Iquitos, a backpackers gem, and the world’s largest city on the planet without any access by regular roads. Laid out in the middle of the great South American rainforest, it is absorbed by dense jungle, wildlife and adventure.
The drive from Huaraz through the Callejon de Huaylas valley is pleasingly picturesque. The white-peaked Cordillera Blanca to the east parallels the drastic black hills of the Cordillera Negra to the west, and your road skims between them in the low valley.
Since June 30th I have been travelling around Peru and it has been such an eventful, fun journey so far. On 13th July, I visited Lake Titicaca for 2 days and it was the most idyllic, beautiful lake I have ever seen.
On your way from Ica to Lima, you can find the beautiful “poor man’s Galapagos” islands, called the Isla Ballestas. Only an hour from Ica, this trip can run you between S/.30 – S/. 50 soles. I paid S/.50 soles, including the boat ride to the islands. There is a hidden charge of 12 soles, which is a required tourist tax.
Traveling to Peru should probably entail a visit to Peru’s and one of South America’s most visited sites, Machu Pichu. Cusco lies about 10 hours by road and foot from the bridges that cross the river to the base of the site’s mountain.
Two important and basic needs any backpacker in Peru has, are something affordable and nice to eat and a good place to party hardy from time to time. Peru excels in both aspects in many ways, with a lively party scene at night and culinary highlights throughout the day.
Travelling across the great ancient Incan lands is going to be a memorable thing for you no matter how you do it. However, if you’re reading this, it’s because you were enticed by the word in the title, hitchhiking. Contrary to popular belief, it can be done.
Unless you came specifically and only to climb the Machu Picchu, chances are you will see a lot of bus travel in this country. Major roads are in very good condition and long-distance buses are much more comfortable than in the US or Canada, for example.
Peru is a great country to backpack in as it is rough, cutting edge and still very unexplored. Add to this the wild life, wonderful people and untouched nature and you have a summary of all the great things that make Peru so unbelievably great to travel.
We booked our Machu Picchu hike a month prior to our trip through a company called Llama Path. We thought that would be plenty of time to reserve our space but the Inca Trial was full so we had the option of doing several alternative treks.
The hike was moderate to advance but you can go at your own pace. We had 6 people in our group, 3 of who are experienced hikers and went at a brisk pace while the other 2 kept a more casual pace and took time to snap lots of photos.
South of Lima you will find the amazing Desert Coast of Peru, existing out of some great mystical sights. The mysterious Nazca Lines are probably the most known site, existing out of a series of giant ancient symbols that can only be seen from high up in an airplane.
By Campbell Plowden (email@example.com); special report for the Pariwana Hostel Blog
If you want to visit the Amazon rainforest in Peru, you will probably fly into the gateway city of Iquitos. If you are really savvy, you can get around the city by bus, but it’s cheap to take a “mototaxi” (three-person cab mounted on a motorcycle) almost anywhere.