Why You Want to Hire a Guide When Traveling to Machu Picchu

In many destinations around the world we've found that we were able to navigate around, learn about the sights, and leave with a good understanding of the history without paying for a tour guide.

In Machu Picchu and the surrounding region of Peru, you won't be so lucky.

This is one attraction where you absolutely need a guide because, quite simply, the ruins have no posted signs or information.

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The Inca Trail Broke Me – So I Quit

Ruins in Peru

I quit. Only one day into the four day classic Inca Trail, the world famous trek, I quit and turned around. Normally I'd expect to feel regret or a sense of failure, but for me, it was the best decision I've ever made.

To be honest, the only reason I signed up for the Inca Trail – eight months in advance – was based on the word of people I'd met and bloggers who had done it. Everyone everywhere claimed this could not be missed.

To arrive at Machu Picchu without walking there was sacrilege. I'm missing the gene that makes walking and running fun, so I'm always cursing myself for signing up for these treks a few hours into them. The Inca Trail would turn out to be no different, but also way worse.

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Is Peru Safe? A Different Kind of Perspective on This Popular Country

Alpaca Does Not Approve

Prior to having our backpack stolen in Peru, we thought the country would be one of the more tourist friendly and safest in the region.

This opinion came to be because, as travelers, we're constantly bombarded with the fact that so many destinations around the world are considered “unsafe.”  Nearby countries like Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia all have this connotation blasted regularly, and not a day goes by where you hear warnings to travelers in the region.  Ask any random person why they wouldn't want to visit, and odds are good the first thing they're going to say is “it isn't safe” regardless of if they know why or not.

Peru, on the other hand, is relatively quiet in this respect and seemingly gives the perception as being a destination safe for all visitors.  With ad campaigns blasting left and right, the tourist board and other agencies do a very good job at making Peru the must visit destination in South America.  Where so much negativity comes out from other nearby countries, Peru seems to be that shining beacon calling visitors from far away to enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday in an otherwise lesser-traveled region of the world.

Sadly, this projection is simply not true.

Peru is no better than the rest in terms of safety for both locals and visitors alike, and this disconnect is very troubling to us.

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How to Get an Emergency Passport While Abroad

If you found this article via a search engine, then you probably lost your passport or, if you are like us, had your passport stolen.  Since no one can go back in time fix it, there is only one thing to do and that is head to an Embassy and get a new one.

But what if you cannot wait the 10-15(+) business days for a full replacement passport to arrive?  Well, the emergency passport is your answer.

Since there is hardly any information published online about getting an emergency passport, what they are, and how they work, we are publishing our experience to help those who may find themselves in a similar situation.

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