We have put together some of our favorite training materials that will help get you in shape, maintain fitness, and reach potential fitness goals — even at home. Whether you are training for a serious trek or gentle walking, here are some at-home workouts for you to enjoy.
Fit For Trips, in collaboration with Adventures Within Reach, has developed fitness programs specific to your itinerary to ensure that you have the adventure of a lifetime. A Fit For Trips program will be customized specifically for you to make the most of the activities in your itinerary.
Select from 4-, 8-, or 12-week training programs
Choose home-based or gym-based training
Choose the resistance program that fits your level of experience
Instruction by audio, video, and personal support
Customization available for at-home quarantine, injuries, etc.
Get started today and be fit for your trip! For more information, and to receive a special 25% discount, go to Fit For Trips.
2) Online Video Workouts
Our South America and Spain program director, Gretchen, is a mountaineer and rock climber and shares her favorite free online workout videos here:
35 Min Full Body Workout | No Equipment Bodyweight
32 Min Full Body Workout No Equipment | Toning & Calorie Burning
23 Minute Ab Workout | Rock Hard Abs Workout
3) Work Out Apps — Staff Selected
Sweat (Gretchen says, “I was hesitant about this one because you have to pay a monthly fee, but I have used it now to keep in shape for mountaineering over the winter months for the past two years and it never lets me down. The work outs change every week and you have a wide selection of types of work outs and challenges as well. I have been using this during quarantine and it has been awesome!”)
Strava (Free or paid membership- track your runs, ski trips and bike rides and meet others through the app’s community)
This family of 11 just finished an incredible journey to Patagonia and Chile together. While several members had Adventures Within Reach plan unique pre and post journeys, everyone enjoyed 6 days and 5 nights at Patagonia Camp yurt camp together where each day they chose from various hikes and alternative outings.
Three of the travelers in the group continued on after Patagonia to Easter Island. A boyhood dream, they finally were able to explore this absolutely culturally rich and captivating island. Below, enjoy the video they created of their Easter Island experience:
Want to plan your next Chile adventure? Contact us!
Destinations in COSTA RICA: Playa Samara (northern Pacific coast), Rio Perdido (interior Guanacaste), Rancho Margot (Arenal), and San Jose
December 7, 2020: Arrival in Liberia / Transfer to Playa Samara
The unassuming Liberia International Airport (“LIR”) is the main gateway for northwest Costa Rica, which is where our first destination, Playa Samara, is situated on the northern Pacific coast, about a 2-hour drive away. Our plan was a one-way trip from Liberia to San Jose, situated in central Costa Rica (and incidentally,the main international airport in Costa Rica), making a nice one-way trip through a pleasant swath of this beautiful country. Arriving in Samara, the first thing you notice in this dusty little hippie town is how easy-going everyone seems to be, the languid pace. The second thing, once you get your first glimpse of it, you notice is just how long and beautiful the beach is. Our modest accommodations were the Samara Treehouse Inn, an intimate little property right on the beach, composed of 4 raised mini-beach houses on high stilts overlooking the sea. The beach houses come with a small sitting area that views the beach, then a small kitchen and bathroom area, with the bedroom in the rear. The Inn has direct access to the sea and a small ‘plunge-style’ swimming pool. Within an easy stroll, conveniently, is the downtown area with a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and bars.
December 8, 2020: Beach trek Playa Samarato Playa Carrillo
Today we hiked the length of Playa Samara to nearby undeveloped Playa Carrillo, walking the length of that impressively long beach as well. We’d estimate this to be about 8-9 km total including a short stretch on the road (careful here – no sidewalk but traffic is relatively light mid-morning). We were glad to bring water and snacks, as there was no development on quiet Playa Carrillo, and hats, since there is little shade. Both beaches feature find sand beaches, with rugged cliffs as headlands on each. We passed several small smiling parties of travelers enjoying horseback riding along the shore. There was great bird watching especially on Playa Samara, watching various shorebirds flit among the waves and brown pelicans dive in the surf. The the highlight of Carrillo meanwhile was it’s blissful solitude even on a weekend. Exhausted from the sand hike, we paid $10 to a local hanging out in the Carrillo parking lot to drive us back to Playa Samara. Getting back here, we hit the ocean to cool off. While one needs to practice caution and common sense, Samara is, overall, an excellent swimming beach, a notable attraction in a country loaded with dangerous riptides affecting many other beach areas. Surfers still hit the gentle waves here, with 3-4 surfing schools along the beachfront to rent or get instruction. Later we retreated to one of the several beach bars for a refreshing pina colada as the sun set over the water.
December 9, 2020: Sea kayaking Samara
After a sunrise beach stroll and breakfast at the Treehouse Inn, we hiked up to the northern stretch of beach where we knew a nice local was renting sea kayaks for about $10/hour. (For novices, there are guided sea kayaking trips daily to Isla Chora.) He claims to have been there at the same location every day for over 5 years running – that is dedication! He included snorkel gear at no extra charge and a dry bag. Our destination: Isla Chora, a rugged uninhabited tropical island literally right in front of us, a brief 20-25 minute paddle away. We timed our quest at low tide. With high tide, the beach on Isla Chora may be un-landable and even dangerous. Landing was tricky, with the powerful waves criss-crossing the main beach but once landed, we got out and easily explored the rocky island (a seabird preserve) on foot, admiring some friendly iguanas up-close, and also did some snorkeling. We returned the kayaks and spent the rest of the day enjoying the town and the beach. On the way back, you can’t help but notice the handful of fishing boats moored in the water. The local fisherman do more than just fish, they also take travelers out on unique 1/2 day dolphin watching trips, which are reputed to have a high success rate if the sea conditions are not too bad and there’s no rain. Local fisherman also take tourists out fishing on half day in-shore fishing trips. Another option for travelers here are 4-hour sea turtle nesting tours, offered in the evenings/nights, on a seasonal basis, generally between August and December, to nearby Ostional Wildlife Reserve, about an hour drive away. We help our travelers with options like this, depending on interests and time.
December 10, 2020: To Rio Perdido, in Guanacaste’s rugged interior
Today we transferred about 3.5 hours away to Rio Perdido, with a coffee stop at a macaw sanctuary en-route. (Normally, we’d have gone to Rio Perdido first, then Samara, then Arenal, but availability made us flip flop the beach and Rio Perdido.) Rio Perdido is an exclusive mineral hot springs resort with a variety of outdoor activities on offer immersed in the rugged hill country of Guanacaste. Travelers seeking lush rainforest need to look elsewhere in Costa Rica (we can help), but for travelers seeking a unique luxuryeco-resort with first-world resort amenities and a unique ecosystem – the dry tropical forest – this is an outstanding property. Our first priority was hiking the hot stream trail on-site. This is a scenic natural little stream, in a forested canyon, with natural hot pools here and there to stop and relax in. After the hike and pool sampling, we checked out the developed hot pools attached to the main lodge area, including one with a swim up bar. We ate dinner at the lodge’s restaurant and retired to our free-standing chalet early since we had an early wake up planned the next day for rafting.
December 11: Rio Tenorio whitewater rafting
After breakfast at Rio Perdido and early pick up, we were transferred to the rafting office for the Rio Tenorio where we had coffee and waited for the team to assemble. The Class 3 and 4 Rio Tenorio is a must for any whitewater rafting enthusiast who visits the area. On our full day excursion, we ran a number of big class 4 drops and jumped off ledges into others. In between, numerous Class 2 and 3 ledges and river funnels thrilled us. Howler monkeys yelled at us from the canyon canopy and lush forest was all around within the jagged canyon walls. Brief calm pools spelled us to allow for some easy river swimming. This is a small fast jungle river encased within a scenic rock canyon, with clear cool water and plenty of sun. After we ran the river and tipped our guides, we returned to the rafting base, had lunch, and returned to Rio Perdido. The put in for the river is approximately 1-hour from Rio Perdido.
After the rafting, we went on a sunset hike on the Rio Perdido trails. Many of the trails are designed for mountain biking (which you can rent on-site) but all of them make for fine hiking, with a variety of destination available, from dramatic footbridges over the canyon to hidden springs to scenic overlooks. Allow for extra time on any hike here since the maps are not super accurate, you can get a little “turned around” so bring extra water, a hat & sunscreen for sun protection and a flashlight if hiking at sunset.
December 12, 2020: Whitewater tubing, Zipline, and transfer to Arenal(Rancho Margot)
Rio Perdido also offers whitewater tubing and a zipline course and I did both. Allow for about an hour or more for each activity. I did them back to back this morning, before returning to the lodge for lunch and our transfer to Arenal.
The whitewater tubing would be best at moderate river levels. The tubing is done on the main river, which is a separate column of water from the placid, idyllic hot spring stream we checked out on our first day at Rio Perdido. It would be a fun exhilarating experience in lower water. I went, however, when the river was very high (the tubing had been closed the previous days due to high water) and it was terrifying. The river was extremely fast and pushy, with numerous tight Class 4 drops. The river canyon walls rise straight from the water, meaning this is more like tubing a deep slot canyon rather than a routine river. The hike out is steep! I would definitely do it again in low to moderate water levels but I would not especially recommend it when the water is very high unless you are looking for an extreme water challenge. Be prepared for some bumps and bruises. Wear closed toe river shoes or water shoes or a pair of tennis shoes if you don’t have them. The canyon itself is absolutely beautiful and the guides are fun guys.
After the tubing, we went on the Rio Perdido zipline course, which features a number of high but not particularly long ziplines, a tarzan swing, a challenge rope bridge, a pendulum swing, plus a few stretches of via ferrata climbing. While the ziplines don’t compare to the best ones in Costa Rica (like the Sky trek complexes), it’s still plenty fun to fly over the canyon and enjoy some of the diverse mini-experiences built into the course. It will bring the kid out in you!
After a quick lunch, we transferred to Rancho Margot, a mid-range eco-lodge situated in the Arenal lake area, about a 3-hour drive away. We checked in, had a brief orientation from the manager about this unique sustainable farm property, and went to our bungalow. Before dinner, we relaxed and had great fun watching several species of hummingbirds zip around the flowering plants adjacent to our unit. We enjoyed our first farm-to-table dinner here and went to bed early with the relaxing pitter-patter of a gentle rain falling on the roof.
December 13, 2020: Rancho Margot R&R and hiking
We had 2 full days here, so we decided to take it easy this morning. The secluded Rancho Margot is located in a quiet remove far from the hustle & bustle of La Fortuna, and the spacious grounds (which includes not just the farm and ranch but also the forested hills that ring the property) creates a welcome space to un-plug and relax. The views of jungle hills from the bungalow porch were plenty good all by themselves. I could even hear the river in the distance. On the porch, there’s a hammock, a rocking chair and a table with chairs. Plenty of space to relax, watch colorful birds as they come and go, and catch up on reading.
Then in the afternoon, we went for a 2-hour hike up to the Mirador of the property, a viewpoint with expansive views of Arenal Volcano, the ranch, and Arenal lake. This is a steep hike on very uneven ground so bring your hiking boots and avoid a twisted ankle. The views are worth it. After the hike, we returned to freshen up in the lodge’s natural pool and ate another fine farm-to-table dinner.
December 14, 2020: Exploring Rancho Margot
Before breakfast, my wife went to the yoga studio, situated near the riverside, for morning yoga with several other ladies visiting the property. (She gave the yoga instructor high marks.) Their are daily classes on request, included. Later this morning we enjoyed the guided sustainable farm tour, which was very interesting, learning just how self-sufficient Rancho Margot really is and how much they value people, wildlife, and the land. One project they are passionate about is nurturing native botanical, and in turn, the wildlife and insects that rely on them. We saw several species of frogs, a snake, butterflies, and loads of native flower & tree varieties and more on the tour. We visited the livestock pens and learned how they humanely treat the animals plus the grand vision & admirable goals of the eco-lodge. It was a beautiful day and our local guide was a wealth of knowledge. In the afternoon we did our own self-guided 1-hour hike in the private nature reserve on-site and in the evening, we joined a local guide for a 2-hour guided night walk on the property, seeing armadillos, frogs, spiders, a colorful snake, and more.
December 15, 2020: Bogarin Trail for sloths, San Jose
After a leisure morning, absorbing our final tranquil moments of simple rural life at Rancho Margot, we headed to La Fortuna and a unique urban sloth & bird sanctuary, the Bogarin Trail. The actual trail is just over 1 mile, and the entrance fee is $10/person. This is a urban wildlife conservation project lovingly managed by local brothers. This is not a deep wilderness experience – the reclaimed forest is right off the main drag. It does however provide extraordinary views of the resident wild sloths (go on one of the scheduled guided walks… we saw both species of sloth) plus fantastic photo opportunities for poison arrow dart frogs via their little open-air frog habitat and lots of colorful birds, especially toucans, at their feeder, right near the entrance.
After our 2-hour visit at Bogarin, we ate lunch at a local pub in La Fortuna and continued our transfer to San Jose. San Jose is one Latin America’s most humble capital cities with relatively little to excite an experienced international traveler compared to the grander cities elsewhere in Latin America but it still has it’s share of very fine hotels and a variety of things to do & see. After checking into our downtown hotel, the comfortable, clean, mid-range Park Inn, we walked about a mile to the downtown pedestrian area, which was chock-full of busy holiday shoppers. We stopped by the beautifully appointed, recommended National Theater for a glass of wine, and enjoyed some people watching in the National Theater Plaza, had some dinner and then returned by taxi to the hotel.
December 16, 2020: Departure from San Jose
After a fine breakfast and time to relax poolside, at the Park Inn’s third floor open-air swimming pool – soaking up our last bit of sun before heading back to the bitter cold awaiting us further north – we met our driver outside the lobby and transferred about 30 minutes to the airport. The modern San Jose airport is much more significant than Liberia’s, with more shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants. Adios San Jose!
For many more photos from the trip, check out the trip’s Smugmug page >>. For more itinerary options in Costa Rica, check out the Adventures Within Reach Costa Rica webpage >>. All of our Costa Rica tours are custom, and you can start one any day of the year. We’ve helped parties that range from solo trips of 1-person to large groups of over 20 people. Please contact us if you’d like help planning a Costa Rica trip and get a quote.
It’s already February! Time to start planning your next escapes for 2020. Now that US travelers no longer need a visa to visit Brazil, we highly recommend venturing to this incredible country now more than ever!
Brazil is such a large country (roughly the size of the continental US) and there are endless opportunities for any kind of adventure our travelers might be looking for. To help our travelers this year, we have made a chart of the various regions of Brazil with the best times to visit them throughout the year and when to start you trip planning.
TIME TO TRAVEL
START PLANNING IN
Janeiro, Costa Verde Paraty, Ilha Grande
May to October
It is the time of least rainfall,
although you can visit at any time.
Lençóis Maranhenses and
June to September
The rainy season ends in June and
the lagoons are full.
Pantanal and Bonito
July to September
Dry season in which you can see
more animals. Since May you can see the jaguar.
Ilha de Marajó
Excellent season for foodies in
the exotic state of Pará.
July to November
Although there is rain all year
round, at this time there is less heat and less mosquitoes.
Reveillon (New Year)
December 24th to January 2nd
Hurry to make reservations to
celebrate the change of year in classic or alternative destinations.
Route of Emotions
September to November
Good prices and it’s windy season
for water sports practitioners like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Northeast (Bahia, Fernando de Noronha, Salvador…)
December to February
Escape the cold winter on tropical
Brazilian coasts with hot weather the whole year.
Rio’s Carnival 2021
February 13th to 16th
In September they release tickets
April to September
It is the dry and less hot season,
but you can visit at any time.
Excellent destination to travel
with the family throughout the year.
May to September
Less rain and better roads for
Foz de Iguacu
All year long
The falls are impressive
throughout the year.
All year long
All year long
It is good weather all year round.
Between November and January it rains less.
All year long
Cities (Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador)
All year long
Urban experiences, with art,
architecture and gastronomy for city adventurers.
All year long
Want to add Brazil to your next adventure? Contact us!
Situated just a short walking distance from Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas is one of the most beautiful districts in the city. It features a variety of beautifully restored buildings, narrow cobble-stone alleys, quaint streets, artisanal shops, as well as cafes and bars.
The neighborhood is well-known for its artsy bohemian barrio, which boasts an outdoor artisan market as well as a small plaza where artists sell their handicrafts on Sundays. Several art studios and workshops also lined the cobbled streets of San Blas.
Iglesia de San Blas is one of the top attractions to visit while in the neighborhood. The mid-1500s church features an intricate pulpit carved in the Spanish Churrigueresque style.
San Blas is surrounded by ancient Inca history, take a walk around the neighborhood and soak up the ambiance.
Attention all adventure-seekers! We are so excited to announce that EcoCamp Patagonia is now officially open during Chile’s winter season. It’s the perfect chance to have that big, beautiful and snowy landscape all to yourself! Keep reading and learn what to expect on a trip to EcoCamp Patagonia this winter.
Get Your Facts Straight
Winter Months: May, June, July and August
EcoCamp’s Schedule: Open every other week this winter!
Available EcoCamp Domes: Due to Patagonia’s chilly temperatures, travelers can only book a Suite or Superior Dome. It’s a little too cold to stay in a Standard Dome (which doesn’t have heating).
As mentioned above, we are offering three EcoCamp adventures in winter: the Winter Wildlife Safari, Winter W Trek and Patagonian Winter Adventure. Learn more about these snowy experiences to discover which trip is right for you:
Winter Flexible EcoCamp: (4- 7 Days): This is one of our most popular EcoCamp experiences! During winter, travelers can pick from one of two daily activities. Through each excursion, you will discover the park’s remarkable viewpoints and admire local fauna. Please note that during this season, we only have excursions available from Tuesday to Saturday. Click here to view our daily activities.
Winter W Trek (7 Days): Take on a wilder, more adventurous version of Patagonia’s classic W Trek. Along with cozy nights at EcoCamp, you will camp out along the trail and visit iconic scenery, such as the base of the Towers or the French Valley. Keep in mind that this trek is a bit more challenging during the winter season and snowshoes are advised!
Patagonian Winter Adventure (5 Days): Explore the Magallanes region and spend a couple of nights at EcoCamp Patagonia. This is a great option for travelers who want to see Torres del Paine, as well as the surrounding areas. The itinerary includes a kayaking excursion, trekking, and much more.
Why You Should Come in Winter
There are plenty of reasons why winter is the best time of year to visit Torres del Paine! For starters…
It’s absolutely stunning! Imagine snow-capped mountains, crystal blue lakes and quiet forests that are all surrounded by a blanket of white, icy terrain.
Shy fauna come out to play! You have a better chance of spotting wildlife with fewer travelers in the park. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful birds, foxes, pumas and huemules (native deer).
Patagonia is your own personal playground! The park is practically empty around this time of year. That means you can enjoy the landscapes and hiking trails without any crowds. It’s great for people who are looking for a peaceful and remote experience.
It’s perfect for true adventurers! The weather is colder and the conditions are rougher — but it is all part of the Patagonia winter experience. Wintertime is a dream for those looking for a rugged, outdoor vacation.
Continuing on from our last post, here are the final of our top favorite, can’t-miss hikes to do around Santiago, Chile!
5) Cascada De Las Animas Difficulty: Easy Length: 1.5 hours roundtrip Location: Cajon de Maipo
Nestled in the Cajon de Maipo, is 3,600 hectares of beautiful land and nature. This nature sanctuary is just an hour or two from Santiago and offers fun adventure activities, as well as cozy accommodation. For hikers, there is a family-friendly trail that leads to three breathtaking waterfalls.
The hike cost 7,000 CLP and is led by an expert guide. Your guide will share some history and information about the area. Additionally, visitors will pass by the Refugio Animal Cascada and might be lucky enough to spot a puma! This Refugio is an animal sanctuary that has rehabilitation programs for native fauna and education opportunities.
6) El Morado National Monument Difficulty: Intermediate Length: 5 hours roundtrip Location: Cajon de Maipo
Another fantastic hike near Santiago is at El Morado National Park. It’s an opportunity to see one of the region’s most beloved glaciers! Hike in the midst of the Andes, traveling through rocky terrain and amongst blooming wildflowers. The grand prize is a stunning view of San Francisco Glacier and lagoon — it makes a great stop for lunch!
After completing the full 5-hour journey, you can stop by the hot springs to sooth your muscles. Cascada Expediciones offers a fantastic all-day excursion to visit the glacier and the hot springs.
Cerro Pintor is a fantastic day trip for experienced hikers that are up for a challenge! The trail goes up a very steep hill and reaches an altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level! Not to mention, the hike takes a full day to complete.
Cerro Pintor sits closeby a popular ski center in the Andes and offers some spectacular views of the surrounding area. Due to the route’s high altitude, it is recommended to stay well hydrated before and during the hike. Hikers should drink at least three liters of water per day for at least a week prior to the excursion. Additionally, everyone must come prepared with proper boots, layered clothing and hiking poles. Crampons should be used if snow or ice is present.
Want to add some of these hikes on to your next Chile Adventure contact us!
Stay tuned for the rest of the list of hikes around Santiago next week!
In Chile, hiking is not limited to just the Patagonian region! Many parts of the country have great trails to check out, including in the Central Valley. This region offers a distinct type of climate and landscape, along with beautiful flora and fauna to admire. In fact, there are many hiking opportunities right by or in Santiago, Chile’s capital city. That means, you can easily escape the hustle and bustle and hop right into beautiful nature within a matter of minutes!
There are so many great trails to pick from, but today we’ve listed some of our favorites. Without further ado, here are 7 great hikes near Santiago.
1) Aguas de Ramon Difficulty: Intermediate Length: 7-8 hours roundtrip Location: Santiago
Located on the eastside of Santiago, Parque Aguas de Ramon offers a slew of wide, open land to explore! There are a few routes to take, but a common one is Salto de Apoquindo which leads visitors straight to a waterfall! That’s right — there is a waterfall in the middle of Santiago.
The park is home to local fauna, including foxes, tarantulas and various birds. There are also many opportunities to check out local flora that reside in the dry and sunny Santiago climate.
If you are going to complete the full hike, it is important to arrive early to the park! Every visitor needs to check in before embarking on the excursion and you won’t be allowed to complete the hike if the ranger does not think there is enough time. Arriving between 8 and 8:30 AM is recommended.
2) Mirador de Los Condores Difficulty: Intermediate Length: 4-5 hours roundtrip Location: Cajon de Maipo
Just a couple of hours outside of Santiago is a great hike to the “Mirador de Los Cóndores.” This translates to “Condor Lookout” in English. Based on the name, you might guess that there is a lot of Andean condors on this trail! That’s right — it’s one of the best spots to marvel at this massive bird (one that’s wingspan stretches to 3 meters).
Keep in mind that you are entering the condors’ home. It’s important that all hikers are respectful of the birds and observe them from a safe distance.
The Cerro Manquehue trail can also be found in the middle of Santiago. But this one goes straight up hill! It is shorter in distance than Aguas de Ramon, the city’s other popular trail, but is significantly steeper. Prepare to strut through the dirt trails, up rocks and to one of the most beautiful spots above the city. You’ll sit right beside the clouds!
For those looking for an easier hike, in the same area there is Cerro Manquehuito. This is a smaller hill and doable for hikers of all ages. On a sunny weekend, it’s likely you’ll spot families, pets and groups of friends hiking up the hill.
For both hills, make sure to wear proper trekking shoes and bring plenty of water. Hiking poles are also helpful due to the steep terrain.
4) La Campana National Park Difficulty: Intermediate Length: 5-6 hours roundtrip Location: Olmue
Palm trees galore! La Campana National Park is the perfect place to spot the Chilean palm trees. In this national park, there are hundreds of trees, as well as many beautiful landscapes. You can camp, bike, hike and more!
One great hike in the park is the Amasijo- Portezuelo Ocoa Trail, which leads visitors into an area filled with palm trees. Just make sure to pay careful attention to the pathway. An area with so many similar-looking trees can be confusing.
Want to add some of these hikes on to your next Chile Adventure contact us!
Stay tuned for the rest of the list of hikes around Santiago next week!
This group of 6 AWR travelers just returned from an adventure in the Brazilian Amazon. Read on for their highlights and travel advice!
“We had a GREAT time in the Amazon! The folks at Tariri lodge were great & the food was wonderful! Wish we could spend more time there. Hard to coordinate 6 people’s schedules.
The night boat ride was great: everyone in the group remarked how cool it was to be on the water hearing the sounds of the jungle & seeing all the Southern Hemisphere stars! The group really enjoyed piranha fishing too (I was the only one who didn’t catch one though!)
Everyone on the AWR team was great & helpful & prompt!
My advice would have to do with flight-hopping within Brazil. Try to pack JUST carry on if you can: they’re more flexible with baggage too. In fact, the GOL rep. told us not to check the bags we were going to check and indeed we had no issues with 2 carry on size bags each. Connections can be tight (they had to reschedule us because one plane was late) & you never know. There aren’t the same fluid restrictions for domestic flights in Brazil. GOL did take good care of us when they had to reschedule our flights & put us up in a nice hotel near the SDU airport in Rio complete with cab fare & meals.
The nature surrounding Cusco, Peru is some of the most astounding in the World. Complete with snowcapped peaks, deep sprawling valleys, roaring rivers, ancient buildings, and colorful sunsets and sunrises. These magical landscapes in and around Cusco are ones you’ll want to explore close up, walk through, and take a day or two to slow down to soak it all in. The perfect way to do this is by one of many half-day, day, or two-day hikes in the area. Travel to the Sacred Valley to experience astonishing ruins or stay close by and enjoy remarkable views of Cusco from the nearby mountains. Continue on to find more information on the top ten hikes we offer in this area. All of our hikes include transportation (if necessary), a bilingual guide, and some include meals.
8) Hike Palccoyo
Duration transportation (RT): 6:15 hours
Hiking distance: 3.3 km / 2.1 mi
Duration of the hike: 3:30 hours
Enjoy a lot of the same experiences listed in the two hikes above, but with a more relaxed and less strenuous trek. In the same area as the Vinicunca hike but on a different route, we start out on a scenic stone path, passing two viewpoints along the way. Once we arrive at the main viewpoint we’ll be enchanted by the entire Vilcanota Mountain Range, including the snow-capped Ausangate glacier. This glacier is one of the three most important Apus (sacred peaks) in Incan culture. We have the option to hike up to the stone forest viewing the unusual rock formations before taking another path to complete our circuit.
9) The Vinicunca Experience
Duration transportation (RT): 7 hours
Hiking distance: 10 km / 6.2 mi
Duration of the hike: 4:30 hours
Vinicunca, more commonly known as the “rainbow mountain,” is one of the most famous hikes in all of Peru. A challenging, but rewarding hike where you’re able to marvel at rolling rainbow-colored mountains littered with alpacas. The unusually colorful mountains are created by striped layers of sediment formed by diverse minerals. The trek begins in Chilca, making stops at Urcos and Checacupe along the way. In Urcos you’re able to enjoy the bustling local market and in Checacupe, google at the colonial bridges and Churches. Next, we continue to Pampachiri where the challenging ascending trail begins. Drink in the crisp mountain air as you make your way to the viewpoint. Rewarded with panoramic views of unimaginably colorful mountains, it’s a trek you’ll be writing home about.
10) The Vinicunca Experience and Red Canyon
Duration transportation (RT): 6:30 hours Hiking distance: 16 km / 10 mi Duration of the hike: 7 hours Difficulty: Challenging
This trek is similar to the one listed above but includes the Red Canyon in addition to Vinicunca. Enjoy the vibrant rainbow mountain before continuing to the impressive Red Canyon. Another colorful masterpiece, these scarlet hues contrast beautifully with the blue skies and vibrant green terrain. And if that wasn’t majestic enough, observe the striking white glacier of Apu Ausangate and the Vilcanota Mountain Range. If you’re lucky you might even spot a golden vicuna, the wild ancestor of the alpaca.