My recent trip to Peru took me through a huge variety of landscapes. Over five weeks, I explored the Amazon rainforest by canoe, hiked to the iconic Machu Picchu citadel, drove over desert dunes, and sampled delicious Peruvian cuisine in world-famous cities. This beautiful country is a wonderful place to explore, home to some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Here are just a few of my favourite moments from the five weeks.
My first stop in Peru was Lima, the culinary capital of South America – so naturally the first thing I did was a Peruvian cooking course. I visited the market in the morning and sampled so many delicious fruit and vegetables I’d never seen before. Next, with the guidance of a local chef, I learnt how to make two traditional Peruvian dishes: ceviche and lomo saltado (similar to a beef stirfry).
After a few days indulging my taste buds in Lima, I headed further down to the coast to Paracas where I took a boat trip out to the Balestas Islands to spot penguins, pelicans and sea lions. The highlight of my time here was an epic dune buggy ride across the Paracas Reserve.
My next stop was Arequipa a beautiful colonial city surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes. The Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, is located close by and this is a great place to spot the Andean condor in flight.
I then made my way over to Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a wonderful mix of ancient Incan walls and Spanish colonial architecture. It is also the gateway to Machu Picchu. I hiked, biked and rafted my way towards to the world-famous ruins. It was such an exciting journey and one I will always remember.
The next stop was probably the one I was most excited about. I studied environmental science at university, so visiting the Amazon rainforest was a very humbling experience for me. I had learnt so much about this ecosystem from textbooks and to experience it myself in person with local guides was just incredible.
My final stop in Peru was the stunning Lake Titicaca. At 3800m, it is the highest navigable lake in the world and I could certainly feel the altitude. The beautiful blue waters are very sacred to the local population and it was fascinating to learn about their culture and beliefs.
If you’d like to find out more about travelling to Peru with Jacada, please either send me an email or call our office to chat.
All images by Jacada’s Latin America expert, Lily Bunker.