Everybody that ever went backpacking or just on a holiday to multiple countries for that matter, knows that crossing country-borders is a stress-full, tiresome but also exciting experience. Sometimes it goes super smooth! Sometimes it takes hours, a lot of bribes and probably ten years of your life because of pure stress. All you can really do is prepare, brace for a long day and hope you get there before nightfall. How best to prepare for the border-crossing between Peru and Bolivia? By reading this article of course!
One step outside the bus and your nostrils will let you know that you have reached the coast, as next to pelicans darting around everywhere, the ocean smell is very characteristic for the little town of Paracas. Officially know as El Chaco, this coastal town lies at the north-end of the Paracas Peninsula, a national wildlife reserve. The big draw is the abundance of sea-mammals and birds surrounding the Islas Ballestas, dubbed ‘the poor man’s Galapagos’ but besides that there is also the Peninsula itself to explore..
Of all places in Peru, its capital Lima is by far the most urban and sophisticated. Many travelers that visited told me that Lima was not really worth the time except that it had the convenience of one of the biggest international airports in South-America. I disagree. Lima offers world-class cuisine, beautiful neighborhoods, an interesting colonial heritage and the best clubbing in the country. Staying a few days while eating delicious Ceviche and fighting off a jet-lag after a long-haul flight is certainly not a bad idea! Continue reading “How to spend your days in misty metropolitan Lima”
Nestled between the mountainous peak of the Andes lies Ayacucho, one of the most traditional cities in Peru. Often skipped, but not rightfully so because if you want to taste the traditional Peruvian way of life, understand the tragic history of the ‘Shining Path’ and venture out into the Andes on horseback, Ayacucho is the way to go.
Arequipa, often dubbed ‘the white city’ is the colonial pride of Peru. The second-largest city in the country combines beautiful colonial buildings with all modern amenities of a large urban dwelling. It is situated about 2300 meters above sea-level making it the perfect place to acclimatise to the altitude before visiting Cusco, Machu Picchu or Puno which are all a lot higher up. And with the Colca Canyon, El Misti and Chachani on its doorstep, there is really no reason to skip this beautiful colonial gem. Continue reading “Arequipa: what to do in the colonial gem of Peru”
When I was a child I once saw a Discovery-documentary from Jacques Cousteau where he explained about the weird frilled frogs that live in lake Titicaca and ever since visiting this lake has been high on my list. On the shores of lake Titicaca lies Puno, the second-most visited town in Peru. People flock here to see the floating Uros islands. Yes they are undeniably beautiful. Yes they are unlike any other islands you have ever seen. But man did I hate visiting them. Continue reading “Why I hated the beautiful Uros Islands”
The best way to get to Machu Picchu is not the easiest, but the 5 day/4 night Salkantay trek is worth every drop of sweat. You’ll be balancing rocky ridges between snow-capped peaks the one day, only to decent into lush rain forest the next. You’ll see glaciers, cross cold mountain streams, eat ripe fruits straight from the trees and relax in beautiful hot springs after a hard day of trekking. The Salkantay trek has it all and more, because not only is this an epic walk, it is also the route to Machu Picchu.
One of the most surreal places I have ever spend the night is Huacachina, a small oasis in the middle of the desert. A blue/greenish lagoon lined with palm-trees is surrounded by a few dozen structures. Rising above their roofs are the most massive sand-dunes you have ever seen. It gets even better: you can actually surf down these dunes on an old snowboard! Immensely beautiful, utterly bizarre and only a few hours drive from Peru’s capital Lima: welcome to Huacachina.