Part 1 of Peru Travel Blog Series: Why Peru should be your next holiday destination talks all about how amazing Peru is and why you will fall in love with this country.
We have traveled to many countries in different parts of the world but none of them impressed us like Peru. Typically at the end of any vacation, we both look forward to heading home but Peru felt totally different. It left us with wanting more, making us regret that we did not spend enough time in this beautiful country. The country teased us with its varied landscape from forests to massive sand dunes to the highest peaks towering above 6000m offering spectacular views. Peru made us fall in love with its colorful culture and the amazing people that are the pride of Peru.
We both felt really sad getting back to our routine and we would cherish the memories of our time spent in this beyond-words country. A feeling of incompleteness would always linger in our minds and we would surely return to Peru someday. So here is why you should think about travel to Peru as your next holiday destination.!
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Cusco has my heart ❤️ . Cusco is at an altitude of 3400m. In the mildest form, altitude sickness can occur at the height of 2,500m (8000ft) above sea level. And more severe symptoms can be noticed started 3,600m (about 12000ft). . . ▪️There are a few ways you can beat altitude sickness, but the best is to give your body time to adjust. Don't run / jump around and rest for first 24hours. ▪️Most of us don't have that much time while traveling, so one of the other way is to aclimatize while traveling like taking a bus to Cusco. Your body will aclimatize a bit while traveling. ▪️If you are flying, take an evening flight, so you can sleep for rest of the night. We did this and on our first evening, it was so difficult to even walk 10mins for dinner. Next morning our stamina improved. ▪️Use altitude sickness medicines. AltiVital Natural is the natural one which they sell in Cusco and it's really handy if you are having slight headache or other symptoms. ▪️Explore lower altitude areas like Sacred Valley on your first few days. When you make such journeys to lower altitude and back, it gives your body more time to adjust. ▪️In Peru and some parts of South America, Coca leaves are widely available. Chewing coca leaves or drinking coca leaves tea really helps with altitude sickness. . . Above all, altitude sickness is serious, so listen to your body and give it the time it needs. You will be amazed by what your body can do with good rest and care. 😊 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #cusco #cuscoperu #peru #peru🇵🇪 #southamerica #morning #photooftheday #pictureoftheday #wanderout #wanderlust #travel #bucketlist #wondersoftheworld #ohtheplacesyoullgo #lp #girlslovetotravel #sheisnotlost #femmetravel #travelgoals #travelgirl #dametravelers #madetotravel #indianblogger #indiantraveller #destination #wanderlust #adventureisoutthere #girlslovetotravel #vacation #peruvian
Why you should consider travel to Peru as your next holiday destination
Peru is one of those countries that requires at least a few months to even explore part of it. In spite of being a hikers paradise, Peru equally offers a great experience to the people who are not outdoor. Right from the north to the south, be it the stunning Andes, the longest Amazon river cutting through the extremely dense rain forests or the culture rich Peruvian cities such as Cusco, Peru is extremely versatile and offers something interesting to do and see for everyone.
Where do we even start to describe the mesmerizing beauty of the Peruvian landscape? The beautiful Andes mountain range runs from Venezuela in the north to Argentina in the south. This is almost 7500 kms in length, making it the longest mountain range in the whole wide world. However, mind you, these altitude sickness causing mountains are not very friendly for those that come unprepared. The short but arduous trek to the colorful rainbow mountain would surely test your ability to handle high altitudes since it sits at 5100m above sea level.
And not just the mountains, Peru also offers the spectacular Amazon rain forests which are mysterious to even think about. For those who love deserts, Huacachina in southern Peru provides much excitement with its humongous sand dunes. Huacachina also boats the only desert oasis in South America. Peru also has its own version of the Galapagos island at Paracas where the famous scenes from the planet earth were filmed (birds diving into the ocean to catch fish). Sacred valley is another beautiful location near Cusco which hosts the famous salt mines in Maras and the mysterious nested ringed ancient Incan ruins at Moray. Of course, the mystic picture perfect Machu Picchu mountain raising between the clouds, with the grand Incan citadel in the middle would just blow your mind away especially during the sunrise. Travel across Peru can be an exhilarating experience.!
Have we sold you already to consider travel to Peru as your next holiday destination? Wait until you read ahead…
- Bond, James Bond at the Scottish Highlands
- The landscape to die for, Raw Iceland
- The surreal destination that is Tuscany
Food and drinks
If there is one country where we did NOT struggle to find vegetarian food, Peru definitely tops the list. Not just finding vegetarian food but also it being delicious each time is a very difficult combination to find. The food in Peru was just fabulous and the numbr of options the country offers is simply incredible. We thoroughly enjoyed the authentic Peruvian food in Cusco, homemade simple but flavorful food in Puerto Maldonado and the extremely satisfying quinoa dishes in Huaraz. And oh, we had the best bread of our lives in Lima at El Pan de la Chola.
For those who eat meat, you are literally in food heaven. Alpaca meat is very famous and fish is very popular too. Guinea pig is a delicacy in Peru.
The craft beer is definitely something to look forward to in Peru, since they know how to brew excellent beers. Peruvian beers like Cosqueña (try all the varieties), Arequipeña and Callao are simply excellent. Also how can we not mention their national drink – Pisco Sour. It’s a drink that is made with Pisco (a kind of brandy from the Ica region), sugar syrup, egg whites, lime juice and crushed ice. Sounds unique right? This signature drink is so famous that they even have dedicated the first Saturday of February as the Pisco Sour day! For the wine lovers, the small Vineyard in Ica offers some excellent Malbec/Merlot varieties and the connoisseurs would be happy enough to recommend them.
We also sampled many fruits that we hadn’t even seen before in our lifetimes. Although some of them looked weird and strange, they tasted wonderful.
- Traditional food at Cappadoccia
- Fresh catch and delicious food prepared on a floating boat at Alleppey
The simplicity of the Peruvian people especially in the countryside and smaller towns is very impressive. You will always be welcomed with a warm, friendly smile anywhere you go and they would go out of their way to translate Spanish to English, just to make sure you are comfortable.
Peruvian women wear very traditional clothing consisting of a colorful cape, a long hat and knee length shorts. This is surely an eye catcher for the visitors. We now understand how the tourists to India would feel when they see the Indian people wearing their traditional clothing.
The humble people selling refreshments and providing toilet facilities on the way to the rainbow mountain charge extremely lower prices for their services and this is a testament to the down to earth nature of these people. Fruits sold at very reasonable prices and paying 1 soles to use the toilet in the middle of the trek is an absolute luxury. If required, they can charge how much ever they want and the tourists would surely pay the cost but it’s heartwarming to see that these people are not greedy.
When we left from our hotel in Huaraz, the two brothers that own the hotel came all the way to the bus station and helped with dragging our bags. They really did not have to do that but they still did without any expectations. The helping tendency of these folks are thoroughly impressive.
When we were in Cusco, the whole town came together and celebrated their national festivals at the plaza donning their traditional attires. It was fun and really beautiful to watch these people continuing their traditions and performing their hearts out.
The markets are in plenty and very tourist focused but the locals do shop at these vibrant markets in the main plazas of the respective towns. Numerous colorful sweaters, head bands, typical caps with dangling threads on the both sides, exquisite carpets and blankets are all available. They are at very cheap prices especially if your currency is stronger than the Peruvian soles.
In addition to the cheaper markets, for those looking to do some luxury shopping, options are a plenty. Cusco is the textile capital of Peru and there are many good brands for pure, authentic Alpaca and Vicuña wool. Some of them are Kuna, Sol Alpaca and Tinkuy. The cost is quite steep in the range of minimum $150 and upwards but the materials are genuine.
In Lima, in the fancy Miraflores area, there are a few good shopping malls where you can pick up all things Peru if you had missed out on shopping everywhere else.
We found Peru to be very reasonable and affordable for travel, especially for accommodation and food. The tours can get quite expensive but again that depends on the destination. For example the classic 4 day Inca trail would cost around $650 per person but a tour to the rainbow mountain or Laguna Paron would cost only around $20 (approx 70 soles.)
All about Safety
The only city where you need to be a tad bit careful is Lima. We have heard stories about the taxi drivers in Lima snatching your belongings from you and even causing injury. Luckily we did not encounter any of these issues since we took the taxis from the counters inside the airport and booked them through the hotel. We saw official signs at the airport asking us not to flag down a taxi outside the airport and we thoroughly understood the gravity of the taxi situation.
This is applicable only to Lima and in all other places, taxis are generally safe. We even took a taxi to Sacred Valley from Cusco and found the driver really sweet.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry and heed the warnings. The safest taxi at the airport is Green taxi and they typically charge 60 soles to get to Miraflores, one of the safest neighborhoods in Lima. The other safer neighborhoods are Barranco, San Isidro and Pueblo Libre. We stayed at Miraflores and found it extremely safe.
In general, other than Lima we never felt unsafe. And since Lima is a big city, you wouldn’t really prefer to spend a lot of time there..
You should definitely consider travel to Peru as your next holiday destination. We promise you that your holiday will go beyond your expectations. As Peru offers something for everyone, it would make an ideal place to visit with kids or as a couple. Captivating you with its raw beauty, delicious food and drink, warm and friendly people, Peru would surely leave a lasting impression on your mind and would compel you to visit her again.
We would be posting more detailed and useful information on the places we visited so stay tuned!!!