Peru is the backpackers dream. Cheap, yet offering various activities. We found adventure sports, relaxing beaches, historical places, modern cities, weird sites, rich culture, friendly people, savory food, and so much more. There is an option for everybody.
Having extensively explored ruins in Ecuador before arriving in Peru, the historical sites had less amazement power, but the temple of the sun and the moon in Trujillo still captivated me. Even though the temple was buried and forgotten under the desert sand, after archeologists got their hands on the ruins, they did a beautiful job exposing the history of the layers of the walls. Another history rich place is Machu Picchu. A-no-joke, intense work from ancient times. I wouldn’t want to have lived in those times, building that world wonder on top of a mountain. Too much sweat excretion. No way Jose.
Some of the other no-way experiences, but for different reasons, include the stray dogs and the insanitary meat markets (no, they aren’t selling stray dog meat). In so many places in Peru they had stray dogs lurking around. Pooping everywhere. Making the streets unsafe for the daydreamers. Luckily the bombs weren’t as smelly as some of the meat markets. The meat would be exposed all day on top of a regular table, no refrigeration, no cover, no shield from the sun sometimes. Walking by, we would be greeted with this awful stench of raw meat. Vomit-worthy. A least favorite experience for me. But don’t worry, I never got food poisoning. Peruvians still know how to cook yummy meals. I loved devouring my dishes at a low price.
Besides eating, I loved the sand dunes. Zooming around in the sand buggy, imagining myself in the movie Mad-Max. Sadly I didn’t have any silver spray paint, and worse, no mouth guard to shield me from the sand trying to be inhaled by me. I ended up taking enough sand home from sandboarding down the desert hills.
Lima doesn’t have many hills, but this city has many things to offer. I relished sightseeing in the capital. If the absurd traffic could simmer down a bit, I’m certain I would enjoy living in this activity-balanced place. There are tons of parks here, big and small. Just as the rest of the country. Even the smallest town seems to have at least the center park and then some others spread sporadically. I feel that there are so many sit-down-on-a-bench-and-relax parks, that the people don’t even have the ability to use them all. Creating lovely scenery while we got lost. Luckily the internet connection was surprisingly fantastic in most areas, where I was able to use my 2G roaming and access my maps on my phone to get us back on track. If not, we could holler a cab or one of the million tuk-tuks. I was amazed at the quantity of tuk-tuks. Maybe because I didn’t know that any other country besides India uses them.
Overall I think Peru should make it on any backpackers list of countries to visit. I spent 3 weeks there and didn’t even hit the amazon. I never thought that I wanted to move on to the next country, that I was bored. Always more towns wiggling themselves on my list of places to see. I could have easily spent more time here, but other countries were calling my name. But no fret. I’ll be back one day.
Random facts I’ve encountered:
- Insane amount of tuk-tuks
- Excellent internet connection in most places
- Tons of parks
- Even more stray dogs
- Awesome fresh grocery stands, but unfortunately also disgustingly unsanitary meat markets