1 Nature trip
Nor Yauyos Cocha Landscape Reserve
Over 500 acres of Lima mountainous region, this reserve is filled with fertile hills and meadows of every shade of green you can imagine as well as crystalline lakes fed by waterfalls that form random sparkling staircases throughout the lush scenery found between the towns of Vilcas and Huancay.
Lodging: Huancaya municipal lodging: 810-6012; very simple and rustic, but one of the best in the region.
2 Go north
|The Lord of Sipan museum, located outside of Chiclayo. Photo: Antonio Velasco via Wikipedia|
Peru’s laid back north has its greatest draw in its number of pre-Columbian sites and its sunny weather. A must see is the museum dedicated to one of Peru’s most impressive archaeological finds in the last couple of decades, the tomb of the Lord of Sipán, which offers excellent crafted metal and ceramics displays. There is also the striking Túcume pyramids, 26 pre-Hispanic structures, enclosures and mounds found on an 850-square-mile territory only 20 miles from the city.
Go to the beach: You can take advantage Chiclayo’s hot sun and go to the Pimentel beach resort, only about 8 miles from the city, whose beautiful, rickety wooden boardwalk allows for a lovely stroll along the beach.
Meet a witch doctor: One of the city’s interesting attractions is its brujos market, which is filled with all kind of materials used by Peru’s curanderos such as shamanistic herbs, elixirs and other curiosities. You’ll also come across plenty of fortune tellers, healers, shamans and more.
Hostel Costa del Sol: 074-227-272
Hosteria San Roque: 074-282-860
3 Close to Lima
San Jeronimo de Surco
This picturesque town is known for its scenery and surrounding waterfalls. The most popular activity is trekking to the Pala Kala falls. You can walk or ride a donkey through colorful paths rich in vegetation that wind upwards past terraced farmland worked by hand.
Camping: There are a couple of campsites nearby where visitors can spend the night.
Buy fruits and flowers: The town is famous for its beautiful landscapes of apple orchards, prickly pear farms and array of wild flowers.
4 The beach
|Zorritos beach. Photo: Eduardo Dios via Flickr|
The white sands, calm waves, warm waters and boardwalk make Zorritos ideal for a cozy beach getaway. You can also enjoy soothing thermal baths fed by underground hot water, explore the abundant marine life or go surfing.
Star gazing: Enjoying the night sky in Zorritos is particularly interesting because its large bat population will randomly dominate patches of its sky throughout the nights.
Explore Wildlife: About 25 miles from Zorritos you will find the Tumbes Mangals Sanctuary which contains an abundant number of different species of flora and fauna and a popular crocodile farm, Crocodile Island Zoo.
Brisas del Mar Suite: 072-544-268; has panoramic ocean view.
La Casa de Diego: 254-0732; for those interested in trekking and surfing.
5 To the jungle
A small paradise of virgin forest just six hours from Lima where you can have a magnificent view of this patch of high cloud forest. You will see gorgeous walnut, strangler fig trees and 600 year old cedars such as El Abuelo (Grandfather) which has a nine-foot trunk with colossal tree roots so big they look like dinosaur tails. There are also notable waterfalls, such as Azul Yacu and Anden Yacu which has an almost 200 ft. drop.
Birdwatching: This natural sanctuary is famous for its lek where male Andean cocks-of-the-rock flutter about every dawn and dusk to attract their mates.
Spend the night: Although there are a couple of tourist bungalows nearby there are also designated camp grounds where visitors can spend the night.
Lodging: Pampa Hermosa Lodge: 225-1776
6 Family trip
Cajamarca and its lush valleys, stunning pastoral landscapes and colonial churches make a family-friendly trip destination. Its farming land and mountains that surround its Plaza de Armas has random cobbled streets and cozy homes with red tiled roofs that are bordered by lovely baroque churches and old colonial mansions.
Relax: Take a calming dip in the famous Baños del Inca thermal waters, once used by the Incas and where, legend has it, Francisco Pizarro captured Inca emperor Atahualpa. The waters can reach temperatures of up to 160 °F and are said to have medicinal properties.
Eat: This region is famous for its cuy picante con papas (spicy guinea pig with potatos), humitas (sweet corn cakes), chicharrón con mote (deep fried pork with a side of boiled hominy) and the chupe verde (green seafood milk soup).
Raqchi temple in Cusco
Raqchi is a rustic escape where you will encounter serenity and a link to ancient culture. In this ceremonial center you will share a delicious organic meal outdoors, explore the temple built by the Incas for their god Wiracocha and admire the adobe wall which stands nearly 50ft tall and its surrounding stone houses that once stored immense amounts of grains.
Explore: Take a short trek to sleeping volcano Kinsachata, which is considered a sacred mountain by the locals. The journey also allows for a great view of the town and temple.
Ceramics: Visit the local ceramic workshops famous for their pottery; their ceramic chicha containers in particular.
8 Deep jungle
|Photo: Andrés M. Posada via Flickr|
Exuberant, vibrant and hot, Tarapoto, is a natural beauty of vast rain forest, flowing rivers, waterfalls, and a rich tropical culture with a love for cumbia. To enjoy the experience of deep jungle life in eastern Peru, you need to glide past miles of virgin natural sights until you reach Laguna Azul where you can enjoy fishing, boating and stunning sunsets.
Spend the night: Stay a couple of nights at Lago Lindo cabins with its calming lakefront views and a stunning forest backyard. Phones: 425-550, 242-5551 or 242-5552
See wildlife: In these woods you will be able to see several monkey species as well as deer, jaguars and much more.
Puma Rinri: www.pumarinri.com
El Sauce Resort: 404-0404
|Taking a leap from 400 feet in Cusco. Photo: Fernando Manuel|
Bunjee Jumping and Downhill Biking
In Cusco, the Action Valley is an adventure park offers the highest bungee jump in South America at 400 feet, as well as other high adrenaline games like the Slingshot and human catapult.
See related article.
In Lima, if you have good riding skills and a cunning ability to make split second decisions, you can go downhill biking in the hills of Pachacamac, the mountains of Olleros (9,186 ft.) and Mayhuay (9,842 ft.), or the valleys of Quipan (9,842 ft.) or Tauripampa (11,482 ft.)
See related article.
|A view from Titilaka, the luxury hotel on the gorgeous Lake Titikaka.|
Stay at Titilaka and enjoy a dose of luxury with soft candle light, and a soothing bubble bath with a stunning view of the sapphire glimmer of Peru’s Lake Titicaca. You can also stay at Casa Andina’s ecolodge, in Suasi Island, which was built with native local materials to blend in to the Lake’s natural sorroundings, yet offers sophisticated organic comfort and a first rate gourmet restaurant.
Go Kayaking: One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Lake Titicaca by gliding on its crystal clear waters on kayak.
Island hop: Visit the placid islands in Lake Titicaca and let the locals share with you their crafts, traditions and the story of how the lake’s waters one day became the cradle of Peruvian civilization.
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