A Travellerspoint blog

August 2011

A day in Guayaquil

semi-overcast 30 °C
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After my time in Máncora I left Peru and headed North into Ecuador. My first stop was Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, because from there you can fly to the Galápagos islands. When I arrived I straight away went and booked my flight for the next day. Finally, the decision was made, I was definitely going to Galápagos! :)

After that I had 1 day to see the city, which I spent wandering around with a couple I had met on the bus. I found the city was really modern, at least after having spent so much time in Bolivia and Peru.
The Malecón, the promenade along the river, is a nice place to walk along and we also had lunch here, a really good seafood stew with plantains.
The Malecón

The Malecón

Cazuela de Mariscos

Cazuela de Mariscos

We then walked up Las Peñas, a neighbourhood on a hill with colourful houses and nice views over the city.
Las Peñas

Las Peñas


Guayaquil

Guayaquil

Somebody told us that there is a park in which iguanas and some turtles live, so of course we had to go see this place too. We were really surprised by these animals living in the middle of the city centre.
Iguanas

Iguanas


Turtles

Turtles

At night, we went for dinner and to a bar for a drink, but it was really quiet because it was a Tuesday and we were all tired, so we pretty soon went to bed.
Out for a drink in Guayaquil

Out for a drink in Guayaquil

Posted by sarahm_lux 17:11 Archived in Ecuador Tagged guayaquil Comments (0)

Máncora

Finally at the beach!

sunny 24 °C
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After travelling really quickly for a couple of weeks, visiting many historic sites and doing a tiring 4-day hike, I needed a break and Máncora was exactly the right spot for this. I stayed at the Loki hostel, which looked much more like a nice seaside hotel than a hostel. The dorms had balconies, there was a big nice pool and a direct access to the beach.
Loki Hostel

Loki Hostel

Of course, it being a Loki, there was also a party every night ;-)
Cocktails in Máncora

Cocktails in Máncora

My 3 days in Máncora were then spent on the beach, at the pool and in the bar - really relaxing and a lot of fun, especially because I met a lot of nice people in the hostel to spend my time with.
Sunset in Máncora

Sunset in Máncora


My last Peruvian Ceviche - mmhh, so good

My last Peruvian Ceviche - mmhh, so good


Máncora hostel friends

Máncora hostel friends

Máncora is also very popular for surfing, so 2 of my roommates and I decided to take our first surfing lesson there. Scary at first, it was a lot of fun once I managed to stand up and actually stay ont he board for a while :) I will definitely have to try this again somewhere else during my trip!

Posted by sarahm_lux 21:02 Archived in Peru Tagged mancora Comments (0)

Chachapoyas

Back in the mountains and visiting Kuélap and Gocta

semi-overcast 18 °C
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To finish off my week of visiting ancient ruins, I went to Chachapoyas to visit Kuélap, a huge fortified pre-Inca city built on top of a mountain. The site is really amazing.
Kuélap

Kuélap


Kuélap

Kuélap


We could see the remains of many houses, all round, consisting of only 1 or 2 rooms and the newest have been built on top of the ruins of older buildings.
Kuélap

Kuélap


Kuélap

Kuélap


All other buildings are also round, except for 2 that were built after the Incas arrived in the region and they were influenced by their building style.
Kuélap

Kuélap


Kuélap

Kuélap

While I was already in Chachapoyas I also had to go visit the Gocta waterfalls, the third highest waterfalls in the world (although some say that is not correct...). The hike to the waterfalls was nice, but unfortunately the falls themselves were a bit disappointing. I am not sure whether this might be different in the rainy season when there is more water, but at least now they were really thin and not very impressive.
Gocta Waterfalls

Gocta Waterfalls


Gocta Waterfalls

Gocta Waterfalls

After these 2 days in Chachapoyas, it was definitely time to finally get to the beach! So I travelled back to the coast.

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:46 Archived in Peru Tagged kuelap chachapoyas gocta Comments (0)

Chiclayo

semi-overcast 24 °C
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From Trujillo I travelled on to Chiclayo, only 3 hours to the North. Here more ancient ruins were awaiting me, and on top of that some amazing food.

First I visited the ruins of Sipán. It is a mound in which tombs from the Moche culture were found, among them the tomb of the Señor de Sipán. All the graves and especially that of the Lord contained many vases, jewellery, other ornaments and even the skeletons of other people and animals sacrificed to accompany the deceased after death. The items found in the tombs can be seen in the site museum and in the Museo de las Tumbas Reales del Señor de Sipán (here a replica of the complete tomb of the Lord is on display), both of which I visited as well. The jewellery and other things found are very beautiful and impressive.
Sipán

Sipán


Sipán

Sipán

I then went to see the ruins at Túcume. It is a huge site containing 26 pyramids. It was an important centre for pre-hispanic cultures. Unfortunately most of the pyramids are still completely covered and closed, so not very much can be seen. There is a small site museum as well.
Túcume

Túcume


Túcume

Túcume

In the Brüning Museum in Lambayeque I could find more information on and artefacts from the Moche and other cultures from the region.
Brüning museum

Brüning museum


Brüning museum

Brüning museum


Brüning museum

Brüning museum


Brüning museum

Brüning museum

The North of Peru and especially Chiclayo are famous for their very good food. Two of the main local specialities are baby goat and duck. I tried the goat in Chiclayo and it was really tasty! The duck I went to try in a restaurant in Lambayeque recommended to me by a local man who was sitting next to me on the bus back from Sipán. He said that he and his wife sometimes drive out there just to eat in this restaurant. And he was right, it was amazing. Probably the best duck I ever ate, and it came with tacu-tacu, a big portion of rice mixed with beans and a really great sauce. Mmmhhh....
Tacu-tacu con pato saltado

Tacu-tacu con pato saltado

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:44 Archived in Peru Tagged chiclayo sipán túcume Comments (0)

Trujillo

Ruins, ruins and more ruins...

sunny 22 °C
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The next night bus brought me to Trujillo. Although the city of Trujillo is nothing special and locals say that it is pretty dangerous, it is a must to stop in the city when in the North of Peru for the important ruins which can be visited from here. The sites come from different cultures and can be visited by public transport or with a tour. I chose a tour because the price was not significantly higher an it was easier and more convenient.

I first visited the Huacas de la Luna and del Sol. This site was built by the Moche. The Huaca de la Luna is the most investigated part until now. The structure consists of 5 buildings built on top of each other, each similar, but increasing in size with each re-construction. Each time the ruler of the site died, he was buried in the building, it was filled with adobe blocks and a new version was built on top. The walls are covered with impressive colourful decorations depicting gods and scenes from the Moche traditions.
Huaca de la Luna

Huaca de la Luna


Huaca de la Luna

Huaca de la Luna


Huaca de la Luna

Huaca de la Luna

The second ruin I visit was the Chimú structure of Chan Chan. It is the largest adobe city in Latin America and is beautifully decorated. Unfortunately, only a relatively small part of the site can be visited, but it is an interesting and impressive visit.
Chan Chan - Nik An

Chan Chan - Nik An


Chan Chan - Nik An

Chan Chan - Nik An


Chan Chan - Nik An

Chan Chan - Nik An


Chan Chan - Nik An

Chan Chan - Nik An


Chan Chan - Nik An

Chan Chan - Nik An


Chan Chan museum

Chan Chan museum


Chan Chan museum

Chan Chan museum

The last site I visited from Trujillo was El Brujo. Here, the well-preserved mummy of a woman whose arms and legs are tattooed has been found. She was the ruler of the site until she died and was buried here. The mummy can be seen in the museum while on the site you can see where she was found.
El Brujo

El Brujo


El Brujo

El Brujo


El Brujo

El Brujo


El Brujo

El Brujo


El Brujo

El Brujo


El Brujo - replica of a mural

El Brujo - replica of a mural

Except for all these ruins. I also visited the coastal town of Huanchaco, only about 30 minutes from the centre of Trujillo. It is a touristy but pretty town on the beach, very good to relax a bit in the sun.
Huanchaco

Huanchaco


Huanchaco

Huanchaco


Huanchaco

Huanchaco

Posted by sarahm_lux 19:10 Archived in Peru Tagged trujillo moche huaca_de_la_luna chan_chan el_brujo chimú Comments (0)

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