Colca Canyon

The Colca Canyon in southern Peru is an area of magnificent scenic beauty and one of the country’s highlights for visitors.  Best known as one of the world’s deepest canyons it reaches a depth of more than 13,000 feet and is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.  We had never had such…

Alpacas and llamas for beginners

There are four kinds of camelids found in South America and traveling through the Andes gives a great opportunity to view all of them.  Alpacas and llamas are probably the most well-recognized but are descendants of the vicuña and guanaco which neither of us had heard of before.  Distinguishing each one is no test for…

That’s a lot of taters

There are about 5,000 varieties of potatoes in the world and more than 4,000 grow in the Andean highlands of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.  Bred selectively over centuries for their taste, texture, shape and color, they are very well adapted to the harsh conditions that exist high in the Andes, at altitudes of more than…

The Lost City of the Incas

We had heard the stories, seen the pictures, and knew that our visit to Machu Picchu would be a highlight of our trip.  One of the most recognizable and spectacular sets of ruins in the world and probably the most familiar symbol of the Inca Empire, the ancient city is hidden high in the Peruvian…

Zipping down the line

We didn’t get peer pressured to do the optional zip lining activity, but since everyone else in our group was going to we didn’t want to feel left out.  After a brief instructional demonstration by the amped up lead guide, we waited our turn while watching dozens of others strap themselves to the first suspended…