I leave for Peru in a week for a month. Tell me your favorite places, your favorite experiences, post pictures, what should I know? What should I see? Give me the good stuff and the how-tos!
Hi! I am leaving for Peru at the beginning of next week for a month. I would love hear how other travelers experiences went. Also, your favorite places, experiences, sites and why, if you have pictures I would love a sneak peak. Any good tips on hostels? Anyone who has hiked Machu Picchu, what is the best packing advice you can give me? Do tell. I look forward to hearing your responses! Thanks!
Good - Machu Picchu, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Nazca Lines, Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipan (Chiclayo)
OK - Puno / Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, Trujillo
Poor - Lima
Annoying - always being lied to and seen as nothing more than a money machine.
I am in Cusco right now and I would suggest packing clothing that can be layered and a rain coat. It would be good to have a long sleeved thermal and also don´t forget a head lamp- have already used mine several times. I am studying Spanish at a school Fair PLay and it´s pretty cool. Ann
Thanks Ann! I actually was waffling over how warm I should pack for. My raincoat is just a shell. I appreciate the direction!
Gabrielle, I'd love to go with you as Peru is one of my favorite countries. You will have the best time.
Machu Picchu was a very spiritual experience for me. At the end of the day we sat and watched the swallows fly as the afternoon came to a close. Stay as late in the day as you can.
Arequipa was one of my favorite towns and I found the beauty at Colca Canyon amazing. The flying condors brought tears to my eyes.
I enjoyed the book Garden of the Gods, so, the trip flying over the Nazca Lines made you wonder. If you have time read it.
You'll find a lovely desert oasis nearby that you would not normally expect. Great fun to explore.
I really enjoyed the time at Lake Titticaca. We hired a boat and went out to explore the reed islands. We found them very interesting.
As Ann suggested you will want to layer because it can get cold in the mountains.
Take some meds for the altitude!
In Arequipa we had really cheap and relaxing massages.
thought I'd leave a comment just to give a different side of the coin to that presented by hkwoody. As with many poor countries where there is a huge backpacker trail, poor people on this trail may unfortunately see so much money spent by so many people who come and go every day that after a while some of them come to see these people as nothing more than a source of money. However, this is some, not all of them, and only in those parts of the country that receive large amounts of tourists.
If you meet Peruvians not involved in making their living from tourism, or anyone from less-visited parts of the country, I found them to be incredibly friendly, warm and welcoming people. Examples of this kind of place would be traveling by local passenger boats in the Amazon, trekking in remote parts of the Andes, or visiting normal towns with no obvious tourist attractions.
I have to agree with Ed....Peru can be extremely touristy...but you can also get off the beaten track and enjoy the Peruvians. I sure did. They are so wonderful! They absolutely made my trip to Peru. I know you asked about volunteering in Arequipa, so you will no doubt have some wonderful experiences too. I highly recommend doing some homestays if you can. Especially in the Chivay or Titicaca areas. As for packing for MP - they will only allow 6kgs on the trail. So you can only bring essentials for 3 days. As for the rest of your trip, you will need to bring clothing that is warm, dry, layerable, and light. I experienced all temperatures.....-10c to 35c!! But I was everywhere from Andes to Amazon too. Don't forget that you can also buy rain gear, or warm alpaca sweaters, mitts or leg warmers if needed. My favorite places? Oh the whole thing, seriously. Nazca, Ica, Chivay, Arequipa, Dios de Madre, Machu, Cusco, I loved it all. You will too. Have a wonderful time!!!
p.s. yes, meds for altitude highly recommended...
I agree with all the above posts. You do get to a point when you feel like you are being nickeled and dimed (this is in regards to hoestays and Spanish language schools) but in the end to an American that is really all it is nickes and dimes so what´s the big deal. I just consider it my foreigner tax and get on with my day and try to be cautious and not have my bag stolen.
There are of course pluses and minuses to everything and truely gems you can find in every culture.
But a few more things I though of that I wished I had is more sun screen. Though toiletries are widely avaiable they do seem to be cheaper at target or what have you so if packing for a long period of time I would try and bring the shampoo, soap, toothpaste, sun screen and lotion that I would need for the duration. Sun hats and sweaters can be bought here. Ann
I loved Peru, if you are going to Machu Picchu, make sure you are prepared for the high altitude and book your train and admission ticket in advance. I have written in depth free guide for that city, including transportation here: http://www.diytravelshow.com/machupicchu