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Old 10-08-2016, 10:53 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: firenze
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Peru travel tips route tourist attractions photo gallery

I want to share with the community some tourist information and experience of my recent trip in Peru

A beautiful and interesting trip to discover this fascinating Country rich of ancient history . A route in the south part of the Country of about 2000 km in 14 days . A path with breathtaking views very different between them which begins along the Pacific Ocean and ends on the impressive and magnificent Andes crossing exciting archaeological sites and beautiful colonial cities

To see the photo gallery of my trip click on the link below

https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcod...7672185936920/

Under my daily itinerary and list of the main tourist attractions the places I have visited ( may be useful to better plan a trip )

- day 1 : arrival in Lima

- day 2 : short visit of Lima - transfer to Paracas (260 km)

- day 3 : visit islands Ballestas (boat 2 hours) - transfer to Nazca (210 km)

- day 4 : transfer to Arequipa (570 km)

- day 5 : visit of Arequipa

- day 6 : stops in Huayllacucho - Lagunillas - Juliaca - Sillustani - Puno (350 km)

- day 7 : visit of lake Titicaca - island of Uros - island of Taquile - island of Suasi (boat 3:30)

- day 8 : return to Puno (boat 3:30) - visit of Puno

- day 9 : stops in Abra La Raya - Racchi - Andahuaylillas - Huambutio - Urubamba (430 km)

- day 10 : stops in Maras - Chincheros - Moray - (70 km with return to Urubamba)

- day 11 : soste a Huayabamba - Pisac - Ollantaytambo (70 km) - transfer to Aguas Calientes (train about 1:30)

- day 12 : visit of Machu Picchu (18 km) - trasferimento a Cusco (train about 3:30)

- day 13 : visit of Cusco

- day 14 : visit of Cusco - air transfer to Lima - homecoming in Italy

> Lima : it is an interesting megacities but very chaotic , is necessary long time to cross the city . Miraflores , Barranco , San Isidro are the districts that 80% of tourists prefers for several reasons : safety , a lot of hotels and restaurants , shopping centers . Place to visit : Plaza Mayor where is it the Cathedral , the Government House , the Town Hall , the Archbishop's Palace , the Palace of Royal Guard , the Palace of Union . Not to be missed : the Museum Larco Herrera situated in a beautiful colonial building it is certainly the most beautiful Archaeological Museum of Peru , the Archaeological pyramidal site of Huaca Pucllana . Other interesting places : the Monastery of Santo Domingo , the Church of San Pedro , the Sanctuary Basilica of Santa Rosa , the Convent of the Merced , Square San Martin , the Reserve Park with beautiful fountains , the Palace Torre Tagle . Museums : the Gold Museum of Peru - the National Museum of Archaeology Anthropology and History of Peru

> Paracas and islands Ballestas : the Natural Reserve of islands Ballestas is inhabited from thousands of birds ( pelicans , cormorants , zarcillos , blue-footed booby ) penguins of Humboldt , sea lions , fur seal , dolphins . The stunning National reserve of Paracas is a protected natural area ; it is wild and spectacular . Not to be missed : the geoglyph of diameter of 120 meters named the Candelabra created on a desert hill in the Bay of Paracas

> Nazca (520 m) : for overflight on famous and mysterious Nazca lines there are several airlines . I have flown with a 4 places plane of Aero Palcazu 35 minutes cost 120 dollars + 25 sol Peruvians of taxes . The city of Nazca is not particularly interesting

> Panamericana Sur : the road route on the Panamericana Sur between Nazca and Arequipa (difference from 0 to 2350 m) is a truly exciting show ! Many breathtaking scenery which follow one another , spectacular the tall sand dunes that end up in the sea and the mouth of Rio Camaná in a green valley in the middle of the surrounding desert landscape , exciting rocky and wild landscapes when it runs alongside the Pacific Ocean , beautiful valleys and mountain plateaus

> Arequipa (2335 m) : it is a charming and lively colonial city also known by the name of White City for the color of the stone with which the main buildings were built ; not to be missed the Museum Santuarios Andinos where is preserved in a glass freezer case the little mummy girl Juanita found in 1995 on top of the volcano Ampato , she had been sacrificed around 1450 during a Inca ritual . Plaza de Armas is the heart of the city , a beautiful colonnade surrounding the square and Basilica Cathedral ; I recommend to visit also the Santa Catalina Monastery , the cloister of the Society of Jesus , the House of Moral , the Palace Goyeneche , the Museum of Art Virreinal of Santa Teresa . Near the city there are 3 beautiful volcanoes : El Misti - Chachani - Pikchu Pikchu

> Huayllacucho (4324 m) and Lagunillas (4431 m) : crossing the beautiful highland Andean on Carretera Interoceanica near and around Huayllacucho there is beautiful panorama generally with little vegetation due to the altitude (mountain pass about 4500 m) in some areas lagoons and beautiful lakes at Lagunillas

> Juliaca (3825 m) : it is a chaotic city and is touristically not much interesting

> Sillustani (3893 m) : Necropolis of Sillustani is an interesting archaeological site to admire the Chullpas ( funerary towers pre Inca ) it is positioned near to the beautiful lake of Umayo

> Puno (3800 m) : it is a small town grown inordinately on the mountain slope to the shore of the lake Titicaca ; I recommend to visit the colorful central market , the marina and the lake , the small Plaza de Armas with the Cathedral and Plaza Parque Pino with the Church of St. John

> Titicaca (3812 m): the visit of the floating islands of Uros is interesting but especially disappointing ... since many years mass tourism ruined this magnificent place making it too much touristy it seems like a theme park ! After a brief stop in the island of Taquile the final destination is the island of Suasi which is nice but too much small ; with some alpaca and a few vicunas it is to be recommended only tourists that love relax and nature

> Abra La Raya (4335 m) : it is a mountain pass which marks the border between the provinces of Puno and Cusco , the scenery is very beautiful , the narrow valley is surrounded by beautiful mountains

> Racchi (3485 m) : the Temple of Viracocha is an archaeological site Inca

> Andahuaylillas (3121 m) : the church San Pedro de Andahuaylillas is considered the Sistine Chapel of Andes for beauty and richness of interior decoration

> Urubamba (2781 m) : it is a small strategic town to visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas ; it is surrounded by beautiful mountains . I recommend to visit the market and the Church

> Maras (3380 m) : about 10 km from the village of Maras surrounded a breathtaking landscape there are the wonderful salt pans . Hundreds of ponds of varying colors located on several levels offer breathtaking views , unmissable the salt pans are certainly one of the most beautiful places in all of Peru

> Chincheros (3762 m) : it is an agricultural city , the highest in the Sacred Valley ; I recommend to visit Inca ruins , the market , the Plaza de Armas

> Moray (3495 m) : it is an archaeological site Inca constituted by concentric circular terraces with the form like an amphitheater

> Pisac (3016 m) : it is a small town ; the lively market is picturesque and colorful ; I recommend to visit the old oven and above all not to be missed the Sun Temple and the archaeological ruins Intihuatana Pisaqa Q'allaqasa Kinchiracay

> Ollantaytambo (2792 m) : it is a beautiful archaeological site , it was a Inca fortress . Ollantaytambo is connected by Inca Rail on the line Cusco Ollantaytambo Aguas Calientes

> Aguas Calientes (2040 m) : it is also called Machupicchu Pueblo and can only be reached by train or on foot ; it is the obligatory point to arrive at Machu Picchu ( unless you walk Inca Trail ) ; the ugly little village is designed to the needs of thousands of tourists who daily visit Machu Picchu and it is surrounded by beautiful mountains and the greenery of the Amazon rainforest . It 'still a pleasant and lively village for the presence of many pubs and restaurants

> Machu Picchu (2430 m) : the beautiful site of Machu Picchu opens at 6 am and the queue to catch the bus to Aguas Calientes is very long in August already at 6 am ( about 1 hour and 30 ) ; subsequently are needed 20 minutes by bus to arrive at the entrance of Machu Picchu . Can access 2500 people per day ; for the ascent of the Huayna Picchu can access 200 people per day ; for the ascent of Machu Picchu Mountain can access 400 people per day . I recommend booking the tickets in advance and to go very early in the morning because the frequent fogs and morning clouds generally disappear in few hours and it give you an unforgettable experience with the panorama that changes all the time depending on the movement of clouds

> Cusco or Cuzco (3400 m) : it is the most charming city ; it has developed in the valley formed by the Rio Huatanay and it expanded to the surrounding hills . The beautiful city center of colonial architecture focuses around Plaza de Armas where there are the most important monuments : the Cathedral , the Church of the Society of Jesus , the Chapel of Sagrada Familia . The Barrio of San Blas is a very characteristic district and picturesque with ancient buildings and narrow streets ; the central market of San Pedro is interesting and lively . Other important monuments to visit are : the Archbishop's Palace - the Coricancha or Qorikancha , the Convents of : Santo Domingo - Santa Catalina - Merced - Santa Teresa ; the Churches of : San Pedro - San Francisco - San Cristobal - Santa Clara . Not to be missed Archaeological site of the fortress of Sacsayhuamán located in a dominant position on the hill of Carmenca ant the Q'inqu

I suggest also visit the Colca Canyon (3800 m) not included in my itinerary : the road that starts from Arequipa and that reaches the Cruz del Condor reaches very high altitudes at Mirador of Andes (4910 m) . It is the second Canyon deepest in the World and in addition to the beauty of the landscape , in the morning you can see the condors using the strong updrafts to fly over the valley

Altitude and Altitude Sickness ( soroche ) : most of the locations reported are located at more or less high heights . Before traveling at high heights is better to consult your doctor and program a route that allowing own body to acclimatise to the altitude gradually . To facilitate the acclimatization is advisable to drink plenty of water and eat light , it is better avoid smoking and drinking alcohol . Over 3500 m steep roads are wearisome and a bit of breathlessness is common . Hotels above a certain altitude are equipped with oxygen tanks in case of need

Safety : in the big cities especially in Lima I recommend caution because not all neighborhoods are safe . Lima : San Isidro and Miraflores are safe zones but other areas ( as El Callao - Rimac - Barrios Altos - Surquillo - Comas - La Victoria - El Agostino - San Juan de Luringhacho - Ate - Los Olivos ) at night are not safe cause petty crime therefore pay attention and use prudence above all after sunset ( hide valuables , if possible not walk alone in the suburbs and/or dangerous , avoid secondary dark roads poorly lit , use only and exclusively official taxi )

Climate / temperatures / clothing in August : on the coast the climate is mild with little excursion between day and night ; in Lima ( min 15 max 18 ) the sky is almost always cloudy ( Garúa ) . On the Andes depending on altitude there is much temperature range between day and night , average temperatures are : Aguas Calientes (2040 m) and Machu Picchu (2430 m) min 5 max 18 | Arequipa (2335 m) min 8 max 22 | Cusco (3400 m) min 2 max 20 | Puno and lake Titicaca (3800 m) min -5 max 18 | Urubamba (2781 m) and the lower part of the Sacred Valley min 2 max 22 | Over 2500 m the sun is aggressive and during the day you are fine in shirt but just after sunset the temperatures drop quickly and the evening at 3800 m are needed sweater and heavy jacket

I had no problem neither of safety neither discomfort for the altitude and it was really a wonderful trip !
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