I'm currently typing this blog post from my enclosed balcony at El Balcón Hotel overlooking the entire city of Cusco with a clear view of Plaza del Armas. I'm checking out in a few hours but I wanted to be in a quiet environment as motivation to write this before moving to another place. Sometimes it feels like that's all I ever do. Like a rolling stone.
It has been a privilege to stay at this beautiful hotel on the outskirts of Cusco for 2 nights in exchange for professional photos. I arranged a complimentary stay using email marketing and lead generation. It's the most effective technique available to efficiently spread the word about your business. You can read my previous blog post How To Stay at Hostels for Free. This is definitely a welcome step up from always staying at hostels for cheap. My executive suite is normally $169 per night, which I would never pay for out of my own pocketbook. The room is surrounded by windows to let in plenty of light. There's a large comfortable bed, clean shower, and space heater since it gets quite cold at night in the mountain valley. It's easy to sleep through the night since there's no possibility of anyone snoring loudly. The highlight of my stay was listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band while dancing on the bed. "Gotta believe it's getting better all the time!"
I'm checking into Kokopelli Hostel for another night and then honoring my reservation at Andean Wings Hotel for another complimentary 2-night stay before going on a full day hike to Rainbow Mountain in the early morning of May 24th. I've seen so many beautiful photos on Instagram of this enchanting land. I'm very excited to finally see it with my own eyes and capture the beauty cascading mountains with my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera and DJI Spark miniature drone. I've also emailed most of the tour companies in Cusco but I decided to book my tour with a local reputable agency called Chaska Tours. I'm going with a large group of 45 people. On May 28th, I'm embarking on the epic 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. We're hiking for 6-8 hours per day for a total of 75km through the Andes Mountains. The highest point is Mount Salkantay which stands at 6,271m or 20,574ft. To put it into perspective, this is also the same elevation as base camp at Mt. Everest! I'm not too worried about elevation sickness since I've already acclimated to the elevation in Cusco for 2 weeks.
So, without further ado, I leave you with a few of my favorite photos from my castle in the hills. Don't hesitate to send me a message if you would like to work together during my travels in South America. My next destination is Puno in southern Peru, islands on Lake Titicaca, then crossing the border to Bolivia where I'm relaxing on Copacabana Island for a few days, and onward to La Paz. My ultimate goal is to reach Patagonia in Chile by late September.