Travel and Value: What Can You Buy For $0.66?

Value: a topic of great debate, perhaps nowhere more so than in the world of travel.We've had friends rave about inns in Costa Rica that are a "great value" at $300 a night. At the same time, we've met travelers who do the "bad value" balk when accommodation anywhere runs more than $3.Call one a spendthrift. Call the other cheap. Value is in the eye of the … [Read more...]

The Salkantay Trek: From Glaciers to Machu Picchu

“Oooh, Machu Picchu!” Even my mom caught the hype when I told her we were headed there last week. As excited as she’s been about our travels, I think that was the first "Oooh!" of our trip she ever uttered.We kept our expectations low, however. Maybe it’s our reflex reaction to the prevailing travel wisdom: “Machu Picchu is the granddaddy of South American … [Read more...]

7 Treks That Made Us Gasp

At the time this is published, we should be crossing Apacheta Pass (4,650 meters/15,255 feet) and one day away from Peru's Machu Picchu. That is, if the scheduled publishing works as it should and we don't need an emergency mule ride or airlift from the top of the mountain.In preparing for this, the Salkantay Trek, we reflected on other memorable multi-day treks … [Read more...]

Machu Picchu? Not Yet. A Slideshow of the Other Peru

As much as anyone else, we enjoy visiting world-famous tourist sites and embarking on adventure trips. Peru has been no exception. In fact, in just a few hours we depart for a five-day trek to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu by way of a mountain pass at 4650 meters/15,500 feet.But there’s almost always another side to the countries we visit. And sometimes we … [Read more...]

Microfinance Diaries: Seeing is Believing in West Bengal

The driver carved his way across northern West Bengal through territory unknown to most, including the mapmakers. Our SUV eventually rolled to a stop at the end of a dirt road where a group of village women dressed in their best and brightest saris were seated in a semi-circle on the ground. They had been waiting for hours.And they were waiting for us. … [Read more...]