Adios Basecamp

Earthen Ovens & Beehives: Why You Should Ditch Your Bucket List

Eiffel Tower.  Check.  Stone Henge.  Check.  Angkor Wat.  Check.  Easter Island. Check.  Bucket lists vary from person to person, but the idea of a bucket list is universal.  Individuals compile a list of their favorite destinations, checking each place off the list when they visit the destination in person.   Not anymore.  The new trend is consumers who seek unique travel experiences over big name…

Continue Reading

Doing one of life's best things: hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Guest post by Sandy Vakos One of my life's best things is the trip I made to Machu Piccu hiking the Inca Trail.  We had porters carrying our stuff:  tents, food, toilet paper, even a little toilet tent.  The Peruvian government requires Inca Trail hikers to use porters.  It provides jobs and keeps the trail clean and controlled.  Our porters blithely slide past us grinning, huge packs on their backs,…

Continue Reading

Please don't write a review of our company on Trip Advisor!

If you don't have an established account on travel forums, including Trip Advisor, Fodor's or Lonely Planet , to name a few, no matter how helpful you are trying to be, it could end up in disaster for the company you're trying to review.  Savvy Trip Advisor travelers are suspicious of first-time reviewers and may reply with comments that are mean and not in the spirit of your intent at all.   Trip…

Continue Reading

Peru: every hike you book supports the best porters ever!

Whether you know it or not, every time you book any hike in Peru, a porter (in some companies, including ours, 2 porters) gets a job.  Porters  come from small, Qechua communities scattered through the Andes mountains near Cusco.  It's the porters who buy the food, carry the loads, set up the camps, prepare the meals, clean up meals and handle all the equipment for all hikes.  And in some cases, donkeys.…

Continue Reading

Best way to explore Cusco: on foot

On the way to Machu Picchu, don't forget to spend at least a couple of days in Cusco.  It's an exotic, high-altitude (11,000 ft / 3430 m) metropolis where venerable Inca civilization collided with "Levi's and cell phones."  You'll see ladies wearing bowler hats with babies swaddled in hand-made textiles on their backs, strolling the streets with llamas as well as fashion-forward hipsters in high heels…

Continue Reading

Why you should travel to Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands on separate trips

Are you considering one big trip to South America?  With stops in Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands?  Before you make your final decision, we offer some alternatives. Travelers planning to visit both Machu Picchu and Galapagos Islands can expect to pay upwards of $5000 USD per person including your international flights.  The international flights can be configured as an "open jaw"  (meaning all…

Continue Reading

What is the Cost of a Machu Picchu Trip?

One of many factors that determine where we travel, is cost.  Including flights, hotels, guided tours, ground transportation and meals., we break down the cost of a trip to Machu Picchu based on minimum of 2 people sharing a hotel who self-book everything.  All values are expressed in US dollars. $1819 USD per person total cost (based on double occupancy) Here's what each person can expect to pay…

Continue Reading

Ecuador birdwatching: Maria the Diva

On their quest to find out more about the birds of Ecuador, the Virginia Beach Friends School 4th & 5th grade girls get up at 4 am to arrive at the La Paz reserve, near Mindo, Ecuador, just to see the famous Andean Cock of the Rock. After glimpsing the colorfully red bird, they continued their march through the jungle where they saw an even more rare bird, the giant antpitta. These birds are rarely…

Continue Reading

Add Colca Canyon to the list of Peruvian destinations

The rich & famous, and not-so-rich, not-famous-at-all, go there. The ancient abandoned city of Machu Picchu attracts many kinds of travelers from around the world. Luxury travelers ride the Perurail 1st class Hiram Bingham train and backpackers hike the Inca Trail. They go by the thousands. Up to 2500 people per day will explore the Machu Picchu ruins. Not as many visitors make it to the other destinations…

Continue Reading

Should Kids Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Parent Checklist

Yes!  Kids should hike the 4-Day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  But like adults, there are some instances where they should not.  We provide a checklist for parents to determine if their child is ready.  Use the list of questions below to help decide if your child should do the 4 Day hike. Does your child participate in regular physical activity?   Does your child like, or seek out his/her own opportunities…

Continue Reading