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I’ve been traveling the world for the past 2.5 years — but in that time, I’ve never made it to South America. In fact, my only jaunt to South America was in 2008 when I had a brief trip to Buenos Aires.
That needs to change. And I know that when I eventually do make it to South America, Peru is going to be at the top of my list.
Most people visiting Peru will head immediately to Cuzco as a base for exploring the Sacred Valley — the land of the Incas, llamas, and South America’s most famous site, Machu Picchu. The most hardcore of travelers will trek the Sacred Valley for several days before arriving at Machu Picchu just in time for sunrise. Me? I’ll gladly take the train. I’m up for a hike, but the Sacred Valley is a little too hardcore for me!
But there is so much more to Peru than just this mountainous region. Lima is a fabulously underrated city with amazing nightlife and surprisingly delicious cuisine (including the famous cuy — guinea pig!). There’s the white city of Arequipa, beautifully located at the base of a mountain for the ultimate postcard picture. There’s the Nazca Lines, where my friend swears has more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life. The Peruvian Amazon is the wildest and most remote part of the country, with cities like Iquitos that are only accessible by plane or boat. And did I mention the beaches of southern Peru, perfect for surfing?
There’s something for every kind of traveler in Peru, and I look forward to finding out just what my Peru turns out to be.
No matter what your preconceptions of Peru are, this is a country that always shows you more than expected.
Find out more at Marca Peru.
Have you been to Peru? Would you like to visit?
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6 thoughts on “Wanderlusting for Peru”
I was in Peru and few years ago and love it! Cusco is wonderful and Machu Picchu is really truly magical. Arequipa was one of my favorite stops, from there take the day trip out to the canyons to see the condors and what I think is the second deepest canyon in the world if I’m remembering right. Also I highly recommend Huaraz. It’s a sweet little town that hadn’t quite recovered from the earthquake the year before but it is lovely. There’s a fabulous hostel with a balcony and view of the Andes (also very cheap) and day hikes into the Andes from there. Oh, and an amazing coffee shop with a mini library. My favorite place. Lima was really not my favorite, but there was a great corner cafe right on the corner across from the massive yellow cathedral, forgot the name of it, that had Elvis and Marilyn Monroe posters on the wall, but had the best open views of the plaza. I stayed in a hostel down the alley behind the cathedral that was in an old mansion and had a spanish speaking parrot. People rave about Minaflores, but I was only there for a hot second in pouring rain, but I did drink a cup of coffee right on the coast. Awesome, despite the rain.
YOU WILL LOVE PERU!
I was in Peru a couple years ago as well! I went for 6 weeks and it’s what really inspired me to travel more. I hiked Salkantay to Machu Picchu, visited the Amazon, Arequipa, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and Colca Canyon. I missed Lima, but everyone I knew who went there said it was smoggy and expensive. Colca Canyon I personally thought was boring and not very beautiful (although the condors were cool), and I didn’t make it to Nazca but many people said you get just as good of a view seeing them in pictures (in other words, it might not be worth it). Despite that, it’s a beautiful country with a unique culture and very much a must see destination! Just make sure you do some research before you go because I feel like South America in general is very underrated! Definitely make your way over to Lake Titicaca, a lot of people cross the border there to visit Bolivia in the same trip.
I was in Peru for only a week last month, and in that small amount of time it utterly enchanted me. I spent a bit of time in Lima but was mostly in Piura (northeastern coast). I’ve seen the desert – next the mountains, and finally the jungle! Can’t wait to get back.
You have to have ceviche and lomo saltado and chifa when you go. All. So. Delicious.
Kate! You must go to Peru! My husband and I randomly decided to go this past Spring and it was so surprisingly amazing! I had never been to South America and really had no desire to but I so love it. I really want to go back! What a beautiful and unique place and the people are so openly kind. I did detailed posts on our trip there that you may find helpful when you start planning yours, you can see that here:: http://www.kaylinlydia.com/2013/04/lima-peru.html?m=1
And I agree with you, the sacred valley hike looked amazing but ultimately I decided it was far too intense for me and I am glad I did! Happy travels!
Hi Kate! You may want to take a look at my blog and Facebook page about Lima, Peru (www.limaeslinda.com).
They are in Spanish but I’m sure you will be able to pull cool stuff from them.
I definitely agree! I just visited your blog to see if you’d written anything about Peru, specifically Iquitos, for which I can’t seem to find much information at all.