Huanchaco and Mancora beach towns: Peru’s North coast

Peru’s coast is a desert, with nothing but sand and bleak emptiness between the cities. The string of pleasant beach towns dotted along it are very popular, thanks to the low rainfall and year-round sun, teamed with (what I’m told is) great surf. I started my journey through Peru in Lima and was heading north to Ecuador, so I did not visit any towns on … Continue reading Huanchaco and Mancora beach towns: Peru’s North coast

Courtyards and colonial architecture in Trujillo

After a week spent high up in Peru’s central mountains, I took an overnight bus to Trujillo, back down on the coast. My ears popped during the journey, so extreme was the drop in altitude. My bus arrived at 4am but I woke up enough to register the swanky bus station. I said to myself “YES I’m back in a big town!” but noticed with sadness the … Continue reading Courtyards and colonial architecture in Trujillo

Carhuaz market

‘Bienvenida gringa!’: the delights of tiny towns in Ancash, Peru

From Huaraz, the capital of the Ancash region in Peru, I took a collectivo to Carhuaz, about 1 hour away. As we trundled into the town I saw a large sign with the name of my accomodation Hostal de la Merced, so asked the driver to pull over ‘en la esquina’ and I got out, pulling my rucksack after me. The town was quiet, and the … Continue reading ‘Bienvenida gringa!’: the delights of tiny towns in Ancash, Peru

Huaraz: not just for trekking

Huaraz, 400 km north of Lima and 3100 m above sea level, is nestled in the Cordillera Blanca, a range of snow-capped mountains in the Ancash region of Peru. Given this location, the city is primarily marketed as a trekking launch pad, and Akilpo Hostel where I stayed, rented out equipment and offered lots of information about routes and conditions. I arrived in the early morning on … Continue reading Huaraz: not just for trekking

Finding Hidden Gems in Lima

If you read my last story, you will remember that we left off with me arriving in Choisca in the evening, after having visit the Marcahuasi ruins. I didn’t like Chosica, it felt like a town that you stop in on your way to somewhere else. I should have spent the evening planning my onward journey but as there was no bus station (that I could find), just … Continue reading Finding Hidden Gems in Lima

Roughing it in rural Peru: to the Marcahuasi ruins.

I finally left the luxury of Lima to set off into the Peruvian countryside. The plan was to get to San Pedro de Casta that day, stay the night there, and visit the Marcahuasi ruins the following morning. To prepare to head out into the wilderness: I bought water and dried food as I didn’t know when I’d next find a shop. You cannot drink the … Continue reading Roughing it in rural Peru: to the Marcahuasi ruins.

Strolling in Old Lima for under £3

Lima´s old town, or Centro Lima, is home to the majority of the city´s major sites. I was staying at the excellent 1900 Backpackers Hostel which is within walking distance of the centre. To begin my day in Old Lima I set out to Museo Andrés del Castillo, housed in the beautifully renovated Casa Belén. My university was kind enough to send me an alumni card when … Continue reading Strolling in Old Lima for under £3