Lima Journals

Ten Weeks of Madness in South America

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A November 2001 trip to Lima by dconlisk

Inca Trail Photo, Cusco, Peru More Photos
Quote: I spent ten weeks travelling around Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador, hiking up mountains and down into valleys, bathing in hot springs, white water rafting, surfing, sandboarding, and checking out the desert, the Andes, and the Amazon. Read on to find out more...

Ten Weeks of Madness in South America

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Overview

Mosquito Bites Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
- Salar de Uyuni - crossing the salt plains at the Bolivian-Chilean border. The most spectacular scenery I've ever seen, miles and miles of pure bright white salt, beautiful coloured lakes, thousands of pink flamingos, huge exotic rock formations, lunar landscapes, bubbling molten lava, absolutely unmissable. - The Inca Trail and in the Colca canyon. Superb natural scenery, challenging hikes, condors, cactii, ancient ruins, and amazingly rewarding views. - Sandboarding in the desert at Huacachina (outside Ica, Peru). This is a beautiful little oasis town surrounded by massive sand dunes and miles and miles of desert. Unbelievable sunsets, scorching hot weather, and of course the ...Read More

Inca Trail

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Attraction | "Four Fabulous Days on the Inca Trail"

Inca Trail Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
An amazing trek. The trekking itself is reasonably easy, anyone who is aerobically fit and willing to walk for a couple of hours can do it. You spend most of the time walking on Incan-built steps and paths. There was a 55-year old German housewife in our group, and she managed it - with the help of a porter and plenty of coca leaves. The toughest part of the four days is day 2 - you hike up steps to an altitude of 4,200 metres. This one's a real battle in your mind; each step up meaning thinner air, less oxygen, and harder to climb. However, I've never hiked much before, and I managed it ahead of most of our group, and it's so worth it. The view from the pass was spectacular, amazing, super...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2002

Inca Trail
Andes Mountains
Cusco, Peru

Sandboarding in the Desert

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Attraction

Sandboarding in the Desert Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
We got off the bus at a roundabout outside Ica, and took a cab straight to Huacachina - all the cabbies know it, it's beginning to establish itself as a favourite with the gringos. The road goes straight out there and ends at an oasis with a large lagoon surrounded by a small town, surrounded by desert as far as the eye can see. We stayed in one of the newer hostels, a beautiful place called Hostal del Reya (Hostel of the Sands). It had a beautiful little pool, surrounded by a grassy area with deck chairs, parasols, a beach volleyball area, and of course the obligatory bar complete with coconut fronds on the roof. Here is where the days were spent tanning, drinking, eating, swimming and ge...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2002

Sandboarding in the Desert
Huacachina
Lima, Peru

White Water Rafting

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Attraction

White Water Rafting Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
I thought I'd done white water rafting before in the US, but it didn't compare to this! Four days spent on the river, camping each night on its banks, setting up camp each night, and packing up every day. There were 16 of us in all, including four staff. Spent the first day taking it quite easy on the water, getting used to the rafts, and learning how to raft, the different signals, etc. Day two was a spectacular day, faster rapids, blazing sunshine, amazing. The scenery we passed through on the trip was mind-blowing to an Irish boy - we don't have mountains at home, I've decided, we have small hills. The sunshine was very pleasant at the time, however because of the high altitude (we were...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 22, 2002

White Water Rafting
Urubamba River
Lima, Peru

Bolivian Pampas

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Attraction | "Exploring the Bolivian Pampas"

Bolivian Pampas Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
I did my pampas trip from Rurrenabaque, where you have a choice of quite a few agencies who organise taking you to the pampas and/or the jungle. At the time I was there, in late December, it was possible to arrive with no bookings and leave the next morning on a trip. So after spending the afternoon soaking up the sun in the local swimming pool, we headed off the following morning for the pampas. This involved three hours in the back of an uncomfortable 4WD to get to the river, then another two hours or so in a wooden boat with a motor until we finally reached our camp in the jungle. The journey to the camp wasn't all bad though, as of course we got to see plenty of wildlife on ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2002

Bolivian Pampas
The Pampas
Lima, Peru

The Most Incredible Scenery in the World

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Story/Tip

Coloured Lakes Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
In the south of Bolivia, near the border with Chile, is an expanse of terrain known as the Salar de Uyuni. This area used to be an ocean millions of years ago, but all that is left of this is the salt. This may not sound of any interest but try to imagine miles and miles of blank white terrain in all directions, with mountains surrounding the edges, and the mountains perfectly reflected in a couple of inches of water on the surface of the salt. It's amazing: pure beauty. To get here you must make your way either to Uyuni in the south of Bolivia, or to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Many travellers use this four-day trip as their crossing point between the two countries. I took a three-day trip fro...Read More

Mad dash to Cusco to beat the rains

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Story/Tip

Cusco Photo, Lima, Peru
Quote:
We arrived into Lima, Peru on Friday evening after a pleasant 12 hour flight or so from Madrid. Our immediate aim was to get over our flight and get our asses to Cusco before the imminent rains hit, so we could do the Inca trail without drowning. It turns out we needn't have worried. We stayed with a family in a beautiful apartment in Lima, with maid, doorman, and electric fence around the walls, where they were extremely good to us what with letting us stay there in the first place, feeding us, driving us around the city and the like. We also saw the other side of Lima, which isn't so pleasant, when we took a bus to the Northside of the filthy river that runs through Lima. Sounds a bit lik...Read More