Posts By iylana

When we started planning our Cuba adventure, we had no idea where we would stay. We booked the flights with the hope we'd be able to find suitable and affordable accommodations down the line. We wanted to stay in a Casa Particular (private home with rooms for rent) as opposed to a state-run hotel. Casas allow you to have a more personal…

I typically bring quite a few souvenirs home, but this trip was a little different since we really didn't have time to shop. I'm not an impulse buyer, so even in another country it takes me a long time to select exactly what I want to buy. Though I would have loved a nice alpaca wool blanket, I have no regrets because the treasures…

When we began planning our trip to Machu Picchu, we were overwhelmed at the choices of treks and trekking companies to choose from. Like anyone would, we began with a lot of general Google research, then checked TripAdvisor to see which companies had the highest ratings. Deciding on the Salkantay trek instead of the classic Inca Trail helped narrow our options. The classic Inca…

The iPhone Photography Awards recently announced their 2015 winners and this photo I snapped in Cappadocia received an honorable mention in the Panorama category! This photo was taken about 6am in Goreme, Turkey from the balcony of Nostalji Cave Suit Hotel. I remember welcoming those morning calls to prayer from the nearby mosque, because I wanted to wake up early…

We love Airbnb for finding budget friendly accommodations. Rooms in people's houses, entire houses, bed and breakfasts, locally owned hotels and international chains can all be found on airbnb. For our last night in Cusco, we stayed at a small bed and breakfast, Garden of San Blas. Garden of San Blas, Cusco | $80 per night Rooms: Each room in this home is decorated…

We love Airbnb for finding budget friendly accommodations. Rooms in people's houses, entire houses, bed and breakfasts, locally owned hotels and international chains can all be found on airbnb. For our first two nights in Cusco, we stayed at a small, locally owned hotel, La Estancia de la Abuela. La Estancia de la Abuela, Cusco | $30 per night Rooms: Our…

We showed you what we packed in our bags before leaving for Peru, and now that we're back we're more informed on what should and shouldn't have been included. Overall I think we did a pretty good job, specifically concerning clothing, as we somehow managed to have clean clothes to wear on the plane home without having time to do laundry like we thought we…

(We've updated this post with post-trip comments in italics) Packing can easily be the most stressful part of a vacation, so we hope to be helpful to those planning similar trips by sharing our complete packing lists for every trip we take. We're no mountaineering pros, so all of these items are straight from our closet, with a few things purchased to fill…

Next week we head off on a week-long adventure to the Sacred Valley of Peru to hike our way to Machu Picchu. Instead of the famed Inka Trail, we'll be hiking the Salkantay Trail, which boasts incredible scenery as you traverse the Salkantay Mountain Pass at more than 15,000 feet. After spending a couple of days in Cuzco acclimatizing, we'll…

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