Explore the Real Amazon
If you want a real Amazon experience, then Carhuasanta Peru is the best country to go to before you wind your way down the Andes and into the Amazon basin on the other side. Peru is the solely South American country where you can explore various forms of Amazon.
The Peruvian part of the Amazon jungle is the most diverse and prolific section of all. The Manu National Park boasts over 200 mammal species and at least 1000 birds. Meet paddle canoes and caiman along tranquil waterways, lulled by the ‘symphony of green.’ Through boat, you can explore the river or help out on a volunteering project to get a deeper understanding of the jungle.
Discover Another Side of Cusco
With the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu over the hills, most travelers want to get out of Cusco as soon as possible. For those who want to extend their stay for a day or more, you can discover more of this stunning colonial city’s charms.
The Boleto Turistico del Cusco pass gives access to 15 key historic sites. Then, go to Sacsayhuaman overlooking the city, and walk back down to Cusco through the San Blas neighbourhood, with the boutiques and galleries in the artisan quarter.
Next is to go to the Urubamba River valley, the Sacred Valley, where you can visit the historic Inca sites at Chichero, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac. If it’s a Tuesday, Thursday, or Sunday, head out to the Chinchero market and the adjacent textile cooperative for a spot for shopping. The salineras or pre-Incan salt pans at Maras are worth a visit too.
Desert Oasis Huacachina
A small desert town, Huacachina, built the only natural desert oasis in South America. This natural oasis provides an escape for the residents in Ica and sees an annual increase of tourists globally. But, this desert lagoon is not the only thing that people have caught wind of.
A small town surrounds the oasis, and both are hidden between high, wind-sculpted sand in the middle of the desert. The sand is perfect sandboarding, and a ride in the buggies will make you feel like a Mad Max character. Both young and old adventure seekers will surely enjoy Huacachina as their ideal playground.
Rainbow Mountain Cusco
The painted hills of the Vinincunca Mountain are one of the most magnificent geological features in Peru. The sloping wave of colour decorates this beautiful hill, ranging from turquoise to gold, and rust red to lavender, which is the result of eroding minerals and sedimentary rocks.
One of the most magnificent geological features in Peru is the painted hills of the Vinicunca Mountain, also known as the Rainbow Mountain. The sloping waves of colour that decorate this beautiful hill, ranging from rust-red to lavender, and turquoise to gold, are the result of minerals and eroding sedimentary rocks.
Enjoy the spectacular nights after a day hike, or you could do the Ausangate trek. Both are challenging, but Ausengate is on another level.
For several days, this trek will take you through the raw backyard of Cusco. However, the increasing altitude can be crippling for unseasoned travellers.
To reach Vinicunca, you need first to cross three high passes that reach over 5000 metres. You can also pass the local villages, alpine lakes, glaciers, marshes, granite cliffs, and snow-peaked mountains that scrape across the sky.
The stunning, unspoiled views are surrounding the natural wonder of this place, and seeing the Rainbow Mountain itself is worth the pain.
Cevice is the national dish and one of Peru’s most popular foods. This dish can cause you instant obsession. Other nations (Ecuador, Mexico) have their own dish variations. Still, this cooked fish served cold includes Corvina (sea bass) marinated for a few minutes in lime juice salt, onion, and aji (hot chillies) is Peruvian to the core.
Ceviche often includes a side of choclo (starchy boiled corn) and camote (sweet potatoes) to balance the spicy protein. For added texture, cancha (dry roasted corn kernels) are scattered to ceviche to add a delicious crunchiness.
For the shooter, mix the leftover marinade of lime, salt, and chilis with Pisco brandy and drink it.
Aji De Gallina
Aji De Gallina is a shredded chicken prepared curry-style in a thick sauce made with aji amarillo, cream, cheese, and ground walnuts. This mild and flavourful sauce, with aju spice, is balanced by the cream and cheese. The chicken, vegetables, and sauce are often served on rice, boiled potatoes, and black olives, giving it a chowder-like consistency once plated. For drink pairing, try a dry white wine to counter the sweetness of the sauce.