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Sol De Mañana, Bolivia

Sol de Mañana

At 4,850 metres, the geothermal mud pools of Sol de Mañana need a good 4x4 to get to. We arrived just before sunset and wandered around, careful not to miss-step — with steam and sulphur filling the air and boiling hot mud spluttering and bubbling all around, it was like a scene from the apocalypse — completely out of this…

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Laguna Colorada

Laguna Colorada

I stopped and bent double, gasping for air. I wouldn’t have minded but I’d only run 10 metres. I looked up the hill, and a couple of hundred metres away I could see Julie and Elizabeth climbing into the jeep. I’d stopped on the edge of the lagoon to take "one last photo", and got completely lost in the composition.…

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La Paz

La Paz

To put it simply, our time in La Paz was far too short — we could have easily spent two or three days here, but instead we had a mere 24 hours for a fleeting glance at this fascinating city — I loved it so much that we’ll have to come back one day. Being the highest capital city in…

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Valle De La Luna

Valle de la Luna

Moon Valley was given its name by Neil Armstrong for looking like the surface of the moon — if anyone should know it is Mr A. himself, although it is highly unlikely that they have cactus up there. These impressive rock formations are only a short ride from central La Paz. We had our hotel arrange a car and driver —…

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Isla Del Sol

Isla del Sol

Isla del Sol is an island of peace and tranquillity in the Bolivian south of Lake Titicaca. We arrived by boat from Copacabana to the ancient Incan 'temple of the sun' at the south-eastern tip of the island, then hiked the couple of kilometres to Yumani village — which is not as easy as it sounds at 4,000 metres altitude…

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The Uros Islands

The Uros Islands

When I was a child I read about islands that were made of reeds and floated on a lake somewhere in the depths of South America. The name of the lake humoured me, as it would any school boy, and the air of mystery and adventure that surrounded them intrigued me. Now, thirty-odd years later, here we were sailing on…

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Sillustani

Sillustani

Forty minutes from Puno and Lake Titicaca, perched on a hill overlooking Lake Umayo, sits the pre-Incan cemetery of Sillustani. With its chimney like structures you could be forgiven for mistaking this for a crematorium, but these stone towers are in fact tombs. It is thought that each would have been the resting place for a complete family of mummified…

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Cusco

Cusco

Our plan for Cusco was to kick back in a nice hotel, relax, and take it easy, while letting our bodies gently adjust to 3,400 metres of altitude, before we headed higher up onto the Altiplano. We'd actually arrived into Cusco a week earlier, but headed straight down into the sacred valley to visit Ollantaytambo, Maras, Moray and of course…

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Agricultural Terraces Of Moray

The Terraces of Moray

On the way into the sacred valley we stopped off at the Maras salt mine, and on the way back we stopped off at Moray. Like Maras, the ruins at Moray are a hidden gem in the mountains between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The amphitheatre like circular terraces date back to Incan times and are thought to have been used…

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Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Having travelled half way around the world, by train, plane and automobile, I was worried that Machu Picchu wouldn't live up to the hype and would be overcrowded & underwhelming - but I'm happy to say I was completely wrong. Machu Picchu alone made our entire South American adventure worth it. Machu Picchu has a reputation for being one of…

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Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo sits at the heart of the sacred valley and marks the start of the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. The town itself is definitely worth a visit with its Incan ruins that rise up the side of the valley in a series of stepped terraces. Our visit to Ollantaytambo coincided with the Incan sun festival of Ollantay Raymi, and…

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Salt Pools Of Maras

The Salt Pools of Maras

Maras sits in the hills leading into the Sacred Valley in Peru. On the outskirts of the village a natural spring trickles out of the mountain, but for some unknown reason the water is laden with salt. Directed through a network of intricate channels, the water feeds in to hundreds of pre-Incan pools where it is left to evaporate in…

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Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines

When I think of Peru I think of three places - Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Nazca lines. Created by the Nazcas around 1,500 years ago, the lines are a bizarre set of ancient geoglyphs best seen from above, and that's what makes them fantastical. Not only because no one really know how or why they were created, but…

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Huacachina

Huacachina

It is rather surreal to spend the morning on a speedboat and the afternoon in the desert on sand dunes. Huacachina may only be 40 miles from the coast but the sand dunes are quite impressive. We spent the afternoon on a dune buggy, trying our hand at sand boarding and watching the sun set, before going for dinner by…

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The Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands

The Ballestas Islands, known locally as the poor man's Galapagos, sit ten miles off the coast from the small town of Paracas. This was Peru day one for us and we'd been up since 4am. Having spent the last 2 days travelling it was lovely to be out in the fresh sea air. The speedboat whisked us out along the…

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