Tag Archives: lan airlines

Machu Picchu

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I always say, the best places in the world are the hardest to get to. An eight hour flight to a one hour flight to a thirty minute bus to a three hour train to a 4am alarm clock to a thirty minute bus to here. Totally worth the journey when “here” is the amazing Machu Picchu. Being there, when the doors opened (and relieved we didn’t fall off the mountain on the bus ride up!) in the quite morning air, soft diffused light, and sounds of nature alone was more of a spiritual feeling of being one with the history of humanity, earth, and astronomy. A connectedness that is so easy to forget or not feel in our real lives at work in New York City.

We spent the first part of the morning hiking up paths to vista points, turning back to take it all in, photograph the majesty then continue on until we reached the farthest perch. We sat for a very long time, made some time lapses, watched birds soar through the valley, inhaled the smell of incense from people who came to meditate and feel the energy of this astonishing place and just be. Be in the moment. I was there, one of my dream places, and this moment meant so much to me.

Our entire journey to Machu Picchu was arranged by Grey Line tours which I can now highly recommend. Our private guide who took us to the citadel, Hector, was incredible and patient with us. He let us do our thing, took us to the best photographic spots and peaceful places and waited until we were ready for all the information… and boy did I have A LOT of questions. I won’t fill you in on the history of Machu Picchu, hello wikipedia, or even share too many photographs. I think, for this moment, it is best lived and I hope everyone has the chance to experience this place as I have and feel that thing which can not be expressed in pixels but in LIFE.

Machu Picchu. Did it. As my Dad and I like to say “Check.”

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Cusco, Peru

A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru.

I could barely sleep on the overnight Lan Airlines flight down to Peru on our next leg of #OnlyInSouthAmerica adventure. Machu Picchu has been on my travel wish list since I fist learned about it in elementary school but before we could make the main trek we started out in Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire before the Spaniards conquered it in the 1500s. You can see the layers and layers of history and culture – the original Inca walls resting under European style architecture. You discover a city that is more rich and mystical than what meets the eye  as you learn about the centuries of battles, a lost culture, a mixture indigenous roots and Spanish influence and a strong connection to the earth. Mostly in Cusco, I enjoyed walking the little narrow streets, up and down the corridors, looking at the women in their amazing hats as they went about their day.

Most people ask me first about altitude sickness. I did not get sick, however, I would get winded on the first day walking up hill and just overall felt tired I think from lack of oxygen. By my 3rd day in Peru I was totally back to normal. It also made the effect of one pisco sour feel like you had ten… which I kind of loved. I also loved the flavor and effect of coca tea which was offered everywhere we went as a way to help ease altitude sickness… mostly for me it was like drinking ten cups of coffee.

Other things about Cusco I loved: the ceviche game here is STRONG. I have yet to have a ceviche as good since. The San Pedro market was amazing to see. An aisle for meat, an aisle for flowers, an aisle for cheese, an aisle for potatoes, it was endless and so rich with culture. Also, fruit smoothie with beer in it– game changer. Cacao tea, who knew! Wandering through all the little shops tucked away in courtyards to hunt down the perfect alpaca sweater or hand made pottery bowl was also very fun and with a very friendly exchange rate.

As a place that has such a strong unique culture there are exotic things you can try such as chicha beer (it was purple!) made from corn or the most popular dinner dish for locals- guinea pig… both things I’m glad I tried but I’ll leave those (and the frog juice to cure headaches!) to the locals.

If I ever find myself on the way to Cusco again I’ll look forward to the way the city transports you not only to a different place but what feels like a different time…

A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru. A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru. A journey down to South America to visit the city of Cusco, Peru.

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Pestana Convento do Carmo


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The Pestana Convento do Carmo, originally built in 1586 as a convent, has now been carefully restored into the first luxury hotel in Brazil. There is a peacefulness to the corridors, a safety behind the stone walls. The outdoor living spaces, with their mix of antiques and art, made you never want to leave this timeless atmosphere. Each of the rooms, or apartments as they call them, have the original window seats that look over the center courtyard of the property, a view of history, nature and modern comfort.

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Hotel Villa Bahia

EH9A9643 It comes as no surprise a city as magical as Salvador da Bahia would have a boutique hotel just as enchanting in the heart of the old city. Two colonial homes, one from the 17th century and the other from the 18th, have been carefully renovated into the 17 room experience of Hotel Villa Bahia with two garden courtyards, plunge pool, panoramic terrace and one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Each room unique in decor, each detail as romantic as the last. If I were a novelist, it is here where I would stay to write as I felt nothing but inspiration between these walls….
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