Our original plan was to scope out the Colca Canyon before heading to the colonial town of Arequipa.  I'm going to be completely honest with you.  Don't get me wrong, we enjoy dirt road driving.  But the drive from Cusco towards the Colca Canyon turnoff just felt like it took forever, so instead of making the turn we continued on towards Arequipa.  I think there is something about driving on freshly paved roads that alternate with dirt washboard...

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This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. One of the highlights of our trip. The most impressive ruins we’ve ever seen. The beauty and grandeur of the Inca people, set high atop a mountain and so remote you can only access it by train or by foot. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. We purchased our entrance tickets to Machu Picchu online (approximately $40 USD), but I would actually recommend against this

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The Sacred Valley of the Incas, formed by the Urubamba River, runs through the central Andes of Peru from Cusco to Machu Picchu.  It is comprised of numerous villages, colonial towns, markets, and archeological sites.  Many sets of Inca ruins (large and small) line the Valley, keeping tourists busy for days. The Tourist Pass (Boleto Touristico) is the best bang for the buck if you want to visit many of the historical sights in the Sacred Valley.

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We left the big city of Lima and headed to the Paracas National Reserve for some epic cliff-side ocean views and blue skies and wispy white clouds. After Paracas we stopped briefly in the oasis town of Huacachina.  We watched cobbled-together dune buggies rip up steep inclines while we burned our feet in the scorching hot sand. Continuing south through the Peruvian desert, we took a break to scout out the Nazca Lines.  We lined up

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After two weeks in the Cordillera Blanca we regretfully headed towards Lima.  Regretfully, because we did quite a bit of hiking and exploring in the area, but it felt like we hadn’t even scratched the surface.  On our way to the Peruvian coast we stopped by the Hatun Machay Rock Forest, a well-known climbing spot.  There is a hut on site with a fireplace, large kitchen, and bunks upstairs for sleeping.  We camped outside and

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We decided to spend a couple of days in Huaraz stocking up on food and fast wifi, and attempting to decide whether or not to do the Santa Cruz Trek.  I had been dreaming of trekking in the Cordillera Blanca since Central America, and the Santa Cruz trek seemed like the perfect multi-day hike for us to attempt unguided.  The trek is very popular with backpackers, who often pay for a guided tour complete with

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From the Peruvian Coast we headed inland along the infamous Cañon del Pato (Duck Canyon), a 45 kilometre stretch of dirt road complete with 35 single-lane tunnels, high mountain pass scenery, gorges and rivers.  As Richard aired down the tires he noticed that the leaf spring shackles were getting loose.  Time to pull out the wrenches!  We didn't need the suspension falling off the truck out in the boonies. We hardly saw anyone else on the road,

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Descending from the mountains of Peru to the coastline, the scenery changed dramatically.  Everything dried up.  Sand dunes appeared.  Our water jug deflated.  You know how it is with a drop in elevation and all that.  #science We stopped for lunch at a local dam with some excellent turquoise water scenery before heading to the oceanside towns of Trujillo and Huanchaco. Trujillo is a big city near the coastline of Peru.  This is where we

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We spent almost a week in Vilcabamba, Ecuador at the Izhcayluma Hostel doing free yoga, enjoying cheap massages, visiting the health food stores, eating at the local organic market and chatting with other travellers and overlanders. Eventually the day had come for us to step into the unknown: Peru.  To be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect. We heard mixed reviews: we were told by some that the scenery was epic but the towns were

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