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South America

Hiking Santa Cruz Without a Guide

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Hiking Santa Cruz Without a Guide

Hiking the Santa Cruz trek in Huaraz, Peru doesn't have to be expensive. You can do it without a guide and have way more fun for less money if you follow our simple steps including a budget, itinerary, and advice.

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48 Hours In Salento, Colombia

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48 Hours In Salento, Colombia

Whether you have two days or two weeks to travel, our Salento city guide covers the must see sites, local food recommendations, where to stay, how much the city will cost, an example itinerary, and how to get around the city - including how to get to and from the bus terminal.

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48 Hours In Valparaíso, Chile

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48 Hours In Valparaíso, Chile

Whether you have two days or two weeks to travel, our Valparaiso city guide covers the must see sites, safety concerns, local food recommendations, where to stay, how much the city will cost, an example itinerary, and how to get around the city - including how to get to and from the bus terminal.

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24 Hours In Huacachina, Peru

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24 Hours In Huacachina, Peru

Whether you have two days or two weeks to travel, our Huacachina city guide covers the must see sites, local food recommendations, where to stay, how much the city will cost, an example itinerary, and how to get around the city - including how to get to and from the bus terminal in Ica.

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Getting To Machu Picchu For $19

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Getting To Machu Picchu For $19

You don't have to fork over hundreds in order to see Peru's exciting historic site of Machu Picchu. Transportation to the lost city takes less than a $20 bill and requires merely a sense of adventure. 

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Practical Ways To Make Money While Traveling

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Practical Ways To Make Money While Traveling

Making money in any regard takes dedication and a good job. But what if you're job is traveling? How can you turn profits while backpacking? We've done it through a number of different aspects from being digital nomads, blogging, bartending, and now teaching in Southeast Asia. 

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An Unexpected Stay in Valparaíso, Chile

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An Unexpected Stay in Valparaíso, Chile

Valparaíso, Chile is an iconic corner in the world of street art. Only two hours journey from Chile's capital city of Santiago this coast line cultural hub is a beacon of the independent and youthful voice that emerged after the two decades of a Pinochet dictatorship.  

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Sunrise Robbery in Mancora Peru

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Sunrise Robbery in Mancora Peru

When busing through Peru, Mancora is your first stop from Ecuador, but the town is struggling with two apparent problems: mass tourism and unresolved crime. Our advice on how to stay safe while traveling through Mancora, Peru.

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Chile

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Chile

In the north of Chile, the Atacama Desert offers one of the best places in the world to stargaze, but if endless sand dunes aren’t your fancy than Santiago’s buzzing markets and lively atmosphere would be a quick change of pace. If you’re looking to delve into the country’s artistic side, then a two hour detour to the protected UNESCO world heritage district in Valparaíso is a good place to lost in the endless blocks of graffiti. Chile may be narrow on a map, but the excitement and adventures within the country are anything but slim. And of course you can venture to the very southern region of the country to explore Patagonia, a cool and dry climate full of icebergs, whales and open landscape featuring some of the most beautiful sights the country has to offer.

Valparaiso

Valparaiso


Why Travel To Chile

The Chilean people are proud of their culture; from their baked shrimp and cheese empanadas to their unique twist on the Spanish language. Their slang makes listening and communicating in Chile an activity of its own, but they love it and they’re not shy in sharing all their quirky adaptations of traditional Spanish. More deeply, Chile is an interesting place to visit because they’re still recovering from the seventeen year Pinochet dictatorship that only ended in 1990. Political conversations and discussions between generations are growing, but much of the country is still divided on pro/con Pinochet. This makes traveling in the country a ripe experience. They wear this political wound on their sleeves. The powerful presence of street art in Chile is a testament to the country’s healing process as the younger generations fully embrace their artistic freedom after two decades of artistic bans. So whether it’s food, art, or history that draws you, Chile has it all.   


The National Flag of Chile

The National Flag of Chile

The Nitty Gritty Facts

Over 18 million people live in Chile, roughly 7 million of them live in Santiago, the capital.

Chile’s national language is Spanish, but is spoken with lots of slang.

The driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert, is in the north.

The largest ever recorded earthquake was in Valdivia, Chile. It was a 9.5 on the Richter Scale lasting 10 minutes, and triggering a devastating tsunami. 

The Republic of Chile is a Democratic Republic after almost two decades of being a military dictatorship. 

World famous Easter Island belongs to Chile.


Our Route

San Pedro De Atacama — Calama — Santiago — Valparaíso

South America is largely an overland commuter continent. There’s no standard recipe or consistency for airline tickets like there is in Europe and Southeast Asia, so the most popular way to travel is by bus.

Bus Companies include:

Cruz Del Sur (Most popular for backpackers)

Frontier Del Norte

Pullman 

Romani

Tur Bus

Airlines for Chile include:

Sky Airline

Latin American Wings

LAN Airlines


The Rugged Budget

Chile uses Chilean Pesos (CLP) as their currency 

Transportation between cities by bus averages at about $17,000 CLP ($26 USD) 

Accommodation in a 8 bed mixed dorm $6,500 CLP ($10 USD)

Private room in a 4 star hotel start at $84,600 CLP ($130/night USD)

Draft beer at a restaurant $3,200 CLP ($5 USD)

Bottled beer at a bottle shop $1,900 CLP ($3 USD)

Street food like empanadas $1,200 CLP ($1.80 USD)

Sit down restaurant $6,500 CLP ($10 USD)

Pack of 20 cigarettes $2,800 CLP ($4.3 USD)


Chile From From The Scratch My Pack Lens

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Santiago

Santiago

Santiago

Santiago

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Santiago

Santiago

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Valparaiso

Valparaiso


Helpful Hints For Traveling In Chile

Plan appropriately for Patagonia. You either pay a hefty chunk to fly to the Patagonia National Park, take a bus, which routes through Argentina, or hitch-hike your way down the coast. Whatever your route, it’s not cheap to travel down to the very south and will take some time to make the entire journey. Be advised that the buses from Santiago travel through Argentina which for some nationalities requires a visa.

We found out the hard way that it’s not permitted to drink alcohol on buses. It is illegal in most places to drink on the streets in Chile.

Talking politics can be a touchy subject. Despite our fascination and desire to ask locals about Pinochet and the dictatorship, it’s a controversial topic that should probably only be prompted if initiated by a local first. 

The best way to buy bus tickets is to actually go to the bus station. You can roughly search around on the internet to find timetables and prices online for buses using sites like Busbud and Recorrido, but because there are so many buses and varying schedules their sites can’t always offer accurate information. 

Hitch-hiking is an appropriate way to travel in Chile. It’s not uncommon that travelers, specifically heading down south to Patagonia from Santiago, will hitch-hike to cut their costs.

Some hostels in Santiago offer dinner with a night’s stay. It’s not the fanciest meal, but it offers a nice break on the budget. 

Chile supports the two prong and three prong power plugs mainly used in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

The voltage used in Chile is 220—240 V so the US, Canada and most South American countries require a voltage converter for charging electronics.


Activities That Won’t Scratch Your Budget

Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago: Free

This museum fully dives into the political rise to power of Pinochet and the persecution of the people during his dictatorship. It’s a powerful exploration that’s historically informative and emotionally explosive. We recommend renting the audio guide for the $5 USD because there’s a lot of extra information that paints a powerful image of the Chilean people. Give yourself 2-3 hours to fully explore everything this museum offers. 

The Cementerio General de Santiago: Free

The cemetery in Santiago stretches 120 soccer fields in length with graves as small as a PO box and as large as a two-story building. The cemetery is divided into sections because it’s so big. They have mausoleums for families, the police force, and even one specifically dedicated to shoe-shiners. You can walk or hire a bike for the day. Bikes were around $15,000 CLP ($23 USD). The easiest way to get to the cemetery is by taking the Red line Metro to the Estación Cementerios for $625 CLP each way ($0.95 USD).

Offbeat Walking Tour, Santiago: Free

Tours 4 Tips starts at the Museo Bellas Artes and departs at 10am everyday. The tour is free, but you tip at the end for the tour guide’s time and awesome knowledge about their city. The offbeat walking tour was awesome as you wander through the Esmeralda neighborhood, visit the Mercado Central and Mercado La Vega, as well as explore the Cementerio General. This tour is fantastic because the Wally guides focus on the locals rather than the big picture spots.

Mercado Central, Santiago: Free  

If you don’t get to take the walking tour, the Mercado Central is a great place to check out. It’s the fish market, so go in with an open mind. It’s a good place to eat local.

Valpo Street Art Tour, Valparaíso: Free

This free walking tour in Valparaíso was one of our favorites. The guides are local, edgy and personable. The idea behind the tour is in exploring the levels of artwork in the city, what’s legal and what’s not, and to give more context to the intensity of graffiti in Valparaíso. Make sure that you tip your tour guide at the end of the tour for their extensive knowledge about graffiti and their time. Buses from Santiago to Valparaíso are only $6,000 CLP with Romani buses ($6 USD) and it takes roughly two hours.

Stargazing, San Pedro de Atacama: Free

You can see the stars quite clearly from any point in San Pedro. Even in the town, which is small and bears very little light pollution, you can see the stars. If you have the patience and fancy not paying money to stargaze then we suggest packing a warm blanket and heading just outside of town to have a look. 

Observatory Stargazing Tour, San Pedro de Atacama: $20,000 CLP ($30 USD)

As it is one of the greatest places on earth to experience the stars, taking an observatory tour is awesome. There are all kinds of tour agencies offering nightly tours in different languages that all center around high-powered telescopes. You’ll get to see the deep craters of the moon, the rings of Saturn, galaxies and traces of a far off black hole.  Tours sell out quickly, especially the tours to the main observatory. Some companies accept email reservations, but we found ourselves just wandering into different offices to book our tour.  


Where Did We Stay (Accommodation We Recommend)

Juriques Hostels, San Pedro de Atacama $12/night for an 8 bed mixed dorm

This hostel isn’t anything flash, but it’s welcoming and the courtyard full of hammocks and harbors a very natural environment to meet travelers and even to see a few stars. It was cozy, the owners were lovely and the beds were comfy. 

Aji Hostel, Santiago $14/night for an 8 bed mixed dorm

We enjoyed the tranquility of Aji hostel, two times. It had a cozy home feel from the quaint den to the grand wooden staircase. We enjoyed that the hostel included dinner with each night booked. It was pretty simple, either pasta or chicken, but free is free. It also brought everybody together every evening and we met some fun people that way. The only downside was no outside common area.

Escarabajo Hostel, Valparaíso $9/night for a 10 bed mixed dorm

The restored Victorian style home is near local shops in a quiet part of town. It’s on top of one of the many hills about a ten minutes walk down into the busy part of town. For us, Escarabajo was arguably the best part about Valparaíso. The staff was welcoming and fun and their creative activities along with evening family meals, were a big part of why we extended everyday— for nine days we kept extending. The Escarabajo courtyard became our home over the course of our stay and we lucked out that for a week the whole hostel extended their stay and we all explored Valparaíso together.  


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Colombia

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Colombia

From the Northern coastal beaches of Palomino to the southern ancient ruins of St. Augustine, Colombia offers an amazingly diverse playground for all types of visitors. The country has lush jungles, mountain treks and crystal beaches. There's the chance to live the big city experience or stroll through cobblestone streets in the smaller towns throughout this large country. The Colombian people are energetic and lively and the music that flows through the country is as uplifting and beautiful as the people. Whether you're up for a coffee tour in Salento, trying grilled ants in Barichara, or strolling back in time in Cartagena - Colombia is at the top of our list.  

Guatape

Guatape


Why Travel To Colombia?

A hundred times over, the people of Colombia make this place a must see. We felt that the locals are willing to embrace tourism with an open mind, accepting backpackers as people rather than just their wallets. Most of the country is relatively fresh of tourism, which offers backpackers a truly off-the-beaten-path experience. We felt safe while traveling and exploring Colombia and we can't argue with the prices for tourists to travel. From the Andes mountains, to the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Pacific ocean to the Caribbean Sea, this country's topography is rich and full of variety. Whether it's the beautiful beaches to the lush jungles, Colombia offers it all.


The National Flag of Colombia

The National Flag of Colombia

The Nitty Gritty About Colombia

48.9 million people live in Colombia, 8.9 of them live in Bogota, the capital.

The National Currency is the Colombian Peso (COP).

The country is the world's third largest exporter of coffee.

The National Language is Spanish.

Colombia is roughly the size of Portugal, Spain and France put together.

Colombia is named after famous explorer, Christopher Columbus.

1/3 of Colombia is covered by the Amazon Rainforest.


Our Route

Cartagena — Santa Marta —Palomino — San Gil — Barichara — Medellin — Guatape — Salento — San Augustin —Ipiales

We travelled through Colombia two times for a total of 10 weeks, traveling by bus, tuk-tuk, taxis, and boat.

Transportation in Colombia is wildly affordable. You'll pay roughly $1USD/1mile on the buses. The comfort on the long-haul buses were quite reasonable and we even received free wi-fi on most of the buses in the northern part of the country. Flying between big cities is affordable using Viva Colombia and Avianca. Also Spirit now flies to Colombia from the states and within Colombia. 


The Rugged Budget

Transportation from A — B is roughly $1USD/1mile

Taxis usually 10,000COP ($3.08USD) for ten minute ride; it's acceptable to negotiate 

280ml beer is roughly 3,000COP ($1.08USD) sometimes less

Accommodation in a mixed 4 bed hostel from $5USD — $18USD/ night; The farther South we traveled the more common it was for hostels to allow/provide tent options for their accommodation. 


Colombia From The Scratch My Pack Lens

Barichara

Barichara

Salento

Salento

Barichara

Barichara

Guadalupe

Guadalupe

Salento

Salento

Palomino

Palomino

San Augustin

San Augustin

Barichara

Barichara

Salento

Salento


Helpful Hints For Traveling Colombia 

There are many places still in Colombia where English isn't spoken so enjoy and invest some time in learning the language. It's fun!

Bogota & Cali, as big cities often can be, is a little unsafe at night, so just be mindful and attentive to your surroundings.

Because much of the coffee made in Colombia is exported, invest in trying coffee from top export regions like Salento.

We encountered some hostels that allowed patrons to pitch tents on the property for just a few dollars which meant access to wifi, showers, and sometimes free breakfast for just a few dollars.

Each region has a different variation of arepas and how they are prepared, try them all.

The voltage used in Colombia is 220—240 V so the US, Canada and most South American countries require a voltage converter for charging electronics. 

The best way to buy bus tickets is to actually go to the bus station. You can roughly search around on the internet to find timetables and prices online for buses using sites like Busbud and Recorrido, but because there are so many buses and varying schedules their sites can’t always offer accurate information. 


Some Fun Stuff To Keep You Busy

El Penol Rock, Guatape: 12,000 COP ($4USD)

740 stair hike up a giant rock. When you reach the top you have waiting for you, 360degree views of the town and lake.

Playa Blanca, Cartagena: 20,000 COP ($7USD)

A beautiful white beach located on an island full of fresh seafood, huge palm trees and crystal clear water. Free to be on the beach, only costs money to get a boat to the island.

Zipline, Guatape: 10,000 COP ($3.50USD)

4 minute Zip-line over the lake and town of Guatape.

Bungee Jumping, San Gil: 70,000 COP ($23USD)

Ready for an adrenaline rush? Jump from either 70m or 35m jump over the Rio Fonce from the top of a crane.

Gondola Ride, Medellin: 3,000 COP ($1USD)

Take the Gondola across the city of Medellin for stunning and humbling views of the city.

Las Lajas Sanctuary, Ipiales: Free

Hike down a small mountain to see this beautiful Gothic style church.

Archaeological Park, San Agustin: 25,000 COP ($8USD)

Visit this unique UNESCO site to explore the ancient ruins and stone carvings from 2000 years ago.

Las Gachas Swimming Holes, Guadalupe: Free (30min hike from town)

Take a beautiful short hike through the countryside and visit this unique swimming hole. It is a small river that has over a dozen, 3 meter deep holes within the river you can jump into.


Where Did We Stay (Accommodation we Recommend)

Cartagena: El Viajero Cartagena Hostel ($15/night)

We recommend this hostel to anyone visiting the ancient city Cartagena located on the Caribbean Sea. The hostel featured comfortable beds, clean rooms complete with air-con, friendly and helpful staff, a moderately priced bar, great atmosphere and superb location.

Santa Marta: Eco Hostal Yuluka ($11/night)

This is a really unique hostel. The entire property which consists of 6 bungalows, a great pool, and a huge kitchen/restaurant were built with only the materials found on the land. The hostal built around the huge rocks and trees that lay on the property to try and sustain an eco-friendly lifestyle. We absolutely adored this place both times we stayed here. The staff were wonderful, the beds were comfortable, the pool was clean and refreshing, the property was beautiful, and the free breakfast was a nice touch.

Palomino: Primaluna Beach Hostel ($16/night)

This was a really cool hostel located right next to the beach. Palomino is a hippy beach town where all the building are built in bungalow style, with grass roofs and wood floors. We enjoyed this hostel, and in fact extended our stay by a couple extra days. The pool was awesome, the staff was very friendly and helpful, the bar was reasonably priced and the location was perfect. 

San Gil: La Pacha Hostel and Camping ($7/night)

We absolutely love this place! Amazing owners, very eco friendly, and a unique stay! Check out our review below called "Glamping Around the World: La Pacha Hostel in San Gil, Colombia" for all the information about this awesome place! Do not miss your chance to stay here. 

Barichara: Tu Casa Barichara (Must Contact for Price)

To this day, this is our favorite place we have ever stayed. We stayed here for a total of 2.5 weeks and absolutely fell in love with the house, the town and the local people. This is a Homestay & Hotel combo more than a hostel. This means you get your own room in the house (complete with a living room, family room, kitchen, bathroom, courtyard and outside jacuzzi) and for a few hours a day the owners, Margarita and Don will come around and offer to take you anywhere you want to go. They want to give people a 'real' experience of the town and what is has to offer. The house is beautiful, the owners are some of our favorite people and the town is a hidden gem!

Medellin: Hostal Lleras Calle 8 Medellin ($8.50/night)

This is a nice hostel in a very nice part of the city. The hostel is located in a clean and safe part of town and is close by to many tourist attractions. The hostel features clean rooms, privacy curtains in the dorm rooms, multiple kitchens, clean bathrooms, and a movie room with air-con. Definitely a nice place to stay when visiting this huge city.

Salento: La Floresta Hostel ($8/night)

As far as we could tell this was a pretty average hostel but our stay was unique and fun. We stayed in a tent that was fully furnished with a mattress, sheets and pillows. Every morning we were offered free coffee while overlooking a nice view of the mountain side where the coffee grows. Nice staff, great location and comfortable hostel.

San Augustin: Hotel Casa De Nelly ($8/night)

As far as we are concerned, this is the only place you should stay when visiting this city. Here you are treated like family because the owner herself is a backpacker. That means she provides backpackers with the needs and wants backpackers have; because she herself is one. The hostel has a very comfortable atmosphere, complete with a nice kitchen, fireplace, wood floors, huge outside patio, garden, clean rooms, soft beds, and great staff. We had family dinner here every night, which is a great way to meet people and share an experience with fellow backpackers while being treated like family.


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Peru

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Peru

Home to one of The World's Great Wonders, Peru is so much more than Machu Picchu. It's jungles of the Amazon Rainforest, glaciers in Huaraz, deserts of Ica, lake Titicaca bordering Bolivia, the beaches of the the Pacific coast and the presence of the native Quechan people. Whether it’s rallying the tastebuds over ceviche, jumping dunes in Huacachina, swimming in the ocean near Mancora, partying all night in Lima or witnessing the buzzing vibe in Cusco, Peru is a must see. 

Huacachina

Huacachina


Why Travel To Peru?

Peru is a unique spot along the backpacker trail—very much on the trail. Because of Machu Picchu, Peru is certainly a well visited country by citizens all over the world, meaning it is well developed and fitted for tourists in the areas of interest to tourists. Places like Cusco have the unique architecture, structure and buzz of a fun city. But much of Peru is underdeveloped and a bit more raw than we expected. For this reason we loved and struggled with it. We loved witnessing Peru outside of its postcard perfect structure. We loved seeing the Quechan people in small towns rather than exploited in big cities. But we also felt the poverty and frustration of the Peruvian people.


The National Flag of Peru

The National Flag of Peru

The Nitty Gritty About Peru

32.2 million people live in Peru 8.47 million of them live in Lima, the capital.

The National currency of Peru is the Peruvian Soles (SOL).

There are 3 official National Languages in Peru: Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara.

Peru has officially been a country since 1821.

Peru grows more than 55 different varieties of corn and over 3,000 different varieties of potatoes.

Guinea Pig is a delicacy in Peru.

Peru is home to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigational lake in the world.

 


Our Route

Mancora — Huaraz — Cusco — Aguas Calientes —Huacachina — Paracas — Arequipa 

8 weeks traveling by planes, buses, vans, taxis and walking over mountains

Transportation is marginally public. Long-haul routes between the north and the south of Peru are affordable and common. The buses are quite comfortable. We took Oltursa as much as possible as they offered comfortable seats, entertainment, and meals all for a very affordable price. 

South America is largely an overland commuter continent. There’s no standard recipe or consistency for airline tickets like there is in Europe and Southeast Asia, so the most popular way to travel is by bus.

Bus Companies include:

Cruz Del Sur (Most popular for backpackers)

Airlines for Peru include:

Latin American Wings

LAN Airlines


The Rugged Budget

Transportation from A — B is roughly $2.10USD/1mile

Taxis usually picks up at 3.5PEN ($1.07) and is then calculated as roughly $2/mile 

500ml beer is roughly 5PEN ($1.52USD)

Accommodation in a mixed 8 bed hostel from $8USD — $22USD/ night


Peru From The Scratch My Pack Lens

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Paracas

Paracas

Cusco

Cusco

Punta Union Summit, Huaraz

Punta Union Summit, Huaraz

Arequipa

Arequipa

Arequipa

Arequipa

Arequipa

Arequipa

Arequipa

Arequipa

Santa Catolina Monestary, Arequipa

Santa Catolina Monestary, Arequipa


Helpful Hints For Traveling Peru

Bring the bug spray, the sand flies in Peru are eager for foreign skin. 

Don’t travel to Mancora—too many people have been robbed in Mancora for us to recommend it to future travelers. It’s a popular beach town to stop at in transit to/from Ecuador to break up the long journey between countries, but crime rates are high and authorities are doing little to minimize the risk. 

Take the time to learn or explore some of the Quechuan culture. The Andean people have a very unique existence among the traffic of Westerns. Taking a guided tour in either the Sacred Valley or Colca Canyon is a unique way to ask questions and explore more of how powerful the relationship between the people and pachamamma is.

Ceviche is fresh and among the best in the world in Peru (Lima invented ceviche), so give it a shot.

Peru supports the two prong and three prong power plugs mainly used in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

The voltage used in Peru is 220—240 V so the US, Canada and most South American countries require a voltage converter for charging electronics.


Some Fun Stuff To Keep You Busy

Rainbow Mountain, Cusco: 100 SOL ($30USD)

A beautiful mountain top that is naturally colored like a rainbow. A four hour hike to reach the top.

Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes: 137 SOL ($42USD)

It's Machu Picchu, what else is there to say other than it is a MUST-DO, but if you're in Peru I am sure this is one of the main reasons why. You have a few options for seeing it. You can see the Inca City Of Machu Picchu and hike Montaña Machu Picchu for $42 or see the Inca City Of Machu Picchu and hike Huaynapicchu for $45. Both of these hikes lead you to a great viewpoint of the ancient city of Machu Picchu. There are also many Jungle Treks that take 2-6 days to complete with your culmination of the trek ending at Machu Picchu. These treks cost more money and there are tons of tour companies that offer the package at varying prices. 

Santa Cruz Trek, Huaraz: 98-325 SOL ($30-100USD)

This is the most famous 3 day trek in Huaraz. The peak is at 15,500ft and overlooks a glacier and lake. We only paid $30 because we did not go with a tour company and carried our own tent, food, and supplies. If you take a tour, the our company will carry everything for you, but you on a time schedule. We prefered to be on our own time schedule and set up camp wherever we wanted. 

Sandboarding & Dune Buggy Tour, Huacachina: 81 SOL ($25USD)

This is a great full day activity. Take the dune-buggy and cruise around the dunes and stop at the biggest dunes to sandboard down. 

Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa: 40 SOL ($12USD)

A beautiful and old 16th century monastery just recently opened to the public. It's huge and is a photographers paradise.

Colca Canyon Trek, Arequipa: 100 SOL ($31USD)

This is a great 2 day trek that takes you past the Cruz Del Condor and through a canyon 1,200meters down to an oasis where you stay the night before you take the trek up the next morning during sunrise. Lots of tour operators offering this tour; make sure to barter your price.


Where Did We Stay (Accommodation We Recommend)

Mancora: Misfit Hostel ($8/night)

This is one of our favorite hostels in Peru, solely because of the owners and the atmosphere they create. This is a simple hostel located on the beach, literally 10 meters from the waves of the ocean. The hostel has a very relaxed vibe (where you grab your own beer from the fridge and write it down in a notebook to keep track) and an atmosphere that will make you extend your stay over and over and over again. 

Huaraz: Alpes Huaraz (8.50/night)

This is a nice hostel located right in the city center of Huaraz. This is a city you come to if you plan on doing some trekking around the area. Huaraz is known for its famous treks. The hostel is clean, has plenty of bathrooms and showers, the beds are comfortable, the wifi works great and the price for a bed per night is attractive.

Cusco: Supertramp Hostel Cusco ($12night) & Intro Hostels Cusco ($8/night)

Supertramp Hostel is a newly remodelled hostel right in the center of Cusco. The beds are pod style and are very comfortable. Each pod includes a privacy curtain, light, locker and outlet within the pod. The staff were very friendly, the location was close to everything you would want to do in the city and the free breakfast was a nice touch.

Intro Hostel was our favorite hostel between the two of these. The hostel unlike Supertramp is in an old building (an old mansion actually) and has lots of character. The stone building includes beautiful wood floors, and outside fire pit, a fun bar, free breakfast, comfortable beds, huge lockers, and has a great location. 

Huacachina: Banana's Adventure ($27/night - Includes free activities)

This is the famous hostel in Huacachina. There are only a handful of hostels in this small desert town adventure oasis, but this is the one everyone wants to be in and/or comes to for a party. The hostel is more expensive than others but that is because it includes adventure activities you would otherwise pay for if you stay anywhere else. You can go on a dune-buggy tour and go sandboarding down the sand dunes, go on a wine or pisco (the national liquor) tour, or partake in a killer BBQ buffet at the hostel. The hostel features a pool, pool bar, free breakfast, comfortable beds, a great staff, and awesome tours. If you are going to Huacachina, this is the only place you should stay. 

Paracas: Kokopelli Paracas Hostel ($10/night)

We lived and worked at this hostel for 2.5 weeks. However this is the hostel to be at in this tiny town. Paracas literally consists of 2 streets and there is only so much to do in the town. This hostel however has a great vibe, the best bar in town (seriously, locals come to the bar because it's that awesome), an awesome pool, lots of bathrooms, super awesome staff, and is located right on the beach. The beds are pod style and are very comfortable. Each pod includes a privacy curtain, light, locker and outlet within the pod. The best place to stay in Paracas. Other hostels are only a couple dollars cheaper than this one, but you get so much more for your money when you stay here. 


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One Year and Fourteen Countries Later

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One Year and Fourteen Countries Later

We’ve had weeks full of excitement and some days riddled with difficulty. We’ve done our best to make it look easy, a seamless journey cross-continental, but the truth is that it’s hard work to travel. We’ve been sick, we’ve been broke, we’ve been covered in bug bites, robbed and thrown from a bus over the course of a year, but we’ve also uncovered a life time of beauty just by taking a chance.

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2016 - A Life On The Move

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2016 - A Life On The Move

Travel can be hard work, but it’s a life we’re truly grateful to live. We had an incredible year full of travel and now half way across the globe we’re promptly at the start of 2017— still on the road.

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