditional Duds on the Floating Islands (anamericangirlintransit.com)
Embarking on a 4 day trek through high altitudes, possible rainstorms, and no electricity for miles is the experience of a lifetime. The Inca Trail is the stuff of legends, with many a traveler completing their journey as a different person than before. With such high stakes, and the huge risk of altitude sickness, medical emergencies, and severe weather, finding the right company and guides to lead you through this journey is paramount.
In 2001, the Inca Trail became heavily regulated, due to the high number of independent travelers passing through each day. The campsites were overrun, the trail became littered with garbage, and the Peruvian government feared the slow demise of their prized jewel, the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Now, travelers are required to book with a tour agency and can only hike the trail with a registered tour group. Each group is led by a trained guide, most of whom are Peruvian locals, and are accompanied by a fleet of porters who transport the tents, food, and other equipment needed for the hike. Continue reading
Three months before the start of my trip to Peru, I decided to sign up to hike the Inca Trail. I’m not sure where this idea came from exactly, except the thought that I would be going to Peru, and that is just what you do.
To say that I am not an athletic person would be a huge understatement. I have tried joining gyms, and just could not motivate myself to actually go. In the summers I play tennis, but that doesn’t extend past New York’s all too short summer. I’ve tried yoga, pilates, cardio barre, you name it.
I simply do not like to excercise.
So when I signed up for the Inca Trail, I’m not really sure what I was thinking. Continue reading
After our tumultuous bus ride into Cusco, I was looking forward to four long days of resting, eating delicious Peruvian food, and mostly just adjusting to the altitude. After a luxuriously long shower (finally, hot water!) we settled in for the night.
We woke up fifteen hours later, blinking through our sleep induced haze.
The next four days passed by in a blur of sleeping, eating, and resting. Although the altitude never made me as sick as it had on that fateful bus ride, I felt incapacitated on a daily basis. Just climbing the stairs was an effort, one that I rewarded with a long nap in our hostel’s centrally located hammocks. Instead of feasting on Ceviche and Aji de Gallina, I found myself craving pasta, pizza, and every carbohydrate I could lay my hands on. My body felt like it was working overtime to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Continue reading