Have you ever been to South America?
Where would you go?
If you had a month to go anywhere or do anything where would you go? What would you do, and how long would you stay? These are questions that we all must ask ourselves when we are preparing to take a vacation from the day to day grind of our 9 to 5 or whatever it may be in your case. When it comes time to answer we should answer with expectation, of adventure, and intrigue. We all deserve a vacation every now and then and one of the best things that we could do is relax where in the middle of the winter it is all of 50 degrees F, and beautiful nature all around. Buckle your seat belt and get ready for a tour through a few parts of one of the most beautiful countries and areas in general in the whole world!
Why Peru? Well basically because my wife is from there and we were going to visit her family, but that is not all. We went on some adventures as well...like a trek to the third-tallest waterfall in the world, it was a 5.2 kilometer hike one way down some steep mountainsides, or a hike up to the mountaintop fortress of Kuelap, or the hike across 15 miles of desert to see the ruins of Cho-Tuna, just to name a few.
At Kansas City Airport
After working a night shift I went home and we loaded our van for the two hour trip to Kansas City, where we were to board the plane. We were fortunate to have a friend that lived close to the Airport and offered to keep our van so we wouldn't have to pay for parking while we were gone. What a blessing that was. When we got to our gate we found out that there were heavy storms in the Houston TX area that were delaying our take off. Because of this we missed our connecting flight and had to stay in Houston until the next day to catch a plane for the last leg to Lima. While the delay was present in our journey, the trip was pleasant and the seats were the most comfortable that I have had the pleasure of sitting on an airplane in years. United Airlines representatives were courteous and understanding and although could not help us were nice enough that their kindness made up for any shortcoming in the what they were able to do for us. The in-flight meal was good as well and the children's movies were appropriate. The crew was courteous and helpful and always attentive. All in all, I think that I t is the best experience that I have had on commercial airlines.
Our Welcom From Our Dear Family
Welcome to Peru! We started our journey in Lima, the capital city and the center of population of the country. We spent a few days with family on the outskirts of Lima in Puente Piedra and went into the city to visit a couple of times. We went to a friend's house who lives in another suburb of the city and spent the day with them, while the kids played with their pet turtle. That is right pet turtle and this thing is not small. We even had an adventure climbing the hill behind their house so we could take a picture of the city.
La Molina, Lima Peru
Puente Piedra, Lima Peru
Is most of your vacation time spent at someone's house or do you mainly spend time doing activities such as hikeing, sightseeing, etc?
Time With Family
The time that we got to spend with family in Peru was great. That was the highlight of the trip in every way! Even though they are not my blood relatives they treated me so well that you would think they had known me my entire life although, in reality, they had only for a little while. When we left Lima we traveled North on a bus to the City of Lambayeque where her uncle lives. He is such a great host he took us to Farreñafe a city outside of Lambayeque where there is a Museum (Museo De Sican) there were so many interesting things to see and the culture of the people of the time to read about that it was one of the highlights of the trip. We also went to Chiclayo and had a great time shopping for gifts for a few people back here and things for our house. I felt at home enough that I went with my wife's uncle for 3 days just myself him and my wife's cousin. It was a great time that I will never forget! But I will tell you more about that later in the article.
My wife's cousin told me about some ruins that were outside of Lambayque, and that you could get up close to them. I couldn't have realized how close until we took the 15-mile hike to the site of the excavation. It was unbelievable we were able to watch the people work, digging up the past! It was amazing, I cannot say enough about the quality of the site. It was worth the Hike although there are ways to get out there by vehicle, and I would suggest taking one it was a long hike. But, if I had to do it again to get to see the sights I have seen, I would!
Temple at Chotuna
Excavation of a Home Site at Chotuna
Tumi from Chotuna
Also at the site in Chotuna outside of Lambayque there is a museum, there were so many artifacts and this one is only one of many, although it is one of the more well preserved and more beautiful there were many things to see.
Do you enjoy going to see ruins of ancient civilizations?
Frescos at Chotuna
This is a city in the central portion of the country that has Culture and lots of it. There are so many places to see and ruins that you can view as well as all the Touristic sites, of Kuelap, and Catarata Gocta the third largest waterfall in the world according to National Geographic. This was a wonderful hike and I would recommend it to any able-bodied adult. With kids, it could be rough as there are a lot of steep mountain trails to traverse. Kuelap is much more manageable with Children and I would recommend it to anyone visiting the area! There is also a Museum of the Chachapoyan people in the city of Chachapoyas that is a must see. The city is located centrally to most of the sites in the area and is a wonderful place to visit. The people are friendly, and the food is excellent!
Mummies at the Museum in Chachapoyas
Thats Right Guinea Pig With Potatos!
Hoy Cuy Con Papas
This is not my first go round in Peru, and will not be my last God willing, but it was the best so far. I have to say that this sign is something different to most foreigners, but it is also something that is well known about Peru. Peruvians eat Cuy or Guinea Pig. That is right, and it is tasty, although I did not eat any this time, I have and it was good. Try it when you visit, the dish I prefer is Picante de Cuy. It is served with a kind of hot sauce that is fabulous.
While there are many offerings of deserts in the States, and all around the world, there are a few that are unique to Peru, or at least as far as I know. Torta Helada or Jello Cake is one of them., and King Kong is another. This is a great dessert and a favorite among Peruvians, and myself. It can be seen above it is the pink and red one in the middle.
My 3 year old, Leora, Beside Stones in Wall at Kuelap
This is a true Wonder! This fort was built on a mountaintop by ancient people of Chachapoyas without the aid of machinery and is a true marvel. The wall of the ancient city is 80 feet at least and you enter by one of 2 seeks. This would have been a true fort. Easy to defend and in a lush countryside that would provide ample game and room for cultivation. The road to the site is narrow and curvy, with plenty of potholes but it is safe at a safe speed. The architecture was the best part these people were masters at stone work!
View from Atop the Wall at Kuelap
The Road To #Kuelap
Ruins of Houses at Kuelap
Huancas and Cañon Del Sonche
Huancas is a beautiful little town about 4 or 5 miles to the north of Chachapoyas, this town houses artisans of many types, some specialize in pottery, there are several restaurants as well. The food was wonderful and the pottery was beautiful. The weather was perfect for a walk and the sun was not too bright. The day was overcast and windy, but nothing for someone from Missouri. The Cañon Del Sonche was a marvel, sort of like the grand Canyon but there were about 7 different waterfalls within view from the lookout point. At any rate, a must see while in Peru!
Canon Del Sonche
Where Sugar Cane is Processed
Walk to Catarata Gocta
The Walk to Catarata Gocta, the third Tallest waterfall in the world was interesting. Outside of Chachapoyas, in the mountains. The Town of Cocoachimba is the trailhead for the walk. The 5.2 KM walk took about 2.5 hours and was beautiful. There were several steep sections both up and down, so the walk might not be suited as well for younger travelers, but all the same it was worth it!
Suspension Bridge on The Path to Catarata Gocta
This photo was taken in the middle of the winter in the region and was in a time of little rainfall. so while the fall can be clearly seen in the photo above the falls are usually much larger.
Huaylla Belen From Above
On the Way to Caldera
House in Caldera with Hornet's Nest
My wife's family is from a small town in the mountains about 50 miles from Chachapoyas named Caldera, there there is a house on a small farm with Coffee plants, sweet orange trees, sour lemon trees, and sweet lemon trees, as well as avacado, ground cherries, and pineapple. There is lots to offer in this part of the country and in the middle of the winter you can pick fruit like pictured below.
Huge Lemon in the Middle of Winter
# Brisas Del Titicaca
Brisas Del Titicaca
This is a wonderful experience for any foreigner coming to Lima and should be a priority to get there. You will experience the culture and the food is amazing as well. The dances and dancers are beautiful and the costumes are extravagant. All in all, I would give it 5 of 5 stars. A must see when in LIMA, Peru.
Dance with Scissors
Park of the Fountains
Park of the fountains is a great place with beautiful lights and an interesting show. The fountains dance to music, yes I said dance. It is very well done and lots of fun to watch. Another must see in Peru.
My Daughter Camila By the Fountain in Lima
© 2016 William Lee