Oasis, desert and sandboarding. Those 3 words summarize the experience in Huacachina! This spot is a tourist hot spot in the middle of the desert. The little town has an oasis and is surrounded by dunes as high as one hundred metres!
Around 7:00 am our journey started, getting picked up at the square of Cuszo. Destination: Winicunca and Palccoyo.
Nilto, our guide, gave us an explanation of the day. We are going to cross 5,000 meters altitude so we came prepared: Agua de Florida which is alcohol mixed with flowers (smells like a nice perfume too) of which you put three drops on your hands and after rubbing your hands smell it to give you a boost, cacao leaves, altitude pills and cacao candy.
Our first stop was around 9:30 am at a small town called Checacupe, here we stopped at a market which is located next to old bridges, one inca bridge dating back to 1420 a.d. and the original Inca foundations an eb enjoyed, an colonial bridge next to it built in the 18th century by order of the King of Spain, Carlos III to collect taxes and a republic bridge dating from 1895 made from Iron for heavier transport. For 2 soles per person we crossed the Inca bridge, really shaky but cool!
We woke up around 6:30 am to shower and get dressed for a whole day filled with activities in the Cuszo area! After a quick breakfast in our hostel we got picked up at 7:30 am by our guide for the sacred valley tour.
The tour guide explained a lot about the usage of cacao leaves dating back to Inca times, the growth of Cuszo which now inhabits over 500,000 people. The city center is ancient and an UNESCO world heritage, there for expanding is happening towards the southern parts of the city.
After reaching Arequipa early in the morning around 5:00 AM, Peru hop arranged private shuttles for everyone to be brought to their hotels.
Our hostel, Il Riposo, arranged the room for us already so we could catch some more hours of sleep. One night for two just 35 soles. They even had a room available for us at 5:00 AM in the morning so that we could took a few hours nap, great service!
First thing we noticed was the altitude, we had to adjust our breathing a bit to get used to it. It would be our first location at this higher ground, and Arequipa is a great place to slowly get adapted to it.
First stop for breakfast of 40 minutes in Mirasur. This was a weird stop. It looked like a circus.. they had horses “dancing” (was just hopping around), a small swiming pool, some kids slides, an alpaca and some horses, some dune buggies and an overdressed place for food and drinks. We ordered prior in the bus for them to order, and you can get scrambled eggs, avocado sandwich or a pulled pork. Last one was the best, overall not worth the money (we paid 31 soles for two, including drinks). Really a weird touristic spot, recommend you take your own food.
As an aftermath of our wedding, we decided to backpack for 5.5 weeks in South America! Can you think of a better honey moon for a travelling couple? I think not!
Early in the morning waking up at Eindhoven to catch our 9:30 am flight to Lima via Amsterdam, great excuse to get up early!
After my sister dropped us at Schiphol, we were suppose to catch the flight that goes via Paris to Lima. Because of the weather conditions we got a free upgrade from KLM: direct flight at 13:15 to Lima!