Sunday, January 4, 2015

Navidad in South America

Corey and I are down to one good trip a year for a while. For Christmas we chose Ecuador and Peru. The main goal was seeing Machu Picchu, Peru but since we were going to be down there we made the most of it.
The itinerary:
Quito---> Cuenca---> Guayaquil; We picked up a rental car in Quito and drove to each destination, dropped the car of at the airport in Guayaquil and flew to Lima.
Lima---> Cusco---> Ollantaytambo---> Machu Picchu---> Lima---> America; We chose not to drive in Peru and I'm glad we didn't. Driving in Ecuador was exhausting and according to the internet, Peru is more dangerous.
I always have grand visions of a remarkable trip report that I'm going to whip up for my blog and EVERY time I just don't do it. This time is no different. Here are a bunch of pictures with captions.
*I would like to note that the photos are in chronological order. That took effort.

Corey in Quito

Another virgin forced to protect a city. This sacred vagina watches over Quito.

Between Quito and Cuenca lies Cotopaxi National Park. We drove to see the breathtaking volcano. By breathtaking I mean that you literally can't breathe. The elevation was killing me! I'm smiling from hypoxia.

Corey and the volcano

It was absolutely incredible. I wish I could capture more of its beauty.

We made it to Cuenca and loved our stay there. We were surprised with amazing buildings and the funnest Christmas Eve parade! No one parades like S. America. They love Baby Jesus.

We LOVED this rooftop. Cuenca was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

We drove to Guayaquil so Corey could go to Iguana Park. Also, we flew out of there to Lima so it worked out well.

All of the iguanas were in the trees when we arrived. You really need to watch out because not only will poop reign from the trees, the iguanas will fall out and hit people. They are not graceful descending the trees. 

They just want treats. We coaxed the reptiles from the trees with bananas. Turns out you're not supposed to feed them, but we made plenty of friends giving the bananas away so I feel like breaking the rules to be popular was okay this time.

After arriving in Lima we went straight to this tiny city named Ollantaytambo. It was incredible and very surreal. Our hotel, Picaflor Tambo, was outrageously adorable and straight out of a movie. The running water on the right is from a glacier and has been flowing for over 700 years.

The walk from our hotel to the train station.

We rode the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, rode a bus up a dangerously long and windy road, then hiked a little to discover this magnificent view. Machu Picchu was one of the first places I decided I wanted to travel to and arriving there was a wonderful feeling.

It was extremely cloudy all morning and only cleared up about 10 minutes before we left, but I didn't care at all. I enjoyed the mist and thought it added to the location.

My best picture of Machu Picchu. 

Back to Lima for a few days. We ended with a private tour and that was the best decision we could have made to see the capital. There are 10 million people in Lima. Just imagine trying to see the sights with Trip Advisor and taxis...the thought wears me out. For $25/hour we rode in a nice SUV, with a guide who spoke english, who drove well and took us to several cool places. It would have taken us days to see all of that!

How many South Americans live. 

O Redentor of the Pacific.

A beautiful Catholic church where we toured their catacombs! I saw so many skulls.

Busted! Sleepy police in Lima.

Action shot! I'm so glad we don't have to march like that.

A main square in downtown Lima. I love the extreme difference in culture here. It's very unique to see the Andean culture and the city folk mix so seamlessly.

1 comment:

Janna Renee said...

Those places are so gorgeous they don't even look real!! I'm glad y'all had an amazing trip. We will totally make it down there one day.