Kuelap – Even these ruin snobs were impressed

As the first city in Peru that we’ve stayed in, Chachapoyas had the unfortunate responsiblity of giving us a good first impression of this 3rd country in our RTW travel.

Fortunately, Chachapoyas had nothing to worry about.

Its neat and tidy plaza and white painted buildings brought us back to all of those cute Colombian pueblos that we loved so much.

And if you’re into ruins, you’ll love it even more. This area is not only blessed with dramatic sceneries, but it’s dotted with more ruins that you probably have time for.

Facts You Need to Know Before Doing The Huayhuash Trek

The Huayhuash Trek has gained reputation as the most scenic and challenging trekking route in Peru. It goes around the mountain range of Cordillera Huayhuash, through high mountain passes (some are over 5000 m), numerous glacial lakes, and beautiful Andean sceneries. On average, it takes 10 days to complete the trek.

Jack and Jill Going Offline

Huaraz, Peru

We have been in Huaraz for almost 2 weeks now. And most likely we’ll be stuck in this area for at least another month. If you know us and you’ve been to Huaraz you might have guessed why…

Surrounded by 3 mountain ranges: Cordillera Blanca, Cordillera Huayhuash and Cordillera Negra, Huaraz is heaven for rock climbers, peak baggers, and trekkers. Everyday it seems the list of things we’d like to do here is getting longer and longer: peaks to climb, glaciers to wield an ice axe on, cliffs to scale…

How Much Does It Cost to Travel Ecuador (and other tidbits)

Total days: 69 days
Cost per day: $21 pp – (with Galapagos it’s $200 pp)
Cities visited: 6
Days sick: 0/0 (yay!)
Conversion rate: $1 = $1

Adventures

– Being asked to design and paint a local cafe’s window in Baños
– Survived partying ala college days in Baños
– Mountain biking down Cotopaxi
– …

Playing Americans in Trujillo, Peru

Big cities are never quite our things.

We’ve been on the road for 4 months and the number of big cities we can safely say we’ve explored is very few. There were those 3 days we spent in Medellin. The 1 day spent in Quito.

So safe to say that for the 4 months we’ve been traveling in South America we never had the opportunity to enjoy big city stuff. Things such as concerts, museums, and the hustle bustle of a city life.

Things such as shopping malls. Western style shopping malls.

Things We Did in Baños That Didn't Kill Us

Baños is known as Ecuador’s center of extreme adventure activities. You can do anything here as long as it involves climbing up stuff and falling down stuff.

And if it involves water and volcanoes, it’s even better.

We felt right at home there.

Here are some of the things we did that we’ve survived:

Where Have All the Hippies Gone?

Handsome Vilcabamba main square and church

Apparently they all ended up here in Vilcabamba.

I’ve never seen so many old people and tie dye-clad people – sometimes they’re the ones and the same – since… Well, never, actually.

Vilcabamba is experiencing some sort of gringo boom, it seems like. It’s especially popular with the retired folks. We came to Vilcabamba on our way to Peru from Baños. We didn’t really know what to expect – but surely we didn’t expect a town overrun with expats and tourists.

The Best of Baños

Having stayed in Baños for almost 2 months, both Jack and I have discovered some places that quickly became our favorites. We’d love to share them with you.

Taking A Break From Hostel Living – Come See Our $7 Apartment

We stumbled across this apartment when we were trying to help our friends, Miin and Neil, to find an apartment here in Baños.

The guy quoted us $25 per person per week to this 3 br apartment right in the center of the city.

(You should’ve seen the face of the wife when she found out – she knew she could’ve charged us more.)

It comes with cable TV, free WiFi, and hot water. And we even have hot water in the kitchen – the first we’ve ever had in South America.

Ingapirca, Not Quite Blown Away

Ingapirca ruin, Ecuador

In case you’re curious, we’re still in Baños, Ecuador at the moment. We’ve been here for 5 weeks. Don’t worry, the end of this week we’re really, this time for real, going to move on.

A couple of weeks ago, I left Jack behind in Baños while a girlfriend and I made a weekend trip to Cuenca.

On the agenda: girls-only time and visiting Ingapirca.

Unfortunately, for my first Inca ruin ever, Ingapirca turned out to be only mildly entertaining.