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Peru
 Country of the Incas, llamas and Machu Picchu 
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Peru


Peru is quite popular tourist destination, where located two world-famous attractions: Machu Picchu and Nazca Lines. Country is large and 1-2 weeks is not enough, so most tourists choose southern part.

Our timelapse from Peru:


Map of Peru
Map of Peru ©GeoAtlas

When to go to Peru

Peru has all climatic zones, so you need to take light and warm clothing. The dry season lasts from April to October. We were there in the first two weeks of May, the weather was excellent.

Money

Peru has its own currency, we used ATMs. Most popular ATMs, like Interbank and BCP, have a fee of about $5, as well as a daily limit of $150-250.

Prices

Prices are surprisingly high. Dinner for two in a restaurant cost about $30. For the food in the supermarket for the dinner we paid $30. Domestic flights around $100-120 one way. Everything in Machu Picchu is very expensive.

Mobile Internet

Upon arrival to Lima, find an office of Claro and buy a sim card. We bought the sim card with the package for 15 days and 1.5 Gb of traffic (info 2015). Mobile internet is well developed in the country, large cities have 4G.

Security

There are big problems with security in Lima, judging by the reviews. It is easy to understand this, by protection of apartments and houses and by armed guards on every corner. In other cities the situation is much better.

Flight to Peru

We flew from Kiev on KLM via Amsterdam. Standard return ticket cost 1200 euros, sometimes happens promo with a price of 900 euro. The cheapest option is a flight from Madrid on Air Europa for 600-700 euros.

Before the trip

You need to buy tickets to Machu Picchu and for the train to Machu Picchu in advance.

Getting around the country

There are almost no train connection in Peru, but bus service is very well developed.  Although travelling between cities may take 12-16 hours! Therefore, buses even have a "business class" for sleeping. Another option is to use domestic flights.

Peru roads are good, so it makes sense to rent a car. There are few problems with the car: long distanses, heavy traffic in urban areas and a lot of big trucks on the roads. We took the car with a driver, but still it was hard during the longest journeys.

Before the trip, we wrote letters to various travel agencies, sent them an itinerary and asked for the price. All prices have been higher than expected, until we received a letter from Hernan Hermoza, a guide from Cuzco, who promised to find a driver for a reasonable price. As a result, we were travelling around Peru with a good and careful driver Anibal, who speaks a little bit English.

Contact email of Hernan: hernanhermoza77[attt]gmail.com

Standard price for a car with a driver in Peru and Ecuador is about $200-250 per day. It may be cheaper, but in our case driver had come from Cusco to Lima and this is an additional day.

Our route

Day 1 - Lima
Day 2 - Lima, Paracas
Day 3 - Paracas, Huacachina
Day 4 - Nazca, Arequipa
Day 5 - Arequipa
Day 6 - Vicunas, altitude of 4910 m., hotel Colca Lodge
Day 7 - Colca canyon, Cusco
Day 8 - Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Awana Kancha, Tambomachay, Puka Pukara, Kenko
Day 9 - Cusco
Day 10 - Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Ollantaytambo
Day 11 - Machu Picchu
Day 12 - Machu Picchu
Day 13 - Machu Picchu
Day 14 - Lima
Day 15 - Lima, Second Home hotel in Lima

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Lima

Arrived in the evening, took some money from an ATM at the airport. By taxi went to the hotel.

Day 2 - Lima, Paracas

In the morning walked in the Miraflores, visited cats in the central park. In a Claro shop bought a sim card with the mobile Internet.

 Love Park
Love Park ©Yuriy Buriak


Miraflores
Miraflores ©Yuriy Buriak


Lima
Lima ©Yuriy Buriak


Lima
Lima ©Yuriy Buriak

At 14 we met the driver, went to the viewpoint San Cristobal and then to Paracas (about 4 hours).

Lima
Lima ©Yuriy Buriak


Lima
Lima ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 3 - Paracas, Huacachina

Due to strong waves we could not visit the islands of Ballestas. Therefore, in the morning we walked on the promenade and then went to the Paracas National Reserve.

Paracas
Paracas ©Yuriy Buriak


Paracas
Paracas ©Yuriy Buriak


Paracas
Paracas ©Yuriy Buriak


Paracas
Paracas ©Yuriy Buriak

Next we went to Huacachina, where had a lunch and a tour in the desert.

Huacachina
Huacachina ©Yuriy Buriak


Huacachina
Huacachina ©Yuriy Buriak


Huacachina
Huacachina ©Yuriy Buriak

After we went to Nazca, where bought tickets for the flight tomorrow.

Day 4 - Nazca, Arequipa

Early in the morning we flew over the Nazca lines. Unfortunately, our plane fell down in the next flight after ours, read more information here.

Nazca Lines
Nazca Lines ©Yuriy Buriak


Nazca Lines
Nazca Lines ©Yuriy Buriak

Next we started a 550 km journey to Arequipa along Pan-American highway. It was hard. Although the road is incredibly beautiful and almost empty. About 200 kilometers we drove in 30 meters from the ocean.

Panamericana Nazca - Arequipa
Panamericana Nazca - Arequipa ©Yuriy Buriak


Panamericana Nazca - Arequipa
Panamericana Nazca - Arequipa ©Yuriy Buriak
\

Peru. Pacific Ocean
Peru. Pacific Ocean ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 5 - Arequipa

On this day we rested in Arequipa, just walking around the city, which is excellent.

Arequipa
Arequipa ©Yuriy Buriak


Arequipa
Arequipa ©Yuriy Buriak


Arequipa
Arequipa ©Yuriy Buriak


Arequipa
Arequipa ©Yuriy Buriak


 Monastery of Santa Catalina
Monastery of Santa Catalina ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 6 - vicunas, altitude of 4910 m., hotel Colca Lodge

In the morning we went towards the Colca Canyon. On the way passed through the reserve with vicunas.

The place where live vicugnas
The place where live vicugnas ©Yuriy Buriak

Made photos with Alpaca.

The place where live vicugnas
The place where live vicugnas ©Yuriy Buriak

Visited a viepoint at an altitude of 4910 meters.

Lookout Mirador de los Andes
Lookout Mirador de los Andes ©Yuriy Buriak

Arrived at the Colca Lodge hotel, walked around and bathed in the thermal pools.

Hotel Colca Lodge
Hotel Colca Lodge ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 7 - Colca Canyon, Cusco

Early in the morning went to the lookout Cruz de Condor in the canyon and watched condors.

Condors in Colca Canyon
Condors in Colca Canyon ©Yuriy Buriak


Condors in Colca Canyon
Condors in Colca Canyon ©Yuriy Buriak

Then we had a long drive to Cusco. In the city of Juliaca we had a lunch in a modern shopping center Real Plaza. Apart from this mall, the city is just awful, the worst of those that we have seen in South America.

By the way, Puno and Lake Titicaca located a stone's throw from Juliaca, but we decided to visit the lake later, may be during a trip to Bolivia.

The road Juliaca - Cusco in the evening is one of the most beautiful roads that we have seen.

Road Juliaca - Cuzco
Road Juliaca - Cuzco ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 8 - Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Awana Kancha, Tambomachay, Puka Pukara, Kenko

In the morning we went to Sacsayhuaman, where bought a general ticket for many different sights.

Sacsayhuaman
Sacsayhuaman ©Yuriy Buriak

Next visited Pisac, farm with llamas, Tambomachay, Puca Pukara and Kenko.

Pisac
Pisac ©Yuriy Buriak


Awana Kancha
Awana Kancha ©Yuriy Buriak


Kenko - a ritual center of Inca
Kenko - a ritual center of Inca ©Yuriy Buriak

Returned to Cusco where some festival was held.

Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak


Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 9 - Cusco

On this day we walked around Cusco

Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak


Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak


Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak


Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 10 - Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Ollantaytambo

On this day we had to get to Machu Picchu. Our train stop was in Ollantaytambo. On the way we visited Chinchero, Moray and Maras. Thus, the major ruins remain unvisited are Pikillacta and Tipon.

Chinchero
Chinchero ©Yuriy Buriak


Moray
Moray ©Yuriy Buriak


Salt pans of Maras
Salt pans of Maras ©Yuriy Buriak

In Ollantaytambo we left things in the storage room at the station, agreed the return trip to Cusco with a driver, had lunch and walked around the ruins and town.

Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo ©Yuriy Buriak


Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 11 - Machu Picchu

We had tickets to Machu Picchu on the 12th and 13th day and today we had to rest. But in the morning we checked the weather forecast and found that today's weather is perfect while tomorrow fog and rain is possible.

So we bought tickets for today and went up to Machu Picchu, where had a great time, though were very tired.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 12 - Machu Picchu

On this day, Nastya rested and slept, and I went to the top at 6 am to make photos and timelapses. Weather, as expected was foggy and that was ideal for me, but not for the tourists.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak


Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak

The view of Machu Picchu appeared about 10 am

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak

In the afternoon we walked around the village.

The village of Machu Picchu
The village of Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak


The village of Machu Picchu
The village of Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak


The village of Machu Picchu
The village of Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 13 - Machu Picchu

On this day we went to Machu Picchu together early in the morning. Again there was a fog, so we walked around the city.

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak


Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak


Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak


Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu ©Yuriy Buriak

This day fog did not disperse at 12, so we went down. Had a lunch, rested, and found a very unpleasant news.

It appears that locals are extremely dissatisfied with the fact that PeruRail receives huge money from tourists and does not contribute to the development of the region. Therefore, they decided to punish... tourists. It the morning locals built barricades on the road from Cuzco to Machu Picchu. As there is only one road, thousands of tourists were unable to reach the Machu Picchu on this and next day.

We called the driver and told him that our train will arrive not to Poroy but to another station due to protests. He promised to do everything to get to us. It was expected that in the evening protesters will go home and drivers will be able to partially dismantle the barricades.

We were really lucky and somehow, along the dirt roads, were able to get to Cusco. Here is a photo from the phone. There were tens and hundreds of such barricades.

Barricades in Peru
Barricades in Peru ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 14 - Lima

After a little walk in the center of Cusco we flew to Lima.

Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak


Cusco
Cusco ©Yuriy Buriak

Where walked in Barranco district.

Bridge of Sighs in Barranco district
Bridge of Sighs in Barranco district ©Yuriy Buriak


Municipal Park in Barranco district
Municipal Park in Barranco district ©Yuriy Buriak

Day 15 - Lima, Second Home hotel in Lima

The hotel where we spent the night turned out to be the home of the famous Peruvian sculptor and painter Victor Delfin.

Hotel Second Home in Lima
Hotel Second Home in Lima ©Yuriy Buriak


Hotel Second Home in Lima
Hotel Second Home in Lima ©Yuriy Buriak

In the morning we went for a walk in the historic center of Lima, which is quite nice.

Lima
Lima ©Yuriy Buriak

And after the lunch to the airport.

Useful links

http://www.peru.travel/en-us - travel website of Peru

http://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe - buses
http://www.moviltours.com.pe - buses
http://www.perurail.com - train to Machu Picchu
http://www.inkaexpress.com - tourist bus Puno - Cusco
http://www.greentoadbus.com - bus info and timetable
http://www.peruhop.com - tourist buses that stop in many places, and you can use any of them
http://www.go2peru.com - many useful info, especially bus timetable

http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe - tickets to Machu Picchu
http://www.claro.com.pe - mobile internet Claro
http://www.perunature.com - peruvian jungle
http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/ - useful info

Some of the movies in which you can see Peru

Secret of the Incas (1954) - adventure movie with Charlton Heston. Very good shown Cusco and Machu Picchu. Movie is considered the prototype of the blockbuster "Raiders of the lost Ark".

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) - movie about the journey of Che Guevara in South America. Received numerous awards and nominations. Shown Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu.

The Emperor's New Groove (2000) - animated movie by Disney, based on the culture of the Incas.

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