All posts tagged: things to do

Biking Coconuco to Popayán: Not the “Death Road,” but…

When planning my partner and I’s journey overland from Colombia to Ecuador, we had to find a place to stop along the way to break up the journey from Bogotá to the border.  We could have stopped in the eclectic, salsa-loving city of Cali, but since we prefer smaller places, we decided to take a 12 hour overnight bus from Bogotá to the small city of Popayán. Popayán is known for its colonial architecture and as Colombia’s “White City” due to the historical centre which is filled with white buildings.  It is surrounded by mountains, including the Purace Volcano.  Once you’ve explored the colonial centre, it’s worth it to either attempt the Purace volcano climb (only allowed with a guide and trips aren’t made every day if you’re tight for time) or take a trip to the nearby indigenous village of Coconuco for some time in hot springs and an adrenaline-pumping bike ride. I booked the trip to Coconuco through my hostel, HostelTrail.  It cost 55,000 Colombian Pesos, or about $25 Canadian.  It included getting …

Visiting Guatapé with the Paisas

I originally read that Guatapé, a two hour trip outside of Medellin, was busy and crowded on weekends, and so, not being a fan of crowds, planned to visit on a Monday as a daytrip.  But some things in our Medellin schedule had to get rearranged, and so we had to change our daytrip to fall on a Sunday.  It turns out this was the best decision that could have happened – the vibe of Guatapé on a Sunday was one of my most fun days in Colombia.

Cusco, Peru: More Than a Machu Picchu Launchpad

For many travellers to Peru, Cusco is seen as the quasi-“basecamp” for adventures to Machu Picchu, whether by bus and train or on the famous Inca Trail.  Cusco, at an elevation around 3400 m above sea level, is a place to acclimatize to the altitude, especially if hiking in the Andes is imminent.  But this historic capital of the Inca empire should be seen as a destination in its own right, and there’s plenty of things to see, do, and learn within the city and in its immediate surrounding area – so much so, that even after spending 5 days there, I still hadn’t seen everything.

Exploring Arequipa – Peru’s White City

Nestled in southern Peru amongst canyons and volcanoes, Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city and a must-see destination if you’re visiting Peru.  It’s best to dedicate one to two days to this often-called “White City” before you embark deeper into canyon country, such as a trek into the Colca Canyon (many of these treks can be booked directly from Arequipa as well).  Here are some of the places that make for great exploring in Arequipa.

Sampling Boulder Breweries and Tap Rooms

As explained by my previous post about Denver’s Craft Breweries and the reason behind our mini-break to the American mid-west, we were in Colorado for a few days at the end of October largely to visit some craft breweries.  A desire to see the Flat Irons mountains and to experience the hippie vibes I’d heard about, we decided to hop on a bus for a day trip into Boulder, about 45 minutes from downtown Denver by bus.  We began the day walking around the Chautauqua Park and the gorgeous leaf-lined streets filled with beautiful houses, and then made our way to try a few different breweries and tap houses.  Again, we couldn’t possibly visit all of them, so here’s where we checked out and my corresponding reviews. Boulder Beer Company When I was looking at Boulder Breweries, none of them really seemed to be near the downtown area – they were all far out in more industrial areas and required a good 20 minute bus plus 12 minute walk to get to.  Boulder Beer, which claims to be …

A Taste of Denver Breweries and Tap Rooms

After my partner and I made a spontaneous decision to fly down to Denver on Airmiles for a few days to see Sufjan Stevens in concert, we had to think of how else to spend our time to make the most of a mini-break.  We were going on the cheap so we didn’t plan on renting a car, and given it was the end of October, we weren’t sure if the weather would be conducive to any serious mountain hiking.  I did a bit of poking around on the Internet, and realized the ultimate thing we could do to spend our time (and money): drink craft beer.  My parents travel for wineries all the time, so why not travel for beer?