Incredible time spent in Peru getting to know the culture and people along the way during my solo travel in Peru.
Highs & Lows
Lares trek to Machu Pichu
Getting a parasite:((
I spent two months in Peru, one of which was stationary doing a workaway in Trujillo at a school called Hilo Rojo. Which I highly recommend, it was such an incredible opportunity to build a community and stay put somewhere for an extended period of time. Both my stationary and nomadic time was incredible. I feel like I really got a feel fo the people and culture due to how long I was able to stay in the same country. Peru is a medium sized country and so I felt like one month if active exploring was nearly enough, maybe two more weeks would have been appreciated so that I could explore the North or maybe the Amazon but I did feel like one month of exploration was a good start for sure. I started in the middle of the country (Huaraz) and worked my way down!
I absolutely adored this small city in the mountains. Not so much the city itself, as it’s pretty basic, but more the area surrounding the city. There were so many hikes, treks and climbing opportunities all throughout the region.
One of the most famous hikes is a blue lake called Laguna 69. However, there is an equally stunning and less touristy (still touristy) one called Laguna Paron. I hiked Paron with two of my friends starting from the town of Paron, it took us 4 hours to get to the top. Once we got there it was about 4 pm and all the tourists began to leave which was great. We actually ended up staying the night in the lodge at the top for a small fee (they can cook for you) which we didn’t even know was an option but it was lovely. The next day we set out around 7 AM to hike down and it took about 6 hours, there were no collectivos from the trail and finally after a while of sticking our thumbs out on the road waiting for somebody to give us a ride back to town, we got lucky. Be sure to ask locals about this before and maybe schedule for transport. I definitely recommend this hike over Laguna 69.
Another thing to note is that it can be very cold. So cold that I even needed to rent a winter coat, which you’re able to do close to Plaza De Armas, along with tons of other gear. In addition, I would really recommend not visiting during raining season, I did and it rained every day starting at about noon until/into the evening. Also, the town is quite high up so I would recommend giving yourself a full day or two to acclimate. Lastly, this is the safest place I felt in all of Peru, even walking home by myself in the early morning after drinks with friends.
I stayed here for two nights only and that was certaintly enough time. There really isn’t much to do here at all except go to the beach, go to the national park (a giant desert basically) and visit the poor mans galapagos.
I did it all in one day, starting with a tour of the island in the morning and renting a motorbike to tour the National Park in the afternoon. I definitely recommend the islands through a tour, as there was a lot of great info I learned that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten. The animals were incredible to see and the views were stunning, however be prepared to get wet on the boat road.
The National Park was also cool, especially if you haven’t been to many deserts before. I loved having a motorbike because I could cruise right on past all of the people doing tours on four-wheelers and have my own adventure. I really felt like a tour guide wouldn’t have added to my experience at all.
I stayed in Arequipa for 6 nights and found it to be the perfect amount of time. There is a lot to do in the city and so Im sure one could spend even more time here and not get bored.
One of the first things I did was visit the nunnery in the city, as it was highly recommended by people in my hostel. I figured it would take about an hour but I ended up staying there for two and a half hours because it’s so huge! I did a tour there in English which I highly recommend and shouldn’t cost more than $7 to do, not including the enterance fee. I thought the nunnery was so interesting and I learned a lot about the place along with the history of religion.
I also did a free walking tour which I honestly don’t recommend. It was the worst walking tour I have done in my 4.5 months of travels. The tour guides English was quite hard to understand I just found the information to be boring. You can certaintly skip this.
I also did a Pisco Sour making workshop where I learned to make Pisco and I LOVED it. I’m so excited to bring the cocktail home with me and impress friends and family. Plus we got to taste through which was so fun!
Q & A
What would you have changed?I would not have gone to Huaraz in the rainy season
Transportation Tips?I definitely recommend traveling with collectivos. Basically big vans with someone sticking their head out the window and shouting the direction they’re going. It’s a great way to save money and spend time with locals
Any surprises?I was not expecting the cold in Huaraz at all. Be prepared!!