Making the most of your Lima layover

April 27th, 2017 | by Nick Dall

With a fascinating colonial past, a thriving culinary scene and a gorgeous coastline, Peru’s bustling capital is so much more than a layover

Meet the Qhapaq Ñan crew: Kevin Floerke

February 28th, 2017 | by Nick Dall

A bona fide archaeologist with a special interest in Inca roads who also just happens to be a drone pilot, rock climber and videographer...Kevin was made for our Qhapaq Ñan expedition

Meet the Qhapaq Ñan crew: John Leivers

January 30th, 2017 | by Nick Dall

Veteran Australian adventurer John Leivers has spent more time walking in the Andes than most llamas. His vast knowledge and on-the-ground experience of the Qhapaq Ñan make him an irreplaceable member of the team

Five staples of Andean cuisine

November 16th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

When you combine high altitude, low rainfall and bitter winters you get hungry people. This week’s blog looks at five cornerstones of the Andean diet

Qhapaq Ñan–Second Expedition,Part 2

November 4th, 2016 | by Nicholas Stanziano

Hilarious and captivating stories from SA Expeditions Founder, Nick Stanziano, as he boldly walks 200 miles over 2 weeks thru Southern Peru with a trusted team of llamas to bring the magic of the Great Inca Road, Qhapaq Ñan, to all of us

Qhapaq Ñan–Second Expedition,Part 1

November 4th, 2016 | by Nicholas Stanziano

Journey along side Nick Stanziano as he prepares to hike 5 months along the Great Inca Road - Qhapaq Ñan - connecting Ecuador and Peru, with a team of Inca Trail experts and a pack of somewhat unruly llamas

Things to do in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos

November 2nd, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Most first-time visitors to the wildlife wonder that is the Galapagos are surprised that it's got a bona fide town, with shops and restaurants and schools. Read on to find out more about Puerto Ayora's main attractions

Lodge to lodge treks near Machu Picchu

September 16th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Dilemma: You’ve always wanted to do the Inca Trail but you also value the finer things in life. Get the best of both worlds by doing one of the luxurious lodge to lodge treks on offer near Cusco

What to do on your Guayaquil stopover

September 12th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Many Galapagos itineraries include a stopover in Guayaquil, the so-called Pearl of the Pacific. Follow these tips to make the most out of your time in Ecuador's largest city.

Choquechaca: An Interlude to the Qhapaq Ñan

September 6th, 2016 | by Nicholas Stanziano

I would have never come up with the crazy idea to hike 2,000 miles on the Qhapaq Ñan without Choquechaca. When I first arrived in Choquechaca 12 years ago a new chapter of my life began

Qhapaq Ñan – Week 2 / Semana 2

August 22nd, 2016 | by Nicholas Stanziano

Read on for a blow by blow account of the second week of our Chief Explorer's Qhapac Ñan adventure from Chavín in the highlands to Casma at the coast.

Qhapaq Ñan – Week 1 / Semana 1

August 14th, 2016 | by Nicholas Stanziano

Today we begin a series of expeditions that will keep us busy for the next 12 months. In total we will walk nearly 3,000 miles of the great Inca road system known as the Qhapaq Ñan

5 must-sees in Quito’s gorgeous Old Town

July 15th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Quito’s Old Town is so jampacked with incredible experiences, that it can be hard to choose which ones to visit. We’ve done the legwork for you and handpicked 5 of the very best

Buenos Aires in the shoes of Evita

June 27th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Lionel Messi, Jorge Luis Borges, Che Guevara and Diego Maradona…Argentina has produced plenty of global icons, but none more famous than Evita Peron. When you visit Buenos Aires, be sure to follow in her footsteps a little

Gallery: Hummingbird heaven in Ecuador

June 11th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Ecuador is home to an incredible 132 species of hummingbird - more than any other country in the world - and their spectacular diversity is a reason in itself to visit the country.

A closer look at Inca rope bridges

May 31st, 2016 | by Nick Dall

The vast Inca road network relied on about 200 rope bridges to traverse the steep valleys and canyons of the Andes. Only one such bridge remains…

Climbing Machu Picchu Mountain

May 21st, 2016 | by Nick Dall

There’s no denying the 3 to 4-hour hike up Machu Picchu Mountain is tiring, But the views from the top more than make up for the exertion…

5 of the best Buenos Aires hoods

May 2nd, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Buenos Aires is an enormous city. With 14 million inhabitants, you could spend a month here and feel like you hardly know the place. Fortunately it’s divided into neighborhoods, each one distinct from the other. We've rounded up 5 of the best

Introducing Chile: Land of extremes

March 24th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

Preposterously long and thin, Chile’s absurd natural extremes make it every adventurer’s dream. What’s more, the people are charming, the culture is infectious and the wine is world class

Zika virus: All you need to know

February 10th, 2016 | by Nick Dall

The Zika virus has been dominating headlines for the past month or so and there is no doubting the challenge South America is facing. But for tourists there isn't too much to worry about. Unless, of course, you are a pregnant woman

Famous South Americans: René Favaloro

December 18th, 2015 | by Nick Dall

The Argentine surgeon who pioneered heart bypass surgery in the 1960s and 70s was also responsible for bringing world-class healthcare to Argentina’s rural poor. He was a national celebrity and his suicide in the year 2000 is still mired in controversy

The Magic of Travel

August 22nd, 2015 | by Nicholas Stanziano

What is it to travel? Technically speaking it’s really just getting yourself from one place to another. Yet for those

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    4 days ago

    Introducing Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital

    #mendoza #wine #malbec #argentina #chardonnay #winevacation

    The Malbecs are mouth-watering, the wineries cutting edge and the Andes resplendent. Every way you look at it, Mendoza is a delight

    1 week ago

    The Great Inca Trail

    The journey has begun!

    The expedition is about to begin!

    2 weeks ago

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    #riodejaneiro #confeitariacolombo #colomboconfectionary #brazilianfood #braziltravel #brazil # #southamericatrip See more

    3 weeks ago

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    Nick Dall is next in our #sauniverse series that introduces all the people around the world that allow us to build life changing experiences.

    Nick is a man of letters and words, someone who

    As editor of the SA Expeditions travel blog, he has curated hundreds of pieces that give insight into the culture and history of South America. And he’s no armchair blog manager either: he will be joining us on our great Qhapaq Ñan expedition in 2017 to paint a vivid textual picture of the trek for your eyes only. Nick’s work as a journalist has seen him fishing for trout in Patagonia, attending baroque recitals in Chiquitania and interviewing the pioneer of eco-tourism in Peru.

    SA Expeditions has a voice…It’s the voice of our clients talking about their experiences, it’s the voice of its explorers on the Qhapaq Ñan, it’s the voice of Nick presenting the wonders of South America in words and pictures. Come and be inspired by our blog, curated and cared for by Nick. We promise it’ll make you want to pack your bags!

    Cheers to Nick! The #sauniverse looks forward to continuing our journey of enlightenment through travel with you. See more

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    TAMBOPATA NATIONAL RESERVE, Peru – A trip into the part of the Amazon that’s known as the Bioviersity Capital of Peru is about as magical as you would imagine it to be.

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    World’s first fluorescent frog discovered in South America

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    Visiting Antarctica has never been easier than it is now…
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    What do you get the man who has everything? A ticket to Antarctica of course. With icebergs, penguins, whales and more, it’s the very definition of a bucket list destination

    1 month ago

    Guinea pigs: A popular Peruvian delicacy – BBC News

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    Guinea pigs may be seen as pets in the UK, but in Peru they are an increasingly popular delicacy.

    1 month ago

    Timeline Photos

    Nick Stanziano is next in our #saexpeditionsuniverse series that introduces all the people around the world that allow us to build life changing experiences.

    Nick began life in a small town, on a

    Nick sees himself as part of a wave of human endeavor that accelerated 600 years ago, in renaissance Europe, as artists, scientists and merchants began to utilize reason to understand the physical and psychological frontiers of humanity. By the 17th century, traveling purely for curiosity arose when Englishman Richard Lassel gave advice that all “young lords” take “the Grand Tour” to better understand their world and prepare for their role in it. It was later in the 21st century that one could not only travel for curiosity, but also build a business around it and name it SA Expeditions.

    Nick is a dreamer, a thinker, someone that will always wonder at what lies beyond. It’s why he conceptualizes his position as Chief Explorer, a role that feeds the soul of our organization with adventure and curiosity. His most recent and most ambitious exploration yet will bring the world on a 2,000 walk across the Andes along the great Inca Road, known as the Qhapaq Nan. He will be taking his grand tour of that faraway place, to better understand our world and how our clients can play a role in it.

    Cheers to Nick! The #saexpeditionsuniverse looks forward to continuing our journey of enlightenment through travel with you. See more

    1 month ago

    6 women to thank every time you fly

    March 8th 2017 is International Women’s Day. Here are six women to thank every time you fly.
    #internationalwomensday #trendsetters #aviation #changemakers

    Thought aviation was a man’s world? Think again. These six women transformed the way you fly today

    1 month ago

    CLIENT REVIEW: Trip planned by destination expert Staci Steele.

    “My husband and I just returned from an absolutely spectacular trip to Chile and Argentina planned by SA Luxury Expeditions. Not only

    The thing that really blew me away, though, was the crescendo of the trip. While everything we did and everywhere we stayed was top-notch, each successive stop and activity just got a little more wonderful than the last. The result was a truly fantastic week and a half that we’ll always cherish. I highly recommend SA Luxury Expeditions to anyone looking to travel in South America, whether you’re looking for a low-key trip or an action-packed adventure. We got a wonderful mix of both and enjoyed every second of it!”
    #chile #argentina #patagonia See more

    1 month ago

    ‘We are rewriting the textbooks’: first dives to Amazon coral reef stun scientists

    Scientists have discovered the river reef is far bigger, and more important, than first thought – a biodiversity hotspot on a par with the Great Barrier Reef. Now they face a race to protect it See more

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    2 months ago

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    Ecuador, traditionally a prominant South American producer of cacao is stepping into a new light as its chocolateers are gaining noteriety on the world stage.
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    2 months ago

    Friday February 24th marked the start of Carnival 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The lively celebration which includes live music, street performances, dancing, floats and costumes, attracts

    The word Carnival originates from the Portuguese ‘Carne Vale’, interpreted as ‘Farewell to meat’. The phrase refers to the Carnival as being the ultimate celebration before a period of abstinence from alcohol, meat and pleasure during Lent. Brazil’s Carnival began in the 1830s as a continuation of the Portuguese tradition, though, Rio’s Carnival has a unique style, which is mainly attributed to the influence of African immigrant slaves, famous for their spectacular musical abilities which gave life to the first samba rhythms.

    #Rio #Carnival #Samba #Brazil See more

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    The science behind why you should spend money on family holidays instead of toys

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    Parents have been wasting hundreds of pounds on toys, according to one of Britain’s leading child psychologists and should be spending their money on holidays instead.

    2 months ago

    One of our favorite travel testimonial comes from Danielle Vogel of Virginia. Her trip to Argentina and Chile was planned by our destination expert Staci Steele.

    “My husband and I

    The thing that really blew me away, though, was the crescendo of the trip. While everything we did and everywhere we stayed was top-notch, each successive stop and activity just got a little more wonderful than the last. The result was a truly fantastic week and a half that we’ll always cherish. I highly recommend SA Luxury Expeditions to anyone looking to travel in South America, whether you’re looking for a low-key trip or an action-packed adventure. We got a wonderful mix of both and enjoyed every second of it!”
    – Danielle V
    #chile #argentina See more

    2 months ago

    Jaguar vs. Giant Anteater

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    Jaguar vs. Giant Anteater. Anteater wins!
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    2 months ago

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    “Jeanie: Our trip was absolutely magical thanks to all the great organization, preparation, wonderful suggestions and impeccable professional services we received from SA…starting

    Our hotels were fantastic… the food was fantastic…. even though there were unforeseen circumstances such as a protest that shut down all tourist roads throughout the Sacred Valley, SA Expeditions reacted with quickly. I cannot say enough about the drivers (Louis especially) and all the guides who were with us. They were knowledgeable, gracious, always willing to go the extra distance and warm lovely friends. We loved them all. The horse back/hiking trip to Choquechaca was an experience we will never forget. It was Peter’s 65th birthday in Cusco and SA even arranged to have the meal paid for by our thoughtful children.

    In short, it was the best trip we have experienced and we look forward to many more!

    Thanks so much for creating a truly memorable experience…we only regret we did not get to meet you in Lima!

    Thanks again,
    Pam and Peter”

    #peru #peruvianfood #machupicchu #sacredvalley #choquechaca #cicciolina #birthdaytrip See more

    2 months ago

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    2 months ago

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    Sara Hensel is next in our #saexpeditionsuniverse series that introduces all the people around the world that allow us to build life changing experiences.

    Sara’s emerged from small town America,

    Sara does not dwell on what has already come though. She’s a roll-up your sleeves and bring on tomorrow type. Her path has taken her through corporate America, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and many other projects far from the homogeny of McDonough. Her generation has learned that change is the only constant and that adversity is not bad, but instead a necessary path towards true achievement. Progress for Sara is not about conquering, it’s about pliability and knowledge. As our latest and greatest Destination Expert, she designs experiences that stay true to her senses that travel can bring wisdom.

    Cheers to Sara! The #saexpeditionsuniverse looks forward to continuing our journey of enlightenment through travel with you See more

    2 months ago

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    In Peru it’s very common to see ceramic bulls on roof ridges. These are known as ‘Torito de Pucara.’ It’s believed that they keep the house safe with a blessing to the “Apus” (the Inca See more

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    Best Trips 2017 — National Geographic Travel

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    National Geographic Travel has selected 2017’s top travel destinations. From Kauai’s stunning cliffs to Malta’s rich culture, these 21 must-see places will inspire you to book your next See more

    3 months ago

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    Aaron Welch is next in our #saexpeditionsuniverse series that introduces all the people around the world that allow us to build life changing experiences.

    Being an accountant for small and medium

    Nerds and their ability to manage data rules in the digital age. Considering this and the fact that Aaron plays Ringo Starr in a Beatles cover band, he begins to define what is cool. We’re just lucky that he decided to be cool with us!

    Cheers to Aaron! The #saexpeditionsuniverse looks forward to continuing our journey of enlightenment through travel with you. See more

    3 months ago

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    Collin McNew is next in our #saexpeditionsuniverse series that introduces all the people around the world that allow us to build life changing experiences.

    Collin came barreling into the SA Universe

    This was how travel began with Collin. It started as a pursuit of sport that evolved into a pursuit of experience and learning. It was soccer that brought him to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014, where he stayed in the Amazon for four months, which he wrote a book about. Since, he’s lived in Ecuador and explored across Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. He now turns his passions for travel into developing trips for his clients as a Destination Expert for SA Expeditions where his unique energy and experiences greatly strengthens our mission to share South America with the world.

    Cheers to Collin! The #saexpeditionsuniverse looks forward to continuing our journey of enlightenment through travel with you. See more

    3 months ago

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    #Chile #Southamerica See more

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    “SA Expeditions was a wonderful find for our group of 15. We were so impressed with the level of attention and details that Staci put together for our #Rio, #Iguazu, #Amazon, #MachuPicchu, #Lima See more

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    SA Qhapaq Ñan

    The third and final preparation trek has come to a close, before the big trek begins in April 2017…

    Qhapaq Ñan – Day 8

    *Versión en español abajo*

    In the end, we made the 170 miles walk from Jauja to Antioquia in seven days, two day less than planned. The improved management and behavior of

    In parallel with sharing the historical, ecological and cultural marvels, we aim to place the Qhapaq Ñan alongside the great long distance walking trails on the planet . The 2000 miles path from Cuenca, Ecuador to Cusco, Peru can become a vein of economic activity through tourism. A feat that will require persistence and common vision from local and national governments alongside private industry. The Pacific Crest Trail going from Mexico to Canada along the spine of the Sierra Nevada’s and Cascade ranges was a vision began in 1932 by Clinton C. Clark, which took 60 years to be considered complete and with a network of “trail angels” overseeing its maintenance.

    Although the Qhapaq Ñan has already been a contiguous stone trail along the spine of the Andean since the 1400’s at the height of the Inca Empire and the traditional communal work structure of the Andes, which road maintenance was a part of, is a cultural practice already in place that can be organized and directed just like the “trail angels” of the Pacific Crest Trail. This is not even mentioning that the Qhapaq Ñan is one of the greatest public works of ancient man, with millennial cultures still along its route.
    It will become one of the great long distance hiking trails in the world, and our explorations and stories along the way we hope will serve for generations of walkers who come after us.

    Nick Stanziano
    Chief Explorer
    SA Expeditions


    Qhapaq Ñan – Día 8

    Culminamos con la expedición de 320 kilómetros desde Jauja a Antioquia en solo siete días, dos días menos de lo planeado. El progreso en el manejo y control de nuestras llamas en esta caminata significó poder dedicar unas horas extras al día explorando en lugar de re-ordenar la carga o tener otros retrasos que se producen con un equipo menos entrenado. Durante siete días caminamos en promedio alrededor de 40 kilómetros por día, distancia que equivale a la caminata de cuatro días en el tradicional camino inca desde el Valle Sagrado hacia Machu Picchu – 41 kilómetros en total.
    Si buscamos un punto de comparación podemos decir que caminar estos 40 kilómetros cada día por el Pacific Crest Trail desde Sierra Nevada hasta los andes Cascade en Estados Unidos es la misma distancia que caminaremos por día en la expedición que realizaremos por el Qhapaq Ñan en nuestro gran proyecto durante cuatro meses en Abril del próximo año,

    No solo queremos compartir las maravillas históricas, ecológicas y culturales del Qhapaq Ñan, si no también queremos establecer a este gran camino inca a la par de grandes caminos de larga distancia en el mundo . El tramo de 3,200 kilómetros de Cuenca, Ecuador hacia Cusco, Perú puede convertirse en una principal actividad económica a través del turismo. Una hazaña que requerirá persistencia y trabajo de la mano de los gobiernos locales y nacionales junto con la industria privada. El Pacific Crest Trail que va de México a Canadá a lo largo de las cordilleras de Sierra Nevada y Cascade fue una visión que Clinton C. Clark tuvo en 1932, la misma que tomó 60 años para ser considerada completa y con una red de trabajo de personales responsables que se encargan del mantenimiento de la misma.

    Desde el año 1400, el Qhapaq Ñan fue un camino de piedra del Imperio Inca construido a lo largo de la cordillera, su tradicional estructura y el mantenimiento vial era realizada con trabajo en conjunto de las personas de los andes. Esta práctica cultural era organizada y dirigida por los “ángeles del rastro” del Pacific Crest Trail. El Qhapaq Ñan es una de las mayores obras públicas del hombre antiguo, con culturas milenarias que existen aún a lo largo de la ruta.

    Se convertirá en uno de los grandes senderos de larga distancia en el mundo, y esperamos que nuestras exploraciones e historias a lo largo del camino sirvan para las generaciones de caminantes que vienen después de nosotros.

    Nick Stanziano
    Jefe Explorador
    SA Expeditions See more

    4 months ago

    The Two Day Inca Trail – The Best Kept Secret

    The 2 day Inca Trail is a great option for those who don’t have the time or desire to hike the full 4 day Inca Trail

    4 months ago

    SA Qhapaq Ñan

    The journey continues…

    *Versión en español abajo*

    Qhapaq Ñan – Day 1

    The team departed this morning from Jauja with 12 llamas heading along a transversal Qhapaq Ñan towards Pachacamac, 200 miles west, near the

    In three days by foot west, we’ll arrive to the great Inca stairway in the shadows of the great Apu Pariacaca (mountain deity). The set of 1800 steps will be the entry to another three days on some of the most spectacular Qhapaq Ñan anywhere on the 25,000 mile network. Ten days from now, we should arrive to our finish point at Antioquia, where the Qhapaq Ñan starts to disappear closer to the coast. The terrain for most of our trek will float between 11,000 and 16,000 feet above sea level, perfect for the llamas with plenty of Ichu grass along the way.

    Our first day on the route covered 15 miles and with better behaved llamas and more efficient llameros (llama handlers). Our llameros, Flavio, Nicolas and Valentine are getting better at their craft. We also have two local llameros, Tito and Antonia, the latter being our first female llamero in 500 miles of Qhapaq Ñan we’ve trekked thus far and adds an interesting dose of female energy into the group. She’s probably the most able llamero of the group and it’s her animals were working with while in the region. The majority female team at SA Expeditions might find this amusing that even on the Qhapaq Ñan I find myself collaborating with strong and talented women.

    Nick Stanziano
    Chief Explorer
    SA Expeditions
    Qhapaq Ñan – Día 1

    Desde Jauja, esta mañana el equipo inició la expedición junto a doce llamas a lo largo de una transversal del Qhapaq Ñan en dirección hacia Pachacamac, 320 kilómetros al oeste, cerca de la costa sur peruana en el Océano Pacifico.

    Hace 600 años, en la cima del reinado del Inca, Jauja fue un importante centro de administración que apoyó la expansión del imperio hacia el norte desde su capital, a 770 kilómetros al sur, en Cusco.

    Pachacamac, fue un importante centro religioso que se remonta a dos milenios e influyó en las siguientes culturas incas. Tiene sentido que el camino que une estos dos centros antiguos haya contado con tal planificación y grandeza. Es un ejemplo que se suma a la lista de obras extraordinarias a gran escala del imperio.
    Luego de tres días de caminata en dirección al oeste, estaremos llegando a la gran escalera Inca localizada en las sombras del gran Apu Pariacaca. El conjunto de mil ochocientos escalones será la entrada durante tres días a uno de los lugares más espectaculares de todos los 40,200 kilómetros que conforman el Qhapaq Ñan. En estos diez días de expedición llegaremos finalmente a Antioquia, más cerca a la costa donde el Qhapaq Ñan comienza a desaparecer. La mayor parte de nuestra caminata se realizará en alturas que van desde los 3,350 y 4,900 m.s.n.m, lo que es perfecto para las llamas ya que encontraremos abundante hierba de Ichu a lo largo del camino.

    En el primer día de ruta se ha cubierto 25 kilómetros. Las llamas se han comportado mejor y los encargados de ellas, los “llameros”, están realizando su trabajo de manera más eficiente. Flavio, Nicolás y Valentín están mejorando en su labor. A ellos se han sumado dos llameros locales, Tito y Antonia, siendo esta última la primera mujer en acompañarnos luego de 800 kilómetros de expediciones por el Qhapaq Ñan. Ella añade una interesante dosis de energía femenina al grupo y debo mencionar que, probablemente, es la cuidadora con más capacidad dentro del grupo.

    La mayor parte del equipo de SA Expeditions, conformado por mujeres, encontrara divertido que incluso en el Qhapaq Ñan me halle trabajando de la mano con mujeres fuertes y con mucho talento.

    Nick Stanziano
    Jefe Explorador
    SA Expeditions See more

    4 months ago

    SA Qhapaq Ñan

    Follow founder Nick Stanziano as he hikes 2,000 miles.

    Get ready for more Qhapaq Ñan!

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