May 132013
 

To most, Machu Picchu is a bucket list destination, right up there with the Great Wall and the Pyramids of Giza.  It is a destination that defines an entire continent.  But what often comes with such a designation are the precise things one tries to avoid when traveling: crowds, inauthenticity and price gouging.  If Jill and I were going to do this, and of course we were, we were going to have to get creative.  This was nothing new to us.  We were used to dealing with a bit of discomfort in order to stay on budget while visiting major tourist destinations.  The tricky part, however, is that we would no longer be alone.  My father would be joining us for two weeks as we made our way from Cuzco to Arequipa.  While we were thrilled to have the company, our tight timeline and budget in South America meant we agreed to the visit under one condition:  that we would continue to travel in the exact manner we would if it were just the two of us.  And although his resources provided new options, we would continue to be frugal travelers, cutting corners wherever possible. We wanted to visit Machu Picchu on a shoestring, avoiding the tourism super highway.  Or at least as much as that is possible. Continue reading »