Peru

Puno

Puno

Puno lies slightly north of Copacabana in the south east Peru lying on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Puno is just a 2 hour drive from Copacabana which is located south in Bolivia. Puno has a distinct attraction most notably the floating islands. There are plenty of restaurants to eat Guinea, have a pizza or just a traditional Peruvian dinner near Plaza de Armas on Jr.Lima. Unfortunately though Puno just a stop over town for most tourists spending only a day or 2 here even though this town is bustling.

Must Dos’

  • Uros Floating Islands are the main attraction here at this town. Learn about the island’s traditions, the culture and essentially the floating village. The women on the island are decked in traditional clothing and tourists can ride take a trip on the native’s traditional boat. It’s fascinating to learn about these islands and how they stay afloat with sods and hay. A real unique community.
  • Visit Cathedral de Puno. In comparison to the cathedrals dotted around Peru this Cathedral is quite plain however it’s simple structure and decor make it a pleasant visit and if nothing else makes use of an hour or 2.
  • Stop at hillside of the town as you move onto your next stop. Looking at the town from above you truly see the size of Puno which is quite large compared to Copacabana on the Bolivian side. Here you can also see Puno’s most expensive Hotel which is approximately €200 per night.
Plaza De Armas

Cusco

This city is massive with a population of approx 435,114 people located in the Southeast of Peru . Cusco is a UNESCO world heritage site therefore a principle city for backpackers and travelers alike to visit before making their way to Machu Picchu to walk in the footsteps of the Incas. As its one of the world’s most visited cities it catering for all types of tourists. There are plenty of Artisian shops, Cathedrals and restaurants in all parts of the city for all budgets. Whether you want to take the train to Aguas Calientes, take a 3 day Inca trail or five-day Salkantay trek it’s easy to organise a trip to Machu Picchu as there are many tourist offices located around Plaza de Armas. A little tip to remember Machu Picchu and the trails generally close for the month of February for clean up.

Must Dos

  •  Make the trail through to Machu Pichu. Inca trails and the Salkantay trek both have a lot to offer backpackers. Salkantay is popular for those who book on the ground. If you want to make the Inca trail its best to book ahead especially in dry season.
  • Take a free walking tour. Although small in comparison other city tours, the tour guide make sure tourists visualize the story of the Incas and how important Cusco was during this time. A great way to learn about the original Tupac.
  • Take a walk through the San Pedro market for handmade souvenirs. Snack foods, boots or trekking equipment can be found in the market and commercial area that surrounds it.
  • Get a massage – There are plenty of places to get a massage after you make the trek to Machu Picchu. There are many deals and most no more than €10 or $12.
  • Have breakfast in Jacks Cafe. Breakfast for everyone with a choice of tradition full English with bacon, hash browns & egg or choose a tuna melt/ beans on toast. Here there is definitely a wealth of choice for all. There may be a wait to be served but it’s worth it.
Huarez

Arequipa

Arequipa is 2,328 metres above sea level located in South Peru. Arequipa is known as the white city, simply because, most of their beautifully white buildings. The old buildings are made from white stone rather than red brick like those in Cusco. Its culture runs deep into Spanish roots that are still evident today. Many backpackers spend a few days here while they prepare for the tour to the Colca Canyon. From Arequipa, you can make an overnight trip to Colca valley or a three-day trek to Colca Canyon. Misti Volcano and along with 2 other volcanos (Pikchu Pikchu and Chachani) surrounds Arequipa and on a bright clear day can be seen from the rooftops.

Must Dos

  • Take a trip to the Colca Canyon or the Colca Valley. Remember these are not the same place. In both trips, you will take a trip to a hot spring, have a traditional Peruvian night and visit the Mirador in the Colca Valley. This is a popular place to see the magnificent Condors up close and appreciate the size of their wing span which can reach approx 10ft.
  • Visit the local market, Peruvians have a lot faith in Pacchu Mamma and believe in natural healing which is what you will see here in this market, along with fresh fruit, veg and meats. Venture upstairs to try out a fresh squeezed smoothie of your choosing.
  • Try guinea. There are many places to eat Guinea in Arequipa especially close to Plaza de Armas.
  • Take a trip down Calle San Francisco on the weekend and enjoy a Pisco sour in the several bars that cater for all musical tastes.

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Huarez

Huarez is located 3052 metres above sea level in the northern central part of Peru. Approx 10 hours bus ride away from Lima it still has a lot of traditional roots. Many backpackers take a trip to the town for the beauty that surrounds it. Parque Nacional Huascaran is approx one hour where travelers can see glaciers, waterfalls, natural springs and rivers and return to Huarez in the evening.

Must Dos

  • Take a day trek to Laguna 69. It takes approx 3 hours to make the voyage to the lake at the top of the trail. Here the superior view of crystallized, aqua water is simply breathtaking. With all the minerals in the water is simply a memorizing view of natural beauty.
  • Take a bus to Pastoruri Glacier stopping on the way to see some natural small springs and other wildlife treats. Reaching the edge the pathway to the glacier you need to walk approx 30 mins to reach the glacier. One of the amazing aspects to this trip is that visitors can get so close to the glacier that they can touch it, take photos up close and even get into a melting crevice.
  • Although a small town there are plenty of places to eat after that long day trekking. There are many eateries from pizzerias to delicious Chinese which can satisfy any craving for a very reasonable price.