Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cusco, Peru 2014

From 40+ degrees Colombian beach weather, it was a very different scene upon landing in Cusco, Peru at 3400m elevation. The South American vibrancy remained intact with all the colourful textiles, silver and markets. We made Cusco our home before making our way to Machu Picchu to get acclimatized to the extreme elevation. With all the amazing food, shopping and sights it was difficult to leave! 

among the Andes mountain range

hours spent finding that perfect set of silver

the outskirts of Cusco enroute to Aguas Caliente (base of Machu Picchu)

Peruvian locals are not the most photogenic ;)

the colours of a peruvian market..love love love!

Extremely terrifying and agile Peruvian ladies..
do not take a photo if you are not prepared for a scolding!

Goodnight Plaza des Armes!

Parque Tayrona, Colombia 2014

The next Colombian city was Santa Marta which lies only 230km away to the north east from Cartagena. However, with Colombian traffic, flooding highways and the condition of our van being a tad questionable, it took nearly 6 hours to get there. Unfortunately, our misfortune did not stop there with our quest to Parque Tayrona taking a few turns for the worst with an illegal driver and road closures. Nonetheless, we finally arrived at our destination and spent the night enjoying one of South America's loveliest coastlines. 

We stayed at one of the "larger" campgrounds - El Cabo

At El Cabo, you have the option to stay in tents or hammocks. As a huge hammock lover, the choice was a no brainer. 

We had friends of all sorts visiting us throughout our stay ;)

A bit of exploring to start off the morning :D

Look at that clear blue waters!

So what was to be a 1 hour drive + 2 hour hike to the campground took a slight delay with our driver from Santa Marta being illegal and his car being impounded. After 2-3 hours stuck on a closed highway, we finally arrived at the entrance nearing dusk. With only an hour left before dark, we had no choice but to wander the jungle by horse. It was actually pretty awesome so we did it again the next morning ;)

A quick glimpse of Santa Marta

Days spent: 2 nights, 2 days
Type of Lodging: Hostel
Name of Lodging: La Brisa Loca
Activities: Parque Tayrona

There isn't too much to do in Santa Marta as most people travel here to get to Parque Tayrona. Hoping your trip to the national park will take only 30 minutes as oppose to 8 hours. Allow for extra days in Parque Tayrona as you may want to checkout other islands accessible only from there via boat. Click HERE to read more about our trip and reviews.