We highly recommend PeruHop and BoliviaHop as our experience with them was memorable. The company is well managed and you get the feeling that they really care about their customers … the result is a memorable experience.
We opted to take a taxi rather than the bus from Vilcabamba to Loja. It was early in the morning and misty in patches. The taxi driver drove “rápido”. In sections the roads are potholed with broken rough surfaces resulting in much braking and swerving. The taxis here are all rugged double cabs ... which are probably the one vehicle that can survive the road conditions!
After looking at the various hiking options in Vilcabamba we decided to do the Izhcayluma Loop Hike. Most looked quite easy and short and this one looked just right for a day's outing.
Making the decision to do a hike was easy … the area invites you out to experience the majesty, mild weather and clean environment. With that in mind we chose the estimated 5 hour Izhcayluma Loop.
No-see-ums are unknown by their scientific name of Ceratopogonidae ... and it's no wonder with a name like that!
But they are known all over the world by names like - biting midges - midgies in Scotland - no-see-ums - "sand flies" - punkies in the Americas - "sand flies" in Australia and "purruja" in Ecuador.
Cheap tickets to Lima Peru are not easy to find. We flew from Bogota Colombia on VivaColombia (Fast Colombia SAS!). The experience started quite badly. For the first time I’d bought a ticket with all the add-ons including a “rapido” check-in. It turned out to be anything but “rapido”.
We visited Quito and Cuenca Ecuador after Peru. Our trip planning wasn’t the best in that we had to pay the flight premium for going back north.
This happened as we'd spent longer than planned in Costa Rica with our Spanish lessons and the date for the Inca Trail had been fixed months before.
Accepted bus travel in Colombia takes longer than flying but:
In Medellin we were told that Bogota Colombia "is just a big dirty city". From our experience there's nothing further from the truth. While there are parts that are "big" and that there are parts that are "dirty" there’s a lot more to the city than the “big” and “dirty”.