Visiting the Tambopata Reserve in the Amazon River Basin


Visiting the rainforest had always been at the top of my bucket list. When I was a kid, I dreamed of adventuring through the jungle, seeing wild animals and traveling up river by boat. This past summer, I finally had my chance. I booked a four-day adventure with Inotawa Expeditions, an eco-lodge in the La Torre buffer zone of the Tambopata Reserve in the Amazonian River basin of Peru, and was promised that I'd see things I had never seen before. But first, I had to get there, which was easier said than done.

Our boat awaits
Learning about medicinal plants
The bar at Inotawa
The river
Piranha fishing
Mosquito netting!
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Five Days Visiting Lake Titicaca and Puno


While I had always wanted to visit Lake Titicaca, I never knew that much about the region around the lake. Rich in history, with ancient sites that predate the Inca, the lake also happens to be the largest in South America, spanning a distance larger than Puerto Rico! After three weeks staying in Cusco, I decided to take my daughter on a five-day trip to visit Puno, a town on the northern, Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca, as well as to see a few of the many islands. 

Totora reed boat on Lake Titicaca
Terraces on Amantani Island
Helping sort potatoes on Amantani
The view from the top of Amantani
Great view while learning about the people on Taquile Island
The church (left) and weaving/knitting community center (right) on Taquile
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The Plaza de Armas and Surrounding Attractions in Cusco, Peru


About an hour flight from Lima, at an elevation of 11,200 feet way up in the Andes Mountains, sits Cusco, Peru. The city, once the capital of the ancient Inca Empire, is a World Heritage Site that retains a mix of Spanish and indigenous Quechua cultures. For my first trip to Peru with my daughter, I decided to make Cusco my homebase for three weeks, using the city as a launching pad from which to visit surrounding areas of interest around the main square of the city. Below I've listed more than a week's worth of highlights, although truly, one of my favorite things to do while in the city was not have any specific destination in mind, but to walk through the streets to find some of the old Inca walls over which the Spanish later built their buildings, as well as to discover new markets and try out my Spanish.

View over the Plaza de Armas
Catholic festival in Cusco
Display at the Museo de la Coca to the goddess, Pachamama
Twelve-Sided Stone
Local children dressed in costume in the Plaza de Armas
Mundo Antiguo Spanish School
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