Otavalo is a small city just north of Quito, Ecuador, that rests on the edge of San Pablo Lake. It's just a short drive from the capital but along the journey you'll get sweeping views of the lush, mountainous countryside. Otavalo is most famous for its markets, where indigenous people in traditional clothing sell intricate textiles and weavings along with a vast array of other goods. Once you've explored the markets and experienced some of the rich culture for which Ecuador is known, the hiking trails through the surrounding Andes beckon, offering a chance to take in the superb scenery on foot.
My enthusiasm for travel began with eye-opening trips to destinations around the world including Greece, Thailand, Patagonia and the Galapagos Islands. The deep history, rich cultures and diverse ecosystems these destinations offer made me want to continue exploring and learning about distant places and peoples. This passion for travel led me to be a Country Specialist with Audley. Since joining Audley I've visited Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands to explore these intriguing countries.
When I'm not travelling to new places, I'm exploring Boston — my adopted base since I moved from my home state of Michigan. New England has proven to be an excellent location for all my preferred activities. You can find me skiing in Vermont during the cold, winter months and sitting on the beach in Cape Cod during the summer.
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The Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel is located right next to the Urubamba River in the village of Aguas Calientes, the closest settlement to the ruins of Machu Picchu. I really enjoyed my stay here and felt the hotel provided an authentic local experience with options to go birdwatching and take short hikes. It's also surrounded by beautiful gardens and each room has a rustic feel with views of the lush foliage outside. I found it a great place to relax and unwind after spending the day visiting Machu Picchu.
I'll never forget when…
I've been lucky enough to see some incredible places and experience unforgettable things on my travels, but one of the most exhilarating activities I've done is snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands. The sheer variety of marine life and the creatures' complete lack of fear make it an unbelievable adventure every time you jump in the water. At times I was surrounded by sea turtles, approached by playful sea lions or swam alongside kaleidoscopic-scaled fish. It felt like an incredible privilege sharing the water with such a diverse collection of marine species.