We went to Peru! And it was incredible.

We:

  • Ate delicious food.
Ceviche
Ceviche # 1 of 27.
Tacu Tacu
The best meal of the trip.
  • Drank many a pisco sour

Pisco

  • Backpacked among some amazing mountains in Colca Canyon
Colca Canyon Peru
Colca Canyon in Peru.
  • Backpacked 4 days along the Inca Trail to MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu
The almighty Machu Picchu.
  • Rode dune buggies at 80 mph and sand boarded.
Dune buggy Peru
The most fun day of the trip.
  • Pet llamas. Bought llama-containing products.
llama Peru
SO FREAKING SOFT.
  • Spent the night at our Machu Picchu porter’s house in a tiny mountainous village
Machu Picchu Peru
Where we spent the night before embarking on our Machu Picchu adventure.
  • Woke up more than 1/3 of the nights at 3 AM to roosters.
Machu Picchu rooster
I see rage in those eyes. He made us pay at 3 AM.
  • Watched our lives flash before our eyes on several modes of transportation. We had 70 hours in said transportation so there were ample opportunities for bus drivers to pass on blind corners on mountain roads. No wonder we saw so many groupings of 20+ crosses..

Below is a summary of our 2.5 week southern tour of Peru.

We took an overnight flight to Lima and set up Peruvian Shuttle to take us to the Miraflores district. It ended up being cheaper and quicker than the shuttle our friends hailed (who we met a day later in Lima).

We spent that day (and the day before we left to go home) walking around Lima. Aside from the delicious food, I would agree with the reviewers that said you could skip Lima altogether.

The next day we boarded our scheduled Peru Hop bus to visit Paracas.

Paracas Peru
Paracas. Skip.

I would skip this stop if you don’t want to tour the “poor man’s Galapagos”, which we didn’t. We did see the Paracas National Reserve:

Paracas National Reserve Peru
Paracas National Reserve.
Peru Paracas National Reserve
Look we’re standing in front of the ocean.

We arrived in Huacachina, a small desert oasis.

Huacachina Peru
Huacachina.
Huacachina Peru
Sand was everywhere, so why not just lay in it.

There we took a 2 hour dune buggy tour to go sand boarding which ended up being the most thrilling part of the trip. We climbed into some guy’s dune buggy (no instructions, no waivers, no checking to see if we buckled in – not in ‘Murica anymore) and he floored in up and down steep sand dunes.

Huacachina Peru
In front of the death trap.
Huacachina Peru
We love the desert and each other.
Huacachina Peru
Dune buggy riding the sand waves.
Huacachina Peru
Sand looking artistic.
Huacachina Peru
Dan sand boarding.

Then we took an overnight bus to Arequipa.

Arequipa Peru
Arequipa was beautiful. This was taken the morning after an all night bus ride, read: we slept very little. So the brightness/beauty hurt my eyes a little.

This was to be able to get to Colca Canyon, which ended up being my favorite part of the trip.

Colca Canyon Map Peru
Colca Canyon Map.
Cabanaconde Peru
Starting off in Cabanaconde.

Our backpacking trip consisted of:

Cabanaconde –> Lluahar

Cabanaconde Peru
Tiered farming.
Llahuar Peru
Tiny Llahuar.

Lluahar –> Sangalle. We originally wanted to hike to Tapay, which I kind of wish we had done instead.

Colca Canyon Peru
Road to Sangalle.

We sat on the side of the road:

Colca Canyon Peru
Happy.

We posed for pictures in front of canyon views:

Colca Canyon Backpacking Peru
VIEWS.
Sangalle Peru
Sangalle. Not our best experience.
Scorpion Peru
The scorpion I found right above my head.
Sangalle Hostel Peru
After crying, I slept with the sleep sack over my head the whole night. Of course since I found one, there must be 100,000 others in the room – surely the sleep sack would protect me.

Sangalle –> Cabanaconde

Colca Canyon Peru
Up we go.
Colca Canyon Peru
Donkeys were the means of getting supplies to most the towns.
Cabanaconde Peru
Cabanaconde backyards.
Cabanaconde Peru
Access to American-sized portions again!

Then we bused it back to Arequipa and ate the most fun meal of the trip at Zig Zag.

Llama steaks Zig Zag Arequipa Peru
Eating Llama steaks.

The next day consisted of an early 4:45 AM wake up for a 12 hour bus ride to Cusco. Hoorah.

Bus accidents Peru
We saw many of these crosses grouped together on the roadsides. From our experiences in buses, we deduced that these were bus accident victims.
Cusco Peru
Cusco from our hostel.
Narrow steep streets Cusco Peru
Narrow, steep streets of Cusco.

Then we drove to our Machu Picchu porter’s village to spend the day and night.

Machu Picchu Peru
Approaching the start of Machu Picchu.
Bathroom Peru
Bathroom.
Chicha Peru
We drank fluid from this container. They usually say” don’t drink the water.” But they didn’t say “don’t drink unknown fluid from an old gasoline can.”
Peru Machu Picchu Host Family
Host mom next to the cooking area.

Then it was 4 days on the Inca Trail.

Machu Picchu Start
Obligatory picture with the sign.

Machu Picchu Inca Trail

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Camp #1.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Look at that.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Rainy + cloudy.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail Dead Woman's Pass
Top of Dead Woman’s Pass (13,828 ft).

Dead Woman's Pass Inca Trail

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Descending to camp #3.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
A ruin.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Stair Master.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
BLUE SKY!!

I’m impressed you made it this far, thanks for passively scrolling for so long.

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Nearing Machu Picchu.

You can’t backpack the Inca Trail without a guide. Wayki Treks was awesome, and provided way too much delicious food (poor us):

Wayki Trek Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Spoiled.
Wayki Trek Machu Picchu Inca Trail
How they baked a cake in a back country kitchen I don’t know.
Wayki Trek Machu Picchu Inca Trail
More food.

On the fourth day we made it to the Sun Gate and saw this:

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Totally worth it.

Then is started to clear within an hour:

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Mysterious.
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Look a t-shirt that said we did something.

There are 2,000-3,000 people that visit Machu Picchu everyday

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
#crowded
Machu Picchu Inca Trail
WE MADE IT.

We climbed Huayna Picchu, which was very fun.

Machu Picchu Inca Trail
Good thing you can’t smell us through the computer.
Huayna Picchu Inca Trail
Lots of steep stairs.

A day in Cusco, then a laughable 1.5 flight back to Lima (laughable because it was about $10 more than a 30 hour bus ride. The thought of being on another bus, let alone a 30 hour one…).

Then 3 flights to get back home!

And now the real reason you made it this far, here is an assortment of animal pictures:

Pigeon man Peru
This guy was feeding a swarm of pigeons. They were flapping all over him at one point and he seemed to like it.
El Perro Peru
The dog that hiked with us for 6 hours.
El Perro Peru
Putting on an eating show.
El Perro Peru
Just a casual pose.
El Perro Peru
Guardian of our dwelling.
donkey Peru
“Save me” -donkey.
Donkey Peru
Donkeys in the dark 🙁
llama Peru
Llama. So soft.
guinea pigs Peru
Host family’s cache. There is no cake, guinea pig is a birthday treat around Cusco.
Alpaca Peru
Alpaca hanging out on some ruins.

I loved Peru in the short time we had there. Now my restlessness is already planning the next trip…

The end.

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