4 Things To Do in Minca Colombia

When I was in Cartagena I stumbled onto this town called Minca.

I use the word stumble loosely as this place was 5 hours away from the city of Cartagena. But I only heard about it from another backpacker.

Anyways, it is a small mountain town. Or as I refer to it a hippy town. The coffee shop I went into when I first got there had no doors on the bathroom. You feel me?

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Cartagena – The New “IT” Place

Colombia has risen to the top of people’s travel bucket list – and for good reason. It is a beautiful country that is clawing itself out of it’s bad reputation. You say Colombia, and people automatically think cocaine capital of the world.

For a while, this was true. However, now a days the government has started to clean up areas of the country and wipe out the production of drugs. In areas like Minca, a town in the mountains, that residents used to make money from working the cocaine fields, are now profiting from tourism and coffee farms.

So, is it a safe place to go to? Yes and no.

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Packing for a Trek to Machu Picchu

I was under the impression that bringing a few layers of clothing would be more than enough to trek to Machu Picchu for four days. Well… turns out I was mistaken.

I ended up wearing ever piece of clothing I had in order to stay warm. So please read this blog, and don’t make the same mistake as me.

The best time to go to Machu Picchu is from May – November to avoid the rainy season. Unfortunately, this means you are going to be in Peru during their winter months. Which at an altitude of over 3,000 meters feels quite cold.

If you are doing the Inca Trail or the Salcantay Trail you will probably have to pack slightly different items. The Inca Trail is all stairs and if you go in the dry season you will be in the sun all day. If you are doing the Salcantay Trail part of it goes through the Amazon so it is humid and there are more chance of encountering mosquitos. The climate also varies on the time of the year you go, as well as, how long a trek you are doing, as a 2 day trek and 5 day trek may have different paths.

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Peru, Cusco, Inca, Inca Trail, Lares Trek, Trip, Adventure, Travel, Machu Picchu

What You Need to Know: Planning a Trip to Peru

My next adventure is taking me to South America. This will be the first time travelling to Latin America for pleasure and not to see family.

If you want to explore a new place without having to think too much about  what to see and not see, I recommend using a tour.  It is the easiest way to plan a tour – book a flight and show up. Contiki, G Adventures, Intrepid Travel and  are all great companies to book a tour with – I’ve heard great feedback from all. They offer a variety of tours based on countries and length of the trip. Personally, I have used Contiki  for a Europe tour and it was a great experience.

So, where to even start if you aren’t going with a tour company?

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How I Started 2017: Realizing I’m Closer to 30

It is currently 1pm on January 1, 2017 and I can’t help but reflect on how different it is to spend new years outside of your “home” country.

I decided to finish 2016 in Argentina visiting my family that I have not seen in 2 and ½ years. It is and was a great idea.

For those who have never spent the holidays in a Latin American country here is some key information to prepare you:

  1. You will be sweating all day on December 31st as if it truly were the last day on Earth. It reached 40 degrees Celsius in Cordoba Argentina – plus thermal sensation.
  2. You will need to take a siesta to keep up with the locals
  3. You will not be having dinner before 10pm
  4. You will be spending the first hour of the new year (i.e. from 12pm to 1am) with family ringing in the new year
  5. You will gather all the energy you gained in your siesta to go out with friends at 2:30am
  6. You will not get home until after 5 in the morning

If this sounds like a great time to you – which it is – then you need to plan new years in the south.

Here is a run down of my last day in 2016 and my first day of 2017:

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Argentina

I have traveled to Argentina probably 10 times – aside from having lived there for the first 8 years of my life. But despite all my time spent there, I can’t find a way to describe my experience. It is very different than going to a country for the first time. I don’t get off the airplane and get filled with excitement to explore a new place, I get excited to spend two to three weeks with family.

I have never experienced Argentina as a tourist. So I think the best way to show you what Argentina – in this case Córdoba – looks like is through pictures. Continue reading “Argentina”