From the beach to the mountains this country has it all.
Top 10 things in Peru
1. The Inca Trail. Although I didn’t do the 4 day trek this time around my memories of the trek, the amazing Incan sites we saw along the way and Machu Pichu are so vivid that It returns to me like a flash of brilliance every time I think about it. The pain and cold of the trek does as well but it was all worth it in the end.
2. Diego’s chest in Mancora (Manager of the point hostel)....okay so you’re not likely to see this but still if you got the chance I would definitely recommend it.
3. The Sacred Valley tour is incredible. Visiting sacred incan sites during the day that starts in Cusco and ends in Ollytaytambo is really beautiful. The markets in Pisac will give you a chance to stock up on souvenirs (the llama blankets here are the best bet).
4. Dune bugging in Huacachina. This is one of my trip highlights. The rush of flying across some amazing sand dunes in a supped up dune buggy just before sunset was incredible. Heading up them at close to a 75 degree angle only to turn around and come back down again was like being on a rollercoaster. What an adrenalin rush. Oh and the sand boarding aspect of the trip was cool as well.
5. People watching from the steps of the plaza in Cusco. You’ll be approached by 10 people in the first 10 minutes wanting to sell you stuff or have a chat but if you can handle this then it is a great place to spend an hour or so....just be warned; the sun is strong at altitude and an exposed face burns very easily.
6. Pizza on the roof overlooking the plaza in Arequipa. A few days in the ‘other’ Peruvian capital will be just what the doctor ordered after Cusco and the sites, food and drink are worth a few days layover.
7. Lake Titikaka is amazing and is a must on any trip to Peru. You can stay on Amantani Island with a local family and experience what life is like here. Don’t forget to try the Muna tea. It tastes great and is recommended for altitude issues. A stop a Taquile Island on the way back to Puno will have you amongst some of the most beautiful textiles in South America. The weaving and knitting by both the men and women is so intricate I would be suprised if you didn’t buy anything.
8. A stopover in Lima is not complete without a visit to Miraflores. Great restaurants and shopping will have you feeling content for days.
9. Flying over the Nazca Lines is not only stomach turning but it is also intriguing. You can’t help but ask yourself how the lines were formed but more importantly why? Lots of theories are out there but that’s all they are...theories.
10. A great place to see the amazing Condor is Colca Canyon. The town of Chivay is located at the base of the Canyon and is a few hours drive from Arequipa. You’re not always guaranteed to see them but if you do you will be flabbergasted by the sheer size of these birds. Get up there as early as possible when the thermal currents are strongest (because these birds are so huge they can’t fly unless the currents are around) and get the camera at the ready.