ContemporaryNomad.com Blog

Skylodge – The Edgiest Hotel in the World

We’ve been having some pretty incredible experiences here in Peru; it feels like we have been bouncing from one awesome adventure to another. But our most recent outing with Natura Vive is taking those adventures to new heights… literally.

The Skylodge just might be the world’s “edgiest” hotel as you literally sleep hanging off a thousand-foot cliff overlooking Peru’s famous Sacred Valley. It’s seriously cool, but sorry jet-set crowd, there’s no pulling up to this hotel in a taxi. The Skylodge was built by adventurers for adventurers. If you want to sleep suspended on a sheer Andean wall, you have to earn it.

The main way to get there is a two-hour via ferrata which winds its way straight up. For those who are new to the concept, a via ferrata is a » Continue reading this post »

Paracas and the Islas Ballestas

Paracas

If Dali designed a desert it would look a lot like Paracas. The surreal landscape of the Paracas Peninsula and the offshore Islas Ballestas are quite unlike anything we’ve encountered before. Where else do mustard yellow desert sands tumble down sheer cliffs onto rust red beaches. Green waters filled with white foam crash against a rainbow of rocks, the scene comes straight from an artist’s palette.

The fantastical environment is inhabited by a cast of weird and wonderful characters. Humboldt penguins waddle through stone arches past blood-red crabs and blue-footed boobies. Orange starfish and alien urchins cling to the rocks. Inca sterns with handle-bar mustaches and red-legged » Continue reading this post »

The Faces of Ausangate

Roberto, our horseman, shows off one of his many trekking hats

As you can see from the previous post and video, our trek along the Camino del Apu Ausangate was full of natural and cultural highs. For many people, the spectacular landscapes and isolated Andean villages are reason enough to do the trek. But we also wanted to stop and reflect a bit on Andean Lodges’ unique relationship to the communities of Chillca and Osefina as well as how locals benefit from these treks.

The Camino del Apu Ausangate is the brainchild of Roger Valencia, a celebrated Peruvian guide who has accompanied everyone from Bono to the Rockefellers. Roger, who has led treks and mountaineering excursions in the region for years, came up with the idea of » Continue reading this post »

Ausangate Lodge Trek

Our trip to Ausangate started with a picture, a mind-blowing image circulated on Facebook of a surreal rainbow mountain, which I assumed had been photoshopped beyond belief. (Could something really be that beautiful?) When I saw the image, I initially thought it was the Zhangye Danxia mountains in China, but something about the shape of the hill looked slightly different. Dragging the picture into Google image search revealed that I was looking at formations near Ausangate mountain just a few hours from Cuzco, Peru. Yay!

The Ausangate circuit is featured on many lists of the world’s best high-altitude treks. One of the holiest mountains in Incan mythology, Ausangate features windswept valleys, snow-covered peaks, glaciers, panoramic views… everything a serious trekker could want. But much to our surprise, we discovered that that rainbow mountain was not on the well-known camping circuit. Further digging revealed that the Camino del Apu Ausangate, an alternative lodge-based trek run by Andean Lodges, combines the stunning mountain scenery and high-altitude passes of Ausangate with the little known technicolor landscapes around Yauricunca » Continue reading this post »

The Ultimate Amazon Adventure (Part 2)

It’s not often that you can lie in bed and watch wildlife at the same time. Like the other Rainforest Expeditions Lodges, the rooms at the Posada Amazonas are open-walled. As I shift in bed and reposition my pillow to look out into the night jungle, I see the silhouette of a night monkey leaping from one branch to another. So cool. I check my phone to discover it’s 4:30 am, time to get up for breakfast before we head to the canopy tower.

We’re staying in a superior room, which means we have electricity when the generator is running. I fumble for the lights – YES – the generator is on. Even better, a green light on my » Continue reading this post »