Peru is a big country and I already knew before I arrived there that I would not have the time to visit all the places I would like to during this trip. So I decided to visit the southern part of the country.
I took the flight from Guyaquil to Lima one week before Christmas with Camille my friend from Canada. We decided to go together to Huacachina and after that to the Colca Valley instead of Huaraz in the north.
Once arrived at the aiport of Lima, we took a taxi to the bus terminal to catch the bus to Ica. From there we took a taxi to the very touristic town called Huacachina. Huacachina is a small oasis in the desert, where we stayed for two days. The first day we did the buggy and sandboarding tour in the desert. Absolutely amazing ! If you do it in the late afternoon it is less warm and you can enjoy the sunset. You will have a great adrenaline experience. The second day we chilled at the pool of a very nice hostel called « Banana’s adventure », with a great pool, latino music and an excellent team.
From Ica, we went further south to Arequipa by night bus with the idea of doing a trek in the Colca Valley. The scenery during the bus trip was sand, rock and sand dunes but with an amazing sunrise at the coast.
Arequipa is the second biggest city of Peru. The center of the city is beautiful with the Plaza the Armas and the cathedral. There are a lot of small shops and cosy restaurants. An amazing vegetarian sushi restaurant that I definitively recommend is the « Buda Profane », i was a great experience. Probably one of my favorite restaurants during my trip through Latin America. The suburbs of the city are less nice and unfortunately with a lot of trash lying around everywhere.
After a day visiting the city, we left for a two days trek in the Colca Valley, which is the deepest canyon in the world. We booked a organised tour that left at 03.00 a.m. After some hours driving to the valley, we began to hike for about five hours until the Oasis Sangalle, where we were accomodated for the night. The cabanas where we stayed were basic but had a nice swimming pool. The next day we woke up very early and hiked further up again. The tour was beautiful but also demanding. We returned very tired in the late afternoon to Arequipa.
The next morning I flew back to Lima and joined two really nice women from Holland, Doris and Iris. I meet both of them before in Ecuador and we spent the 24th December together. First doing some shopping and then eating the best ceviche ever in the Surquillo Market in Miraflores. In the evening, our hostel organised a big dinner with delicious food for more than fifty people. I went to sleep early that night as I knew that the next morning my best friend Silvie with her family would land in Lima. I was very excited to see them and to travel for two weeks with them through Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
The barrio Miraflores of Lima is a really nice and safe area. By bus you can travel very fast to the city center. There are plenty delicious restaurants in Lima which offer ceviche, typical food or fashion cuisine. Thanks to the advice of a friend of Switzerland, we went to la Rosa Náutica (www.larosanautica.com), a beautiful restaurant located at the ocean built on pillars. It was the perfect place to celebrate my best friend’s birthday.
After a city-tour by foot of Lima the next day we flew to Cusco. This city is amazing and of course for that reason also very touristic. We planned to stay there only two nights however at the end we changed our plans in order to celebrate the New Years’s Eve there.
We did the city tour by foot in Cusco which I can highly recommend in every city wherever possible. We also did a tour outside Cusco to Moray and Las Salinas de Maras and jumped off the bus in the afternoon to reach Ollantaytambo. From there we took the Incan Train to Aguas Calientes. The next morning we woke up very early to reach the entrence of Machu Picchu at 06.00 am.
We had already bought a our ticket for the Machu Picchu and the Mountain Picchu.
As we were in the first group that left at 07.00 am, we had to arrive early. Going up to the top of Montana Picchu takes you a little bit less than two hours. We were a little bit unlucky because when we reached the top, we could not see much however the three of us who made it were happy anyway!
In the afternoon we did a guided tour, what I think is a must if you want to understand the Machu Picchu and the Incas who lived there !!! Absolutely fabulous !
After having spent all day on the site we returned to Cusco. We enjoyed the lovely city and also the nice restaurants which this city offers.
For New Year’s Eve there was, as expected, a big party in the city ! A lot of fireworks, music and noise but happy people everywhere ! Unfortunately with the arrival of 2017 we got in some troubles ! My friend’s phone got stolen in the crowd after midnight what unfortunately ruined the second part of our party. So we decided to return to the hostel.
After having spent some days in Cusco, it was time to leave to Puno located at the Titicaca lake. Also there we had to split our group of five people in two because some of us experienced some stomachaches !
I left earlier with Giada, my goddaughter, to Puno to do the Uros island excursion. The night bus was not really a success and my goddaughter got also really sick because of the sinuous roads or the altitude.
We had to cancel the early morning excursion to the Uros island. At the end of the day, I did an express tour by boat to see the Uros island before leaving with the entire group of five the next day by bus to Bolivia and for some new adventures….