Best Way to Get from Cusco to Puno, Peru

Going from the Sacred Valley to Lake Titicaca (or vice versa) is a common route for most travelers in Peru. Puno is the gateway to the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. With car travel often discouraged in Peru, it is often difficult to figure out the best way to travel across the country. Here we outline the different ways to get between Cusco and Puno and each ones’ benefits.

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Luxury PeruRail Lake Titicaca Train Ride: Cusco to Puno

The Titicaca Train from Cusco to Puno is not only the most beautiful train ride in Peru but also one of the most scenic in the world. Also known as the Andean Explorer train, this route goes between the city center of Cusco and Puno. This train ride is so much more than transporting you from A to B. This luxury train is styled after a 1920s Pullman train and goes through the Andes Mountains, reaching over 14,000 feet of elevation. The total journey takes 10 hours and includes 2 gourmet meals, traditional Peruvian dancing, and endless panoramic views. As a sucker for train travel, our expedition through the Andes Mountains by train was a highlight of our trip to Peru.

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Why are there so many unfinished buildings in Peru?

Likely one of the first things you’ll notice upon landing in Peru, besides the reduced oxygen in the air, is the prevalence of unfinished homes everywhere. You think: these cities have around for centuries, is it possible that they are still expanding? A quick google search will reveal that it has looked unfinished for decades. With exception of the wealthy neighborhoods in Lima, this problem is widespread throughout Peru. But why?

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Machu Picchu Day Trip from Ollantaytambo, Peru

A visit to Peru would be incomplete without a trip to the Lost City of the Incas. Machu Picchu is the perfectly placed hill-top Inca city in the middle of the jungle. Many travel books and guides advise spending a night in Aguas Calientes prior to visiting Machu Picchu – this is completely unnecessary. Machu Picchu can be visited as a day trip from the Sacred Valley or Cusco, saving time and money without sacrificing your experience in Machu Picchu. This is a guide for visiting Machu Picchu as a day trip from Ollantaytambo: how to get there, when to visit, where to eat, and what to know before you go.

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11 Things to Do in Cusco, Peru

If you are going to Machu Picchu, you will most likely have to go through Cusco. Cusco is much more than just a gateway to Machu Picchu. This alluring city has beautiful architecture, abundant history, vibrant culture, and delicious food. The city’s buildings are a mix of Inca and Spanish colonial styles and there are many Inca ruins just outside the city’s hub. The strong Catholic faith and history in this area means frequent colorful festivals and parades. Hopefully, these 11 things to do in Cusco encourages you to extend your stay beyond Machu Picchu.

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A Vegetarian Food Guide to Peru

Peru is not known for being vegetarian-friendly. Most of their cuisine centers around meat – a nice large slab of meat with some carby vegetables on the side. Even something labeled as vegetable soup will likely still have large chunks of meat attached to the bone in it. However, with a little bit of prior planning, it is actually quite easy to eat a vegetarian diet in Peru without starving. Most touristy cities now cater to vegetarian visitors, producing incredibly delicious food. Even if you are traveling off-the-beaten path in Peru, this guide can help you identify what you can eat that is still traditional Peruvian.

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71 Gifts Travelers Will Actually Want | Massive Travel Gift Guide

A true traveler values experiences over possessions – making them particularly difficult to shop for. However, there are many gifts that will greatly improve their adventures. Aside from an around-the-world plane ticket, these 71 gifts are ones that travelers will actually want. Below is a massive variety of gifts for all categories of traveler: the backpacker, the luxury-seeker, or the family globetrotters. Prices range from $5 to $500 – so no matter your budget, we got you covered.

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3 Days in Peru’s Sacred Valley

With most visitors beelining to the incredible bucket-list destination of Machu Picchu, the rest of Peru’s Sacred Valley is often forgotten. To fully experience this area, spend a few days outside of Cusco in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This river valley in the Andes Mountain range is less than an hour drive from Cusco and spans 60 kilometers from Pisac to Ollantaytambo. It is full of Inca ruins, Spanish colonial villages, fertile farmland, and colorful local markets. While most of these sights can be visited as day trips from Cusco, staying in one of the towns along the Urubamba river as a base saves you time, eases altitude sickness, and lets you enjoy the breathtaking views all day and night.

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What to Pack for Peru in August | 9 Days in a Carry-On

Figuring out what to pack for Peru can be challenging.  South America is very geographically diverse.  You could be at the beach on Monday, high up in the Andes Mountain range on Wednesday, and then trekking through the Amazon Jungle on Friday.  Oh, and don't forget that weekend excursion to the desert.  Additionally, with all that traveling around, lugging large suitcases on and off trains, planes, or buses can be a nightmare.  You need to be strategic with your packing.

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Cost for 9 Days In Peru | Sacred Valley, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Lima

The cost to travel in Peru can be incredibly difficult to estimate.  Even if you are a backpacker trekking around the country, the prices you will encounter can vary widely.  Peru is a fairly inexpensive country, but you will likely experience a "tourist tax" – paying more for items than the locals.  Visiting the major sights in Peru, like Machu Picchu, is pricey no matter how you get there (Inca Trail vs Train).  However, other luxuries may be a lot cheaper in Peru than elsewhere.  With some pre-planning and knowledge on fair prices, you can get some great deals on food, accommodations, and ground transportation.  In this article, every individual cost during our 9 day travels in Peru is outlined, with tips on saving money.

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The Best Art Museums in Paris for Non-Art Lovers

Spending an afternoon in an art museum is not my idea of a good time.  While traveling I would prefer to be outside enjoying nature, devouring some great local food, wandering around small villages or large cities admiring the architecture or just people watching.  Rarely do I love to be stuck inside a crowded museum looking at boring art.  Art which I cannot for the life of me figure out why it is important or worthy of paying to see.  Paris is full of art museums.  Nearly 50.  Many of which, for me, would be torture to have to visit.  However, Paris does have three excellent ones that anyone would enjoy.  Even if you could not tell me who painted the Mona Lisa.  

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11 Days in Iceland | Complete Itinerary for the Ring Road

I do not know if there is any country in the world more picturesque, unique, and just downright unbelievable as Iceland.  I am generally averse to visiting the same destination multiple times as there are so many other places in the world to explore, but Iceland might just be an exception.  With so much of the island untouched, you can come back and visit multiple times and still find new and unexpected gems.  We visited in the middle of June for 11 days and drove around the entire country.  All seasons have their perks and there really is no wrong time to visit.  We chose mid-June because it was only at the start of peak season, 22+ hours of daylight, lupines would be in peak bloom, and temperatures would be getting warmer.

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Sunshine Blogger Award

This is a bit of a more personal post than the normal travel guides.Yesterday was a pretty great day for me as a newbie blogger.  Not only am I starting to get 500 views daily on this website, I reached 1000 followers on Instagram and was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  Big thank you to Girl Around Europe for the nomination!! The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer-recognition award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring.  

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How to Spend 3 Days in Reykjavik, Iceland

Our fourth day driving the Ring Road was action packed as we went through the martian landscape of northeast Iceland.  The highlights of this section of the Ring Road include the powerful Dettifoss waterfall, the geothermal lava fields of Krafla and Hevrir, a lava cave steam bath, volcanic craters, lava rock fields, and the gorgeous Lake Mývatn.  It was a long day that ended with a problem with our Airbnb.  

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How to Eat Cheap in Iceland | Less than $8 a Day

Iceland is expensive.  It is the 4th most expensive country in the world based on consumer price indexes.  High food costs are a large part of it.  There are certainly ways to keep your costs down if you strategize.  During our 11-day trip around Iceland, we spent less than $8 a day per person on food.  You go to Iceland for the beautiful landscapes and thrilling experiences, save your money for accommodations and activities rather than food.  Here are practical tips for eating cheap in Iceland.

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The Best Summer Adventure Activities in Iceland

Iceland has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.  The Land of Fire & Ice is packed with volcanoes, glaciers, and rugged terrain to explore.  Iceland is a destination that is difficult to top.  While you still will be impressed with this country if all you did was drive around and take pictures, getting out of your comfort zone and taking on some adventure will leave you with lifetime memories.  When we travel we always try to prioritize experiences over spending unnecessary money on food and fancy accommodations.  Like everything in Iceland, these activities are pricey but oh so worth it. There is so much to do in summer to make use of those long days and the midnight sun.  Here we list the 5 adventure activities we did during our trip and rank them based on our experiences.  

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Top 8 Things to See in Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the most extraordinary regions in Iceland for dramatic landscapes and must-see sights.  You can see everything from glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls, varying colored beaches, steep ocean cliffs, or volcano peaks.  Here we recommend the 8 top things to see and do on your trip through Snæfellsnes.  We were visiting Snæfellsnes as a detour from the Ring Road (we were traveling counter-clockwise).  The first two places listed we visited after our drive to Snæfellsnes from Akureyri.  The remaining 6 we visited the next day as we made our way back to Reykjavik ending our Ring Road Trip.  Snæfellsnes Peninsula is also a great day trip from Reykjavik whether by driving it yourself or taking a tour.

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Day 6: Driving the Ring Road in Iceland | Akureyri to Grundarfjörður

Our longest driving day took us from Akureyri to Grundarfjörður, across the north of the country.  Most of the day consisted of gawking out the car's windows at the beautiful scenery we drove through.  We took the occasional stop to fly the drone when the surroundings were just too captivating to ignore.  This day was the start of our detour from the Ring Road to Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  Snæfellsnes Peninsula has some of the most alluring views in all of Iceland.  After our long drive, we visited two great spots on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula: the city of Stykkishólmur and Kirkjufell.  We spent the night in the most amazing Airbnb overlooking Kirkjufell and the ocean.

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