Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Book the extended Salkantay Lodge Trek on REI

Many tourist brochures would have you believe that trekking options in the Cuzco region begin and end with the famous (perhaps overly famous) Inca Trail. Nothing could be further from the truth. Four-month waiting lists and packed campgrounds have left more spontaneous visitors to the Cuzco region searching for trekking alternatives which they can easily combine with a visit to Machu Picchu.

The rising star among these alternatives is the beautiful Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, a unique option which takes trekkers on a world-class journey across the high-altitude Salkantay Pass and descends into the cloud forests surrounding Machu Picchu. Along the way, trekkers experience an extraordinary range of Andean mountain environments as well as remote Incan trade trails and rare views of the western side of Machu Picchu from the Llactapata Continue…

Cuzco’s Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel restaurant

We love daring adventures: tracking wildlife in the jungle, clinging to sheer rock walls, crossing 17,000 ft passes in the shadow of crumbling glaciers. You wouldn’t think that a boutique hotel could rise to our standards of “epic” experiences. But then again, you’ve probably never seen Cuzco’s Fallen Angel.

Bold, ostentatious, humorous, psychedelic, flamboyant and fun, you might expect Fallen Angel in Berlin, Paris or Tokyo. But it comes as a TOTAL shock in the 16th century colonial courtyard of a Cuzco casa. The moment you step into the restaurant-bar-hotel, you realize you have entered a parallel universe of art and ideas, a cultural statement meant to challenge assumptions about Cusqueña and Peruvian culture: this country is about Continue…

Cuzco and the Sacred Valley

Grandmother and granddaughter at Tambomachay

Many tourists whoosh through Cuzco and the Sacred Valley on whirlwind tours which leave their heads spinning. While some might be content to shoot through as they tick off items on their bucket list, Peru’s most famous city and its surrounding valleys offer up a virtual smorgasbord of activities for those with longer attention spans.

During our nearly two months in the area, we’ve had some time to get acquainted with not-so-little Qosq’o (Quechua name). What we’ve discovered is one of South America’s most unique and appealing towns in one of the continent’s most unique and appealing regions. No wonder UNESCO declared Cuzco a World Heritage Site. Here’s just a tiny sample of what you can do in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. Continue…

Cirque du Soleil Corteo in Lima

Cirque du Soleil Corteo

OK, don’t get confused… this isn’t a continuation of our via ferrata in the Sacred Valley or another Amazon adventure sport. This time, Thomas and I are just kicking back in our VIP seats and watching Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo in Lima, a touring production presented in their cutting-edge traveling tent.

Corteo presents the Cirque’s unique blend of acrobatics, music, and variété through the death visions of a clown. Angels hover midair as a ballet tightrope artist dances en point onto the rope. Scantily clad ladies Continue…