From Lima to Arequipa

We decided to go up slowly in the high altitudes of the Andes and took the Peru Hop bus from Lima to Paracas, to Huacachina to Arequipa and then further up to Cuzco. Wich was a very good decision.

So what did we discover on our way?

Hacienda San José

This was a surprisingly nice stopover. We learned a lot about the slave tunnels and the time, when the slaves came from Africa to Peru. Nowadays the Hacienda is a five star hotel, which is a bit creepy, but anyway,…

Paracas & Islas Ballestas

If you’re into animals and wildlife, this is the spot for you to go. From Paracas you hop on a little boat to discover the “Poor Men’s Galapagos”. We’ve been to the real Galapagos just a week before and weren’t expecting to much. But this trip was really amazing. We saw sea lions, sea wolfs, Humboldt penguins, and a looooot of different birds (stunning).

Paracas itself is not that nice, but it has some cute restaurants to spend some time. If you like kite surfing – then you should consider to stay here much longer.

Paracas Marine Reserve

A really nice place to spend some time, you can take a bus, a tour, a bike, a quad,…. And then discover the Peruvian desert, including some really nice view points and even a red sand beach.

Huacachina

We’re absolutely in love with that place.

Tell the Austrian’s that they can ski or snowboard, even when it’s on sand, and we’re excited at all 😉

We heard that the normal way to go down is head-front, but we found the Sand Snow School, which is managed by swiss guys, we get to know at our first walk up for the sunset on the dunes (you have to do that really – it challenged all the sunsets we had before). So what we did, for sure, was going for the real sand boarding and sand skiing – including a lot of walking but also a nice buggy tour. We did about 5 dunes which was awesome. It’s a bit like deep-snow, but different when it comes to stopping.

Huacachina is also a really good place for party – in our case: Aprés Ski – what else. ;)) Our hostel „Wild Olive“ was the perfect choice to relax after all that action.

Pisco Tour

This is a nice opportunity to learn something about the national drink and get some tastings. We even got some ice-cream there. 😉

Nazca

If you’re on the way to Arequipa, make sure you stop at the view-tower for the famous Nazca lines. Incredible what the Incas did. If you have a bit more money – you can also take a flight.

 

Arequipa

This is our most favorite city so far in Peru. We loved to explore all the Alpaca factories, stores and zoos. We had some delicious local food in the picanterias and even a swiss-peruvian cheese fondue to celebrate Dominik’s birthday. The cathedral is really worth to see – there is a museum with a guide, you can go up the tower and inside. We also loved the monastery Santa Catalina – we didn’t expect such a city in the city. Imagine there where 80 apartments for the nuns back in those days. There is also a really good free guided walking tour through the city and you get pastries and queso helado on every corner. The mercado is also a must see. The Yanahual park is a tip as well and all the nice bridges in the city.

Arequipa cathedral at night
Arequipa cathedral at night
Arequipa cathedral
Arequipa cathedral

 

Arequipa - the white city
Arequipa – the white city

About a four hours drive from Arequipa you’ll discover the gorgeous Colca Canyon. We really recommend that tour. Our summary of the Peruvian canyon is right here.

 

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