Panoramic views from a pass back over Lake Llanganuco, near the start of the Santa Cruz trek. This 4 day trek featured snow, rain and sun and moved through just a few of the stunning valleys, glaciers, lakes and epic snow capped mountains that make up the Cordillera Blancas. Much like Nepal, we would have loved to have spent several more weeks trekking around them!!
Feature Photos Archive
3000 years ago the Chavin consolidated the ancient religion of Peru and its shamanic traditions. Famed for their priests use of San Pedro cactus in sacred ceremonies to communicate with the spirit world – these Sculpted heads located on the outside of the ancient temple site of Chavin de Huanter collectively demonstrate the process of transformation from human to feline (or jaguar) form as experienced by the priests in ceremony…
Some of the famous cigar shaped fishing boats, Totora’s, parked on the Peruvian beach of Huanchaco. Fishermen have been riding these things like horses in the oceans for thousands of years in these parts. Though these days its mostly for tourist entertainment, it still makes for many a scenic happy snap.
High up in the Andes immersed in cloud forests, the magnificent ancient city of Kuelap sits astride the mountain, ruling the land in all directions. It takes a 3 hour winding drive from the nearest sizable city to get here, but the views are absolutely stunning and the ruins themselves captivating! Too difficult to get everything in the same frame, I settled for a shot of the view.
These brilliantly sculpted sarcophagi near Chachapoyas in the Northern Highlands of Peru, are placed impossibly high up on a cliff-face – each contained a mummy and is in excess of 2m tall. All around this area are similar burial sites (some are entire cities) most from unknown times. Forgotten people of lost civilizations guarding the magnificent mountain landscapes from their seemingly inaccessible vistas.
Ecuador is the land of the hat. Everyone has one here, most especially the women. Green, brown or black felt ones with a feather in the side; white or felt bowler hats – essential for daily wear to identify your tribe. Then of course there is the Panama hat – Ecuador’s most famous export and possibly the most famous hat of all, yet weirdly, irreparably credited to Panama. What do you do?
Some friendly felt puppets showing off the indigenous dress styles of the locals at Otavalo. One of the best markets in South America, Otavalo is famous for felt hats, leather-work, handy craft and the traditional wear / friendly demeanor of the locals. Unfortunately the puppets were easier to photograph.
Gives a whole new meaning to ‘getting a leg over’. We were lucky enough to come across this encounter wandering around a tortoise reserve. Apparently the male (top) tries to pin the female (much smaller) with his neck first, so that he can then climb on top and pin her for the deed. Meanwhile, she is trying to run (tortoise speed) to the nearest tree which she will use to protect herself (him being to large to maneuver). Mating like this takes several hours, but we gave up after 20 minutes. Really didn’t know who to go for here either!
Every island in the Galapagos has a unique assortment of wildlife, but these guys were probably my favourites. The mating dance of the frigate bird is quite spectacular as he blows up his chest into a giant bubble and waves it around. The blue footed boobie is just visually odd (there is a red footed one on another island) and of course you can’t beat the giant tortoises, like mini elephant caravans – some are close to 2m long and live to 200 years old.
On top of every rock, under ever cactus, all over every island in the Archipelago. Iguanas of vivid colour – land or sea (and unnatural unions of the two), simply lie around, free of threat, focused entirely on soaking up the sun’s rays. This guy wouldn’t move no matter what we did so focused was he on the task at hand. His position would be the envy of any yogi – a perfect sun salutation.