Monthly #7 November: Visiting Machu Picchu twice
Although we did not plan it, we spent the whole month of November in Peru.
Peru is a fascinating country, full of surprises and home to many natural and architectural wonders. We've been traveling in Peru for almost two months now and could imagine staying even longer, but our bank account, unfortunately, is not bottomless and in two days we will be crossing borders to Bolivia. But before we'll do it, we must stop at the Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley first.
Exactly on the November 1st, we came back from one-week camping in the Peruvian Amazon. We chose Pacaya Samiria National Reserve for this adventure, and we had an unforgettable week full of jungle hiking, fishing, canoeing and sunset watching. To get to the Amazon, we had to fly from Lima to Iquitos, so when we came back from the jungle, we all of a sudden appeared in Peru's 10 million capital.
It was a bit of shock to be surrounded by so many people, and honestly, we did not want to spend that much time in Lima. That's why we decided to see the best of Lima only in one day. Apart from the sightseeing, we also needed to buy a new phone because I lost mine in Bogota and Martin destroyed his during our hike to Laguna Paron.
From Lima, we took a bus to Nazca. Peru is a large country, and so far we traveled only by night buses. Not only it always saved us time, but also money for accommodation. Bus to Nazca was an exception so we could observe how the scenery dramatically changes. So far, we've seen ruins, mountains, lagoons or jungle in Peru, but the landscape south from Lima is completely different. It looks like no man's land. The stretch from Lima to Nazca is flat, dry, sandy and dusty. The life here must be very harsh.
After we arrived in Nazca, we immediately booked a flight over famous Nazca Lines - ancient geoglyphs and large trenches drawn across the Nazca desert. The 30 minutes flight was an amazing experience, although we felt nauseous the rest of the day.
From Nazca, we took an overnight bus to Arequipa and on the way we had an unpleasant experience because we were involved in a car crash. Our bus was hit by a car (the car driver probably fell asleep as it happened at 4 AM), so we had to wait for four hours for another bus which picked us up. We don't know how this happened as we were in the middle of nowhere, but almost all local people traveling with us on the bus arranged own transport to Arequipa so, within ten minutes, we were waiting for a new bus only two of us, another three tourists and probably five locals.
We traveled to Arequipa for two reasons. We wanted to see the famous Monastery of Santa Catalina and also one of the deepest canyons in the world, the Colca Canyon, situated three hours drive from Arequipa. You can read our review of a one-day tour to Colca Canyon.
And from Arequipa, we finally moved to Cusco, the most touristy place in the whole of Peru, but most importantly the former capital of the Inca empire. The surroundings of Cusco is amazing. An uncountable number of ruins, beautiful nature, Sacred Valley and great hiking options - maybe this is the reason why we stayed in the area for whole three weeks.
We were lucky enough to experience two of the most popular hikes - the Salkantay Trek and one of the best treks in the world - classic Inca Trail. We did both of those treks with a reputable company Alpaca Expeditions, and you can read more about their mission in our posts. What was the best on those adventures? We saw Machu Picchu not only once, but twice! Pretty amazing!
Let's see where will December take us!