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Heloise Buxton in Peru

What country/countries did you visit?

Peru

How did you get there?

We flew with Iberia via Madrid

Whereabouts did you go?

We started in the capital Lima, before flying down to Arequipa and travelling to the Colca Canyon. After returning to Arequipa, we crossed to the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. We then delved into the rainforest near Puerto Maldonado and returned home via another short stay in Lima.

Had you been before?

Yes, I went to Peru in 2018 as a backpacker, travelling on a shoestring. I didn’t make it to Machu Picchu last time and so it was great to finally get there and tick that off!

If so, any notable differences?

There was far fewer tourists due to the difficult times they have faced in recent years with COVID and some political unrest. The country is so peaceful and the people so kind and welcoming, I think it would be really great to see more tourists there again. Tourism is a major part of their economy and an essential income for so many locals.

Which was your favourite:

Place: Each place was fascinating and entirely different. As a nature lover, my favourite place was the Amazon. The remoteness of the lodge and diversity of wildlife was truly incredible.

Hotel: For me the Sol y Luna set in the Sacred Valley felt very special. The setting is stunning with beautiful gardens surrounded by mountains. They also fund the Sol y Luna Association which is a really special charity providing care and education to some of Peru’s poorest children to help give them a better future.

Excursion: I’m quite a foodie and the gastronomic food tour on my last day in Lima was really great. Our guide took us to a variety of places to try some different Peruvian dishes and teach us about their history. The food in Peru is fantastic and this was a great way to sample all the different bits.

What was your most memorable moment?

Waking up in the Amazon to the sound of the Howler monkeys. Feeling so close to the nature was a magical feeling and the noise of these monkeys was unlike anything I had ever heard before – no need to set an alarm!

Were there any surprises along the way?

Not a surprise as such but the enormity and impressiveness of Machu Picchu was breath-taking. Any photos you have seen beforehand just don’t compare.

What tips do you have for travellers wanting to visit the same destinations?

- The high season (drier weather) generally starts around May, but I was there at the end of March / early April and would really recommend it, as the rainy season was ending which meant everything was a beautiful green and flowers were stunning.
- There really is something for everyone in Peru; flora and fauna, stunning landscapes, adrenaline fuelled activities and fascinating history.

Is there anything indispensible to pack or prepare for?

Pack lots of layers and the weather really varies, especially as you travel across different altitudes.

Any local snacks, dishes or drinks that should be sampled?

Pisco is a must, their local spirt which they use to make the famous Pisco Sour. When you’re near the coast fresh Ceviche is something everyone should try, the fish is marinated in citrus juice and is just delicious!

Any restaurant or bar recommendations?

Hotel B has two really cool bars where you can chill out after a day exploring Lima or do a cocktail making class which is really fun and informative. They also do one of the best breakfasts on the planet and many locals book to come over the weekend.

Sum up your trip in a sentence

An exceptional experience, which taught me so much about the history and culture of Peru and how this beautiful country came to be the way it is now.

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