Every time I have read about Machu Picchu, have seen colorful ponchos and have scrolled through the photos of cute lamas and children with chubby cheeks.. there was only one thing in my mind – I just have to go THERE! That lost city of Incas was for me a magical symbol.. pulling me to discover this place.
Nearly a month of discovering Peru and I have realized two things. Never ever will mean this country for me only Machu Picchu. Inside this enormous land is hidden sooo much more! 27 days was too less to discover enough of its secrets. And the second thing? Food just got us! You have to eat through all the regions. And eat all day long! Peru will forever stay among my traveler’s favorites. OK, that’s the third thing:)
I will try to „zoom in” to our itinerary and give you the best tips for each travel stop we made. Yes, and tell you what you just have to taste! That’s the best part of it.
GoodToKnow: Travelminded people were absolutely perfect to give us helpful pieces of advice before and during the travel. Zuz, my University schoolmate, with her boyfriend decided to leave Australia and travel for 14 months across North, Central, and South America. I have read all of their travel posts and was eye-eating all their Instagram photos. Zuz gave me a lot of tips regarding Peru and you can read some useful tips here.
During our travels, we usually move individually, with no timetables, no plans. Just as we feel it. Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South Africa.. All of our destinations we did this way. For our Peru trip, we were considering to use a kind of Hop-on, hop-off bus system. Buses in Peru are in really good conditions, so we were hesitating if to use local buses or to book Peru Hop company for our south part of the trip. Peru Hop has several selected routes and you can choose where to stop and how long you want to stay at that place. In our heads was a small devil telling us „No – don’t do that, you can move anywhere and anytime you want. Traveling with locals is fun! “ However, there was another voice: „What if we make it a little bit more comfortable and we book the bus in advance. We wouldn’t need to care about handling with the necessity to look for the transport in each city in advance.“ I think we are getting older:) We booked Peru Hop. It has its pros and coins. Be careful to check the dates of departure. It doesn’t depart every day from some destinations, so somewhere you have to stay more days or to skip it (mainly if you are in hurry and do not have spare time). Night rides where sometimes pretty scary (but I guess it would be in every bus). The good thing was, that the travelers in the bus were similar minded people and the atmosphere was nice. Although sometimes traveling with locals has its own charm, you know. Peru hop crew can help you if you need accommodation or give you the offer of the trips they provide. We didn’t use it, but I guess – for people who don’t want to care or are traveling alone, it ‘s a good choice of transportation. Another good thing is that nearly at every stop, they pick you up from the accommodation (or they send the taxi to pick you up). However, it really depends on the place and area you stay. We did LIMA – CUSCO route with Peru Hop.
Our route from Prague (January 2018):
- Prague (Czech Republic) – Vienna (Austria) – Lima (Peru)
- Lima – 2 nights
- Paracas – Ica – Nazca – Huacachina
- Huacachina – 2 nights
- Arequipa – 2 nights
- Colca Canyon – 1 night
- Puno/Uros Khantati – 2 nights
- Cusco – 4 nights
- Aquas Calientes – 1 night
- Machu Picchu
- Cusco – Piura – Mancora
- Mancora – 4 nights
- Las Pocitas – 3 nights
- Lima – 1 night
- Lima (Peru) – Vienna (Austria) – Prague (Czech Republic)
When you plan to travel across Peru, you have to have in your backpack tracking shoes, winter jacket, gloves, beanie, and raining poncho. And on the other hand, you have to pack also your swimming costume, shorts, and flip-flops. Our first plan was to discover Amazonia and spend some time there. At the end we decided to take a flight up to the north to enjoy waves, surf and little bit more sun! What I really miss we skipped is the area around Huaraz. And I would definitely rather skip days in Mancora. In Huaraz, there are beautiful nature secrets and I hope we will come back to discover it. You know – you have to make compromises in your relationship and also in your travels:) So this time surf & waves (means „my husband preference“ ) won instead of another few miles in tracking boots and beanies in cold Huaraz. Next time!
Soon more about each stop.