Bright sunshine greeted us when Bob and I awoke in Arequipa, Peru at 6:30 a.m. It is amazing how a little sunlight can change the face of a place. When we emerged from our hotel with a city map in hand, the cobbled streets and high walls seemed less daunting than when we arrived in the dark the night before. Read more
Wild vicuna at the National Reserve of Pampas Galeras, Peru
In the harsh climate high in the mountain meadows of the National Reserve of Pampas Galeras in Peru live the rarely-seen Vicuna. In 1974, the Vicuna were declared an endangered species; at that time, only 6,000 of these animals were left alive in Peru. Today, with the aid of organizations like World Wildlife Fund, the population of Vicuna has recovered to about 350,000. Even with that supposed high number of these animals, it is still very difficult to actually catch a glimpse of one in the wilds of Peru. Read more
Nazca Gold Processing – The Ancient Method by Foot
After visiting the Chauchilla Cemetery, our guide, Hilda, recommended a side trip to the Nazca Gold Processing plant in the village of Nazca. Bob and I were very surprised to see that the processing is done by foot. Read more
The Mummies of Chauchilla Cemetery in Peru, are the mummified bodies of ancient pre-hispanic Nazca people. As we soon learned on our tour, their bodies have been preserved because of the dry climate of the Nazca valley. Archaeologists have dated these grave sites to somewhere around 1000 AD, and it is believed the burials occurred here over the course of 600 years. Read more
Our drive from the town of Pisco, in Peru, towards the town of Nazca and the world famous Nazca Lines of Peru took us away from the coastline and gradually entered an area of totally different terrain. Read more
Our drive through Paracas National Reserve in Peru
After Bob made some hasty notes from a map on display at the main pavilion where neither staff or a handout was available, we then drove off into the dust of Paracas National Reserve located on the Paracas Peninsula in Peru. As we soon learned on our excursion, this reserve is a world of sandy wastelands, isolated beaches, and high ocean cliffs.
With our rental car topped up with gas, Bob and I headed south from Lima into the desert along the Pan American Highway towards our next stop at the village of Paracas located 15 kilometres south of the town of Pisco, in Peru. The Pan American Highway runs along the Pacific Ocean coastline and is bordered on the left by sweeping desert landscape. Huge hills, dare I say mountains, of sand, bisected by valleys and gullies, dominate the countryside. Read more
Early on our second morning in Lima, Bob and I hired a driver to take us 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Lima to the Ruins of Pachacamac. These ruins are some of the oldest pyramids uncovered from beneath the desert hills and dunes of Peru. To the casual eye, the 500 acres of this national museum and archaeological site just appear as a monotone conglomeration of crumbling adobe bricks. These ruins were built before the arrival and final conquest of the local people by the Inca Empire.