Chile: Travel to Patagonia and Easter Island

If you live in the US, Europe or Asia, it's at the opposite end of the southern hemisphere.  Almost to Antarctica.  Patagonia is located at the southern tip of the South American continent.  Populated just enough that someone thought it was good to have infrastructure like plumbing and electricity in the occupied regions, it has plenty of wild.  This…

3 Ways to Get in to Machu Picchu When Entry Tickets are Sold Out

Machu PIcchu has an official daily limit of 2500 people.  This doesn't include 500 permits for the 4-Day Inca Trail and another 250 for the 2-Day Inca Trail hike.  Nevertheless, access to the ruins sold out for most of the month of August 2016.  And it is possible to sell out at other busy times of year.  In case you're curious, the least visited time…

Machu Picchu Airbnb and Vacation Rentals: what you need to know

Vacation rentals are hot and it's quite common for people to browse listings for private homes, apartments and Airbnb properties, as well as hotels, when making pre-travel arrangements anywhere in the world.  Short term rentals may offer privacy, flexibility and value for many kinds of travelers including families, couples and groups of friends.  We've…

The Secret to Hiking the Inca Trail when Permits are Sold Out

Most people are now aware that if you want to hike the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you need to book your hike with a licensed operator at least 6 months before you travel.  And that is still the case. However, like most tour operators, we still get requests for 4-day Inca Trail permits sometimes less than 2 months before travel. For some people, booking…

How to Book Your Trip to Machu Picchu: Last Minute

It can be done.  We do it all the time.  Organizing last minute vacations to Machu Picchu during the busy season is an adrenalin-pumping ride on waves of hotel rejections, limited train schedules and precision coordinating that would make a military General weep with pride.  The first step is to get to Cusco, which takes at least 2 travel days.  Once…

Can you Enter the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Without a Passport?

No matter what language you speak, hopefully you will understand that the answer to that question is.  No. Under no circumstance is anyone ever allowed to enter the Classic Inca Trail Hike without checking in with the original copy of his/her valid passport. If you forget your passport in your luggage in Cusco, which happens more than it should, because…

Trader Joe's Cookies big hit in Peruvian village

Before we departed to Peru for our big overland expedition into Manu Biosphere Reserve, I went to Trader Joe's where I saw my favorite seasonal cookies.  The "astounding" multi-flavor Joe-Joes.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  Cellophane  wrappers stuffed with stacks of over-the-top, fudgy, double everything, minty delicousness.  For a traveler,…

Guide to getting "Liquored Up" in Peru

We're not talking about night after night of binge drinking. Travelers seeking to explore the Andes Mountains through food and culture will appreciate the range of alcoholic beverages available in Peru.  From indigenous Chicha beer to coastal wineries, Peru offers a variety of drinks exclusive to the country. The first libation is Pisco, a brandy made…

Inca Trail's Best Kept Secret: Availability!

There's good news.  And even unprecedented news.  Permits for 2-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu are plentiful and available almost every day in 2016.  But not so good news. The permits for 4-Day Inca Trail hikes have sold out through most of the year, and at this time, are only available for October, November and December.  The reason for the difference…

Machu Picchu and the Zika Virus: what you need to know

For travelers seeking Zika-free destinations, it's important to stay up to date because information and locations keep changing.  Brazil was the first to land in the spotlight for Zika virus cases, but what's happening in other countries in South America? And what is the risk of exposure to Zika for travelers to Machu Picchu? Where Mosquitos Breed Geography…