Peru in a nutshell

Nine weeks are barely enough to grasp the diversity of this glorious country. I’ve seen massive sand dunes in Ica, frozen Andean peaks, dense jungle and the mighty Amazon river, lots of breathtaking (Pre) Inca ruins everywhere, buzzing cities, islands full of wildlife near Paracas, indigenous life especially in the south, puzzling geoglyphs, untouched landscapes around Chachapoyas in the North, floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca….you name it-Peru has it!
And the food…no matter where you are, you’ll find some local specialties that will please your palate, from exotic fruits in the rainforest you never know they existed to more than 3000 different potatoes in all shapes and colors and quinoa in the highlands.
And then there is the culinary duel between Cusco and Lima, with 10 and 7 (top) restaurants respectively that I visited in these two cities alone.
I could go on and on, but this is just the gist, so I’ll make it short: Here’s my very personal highlight list of an incredible and memorable visit. For more info and the full list of vegan restaurants in all the places I visited in Peru check veganvagrantblog.wordpress.com/Peru

Best natural experiences
1. Three days cruising on the mighty Amazon river deep into the rainforest
2. Hiking to Laguna Paron

 


3. Sunset on the massive dunes in Ica
4. Stunning scenery during the train ride from Aqua Calientes to Machu Picchu
5. A kiss from a baby Alpaca on a hike in the Colca Canyon

Cultural higlights
1. Epic ruins of Kuelap and of course glorious Machu Picchu

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The classic shot of epic Machu Picchu. Simply breathtaking.

2. Flying over the Nazca Lines
3. San Blas in Cusco
4. Monastery in Arequipa
5. Chan Chan, the largest Adobe city in the world

Top five most annoying things 😉
1. Honking cabdrivers in Huaraz and Trujillo 😒
2. Noise of a billion Tuc Tuc-drivers in Iquitos

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Even fancy Tuc-Tucs can be quite a pain…

3. Car alarms everywhere, but especially in Lima
4. Countless street humps that wake you up in the night bus from Arequipa to Cuzco
5. Some local music is just not my cuppa, especially on full blast during a long bus ride

Best accommodation in Peru
1. Niño, Cusco 🏆

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El Niño, a stylish colonial hotel that supports underprivileged children in Cuzco.

2. Casona Solar, Arequipa
3. Madre Tierra, Cusco
4. Churup Hostel, Huaraz
5. Buena Vista, Lima
(and of course couchsurfing in Lima @ Lucia & Gabriel, better than any hotel! Thanks guys!)

Best animal encounters (without specific order)
Pink river dolphin in the Amazon river
Long tail rabbit in the ruins of Machu Picchu
Llamas, Vicuñas and Alpacas in the highlands, foremost in the Colca Canyon

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Can an animal be any cuter than this?!

A playing school of dolphins on the coast of Lima
Sea lions, boobies and penguins at Islas Ballestas

The three best bus companies (I never enjoyed 1st class bus rides as much as here in Peru! Though service and comfort varies and depends on the route. There is no company with 180 degree seats from Arequipa to Cusco for example, not even with Cruz del Sur)
1. Movil Tours 🚌
2. Oltursa
3. Linea

Best vegan restaurants
1. Green Point, Cusco🏆

 

 

2. Raw Cafe, Lima
3. Veda, Lima
4. Buda Profano, Arequipa
5. The Vegan Bistro, Cusco

Top 3 Sweets & Desserts
1. La Verde, Lima 🏆

 


2. The Churro Bar, Cusco
3. Chia, Cusco

Best Burger in the county
1. Prasada, Cusco🏆

 

 


2. El Jardin de Jazmin, Lima
3. Germinando Vida, Lima

Take your time and visit Peru, it has so much to offer – also off the „Gringotrail“! You’ll definitely not regret it!

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