Category: Peru

South America Trip Day 8: Nasca lines and tasting wine

Started the day with a small hike up the sand dune to get a morning view over Huacachina and strolling around the morning glow around the oasis. The reflection of the sand dunes in the water is amazing! After that we had a breakfast infront of the oasis to enjoy the view.


Around 12:45 we had to take the bus again. First stop is at a wineyard called el Catado, here we could taste the local Pisco’s and learn about them. The tour was about 45 minutes and included in the Peru hop ticket. We got a tour through the entire winery, and because of the weather and preference of the people of Peru all the wines are sweet. 


After a short tour we tried 4 types of wines and two Pisco types, even bought some souvenirs from there for home!


Back on the bus we passed through the Andes mountains, pretty impressive!


After that we arrived around 17:30 to Nasca to view three of the Nasca lines.
The Nasca lines can be divided in three groups, simple ones with similar lines, geometric figures and the drawings which are the most famous ones. Crossing hands, tree and lizard we could see from the viewing tower. Nice to see it once, but expected it to be bigger.


After that we had lunch in Nasca for 20 soles per person arranged by Peru hop at la Encantana, was not the best but it was okay. We headed to our destination which we are going to reach at 5 am in the next morning: Arequipa.

South America Trip Day 7: Paracas National Park, Ballestas Islands and Huacachina

After waking up, we had to meet at 7:45 am for our first trip: the Ballestas Islands! This place is nicknamed the Poor man’s Galapagos, simply because it is a lot cheaper to see the abundant of wildlife. The islands are a group of rocks located off the Pacific coast near Paracas, housing thousands of birfs and animals like penguins, sea lions, pelicans and other birds.


Oh man, it did not disappoint! We got onto a speedboat with approx 40 other people to head towards the Islands. First we stopped after 10 minutes of boat ride to witness Candelabro, a 2000 year old sand sculpture that is engraved into the Paracas Peninsula. After a few pictures we continued for another 15 minutes to Islas Ballestas.


Man, it was amazing! We saw so many birds on spectacular cliffs made by erosion over the centuries, all of a sudden rocks turn pitch black because of the amount of birds. Penguins roaming around and also hundreds of sea lions (plus babies!) everywhere! Their roars very loud and gives you the chills. Such an amazing spot!


After that we headed back for 30 minutes, at the port some pelicans fishing gave us a show.


After that we ate empanadas from a local vedor for 3 soles a piece and took the Peru hop bus again for the Paracas city tour, also heading to the national reserve.


The reserve is quite impressive, transforming in millions of years from jungle to ocean to desert, giving it a lot of different colors of sand, yellow, black to white.


First stop la Cathedral, a big rock formation in the form of an arch, but this got lost in a earthquake. Two platforms to look from, amazing view!


Second stop is Istmo de la Pennisula, looks like a nice beach side. There are a lot of colors everywhere, thanks to the volcanic activity in the past.


Last stop is the red beach. With a beautiful view on a big red cliff, and a pebble beach it is a great place to catch some wind and relax.


After that we drove one and a half hour to Huacachina, a oasis city just consisting of 8 blocks and 100 inhabitants. Here, sandboarding and dunebuggies are a thing! Through Peru hop we booked for 50 soles each.


Around 16:00 pm we gathered to get the buggy tour started. Man, it was awesome! Our driver, Chino, was driving like crazy. Felt like a rollercoaster the entire trip!
After that we did sandboarding off 6 hills in the dessert. Laying flat on our body and going down with speed, very sweet!
We ended with enjoying the sunset from a desert view and a fast ride back to Huacachina for an astonishing view from the top over the oasis.


We closed the night with a dinner on the roof top of our hostel Desert Nights.

South America Trip Day 5: Lima, Peru

After waking up around 5:30, Oscar, our guide from the Amazon, has arranged taxis for us. First 25 soles to get to the airport of iquitos with our cab driver Fredy. After a breakfast at the airport we had a two hour flight back to Lima. Here, cab driver Walter, also arranged by Oscar, was waiting for us to take us to our first hostel to collect our luggage and drop us to our hostel in Miraflores, the beautiful neighborhood of Lima. After 45 minutes drive we arrived.


After a quick check in to our hostel condors house, we decided to walk around. We first went to the large shopping mall of Miraflores, Larcomar. Here there are a lot of options for food.


After that we continued to walk to Barranco, the artist district of Lima. Here you can find a lot of typical balconies but also street art everywhere.

From here we walked to the beach for a drink, then got an uber back to Miraflores to huaca pucllana, the inca fortress remains in the city. Unfortunately we came on a Tuesday, only day it is closed for public. But there is a restaurant with a view you can enter for free. Entrance fee normally is 15 soles per adult from 9/17 amd 17 soles from 19/22.


We walked towards the inca market, the big street shopping area of lima, where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs.


we ended the day to enjoy the sunset in the love park. Be sure to walk over the small walls to enjoy the best view ever!


Quick local junk food and back to the hostel for our 6.50 pick up next morning by Peru hop. Next destination: Paracas!

South America Trip: Days 2-4 Iquitos, Amazon of Peru

DAY 2

The alarm bell rings at 3:00 am, after a quick change we get in the cab to the airport to get our 5:30 AM flight to Iquitos with ViaAir. After a very comfortable and beautiful flight, taking us sunrise over the Andes mountains, we arrived at Iquitos. Here, Oscar from Erics Adventure picked us up. First stop, Iquitos centre where Oscar fixed us a local Sim card with 24 GB for 80 soles.


After that we stopped in Iquitos city centre, where a lot of bars and the corners of the amazone can be seen. Especially the plaza is a pretty place to snap some pictures. Not to mention the ferry that has stranded on the dried banks gives a neat view. After that we went to the port, where a big food court is in front of the boat loading dock. Here, we tried some nice local dishes including tortoise eggs and banana tasting like potatoes (5 solas for a meal, 10 for four tortoise eggs).


First stop with the boat: fundo pedrito. A small fish farm who also hosts the world’s smallest monkey, kaimen, tortoises and big paiche fish who you can feed. Normal entrance is 10 USD, we had it included in our tour.


After that we headed to our lodge around 12:30 with a welcome passion fruit drink. 13:00 the drums went for lunch. During the lunch we got fried dorado, bananas that taste like potatoes, palm tree salad and some local fruits.
We had another hour to spare, so what better way then chilling in a hammock!


after that, rubber boots on and off to the locals! 10 minutes with the boat and we arrived to a local tribe, a few ladies wearing traditional wear and their kids. They hand make bracelets, dreamcatchers and other souvenirs (sell for 10 soles each). They painted us with a fruit paint making a difference in married (square) and single (one line on each cheek). After that they made us participate in their traditional dance, got the opportunity to fire a blow gun and buy some things. After that we drove with the boat for a relaxing view.


After dinner we chilled for an hour with Oscar playing the guitar singing local songs. Then we went for an hour long night safari on foot where we saw tarantula, frogs and a lot of other bugs. 21:00 back to get to bed and be fit for day 3.

DAY 3

After a 7:00 am breakfast we left arouns 8:00 am with the boat, first stop: dolphins!

After a 20 minutes or so drive we reached a lake with dozens of dolphins, gray and pink ones, showing their upper parts to breath. For 20 minutes we floated on the water, seeing several dolphins showing us their beauty and lots of birds on the small islands surrounding the lake. After that we switched boats, on our way to the next destination.

For an hour we had to go through a small river seeing a sloth, a lizard and a lot of birds.

Later on we stopped at a spot where the biggest tree of the amazone are located. Walking through a meter deep water and playing Tarzan! We continued to our next stop,a lodge for our lunch. Had to wait for an hour, so hammock time!

After some rice, fish and bananas we went back to our pitstop island, here we visited a shelter for abused wildlife. These creatures get taken by the police from homes who use them as pets and get sent here with a mission, to get back into the wild. In the rescue center we got the chance to get on a picture with a sloth and a huge yellow anaconda. There were also toucans, monkeys, aligators, an anteater and tortoises. Once we went through the whole lot we visited upstairs of the center, here they make their own medicinal oils and alcoholic beverages for impotency and vitame intake. Got to taste them all!

Back on our usual boat for some dolphin sight seeing at 17:00 pm. This time we were not so lucky as in the morning, only one pink dolphin showed his snout. There were a lot more tourists at the lake this time, making it more difficult to spot the dolphins. We headed back for our 19:00 pm dinner and relaxing time.

DAY 4

After another early breakfast we went for our morning program: catching piranha!


First we stopped quick at the dolphins lake once more, and there were a lot jumping everywhere! Pink and gray ones.


After that we stopped at a small bar where we fished for piranha old school style, with a stick and a wire with some chicken on it. Caught 7!


Came back to the lodge around 11:15, some hammock time and lunch at 12 with our freshly caught piranhas, super tasty! Had to pay 12 soles for my two beers, then drove back to iquitos for an hour by boat.


After that our American friends had to leave for their flight and Oscar joined us for a trip over the market to get the chilis they use over here, Sam loved em! Market was huge, lots of souvenirs, herbal medicine, meat, fish and fruits. Weird side note, a lot of vendors are women, giving breast feeding to their newborns and a lot of black vultures are swarming everywhere!


After that Oscar dropped us at our hotel in Iquitos, Saris house.


Quick food at a local fast food joint with chicken leg and rice (19 soles) and chicken breast with fries (18 soles) we were ready for a shower and some sleep.


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