Huaraz – A Paradise for Every Hiker’s Heart

As if Salkantay wasn’t enough Lars and I decided to stop at another place, famous for mountaineering. But when you see the pictures, you know why we couldn’t skip that part of Peru.

Huaraz and the Cordillera Blanca were high on our list, so that’s where we went after having a few relaxing days in Ayacucho. Practically ready to hike up the next mountain (not), we arrived in the city of Huaraz in the early evening, having spent the last 20 hours in a bus. Read More »

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Ayacucho and Vilcashuaman

Right after coming back to Cusco from our long hike to Machu Picchu, we made our way to some more rural and less visited areas of Peru. The first stop was Ayacucho. After a complicated night bus ride, we arrived in the city, where only a few decades ago domestic terrorism was part of everyday life. What we immediately realized: we were the only white people there. And that didn’t go unnoticed by the locals. Coming from Cusco where it felt like indigenous people were a rarity, Ayacucho was quite a change. Read More »

Salkantay Trek: Our 5-Day Hike to Machu Picchu

Hello! :-)

In my last post I already touched on the huge topic of Machu Picchu and what options there are to get to the ruins and what to be aware of before taking a plane to Peru. So if you are looking for some useful information you can head there immediately.

We decided to do the Salkantay Trek by ourselves and took the challenge to hike for five days in all kinds of vegetation/altitude and finally end up at the ruins of Machu Picchu.Read More »

5 Ways to Get to Machu Picchu: Useful Information Before Making Your Trip to the Ancient Inca Ruins

Hello there! :-)

I’m back with a little informational post about one of the most famous and most visited sites in South America, if not the most famous – MACHU PICCHU!

I still remember myself sitting in front of the laptop getting ready for Peru, trying to find some insiders or, you know, information so we would be able to make the most out of our stay in South America. It wasn’t that easy – different sites said different things and especially when it came to Machu Picchu things got super complicated as you need a ticket, a train, a guide, bla bla bla. I didn’t really understand what was going on and what to believe.

But now that I’ve been through all this mess myself I hope that I can help out some fellow traveler that is just as overwhelmed with all the information out there as I was just about a year ago. Read More »

Rainbow Mountain – Surreal Landscapes On 5.200 m

Last year I was scrolling through my Instagram when I suddenly stumbled upon a picture that showed a scenery that I couldn’t quite believe existed for real – a mountain range covered with colored stripes that I thought were artificial. My boyfriend and I had just booked our flights to South America and were planning out our itinerary to Peru, so this little information came in quite handy. Of course I am talking about the “Rainbow Mountain” in the Ausangate Valley just around the corner from Cusco which was then on our “South America To-Do”-List ever since.Read More »

Dia del Trabajo, Cusco

CUSCO – On The Trails of The Incas

Cusco – probably the best-known place during our travels thus also the most visited by people from all over the world. If you haven’t heard of Cusco I’ll only say Machu Picchu and it will ring a bell for most of you. Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire about 500 years ago and therefore you can nowadays still find a lot of evidence of their existence around the city. Ruins are spread in all directions making up one tourist attraction after another demonstrating the skills and knowledge the Incas must have had in their best times to construct such buildings and temples. However, the empire wasn’t meant to last for very long. When the Incas expanded up to Quito, the possible new leader of the Incas was born there. This resulted in internal fights between the Incas based around Cusco and the ones around Quito. Weakened by this “civil war” the Incas then weren’t able to defend their land against the Spaniards that arrived in the 16th century. After the Spanish invasion Cusco had a lot of churches to offer, too, which now characterize the center of the city.Read More »

Isla Amantani

Did You Know There Were People Living on Floating Islands? – Island Hopping on Lake Titicaca

What a week! Completely stunned by the beauty of Isla del Sol, we made our way up north back to Peru and the other half of the biggest high altitude lake – Titicaca.

Our base camp was again Puno where we stayed at the hostel Ollanta Inn. The owner is a really kind man that knows a lot about the history of the country and he also gave us some recommendations about what to do with the remainder of our time in Peru.

For Titicaca we definitely wanted to see the populated islands not too far away from the shore. So one brisk morning we joined a tour that took us out to the first stop: The Floating Islands of Uros. Read More »

Long-distance bus disasters

Long-distance buses are essential for traveling South America. They’ll take you anywhere! It will take you a few hours, sometimes more, sometimes less, but you will get there eventually. Since we landed in Lima in the middle of January those buses were the only way we made it from A to B, not always comfortable but reasonably priced and (almost) always there when you need them. When you look at the continent of South America it might seem small because countries are so big and spread out. To take you from Lima to Cusco for example will take you around 22 hours and that being on a good road. So we’ve gotten pretty used to spending good amounts of time on buses and even came to like it. Everything that is under 6 hours actually seems to be a short time of traveling. Darn, that will be a big change coming back to Europe and realizing that everything is so close!Read More »

What is different about South American countries?

Hey guys!

I am back in English. The last two posts were in German and I kind of enjoyed writing in my mother tongue. You can let me know below, what you prefer?! But here we go with what I have to say for today:

You know that feeling when somebody is generalizing places like Europe and you are just thinking to yourself “Well, Europe is much more than just one thing!” But to be honest I often do the same thing with Africa or Asia, but even Eastern Europe. It’s because I haven’t really been to any of these regions, and I think that’s a normal behavior if you are not familiar with the distinct countries. You might have heard some clichés or preconceptions and that’s what you go with. The same applied for me when I was thinking about South America. There are a couple of countries, but they are pretty much the same, right?

Of course traveling here taught me otherwise.Read More »

Culture shock in South America

I always thought culture shock was something absurd. I knew I wouldn’t always agree with everything I encounter in a new and different country and that there will be things to frustrate me. It had never gone that far so I would call it a culture shock but this time it hit me – a little harder. It may be that all the other times before, I haven’t gone out too far of my comfort zone and stayed or moved to places with similar backgrounds, cultures, values and customs. There wasn’t that much of a change from home. Or it can be that I expected a lot of my travels through South America, I hoped them to be perfectly relaxing and easy and to be fun and games, always. Which was not so much the case.Read More »