Following the Peruvian Tourist Trail

Days 138 - 147

From our research whilst in Lima it appeared the majority of tourists to Peru followed a distinct loop (known as The Gringo Trail) when travelling around the country. We picked some of our favourite places and joined this route over the coming days.

First up was a trip to the town of Ica. An unimpressive, dirty town at first glance, but it did allow us the cheeky excursion of a morning riding a dune buggy and sand boarding in the desert a few miles from town.

From Ica it was another overnight journey to our next stop of Arequipa. We loved this city immediately, comparing it rightly or wrongly to Antigua in Guatemala. Whilst here, alongside the obligatory drinking evening in a London themed pub we visited ‘Alpaca World’ (which must have contained at least 5 Alpacas and not a lot else) and took a guided tour of Santa Catalina Monastery which was in effect a city within a city and used to house over 240 nuns who would serve out their entire lives between these walls once they entered.

Lastly, it was on to Cusco, probably one of the most popular stops in Peru. From here, we’d get a shuttle and then a train to the small town of Aguas Calientes, the perfect place to be to begin the trip up to Machu Picchu first thing the next morning. We took a bus to the top before first light and spent the next couple of hours in awe at the sight in front of us as we wandered these majestic ancient Incan ruins.

Pete Mel