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James Kaiser

Travel writer/photographer. Maker of artisanal guidebooks to Costa Rica, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Acadia & Joshua Tree.

https://jameskaiser.com/

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The all-new, third edition of “Costa Rica: The Complete Guide” is now available! + I spent months researching this update — and discovered dozens of incredible new adventures and hidden gems. + If you or someone you know is headed to Costa Rica, don’t go without my guide! #costarica #puravida #visitcostarica #manuelantoniobeach #arenalvolcano #tamarindocostarica #puertoviejocostarica #corcovadonationalpark #santateresabeach #nosaracostarica #rioceleste #drakebaycostarica

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Machu Picchu - the "Lost City in the Clouds" + Built around 1450, at the height of Inca power, Machu Picchu was abandoned just decades later following Spanish conquest. Although located less than 50 miles from Cusco, Spanish conquistadors never discovered (or plundered) Machu Picchu. + Rediscovered in 1911, its purpose remains a mystery. Was it a royal palace? A citadel? A university? + Modern engineers marvel at Machu Picchu's construction. Recent investigations reveal that many buildings align perfectly with celestial constellations. + Surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu is often shrouded in dense mist from the river. It was covered in clouds when we arrived. When the mist finally lifted, I was able to capture this gorgeous shot with @livingwandrea #machupicchu #peru #incatrail #andes #andesmountains #oarslife #visitperu #trekking #inca #southamerica @oars_rafting

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Inti Punku - the “Sun Gate” - marks the historic entrance to Machu Picchu. Perched nearly 1,000 feet above the ancient city, the gate was built in honor of Inti, the Inca Sun God. Once a year, during the summer solstice, sunlight pours through the gate when viewed from Machu Picchu. #machupicchu #intipunku #incatrail #peru #andes #andesmountains #trekking #visitperu #inca #oarslife @oars_rafting @livingwandrea

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Wiñay Wayna (Quechua for “Forever Young”) is the last major ruin on the Inca Trail before reaching Machu Picchu. The steep terraces, supported by exquisite masonry, may have been used as a kind of agricultural laboratory, adapting Andean crops to nearly any microclimate. Agricultural expertise gave the Inca enormous power, helping them dominate enormous stretches of the Andes. #peru #incatrail #winyawayna #andes #andesmountains #trekking #visitperu #oarslife @oars_rafting #inca #peru🇵🇪 #southamerica #caminoinca #machupicchu

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Spectacular view of the Urubamba River, which flows through Peru’s Sacred Valley, wraps around Machu Picchu, and then flows into the Amazon. #peru #incatrail #urubamba #trekking #andes #andesmountains #oarslife @oars_rafting #machupicchu #visitperu

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Leaving Puyupatamarca on the Inca Trail. Mount Machu Picchu in the distance! #peru #incatrail #puyupatamarca #oarslife @oars_rafting #visitperu #machupicchu #trekking #andes #andesmountains #inca #caminoinca

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Trekking past Inca ruins at Puyupatamarca, en route to Machu Picchu. #peru #incatrail #trekking #puyupatamarca #visitperu #oarslife @oars_rafting #andes #andesmountains #inca #incas

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Early morning on the Inca Trail, snow-capped Salkantay in the distance. Towering 20,574 feet (6,271 meters) above sea level, Salkantay is the highest peak in the Vilcabamba range. The name Salkantay comes from “sallqa,” a Quechua word that means wild or savage. + with @livingwandrea + #peru #incatrail #salkantay #vilcabamba #trekking #andes #visitperu #andesmountains #salcantay #oarslife @oars_rafting

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Waking up deep in the Andes on the Inca Trail. Better than any five-star hotel. #peru #andes #incatrail #andesmountains #trekking #camping #visitperu #mountainlife #oarslife @oars_rafting

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Milky Way over the Inca Trail. + Andean people see "constellations" in the dark patches of the Milky Way. Some of the dark constellations include snakes, condors and llamas. According to Inca legend, a celestial llama drinks water from rivers and lakes from May to October (dry season), then releases it from December to March (rainy season). Because the llama controls the water cycle, it's considered one of the most important dark constellations. #peru #incatrail #milkyway #stars #astronomy #oarslife @oars_rafting #visitperu #andes #inca

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View from the Temple of the Sun at Sayacmarca. Inca ruins often align with the sun, moon and stars, which the Inca worshipped as gods. The sun was their most important god - the Inca emperor claimed to be the son of the sun - and solstices marked their most important religious festivals. #peru #incatrail #sayacmarca #andes #andesmountains #oarslife @oars_rafting #trekking #inca #visitperu #perutravel

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Clearing clouds on the Inca Trail below Warmi Wañusqa. #peru #incatrail #clouds #andesmountains #andes #oarslife @oars_rafting #visitperu #clouds☁️ #trekking

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Patallacta, located at the confluence of the Urubamba and Cusichaca rivers, produced much of the food for Machu Picchu. Following Pizarro's conquest of Cusco in 1536, Inca survivors set fire to Patallacta. This kept the Spanish away and helped conceal the Inca Trail for centuries. w/@livingwandrea #peru #incatrail #patallacta #urubamba #cusichaca #trekking #oarslife #hiking #visitperu #perutravel @oars_rafting

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