The next big road trip – Peru
Ecuador & Peru
Stop Buying Things & Start Doing Things!!!
Overlanding down the Pan-America highway South America…
With five countries connected through half a dozen borders that require no difficulty or expensive nor extensive paperwork for your overland vehicle, overland travel in South America is attractive.
Drive across the vast plains of Patagonia, watch wildlife along Argentina’s shore and hike in Chile’s magnificent Andean Mountains.
Take your overland vehicle across the Andean Mountains of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, following the much-traveled Pan-American Highway.
The starting point is Bahia De Caraquez and heading down The Ruta del Sol, which runs along the west coast of Ecuador, from Esmeralda in the north to the southern town of Salina. One long stretch of rocky cliffs and soft sand beaches, secluded bays, fishing villages, and touristy towns.
Mancora and the beaches of Piura and Tumbes – Perfect weather, magical beaches, sunny days all year round, perfect waves, and delicious seafood cuisine summarize the feeling of the beaches located in the northern department of Piura and Tumbes, north coast of Peru.
With good weather all year round (permanent sun without humidity). In that case, this stretch of coast at the provinces of Tumbes and Piura are the best beaches in Peru and one of the most outstanding of all the South Pacific coast.
Trujillo – Nestled within a lush valley eight hours north of Lima, Trujillo is celebrated for its photogenic colonial center filled with colorful Spanish mansions, quaint churches, and friendly locals.
Not far from the Pacific Coast, this relatively large city was founded in the 1500s, close to the abandoned Chan Chan ruins, one of the largest pre-Incan empires of ancient Peru. Within its impressive once-walled ruins, this Chimor mud city is the largest adobe city in the Americas and boasts a series of religious temples, burial grounds, and royal residences.
But that’s not the only history worth exploring in Trujillo. Visit the 19th-century National University of Trujillo – one of the largest of its kind in South America – that features the world’s longest mosaic, and appreciate the incredible murals of Huaca de la Luna (the Temple of the Moon) that unfortunately showcases human sacrifice. If you’re looking to relax after your days of exploring, you can’t go wrong with the beaches of resort town Huanchaco – don’t forget your sun cream!
Lima – As Peru’s capital and largest city, Lima is a sprawling metropolis of almost 9 million people. The city was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and offers a rich history and exceptional food, a great sense of culture.
You’ll find modern buildings contrasting with traditional and colonial architecture and orderly slums alongside raving nightclubs and bars. Ruled by the Spanish for three centuries, Lima boasts intriguing Spanish-colonial churches, abbeys, and monasteries – a real treat for history buffs.
Because of its location close to the coast, Lima is a great foodie destination for seafood lovers. A Lima food tour is a great way to taste your way through the city’s authentic Peruvian delights like Ceviche, with a visit to some of the most authentic markets and restaurants in the city.
Whether you’re taking a stroll through the historic heart of Lima Centro and its craft markets or exploring the more tourist-friendly green suburb of Miraflores, which overflows with antique shops and bars, you’re in for something special in Lima.
Huacachina: Lying just outside the city of Ica in the southwest of Peru, Huacachina is a popular place to visit thanks to its surreal location surrounded by dunes. Emerging out of the desert like a mirage, the small settlement is clustered around a secluded oasis, gently waving palm trees and nothing but sand stretching as far as the eye can see.
Other Nazca sites worth viewing within the desert are the ancient aqueducts known as the Nazca channels. These underground channels allow the cotton, potatoes, and fruit plantations in the desert to thrive in this otherwise inhabitable location.
Huacachina’s sandy surroundings lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of fun outdoor activities, with sandboarding, quad biking, and dune buggy rides popular pastimes. Clambering to the top of the sifting dunes is also a must for the spectacular views, and sunsets are particularly memorable.
Relaxing around the oasis and taking in the stunning scenery is a lovely way to pass the time, and swimming offers a welcome respite from the searing heat. As it is geared towards tourists, Huacachina has plenty of restaurants, bars, and hotels to choose from, with a few kiosks and shops dotted here and there. Besides its ample adventure opportunities, you can also visit the bodegas and wineries in Ica if you want to sample some delicious local produce.
Nazca Desert: The puzzling Nazca lines that crisscross the valleys of Palpa and Nazca have put this part of Peru’s otherwise uninteresting desert on the map. These monumental inscriptions of lines, animals, and other geometric patterns were carved into the sandy terrain by the Nazca people and are believed to have been part of a thousand-year-old holy road. The dry, windless, stable climate of the Nazca Desert has helped keep the lines uncovered to the present day.
The best way to appreciate the magnitude of these geometric lines and shapes is from the air with a flight over the Nazca lines. However, suppose you’re hesitant about flying (the costs aren’t cheap!), or you’d prefer to see them up close. In that case, there’s an observation tower along the Pan-American highway where you can view three of the prominent figures.