11. December 2012 14:50
Following an eventful but spectacular journey, Rachel Ricks arrived in Lares, a village approximately 40 miles north of Cusco, to take a dip in its famous hot springs.
Living in Peru's Sacred Valley for a few months, I had heard about Lares' hot springs from many people, to the point that they'd become almost legendary in my mind. They are one of the most popular in the Sacred Valley area around Cusco in south-western Peru. The only problem is, they're situated in an isolated valley and most people reach them via a multi-day trek, otherwise it's a good four hours away by public transport. But finally one weekend, Carlos and I decided to make the trip. More...
1. October 2012 14:28
Rachel Ricks discovers Ollantaytambo, a picturesque Peruvian village that serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu.
In Peru's Sacred Valley is a small but picturesque village where it seems on any given day, the whole world has come to converge.
It doesn’t even have an easy name to pronounce for the nationalities of the world - Ollantaytambo. And the reason everyone visits this tiny pueblo? To get to and from one of the New Seven Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu.
I spent longer than most visitors do in Ollanta - as, thankfully, it’s called for short (I panicked originally at the thought of not being able to pronounce where I was staying) - and I knew I’d love to invest more time here after my first visit. More...
4. September 2012 17:01
Everyone I know who has been to Peru’s capital advised me against spending any longer than a necessary stopover there. Words including ‘grey’, ‘dangerous’, ‘polluted’, ‘ugly’, ‘watch out for the earthquakes’ were thrown around from different sources describing Lima.
I’m happy to report that I found the city colourful, elegant, vibrant, and I ended up spending six days there at the very beginning of a South American trip.
Staying at HQ Villa Hostel in the suburban district of Miraflores undoubtedly helped my experience. More...
26. March 2012 11:20
Rachael Gurney is facing the challenge of a lifetime as she prepares to trek up Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes.
I'm usually seen wearing high heels and tottering into chic bars, but on 29th September I will be heading to Peru. There I'm going to swop my heels for walking boots and attempt a Charity Challenge four day trek to the top of the sacred site of Machu Picchu. The aim of this is to raise money for the Cancer Centre at Barts Hospital in London.
I rarely exercise but have started doing core exercises, going on timed walks and walking up hills – which made me ache for three days! The altitude in the Andes More...
1. November 2005 16:50
Images of Peru, more often than not Machu Picchu, adorn countless travel publications and newspaper supplements. Consequently, deepest darkest Peru has become readily accessible, and the track so well beaten that it can be difficult to get off of. Such popularity however, is not without good reason, and the jewels in Peru's tourism crown live up their reputation spectacularly whether you want to climb them, or just walk around them in awe, mountain-junkies should head for Huaraz.
Around 200km north of Lima and nestled amongst the Cordilleras Blanca & Negra, Huaraz is a hive of adventure sport activity. It's probably worth spending a few days in the town, if only to acclimatize to the thin Andean air. You could do a lot worse than staying at Jo's Place, run by an ex-pat from Southampton who's even been known to video Champions' League games while football-obsessed Englishmen are away trekking in the mountains! The trails that criss-cross the Cordilleras are easy to follow, but take in passes around the 5000m mark and so can be quite tough. Treks of up to a week can easily be organized on Huaraz's main drag with one of numerous activity agencies (I'd highly recommend Monttrek, but there are plenty to choose from). More...
1. September 2001 17:48
Rio de Janeiro has long exercised a magnetic lure for travellers. Escaping to Rio is a travel fantasy - unless you happen to be a Great Train Robber. The city is photogenic, passionate and exuberant. Its vibrancy is matched only by its inhabitants' lust for life. The locals, known as "Cariocas", are as romantic as Parisians, as animated as Italians and as nocturnal as the residents of Spain's 24-hour cities. They personify the phrase "carpe diem", embracing the present.
Life here is to be consumed, not observed and the bigger the appetite, More...