A Travellerspoint blog

Peru

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)

The Cordillera Blanca and the ruins of Chavín de Huantar

Huaraz

semi-overcast 18 °C
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Huaraz is a nice town in a beautiful setting in the Andes in the North of Peru. There are a lot of hikes and day trips that can be done from here in the Cordillera Blanca or the Cordillera Huayhuash.
Huaraz seen from the balcony of my hostel

Huaraz seen from the balcony of my hostel

I chose to do the popular 4-day Santa Cruz trek in the Cordillera Blanca. The hike itself is not that hard, but what makes it very difficult is the altitudes which are reached on the trek. The highest point is the pass which is crossed on the 2nd day at an altitude of 4750m. I almost thought I would not make it up there as breathing became more and more difficult the higher I got up the mountain. When I finally reached the pass, I was really relieved and then I realised it was all worth the effort; the views were spectacular up there!
Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek


Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek


Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek

The landscapes were actually beautiful during the whole trek: many snowy mountain tops, aquamarine lagoons and green valleys.
Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek


Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek


Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek


Santa Cruz Trek

Santa Cruz Trek

We even saw a mountain that looks a lot like the one from the Paramount Pictures logo and some say it might even be the mountain which inspired the logo :-)
Santa Cruz Trek - Artesonraju or the Paramount pictures mountain??

Santa Cruz Trek - Artesonraju or the Paramount pictures mountain??

We spent the nights on different campsites along the way. It got really cold after dark, but luckily the sleeping bags provided were comfortably warm. Although I was not cold, I still spent 2 almost sleepless nights in my tent, insomnia being the only real symptom of altitude sickness I had. The 3rd night we were at a lower altitude again and I assume I was acclimatised by then as well, so that I finally managed to catch up with some sleep and had some energy left for the last 3 hours of the trek.
Santa Cruz Trek - our first campsite

Santa Cruz Trek - our first campsite


Santa Cruz Trek - we made it to the end!

Santa Cruz Trek - we made it to the end!

Although I was really tired on days 2 and 3, I enjoyed the hike a lot, partially due to the amazing food our cook prepared for us. Even breakfast was different and exciting every morning and dinner included a nice hot soup, a main meal and even dessert.

The day after the trek finished and I had recovered a bit, I took a tour to the ruins of Chavín de Huantar. These are the only large ruins left of the Chavín culture.
Chavín de Huantar

Chavín de Huantar


Chavín de Huantar

Chavín de Huantar

The guide was one of the best I ever had, so that the visit was really interesting. He knew a lot about the site and the culture and combined his explanations with many funny jokes, so that we did not get bored by all the history ;-) The most interesting thing about the site is the art. As the guide said, that is the main difference from Machu Picchu and other Inca sites. They are great, but what Chavín has what they do not have is a lot of art.
Chavín de Huantar

Chavín de Huantar


Chavín de Huantar

Chavín de Huantar


Chavín de Huantar

Chavín de Huantar

We also stopped at this beautiful lagoon on the way to Chavín.
Laguna de Querococha

Laguna de Querococha

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:16 Archived in Peru Tagged huaraz cordillera_blanca chavín_de_huantar Comments (0)

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