How to Get to Machu Picchu for Only $12

If there is anything that Machu Picchu is known for other than the impressive mountain top ruins, it is grossly overpriced monopolized transport.  Taking the easy way to Machu Picchu from Cusco is very expensive, but with a little work, you can make it there for only $12.

Trekking Salkantay to Machu Picchu (Without a Tent or Guide)

We may be a little crazy, but we decided to self trek Salkantay to Machu Picchu without bringing a tent.  No tour, no guide, no reservations.  We trekked for five days and were able to find guest houses and cheap local restaurants along the way, and saved hundreds of dollars in the process.  We’ve done all the work so now all you need to do is ditch the tour and get out there.

Colca Canyon Trekking: Complete How to Without a Guide

Colca Canyon offers multi-day trekking in one of the world’s deepest gorges.  Located in southern Peru, this area offers challenging hikes with many route options.  There is no need to book an expensive tour as this trek can be done cheaply and easily using this detailed planning guide.

5 Ways to Break Up the Trip From Ecuador to Lima

Many South American backpackers endure a painful 30 hour bus ride all the way from Ecuador to Lima to start their trip in Peru.  While it is true that northern Peru does not have the huge tourist draws of the south, there are still good ways to break up this trip.  We explored the northeastern part of the country and found five places to visit on your trip south.

Why Laguna 69 is the Most Underrated Hike in South America

Before traveling to Peru, the Cordillera Blanca mountain range wasn’t even on our radar.  But after completing the high altitude hike to Laguna 69 and seeing its glacier crowned electric blue waters, we can confirm that this is a hike which rivals even the most sought after routes in Patagonia like Torres del Paine.  Take a look at our photos and see why you need to add this area to your next South American adventure.

One Month Ecuador Itinerary: Hiking and Wildlife on a Budget

Ecuador is one of the most diverse countries on the planet. Incredible Andean mountains, active volcanoes, Amazonian wilderness and rich sea life. Explore the country’s best hiking and wildlife on a budget with this adventurous one month Ecuador itinerary.

A Trekkers Guide to the Quilotoa Loop in Ecuador

The Quilotoa Loop is a multi-day trek through the Ecuadorian Andes, culminating at the incredible crater of Quilotoa Lake.  There is no need to book an expensive tour as this trek can be done cheaply and easily by using this detailed planning guide.

Hiking in Pululahua Crater, Ecuador

The hike down the laughably steep rim turned out to be the easy part.  Sliding down into an ancient volcanic crater should have been the worst, save for the climb back up, but bushwhacking through the cauldron had left us scraped and bruised.  Despite the theme of disappearing trails and thorn bushes, hiking in an orchid forest surrounded by the craggy caldera was an experience exceeding our expectations.

How to Day Hike Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

The ice and volcanic sand pelted our cheeks, creating a stinging reminder that we stood near the top of one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes.  The frozen drizzle, whipping wind and ankle deep gravel made hiking along the 40 degree slope tough to appreciate, despite the sweeping view of the valley and surrounding ridges.  Later, as we stood at the base of the towering cone, soaking up the sun with the clouds finally parted, the majestic glacier and vivid colors made up for the earlier pain.

Isla de la Plata: Poor Man’s Galapagos

Just to our right came another giant splash, this time closer still than the dozens before.  The whales had moved to a mere stones throw from our boat, where they repeatedly erupted from and crashed to the waters surface.  Whether oblivious or uncaring, these three beautiful creatures had been following alongside us, fins and tails raised as they seemingly competed for largest flop and resulting splash.  Giant humpbacks, numbering in the thousands, filled the ocean off the coast of Ecuador as they had every season for recorded history and we were floating in their midst.

Coffee and Hiking in Jardín, The Most Lovable Town in Colombia

You get used to seeing sombrero topped men draped in colorful woolen ponchos on the streets of Jardín.  They are typically relaxing on a corner sipping a locally grown coffee and enjoying a few hours away from the farm.  We spent several days in this mountain village during our month in Colombia, and it was amongst our favorite places to visit in the country.

Buenaventura, Colombia’s Uncharted Food Paradise Is More Than Meets the Eye

Walking into the best food market in Colombia is an experience all on its own.  Tucked deep inside a temporary storage yard, the dozens of garage stall kitchens would be all but invisible if it weren’t for the half dozen ladies waving their menus at each passerby.  Entering the makeshift food court without one of these kitchen owners alongside means an almost guaranteed squabble as to who claims the newest customer.  The small concrete courtyard is filled with plastic tables and surrounded by mini restaurants, each identifiable solely by their stall number.  We had followed a young lady to stall 92, and were now being served a bubbling cauldron brimming with cazuela del marisco.  Resembling a thick seafood étouffée, this dish displays the Afro-Colombian influences which make up the rich culture in this port city.  This was like discovering New Orleans without the spice or the price.

We Give Our Hearts to the Bikers Killed in Kyrgyzstan

Last Sunday, two incredibly inspiring people were killed in Kyrgyzstan as they rode their bikes around the world.  Two people who decided to live their lives to the fullest and experience what most people may never even dream of.  In their own words, “life is short and the world is big and we want to…