Safe Passage at the Border between Ecuador and Peru

My guide Maikol, who handled the border crossing for $12
This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series Peru

As my time in Ecuador grew to a close I vacillated over the best way to make the land border crossing between Ecuador and Peru. Although it was possible to take a bus directly south from Cuenca to Peru, the trip would have required an eight to ten-hours bus ride to Zumba, changing to a … Read more

Two Days of Heaven at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

My room at the Inkaterra overlooked lush gardens where tropical birds flitted
This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series Peru

I crossed a footbridge over a small tributary of the Vilcanota River and pierced an invisible veil. Leaving behind the sad little town of Machu Picchu Pueblo, devoid of trees and littered with broken down hostels and pizza pubs, I stepped onto the exquisite grounds of Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, where brilliant hummingbirds flitted … Read more

Machu Picchu, Not-So-Lost City of the Inca Empire

Late afternoon view of Machu Picchu Citadel as clouds part and sun breaks through
This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series Peru

The day I had dreamed about for much of my life – visiting the Lost City of the Incas – finally arrived. Twitching with excitement, I climbed out of bed and watched the cloud forest emerge from inky blackness, hoping for sunny skies. An hour later it was clear my wishes were not to be … Read more

The Search for Culture in Cusco, Peru

Quechua women on steps of Sato Domingo Church in Cusco, Peru pose for photos
This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Peru

Three Quechua women sitting on the steps of the Qorikancha Inca Temple smiled broadly and motioned me over. They quickly arranged their vibrant traditional costumes and struck an adorable pose, complete with infant and baby lamb. “Cuanto?” I asked suspiciously. How much? “Lo que quieres,” they answered. Whatever you like. My instincts screamed “NO” but … Read more