outdoor @ wolfgang-reinelt.de
Travelling to Peru means getting robbed in the first place?!
No, that is not true :-)
This is what we did:
We did what in some guidebooks often is called the gringo trail
plus an extra loop to the Cordillera Blanca:
The journey is quite straightforward to plan and to do, although I
would skip the Arequipa and Nasca lines stuff if I would travel to
Peru one more time. On second thoughts, I would concentrate on Cuzco
region and the Cordillera Blanca for hiking; maybe walk the Salcantay
Pampa to Machu Picchu, since this one tends to be less crowded that
the Inca trail and can be done more "individually". Then one could do
some longer treks in the Cordillera Blanca. If you decide to do the
Inka trail, walking sticks are highly recommended, but the standard
trekking ones are "forbidded", since they destroy the path/stones with
their metal. Take some rubber protectors for them with you, or buy the
wooden stick from the locals. More advice for walks is given on the Santa Cruz Trek page.
- Cusco region and sacred valley: 5 days
- Inka trail (planned, but not done. Greetings to Peruvian cuisine...): 4 days
- Titicaca lake, Puno, Uros (floating islands), Isla Taquila: 2 days
- Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Mirador Cruz del Condor: 5 days
- Nasca lines, Islas Ballestas: 4 days
- Cordillera Blanca, Huaraz, Llanganuco laguna: 2 days
- Santa Cruz Trek: 3 days
Regarding accomodation and getting around, things might change quite
quickly, so grab an up-to-date guidebook. Different tour operators
often sell you the same stuff, but at a different price. Check this
before you pay and leave. Sometimes it's better and/or cheaper just to
hire a taxi and take a private tour.
Be aware that the money machines from different bank have different
maximum amounts, and, of course, try not to get robbed after taking out
the money :-) Well, now that we are touching the safety issue: I never
really felt unsafe in Peru (at least, no more unsafe as when taking a
late subway in any German city). Just stick to the areas recommended
by the guidebooks and avoid waving your camera or money around. Theft
there is often driven by opportunities. Otherwise I found the locals,
shop owner, taxi driver, hotel clerk or mountain guide, nice and helpful.
Some Links and other useful references:
- Rob Rachowiecki, Greg Caire, Grant Dixon: Trekking in the
Central Andes. Lonely Planet Publications. First edition June
Gives useful information for the main peruvian hikes - good for
planning and to have on the way.
- Oskar E. Busch: Peru. Trekkingführer. Bergverlag Rother,
München. 3. Auflage 2001.
Lists many many treks in Peru, sorted by region. Also contains
some sketches where they are (although it is sometimes
difficult to link the text to the maps). Concentrates more on
description how to follow/not loose the path. Pretty useful to
get to know what treks are available apart from the main ones.
- Rob Rachowiecki, Charlotte Beech: Peru. Lonely Planet
Publications. Fifth edition January 2004.
Adds the necessary "civil" information to the two guides above,
in order to properly travel around and visit some
tourist/cultural sites We also had the corresponding Footprint
and Rough Guide with us, both contained more details that the
Lonely Planet (with respect to history etc), the former one
usually was the most accurate one in terms of prices, schedules
(since it was the most recent guidebook we had).
- Booklet Huaraz Peru (Map Guide) by Marketing y negociaciones
generales S.R.L. (editor in chief: Mauro Olaza).
very informative 50pages (A6 size, red/blue) local booklet available for
free in selected Huaraz shops and restaurants.
- Usually I also sneak in the stuff that I read during the
journey. Pretty much this time, due to long bus journeys or waiting
times. I started off with a book by Fred Vargas, got two others
(not really good ones) in book exchanges and ended up with the
Swedish version of Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. These two are
to recommend, the other two not (did not even finish the third
Anyway, I read Chris
Bonnington's I chose to climb (1966, new edition by Orion
House, 2001) recently and found it rather nice to read, so this
would be a more hiking/climing related recommendation that you
could read in Huaraz. The Peru&climing stuff to read is
of course Joe Simpson's Touching the Void (Jonathan Cape Ltd,
London, UK, 1988), which I already recommended on my E5 page.
If you want to stick
to literature in Spanisch, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's La sombra del
viento (Editorial Planeta S.A., 2001) is a book did not let me
away for several evenings. Very exiting!
- Road Map & City Maps Peru 1:1750000 (Berndson&Berndson,
Used for general planning at home and overview during
travel. Good and robust.
- Cuzco Region, Macchu Picchu Peru. 1:110000 (ITMB Publishing, 2003),
Alpenvereinskarte 0/3a Cordillera Blanca Nord Peru 1:100000
(Österreichischer Alpenverein, 2000), Alpenvereinskarte 0/3b
Cordillera Blanca Süd Peru 1:100000 (Deutscher Alpenverein, 1945 (printed 1988), new
edition on the way)
Used for hiking and planning the hikes. Useful to get an idea
of elevations and what to climb up and down during the
hike. Even if the latter ones are maps by the German alpine
club, they seem to be accepted standard matrial for the
Cordillera Blanca region.
- Peru Tourist
Information - A tourist guide to the beautiful country of
Peru. Peru tourist information - nice for pictures an overview.
- Highland Peru
Tours Agency for hiking Inka trail and others. I
planned the Inka trail with them. Are using Q'ente as
trail operator and looked reasonble.
- Santa Cruz
Expeditions. Another agency for hiking, mostly
focusing on Cordillera Blanca.
Expedition Tours Huaraz-based agency for hiking
there. I did the Santa Cruz trek with them. To recommend
for hiking trips.
- Peru Discovery
German run agency in Cusco; does all kind of things:
mountainbike, trekking, Manu reserve.
- Romy und Dirk in Südamerika Private page of a ten month journey through south america (still on-going at the time of writing this page). In German.
- Pictures of Trekking in the Cordillera Blanca, Llanganuco, Santa Cruz, and Huaraz, Peru. Private page with loads of nice pictures to get warm before your own journey.
the Cordillera Blanca. Another private page with
reports and pictures.
Last update: Sat Feb 4 17:52:25 2006 by Wolfgang Reinelt
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