After an incredible 3.5 weeks in summer all the time Puerto Rico, and an awe-inspiring month in Ecuador that culminated with a blissful trip to the Galapagos Islands, it was time to move onto Peru. There we traded sandals and wetsuits for warm jackets and hiking boots. Indeed, we spent most of our time in Peru either hiking or recovering from hiking. We climbed to over 5100m in the wild and rugged Cordillera Blanca, moved through the ice-capped Salkantay Pass to reach the incomparable Machu Picchu, and walked down into one of the deepest canyons in the world. We also spent 2 weeks learning Spanish in the White City of Arequipa and sampled many delicious craft beers around the country.
In total, we spent almost 2 months in Peru and still are finding reasons to go back, despite spending half of our time there in less than perfect health…more on that later. But for now, Peru inspired us with its landscapes, delighted us with its tasty food and drink, and provided us with a glimpse into its rich history and culture.
In continuing with our Galapagos Island themed posts, we recently spent a glorious 2.5 weeks doing land-based travels in the Galapagos which has been one of the biggest highlights of our 14 month trip around the world so far. We’ve covered visiting the “main island” of Santa Cruz, as well as the largest and most rugged of the inhabited islands, Isla Isabela, so now that leaves us with the best things to do on San Cristobal.
Puerto Bazquerizo Moreno is the town on San Cristobal island and has a population of about 6,600 people which makes it a nice mix between the city-like feel of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, and the sleepy fishing village on Isabela. The island features a small airport, naval base, university, the Galapagos Interpretation Centre and a natural history museum. It is also sea lion central so you will have no shortage of opportunities to get up close and personal with these hilarious animals.
Machu Picchu is one of those travel destinations that seems to be on everyone’s bucketlist. Its soaring peaks and ancient streets steeped in rich history draw thousands of visitors each day, making it one of the most visited sites in the world. While there are many ways to reach Machu Picchu, trekking is by far the best route. Walking up to this incredible place allows one to savour the mystical site’s rugged natural beauty and intriguing surrounding and makes finally reaching the ruins an even greater reward.
There are many trekking options to get to Machu Picchu, each with their own set of pros and cons. When we were in Peru we chose to do the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and will share more about this incredible 5 day, 4 night trek!
Nestled in the impressive Cordillera Blanca range of the Andes, Huaraz is increasingly becoming a world-class destination for high altitude adventures as Huaraz trekking is some of the best in the world. The hiking in Huaraz has led to it being called the trekking capital of Peru, which is hard to dispute. It also offers a more budget-friendly and quieter alternative to crowded Cusco.
By far the biggest draw of Huaraz is trekking in the endlessly picturesque Cordillera Blanca and Negra ranges. Popular hikes such as the Santa Cruz trek, Laguna 69, and the Huayhuash trek get all the attention, but there are a number of great things to do in Huaraz and more hikes than those three to explore!
In continuing with our Galapagos Island themed posts, we recently spent a glorious 2.5 weeks doing land-based travels in the Galapagos which was an adventure for the ages. We’ve covered touring the “main island” of Santa Cruz, so now we are moving onto tours on the largest and most rugged of the inhabited islands, Isla Isabela.
Puerto Vilamil is the town on Isabela island and has a population of 2,200 people. It’s a sleepy, charming fishing village that has a renewed focus on tourism. Here wild encounters are possible right from town, but many sites require a licensed guide to accompany travellers when visiting.
We have been on the road for about 3 months now, and so far one of our absolute highlights was the glorious 2.5 weeks we recently spent doing land-based travels in the Galapagos . It was an adventure for the ages so our next couple posts will focus on what to do and see in each of the islands we visited, starting with touring Santa Cruz. We’re going to highlight the best things to do in Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora.
Santa Cruz Island is the most developed and widely-considered to be the “main” island in Galapagos, although it is not the largest island. It’s main city of Puerto Ayora is 12,000 people strong and features a lively food and drink scene as well as lots of access to the outdoor adventures that brought you to the Galapagos in the first place.
We are 3 months into our 14 month trip around the world and a ton has happened since we started. We began our trip by volunteering in Puerto Rico and then spent about a month in wonderful Ecuador, the country that truly has it all. From Pacific coastline to snow-capped volcanoes, the living laboratory of the Galapagos Islands, cosmopolitan cities like Cuenca, and the Amazon rainforest, there’s something for everyone in Ecuador.