Archive for the ‘ Peru ’ Category

Now organized in ‘series’ fashion too

Just got a new capability working here to handle a series of posts.  This makes it easy for us to re-order all those Perú posts and get the pictures in the right order with the story line.  It also makes it easier for you to start at the beginning and continue onward to the end. 

Checkout the Series section in the sidebar at the right.

Not quite all of the Perú stuff has been linked in yet, but I’m working on it.

Perú Travel Summary – July & August 2007

Some particulars (including costs) of our Summer 2007 trip through Perú. Hopefully useful info for other travelers …

We entered Peru at the La Tiña-Macará border crossing, riding on Transports Loja from Loja, Ecuador to Piura, Peru ($8).

The money of Perú is the Nuevo Sol (simply called the Sol). At the time of our trip, the exchange was 3.10 to 3.25 Soles to the US dollar. We won’t quote the price of tours as that is highly variable with the season, tour options, etc. Prices noted for bus travel are “per person”; prices quotes for hotels are for a “matrimonial” (typically a queen-size bed) or a “doble” (two twin beds) – almost always the same price, but one or the other is not always available.


Hotel Peru: 69 soles ($23) Good restaurant in the hotel; around the central plaza we found only sandwitch and ice cream restaurants.

Algarrobas Inn: 60 soles ($20) very near the Linea bus station, comfortable and quiet.

Piura to Chiclayo: Transportes Chiclayo or Transportes Linea. 12 Soles ($4.00)

Piura to/from Loja, Ecuador: Transportes Loja, 28 Soles ($9.00). Steep, winding, beautiful mountain road.


Hotel Presidental: 70 soles ($23) eMail:, web:

Hotel Paraíso: 50 soles ($17) eMail:, web:

Both are nice hotels with real hot water and cable TV and both are just about as far from the main plaza, only about 6 blocks.

Chiclayo to Trujillo: Transportes Linea 12 soles ($4)


We stayed in nearby town of Huanchaco on the coast. Combi between the two was 1.2 soles, taxi 10 soles ($3). There are many hotels along the Malecón in Huanchaco. We found a room in Hostal Los Esteros overlooking the water for 60 soles ($20). There is also a decent cafe in the hotel.

We made our tour reservations through Hostal Ñaylamp (a few blocks farther from the center of town). Also has a good restaurant for dinner. eMail:, web:

Truijillo to Lima: Cruz del Sur “Bus Cama” (First Class!!!) service – the seats lay almost all the way back for good resting, meals served on the bus. 50 soles ($17). web:


Many hotels in the downtown area are not signed on the street – just a doorway to stairs leading up the reception desk on the second floor. The taxi from the bus station found us Hostal San Martín overlooking Plaza San Martín. 60 soles ($20) including breakfast.

Lima to Nazca: Cruz del Sur again. 65 soles ($22).


Hotel Yemayá: 50 soles ($17).

Tour Agency: A great travel agency for flights over the lines and other tours is Nazca Trails on the main plaza. Recommended in many travel books. eMail: Juan is a great guide!

Nazca to Arequipa: Transportes Cial, 75 soles ($25). The only bus that travels in the daytime, but it leaves at 3:30AM.


Hotel: Hostal La Posada del Parque: 45 soles ($15). It has large rooms and has a cafe and a GREAT travel agency on the roof. The agent is Maribel, Marlon’s sister, see Cuzco below. eMail: We used it for our Colca Canyon trip and for bus tickets to Puno.

Arequipa to Puno 50 soles ($17).

Puno and Lake Titicaca

Hotel: Hostal Q’oñi Wasi 40 soles ($13). eMail: The rooms on the top floor are very nice, others can be dingy. Very friendly owner – close friend of Maribel in Arequipa, above. The tour agency we used was Edgar Adventures on the walking street. We took the two day tour on Lago Titicaca: 65 soles ($22).

Puno to Cuzco: We took the tourist bus that made 6 stops along the way for sightseeing, etc. First Class: 64 soles ($21)


Hotel Marlon`s House 50 soles ($17). A small, family run place, very friendly. Also a travel agency. Marlon arranged our tour of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Web:, eMail:

There is lots to see and do in and around Cuzco, we spent over 2 weeks there. We had an absolutely wonderful stay at Marlon’s House, highly recommended.

Flew to Cajamarca on Aero Condor, changing planes (and waiting most of the day) in Lima.


Hotel: Inca’s Hostal 50 soles ($17), three blocks from the main plaza. A town of few tourists, but many interesting sites nearby.

Tour Agent: In.God.We.Trust (on the main plaza). eMail:

Cajamarca to Chiclayo: Transportes Linea: 15 soles ($5) Interesting views on the trip as you climb down steep, winding canyons back to sea level.

Visiting a local Family

Friday August 31: The last two days have been special for us as Vicky, a tour guide that we met at the iPeru tourist office, took us to her homes. Thursday she took us to her simple country house near Otuzco. It is under the care of her Aunt and Uncle who farm the small plot of land. Vicky hopes to expand it into a small “bread and breakfast” as time and money permit. Her aunt fixed us a nice lunch of potatoes, tuna salad and lima beans, while Vicky showed us around. Then we all enjoyed visiting while we ate. After lunch Vicky took us to visit the flower growing area of Huerta de las Hortencias. There lilies and hydrangeas are grown for sale. We walked from there thru the Hacienda Tres Molinos (a milk farm) and on to a cheese factory (Los Alpes). There was no ice-cream at this cheese factory, but we did purchase some great cheese and enjoyed rich creamy yogurt drinks before continuing the trek back into town.

This morning (Friday) Vicky came by the hotel again and took us to visit her family at her “in town” home. We enjoyed breakfast with her extended family while we visited. We met several of her sisters, one of her brothers and his family as well as Vicky’s 8-year old daughter. Several pleasant hours were spent visiting before Bill and I left. Thank You Vicky !!

We walked back to the hotel to relax the rest of the day (and play on the Internet), as tomorrow we move on to Chiclayo on our way slowly back to Ecuador and our Lanikai.

Pre-Inca & Inca Sites near Cajamarca

Wednesday August 29: In the last two days we have explored the pre-Inca burial site of Ventanillas de Otuzco, the site of Los Baños del Inca, the small town of Llacanora and the pre-Inca site of Cumbe Mayo.

We took a taxi to see the Ventanillas, which are niches carved into a rock face where the bones of the deceased wealthy were placed along with clay grave offerings. The hillside here is covered with these little niches, which are too small for an entire body; the bodies were buried in the ground for several years then the bones were transferred to a niche along with the grave offerings.

From Otuzco we walked to Los Baños del Inca. It is a hot springs area with many tubs and pools for soaking, the mineral water emerges from underground at about 160 degrees Fahrenheit (72 degrees C). It is here that the last Inca ruler, Atahuapla was resting with his large army when the Spaniards (Pizarro and about 160 men, some horses and a few canon) arrived in Cajamarca. The hot springs was a resort in pre-Inca times and it still is today with many locals visiting the site for the hot water pools.

We continued from Los Baños along a country dirt road to Llacanora where we caught a combi back into Cajamarca. The dirt road follows a small river with lush, green farms in the valley below and steep cliffs on the other side of the road.

Thursday we took a tour to Cumbe Mayo which has three interesting features. The first is the interesting natural rock formations, some look like castle walls and others like marching monks. The second feature is the extensive pre-Inca canal structure carved into the rocks in places and built with rocks in others. Water still flows in the channels although being toward the end of the dry season right now there was not much. The third feature is the many petroglyphs carved into the rocks. They are most visible where the carvings are hidden from the weather under rock overhangs. This trip took all day and we returned to Cajamarca quite tired after our second day of much hiking.

Cajamarca, Peru

Sunday August 2, we flew from Cuzco to Lima and on to the city of Cajamarca. Monday we started our exploration of Cajamarca at the Belén complex where the office of tourism is located. The complex itself is quite interesting. There is a church at its center with a large patio. Off one side of the church is a 17th century hospital for men and on the opposite side is a similar structure for woman. The hospital wings are long buildings with bed niches along both side walls for the patients. Both now house museums, one with modern art and the other archeology.

We then visited the “Cuarto del Rescate” which was supposedly the room filled once with gold and twice with silver as ransom paid to the Spanish for the release last Inca ruler, Atahualpa, who was captured and held prisoner in Cajamarca by Pizarro. Pizarro collected the riches, melted them into bars to ship to Spain and then killed Atahualpa anyway, thus ending the Inca Empire.

At 3:00 in the afternoon several of the local churches opened. We visited Iglesia San Francisco and its cloisters and catacombs. The cloisters contain religious and secular artifacts as well as early religious paintings. We also visited Iglesia de los Monjas which is near our hotel. It’s interior is much simpler and more modern looking than the highly carved and decorated baroque of many of the early churches.