Archive for the Category ◊ Must-see Travel Destinations ◊

Views 20 Dic Top 10 what to do for Christmas in Cusco!
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If you are lucky enough to be in Cusco throughout the festive season, you will have a chance to experience a Christmas very different than you are probably used to. Cusco will become the vibrant center point of celebration for Andean communities and tourist alike.

Soak up the spirit of Christmas in Cusco by following these suggestions and you are bound to have a very rewarding and magical Christmas time:

  1. Share chocolate and smiles.
  2. Every year, our partner AMAUTA Spanish School in Cusco organizes a chocolatada on the 22nd of December, to give something back to the less privileged. Join us while visiting an Andean community in the Sacred Valley and give these children a reason to smile by giving out hot chocolate, snacks, toys and clothes.

  3. Buy a saint or Emanualito.
  4. On 24th December craftsmen from all over the country will flock to the Plaza to transform it into the most charming and diverse Christmas markets of Peru: Santurantikuy .
    Purchase some last minute gifts, such as Emanualito a baby Jesus doll, and stroll along the hundreds of colorful stalls with a steaming hot punch.

    catedral

  5. Attend the Mass of the Roosters.
  6. On the evening of the 24th December the Cusco cathedral of Santo Domingo will open its massive doors for a stunning Christmas mass. The Misa de Gallo will finish around 11:30pm to get you home for midnight presents, as is the Peruvian tradition. It may be in an unfamiliar language, but it is the spiritual chance of a lifetime.

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Views 23 Nov Tour Argentina on the Train to the Clouds!
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In the remote northwest of the Republic of Argentina in the province of Salta, travelers will have the opportunity of experiencing one of the highest and most fascinating railway services in the world, one where you get to literally ride the clouds reaching altitudes of over 4200 m. (13,846 feet) during its 217 km. (135 miles) itinerary.

The ‘train to the clouds’ departs from the city of Salta, and as it picks its way through the vast Andes Mountain range at a ‘staggering’ speed of 35 km/h, the scenery will transform by the minute passing striking rock formations and mountainsides clad with enormous mineral deposits. While the snow-capped mountaintops will grow before your eyes, slowly but with a breathtaking magnificence, you will lose the sense of location and enter a domain where solitude embraces the entire horizon.

Tour Argentina on the Train to the Clouds!

The extraordinary journey lasts approximately 16 hours and passes through 21 tunnels and over 29 bridges and 13 viaducts. These colossal works of art demonstrate the amazing potentials of engineering, with various ingenious systems where the railway overpasses itself through spiral loops and zigzags to allow the train to make up for the terrain’s unevenness, while you unconsciously are pressing your nose against the window gazing at overwhelmingly beautiful panoramas.

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Views 22 Oct Top 10 not to miss travel destinations in Ecuador
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Numerous active volcano trips, eye-catching indigenous markets, dreamy colonial towns and gorgeous tropical beaches make this small Andean country a very special and exciting travel destination in South America.

There is so incredibly much to see. So to make your holiday planning a little less complicated, have a look at this shortlist of the most important highlights both on the southern and northern hemisphere:

  1. Quito
    Crown of the Andes
    The capital of Ecuador owes its nickname to its exceptional natural setting overshadowed by the magnificent volcano Pichincha and its rich colonial heritage. A very important city back in the days of the Incas and Spanish colonizers, Quito is now a World Heritage Site and major tourism hub of Ecuador. What makes it so special are the many urban highlights such as climbing the steep tower stairs of the Basílica Del Voto Nacional offering amazing views and the notorious nightlife scene.

  2. Otavalo
    The Colorful North
    In the shadow of even more volcanos is the world famous market of Otavalo. Indigenous villagers from the wide vicinity come here to trade finely woven textiles, food and animals in a flamboyant showdown. Not far from here you can stand with one leg on the southern and the other leg on the northern hemisphere of the earth at the equator memorial line.


  3. Top 10 not to miss travel destinations in Ecuador
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Views 05 Sep Get off the beaten track with these Cusco excursions!
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We all know that Cusco is famous for its Inca and colonial history as well as being the departure point for Machu Picchu excursions. Once you have seen these architectural wonders and want to hang around a little longer then we really suggest exploring some of the less visited regions around Cusco.

Here we provide you with 3 suggestions that are a guaranteed lust for the traveling soul and will get you right off the beaten tourism path:

Valle Del Sur
The first route is located in the South Valley of Cusco. This region is mostly known for the Inca settlement of Tipon, however a little further up the road you can find the archeological remains of a much older culture: the Wari. At about 30 km’s from Cusco, they build the Pikillaqta site, which in its aftermath consisted of more than 700 structures. Belonging to the archaeological park is the Huacarpay wetland which offers splendid views and an aura of tranquility (if you don’t mind the enormous variety of wildlife going about their business). It is possible to visit all these locations in a half a day, stopping by the lustrous ‘Sistine Chapel of America’ in the town of Andahuaylillas. However, we suggest continuing your day-out to the humble town of Lucre, a couple of minutes away from Huacarpay. Here you will be pleasantly surprised with an exquisite lunch prepared with duck and a fantastic pastry shop. The locale easily recognized by the hundreds of cow ornaments serves a delicious sauco cheesecake and lucuma pie.

Get off the beaten track with these Cusco excursions!
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Views 20 Ago Colca Canyon: an unforgettable excursion!
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One of Peru’s most visited natural attractions is located 160 kilometers northwest of Arequipa. The Colca Canyon is the world’s deepest canyon, remarkably, over twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States!

The Colca River runs through the length of the Canyon, starting high up in the Andean mountain range, continuing along the rolling plains and eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps the most common reason for visitors to venture out to this unique natural habitat is to catch a glimpse of the endangered Andean Condor. These magnificent animals can be viewed best from the Cruz Del Condor lookout point; the birds are the largest in the world boasting an incredible wingspan of up to 3.2 meters, the length of an average sedan car!

Colca Canyon: an unforgettable excursion!

All Colca Canyon excursions depart from the beautiful white city of Peru, named Arequipa. At the dawn of day groups of eager visitors board a bus and drive for about 6 hours, stopping along the way for lunch and plenty of photo opportunities of pre-Inca terracing and some really impressive gorges. There are a number of choices to spend the afternoon, such as a moderate hike to a splendid viewpoint above the Canyon, a relaxing soak in the La Calera hot springs or enjoy an Arequipeña cerveza and dinner in the picturesque town of Chivay where friendly locals still live in their traditional dress.

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Views 16 Jul Welcome to La Paz: big city flair and exciting excursions!
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This fascinating metropolis with well over 2 million inhabitants (paceños) is located high up in the Bolivian mountains, with thin air and strong winds. At 4000 meter altitude it is the highest capital city in the world, well de-facto, because the legal capital is Sucre with only 200,000 inhabitants.

La Paz is truly the cultural and political epicenter of Bolivia and one of the oldest cities on the continent. The government resides here, as well as the biggest universities, and it breathes an air of excitement coming from the dynamic blend between tradition and everything modern. As far as entertainment you can find upscale nightclubs for all night fiestas next to folkloric bars called Peñas.

Plaza San Francisco is the meeting point for tourists in town. Around the massive church you can find a throng of hostels, museums and convenience stores but also traditional street markets, where you can witness indigenous shamans at work and pick up on some of the most colorful handicrafts in South America.

Welcome to La Paz: big city flair and exciting excursions!

Besides enjoying all this urban hustle and bustle, you should not miss out on some of these day excursions while you are in town:

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Views 25 Jun Excursions in Mendoza
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Mendoza is worldwide famous for two things: its fine wine and great outdoor sports due to its location on the shoulders of the Andes mountain range. A gorgeous city with its three-lined city’s boulevards, nice architecture with indigenous and colonial influences and not forgetting the many restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs make this an extremely popular travel destination in Argentina to hang out for a while.

Enough temptation to convince us to pay Mendoza a visit, in spite its 14 hours by bus from Buenos Aires. I know it sounds terribly long, but since we arranged for a ‘cama suite’, a luxurious chair/bed with its own TV screen, it was very comfortable and we even got champagne and really good wine!
There are many places to stay the night and we picked a beautiful Bed & Breakfast with its own vineyard and swimming pool. We were really lucky to be there at the right time just when the harvesting season commenced!

Excursions in Mendoza

There are many world-renowned bodegas close to Mendoza which are well worth visiting, even if you’re not a wine lover. Organized trips are available but if you have the energy and want to be a little more adventurous its worth hiring a bicycle and choose your own route. 

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Views 18 Jun Get off the beaten track: Huaraz and the Santa Cruz trek!

Huaraz is not too far from Huanchacho, a popular beach destination in Peru, but instead of the waves there are glaciated peaks in every direction demanding your attention.

This still rather anonymous trekking mecca offers something for adventure seekers of all skill and fitness levels. There is an assortment of easy hikes of a day or two, multi-week mountaineering expeditions requiring technical mountain training, sport climbing, mountain biking routes, or for the most adventurous of mountaineers, glacier ice climbing.

Get off the beaten track: Huaraz and the Santa Cruz trek!

The most popular trekking route is the Santa Cruz, with its starting point at the Alpamayo at 5947m. It takes a 4.5 hours bus ride from Huaraz to get there.  

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Views 17 Ene What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways?

In Quechua, the local language of the Andean people, this name means Young Peak. The peak of Huayna Picchu, or Wayna Picchu, rises approximately 360 meters higher than that of Machu Picchu (Cusco, Peru), known as the lost city of the Incas, and takes approximately an hour to climb.

During the time of the Incas, there was a trail leading to the peak where there were temples and terraces. This is where the high priest and the virgins lived. This high priest would climb down Huayna Picchu every morning before sunrise in order to reach Machu Picchu in time to welcome the new day.

What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways?

You can really feel the magic of the ancient Inca civilization that fills this space when you finally reach the top of Huayna Picchu and gaze down over the Machu Picchu ruins.

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Views 26 Dic Tigre: A Relaxing Day or Weekend Trip from Buenos Aires, Argentina

The majestic town of Tigre is located on the Parana Delta only 28km north of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina and it is easily accessible by both train and bus. This scenic town, which was founded in 1820, actually sits on an island! The name Tigre is a result of the jaguars, which were hunted in this same area in the very beginning of the town’s history.

The town was founded and settled by European farmers and quickly became a lively port town, specializing in the transportation of fruit and wood up and down the Parana River.

Tigre: A Relaxing Day or Weekend Trip from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Nowadays, Tigre is known for being a naturally beautiful resort town, which has a lot to offer tourists who are interested in sightseeing and shopping! Tourists can choose to tour the rivers and streams of the Parana Delta by motorboat or commuter launch.

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