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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Peru

PERU | Tuesday, 16 April 2013 | Views [464]

Peru is amazing. I've quickly discovered that two weeks in Peru might not be enough. Although I am doing more than what I initially planned to do, I'm really only visiting the Sierra or mountain region of Peru. There are still two other regions - the Costa and Selva which are completely different from Sierra. The diversity, culture and history that Peru possesses and preserves is astounding.

I started my week in Lima and swiftly moved to Arequipa the next day. Arequipa, otherwise known as the White city for all its historic buildings made of sillar, is beautiful. The three volcanoes that surround it make a magnificent backdrop for any photo and I was fortunate to see it from different angles - within the city centre and the countryside.
 
After a day of admiring Arequipa's colonial beauty and starting to appreciate its food, I went on a two day bus tour into the Colca Canyon. In the Colca, I had only hoped to watch giant condors swoop over the canyon but was greeted with constant stunning scenery and an immense cultural experience.
 
From the Colca, I took a bus to Puno to visit Lake Titicaca, the world's highest lake. I had a wonderful time visiting the floating islands of Uros where the Aymara people make everything out of the reed in the lake - boats, houses, food and even the island itself. The people were so genuinely friendly, welcoming us when we arrived and allowing us to be immersed in their culture and lifestyle.
 
Taquile was another island we visited for lunch at a local's house. While the Quecha people who lived on the island were more shy and also more money-oriented, it was still a great experience meeting them and exploring their beautiful island.
 
I left Puno on the Andean Explorer, a luxury train which is incomparable in comfort, service and price to the many buses you can take to Cusco. It was a great way to live it up before the final and most likely the most challenging part of my Peru experience - the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu!

Tags: animals, culture, history, nature, peru, trains

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