After previously blogging from Mersin, Turkey and Adelaide, South Australia I'm now based in Perth, Western Australia. This WordPress blog at joe.in usurps my previous Blogger-based blog which ran from October 2003 to April 2010 at taheny.com.
Ollantaytambo is a popular tourist destination in the Sacred Valley of the Incas between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Despite crowds of tourists, Ollantaytambo’s impressive Incan ruins are worth exploring.
From Pisac, in August 2016, Xindi, Lina and myself followed the French traveller in and out multiple buses before eventually arriving to Ollantaytambo. Like Pisac, entrance to Ollantaytambo’s ruins is included in the main Boleto Turistica del Cusco (Cusco Tourist Ticket).
Ollantaytambo town’s Incan streets still have drains running through them
Pisac, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas close to Cusco, makes for a wonderful half- or full-day trip. It is also a great place to relax on a longer visit. Inca Pisac, high above the modern town, contains stunning views and ruins to explore.
Getting from Cusco to Pisac is straightforward, with frequent buses from Avenida Tullumayo and collectivos from Puputi Street travelling there every day. From the modern town to Inca Pisac, one can hike or take a taxi.
Arequipa and Cusco are south Peru tourist destinations and many bus companies, including gringo favourites Cruz del Sur, Oltursa and Civa, operate the 11 hour journey between the cities.
Almost all Arequipa-Cusco buses run overnight and this suits travellers wanting to save on accommodation and maximise sightseeing. However, I highly recommend taking the day bus for the wonderful scenery and wild animals!
Five vicuña, wild relatives of the alpaca and llama, graze on the Andean plainContinue reading →
Note: see article end for 14 tips on visiting and hiking the Colca Canyon
A majestic Andean condor flying past Cruz del Condor in Peru’s Colca Canyon
One of the deepest canyons in the world, the Colca Canyon is an excellent hiking destination and a prime place to see the awesome Andean condor.
Located in Arequipa Region’s Caylloma Province, the Colca Canyon is five hours’ drive north of Arequipa city. A major tourism destination, buses, tourist vans and guided tours depart daily from Arequipa for the canyon. Continue reading →
Part of the central water fountain in Lima’s historic Plaza Mayor; the red and white flags fly in anticipation of the 28-29 July Fiestas Patrias (Peruvian national holidays)
Arequipa maybe Peru’s food capital and Cusco the country’s tourism capital but Lima is its transportation, business, dining and official capital. With one-third of Peru’s population, Lima dominates the country.
For many time-limited tourists, Lima is merely a place to transit between planes and buses. However, in a city with almost ten million people, there is much to do. Continue reading →
My July 2016 second visit to La Paz, Bolivia, included mountain biking Death Road, zip-lining over valleys and partying in the high altitude city. My first stay in La Paz ended with me needing to escape to a lower elevation due to altitude sickness. Not this time.
This great view of La Paz from Pirwa Hostel’s patio did not beat Death Road’s scenery
North Yungas Road, also known as Death Road* (Ruta de la Muerte in Spanish) was named by Inter-American Development Bank in 1995 as the world’s most dangerous road. The road’s 64 kilometre length, steepness, amazing scenery and infamous reputation make mountain biking down it a must-do day trip for adventure-seeking visitors to La Paz.
From the amazing Brazilian Pantanal I needed to get to La Paz, Bolivia. With no direct flights and one-way flights ridiculously expensive, the best mode was overland.
Leaving the excellent Hostel Road Riders in Corumbá, Brazil, Dana, Ela and I took a taxi to the Bolivian border. As an Australian, I obtained my Bolivian entry stamp easily. Not so Israeli passport holders Dana and Ela. Border officials shunted them around, asked for itineraries and bookings and treated them with disdain.
The Corumbá-Quijarro border crossing from outside a shop on the Bolivian side where I waited for Dana and Ela
After a few hours Dana and Ela still had not received their visas so I left the border for Puerto Quillaro’s La Brasilena train station. There I met New Zealanders Kyle and Anna who also wanted to buy a ticket on the Death Train to Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Continue reading →