The time to leave Cuzco after an amazing jungle experience and the Machu Picchu has arrived. Lucky for us, the road ahead was very exciting as well. We travelled from Cuzco to Lima by Peru Hop bus and also stopped in Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Nazca, Huacachina and Paracas.
Arequipa in South Peru
The first stop was in Arequipa. This is the second biggest city in Peru with a beautiful Plaza de Armas. We chose to spend four days here, because we wanted to relax a little bit after Cuzco and because of our bus schedule. The first two days we had an amazing hostel outside the city center with a large swimming pool. Too bad the water was freezing cold, but that didn’t stop us from getting in. On our second day here we did the Colca canyon tour. The Colca canyon in Peru is the largest canyon in the world. It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon! It is also the living area of the Condor, an enormous bird with a span width of 3 meters. These birds fly very close to you here in the Canyon which gives amazing sights. After we got back in the evening we decided to go to bed early (the tour started at 3 am :o). We spend the last two days here in the city center, to relax, enjoy the nice food and the Peruvian culture.
Nasca and Huacachina
Our next stop was Huacachina, but our Peru hop bos stopped for us in Nazca as well. Nazca is famous for it’s Nazca lines, which are incredibly big drawings in the sand. These lines are there for hundreds of years and make an amazing sight, especially from above.
After our small stop at Nazca we drove further to our destination Huacachina. This is an small oasis, in the middle of the Peruvian desert. We stayed here for two nights and did an amazing excursion: racing in a dune buggy and sandboarding down steep sandhills. This was an incredible experience and so much fun to do! Sadly, there isn’t much more to do here, because you are in the middle of nowhere. But, relaxing at our swimming pool wasn’t bad either in the hot weather.
The next place we visited was Paracas. This is a small peninsula at the coast of Peru. It has a national reserve which we visited for free with our Peru Hop company and the Ballestas Islands.
Here are numerous amounts of birds, sea lions, penguins and fish. Incredible to see! We did a two-hour tour to the islands for about 10 dollars. We had to go by speedboat to visit the islands. Once we arrived, we immediately saw why these islands are that famous. So many birds were flying above our heads, sea lions were relaxing in the sun and we even saw some penguins checking us out. It was amazing to see. The penguins were a big bonus, because normally they aren´t here this time of year. We circled both islands and saw so many birds, pelicans, fish, sea lions, crabs, seastars and everything more. Our guide did an amazing job as well about telling us facts and history about these islands. After two hours, our boat brought us back to the coast but we enjoyed every second of it!
The day after visiting the Ballestas we took our Peru Hop bus to Lima. This didn´t take long and 4 hours later we arrived in the capital of Peru. We didn´t do much in Lima, because we were a little exhausted from all the busrides and traveling in south Peru so we decided to take it easy while we were here. We didn´t know yet where to go next so we had to figure that out as well. In our next blog you will find out!