I am so happy I went to the Amazon jungle. For a city girl like moi this was a bloody big step!
They say you need to go far in to have an authentic jungle experience, but for me, being an hour away from the city (about 40km) into the jungle was more than enough.
I must say I was also psyched when I saw I was going to sleep in a wooden cabin and not in a bed and a mosquito net. How are you even able to fall sleep in the latter?
Despite the fact many travellers told me the jungle is not a virgin until you cross more than 50km, I still got to see a lot of creatures. As a first experience, that was more than enough. Tarantulas, Aligators, Monkeys, Tucans...SLOTHS! PINK DOLPHINS! Saw them all. Also, plenty of insects, ofc. No joke I got about 30 bites in one night. DUH. Deet doesn't really work in the jungle peeps, even if it is a 90% one.
Another thing I enjoyed while there was the long canoe rides on the calm river Amazon. Saying hi to locals from boat to boat going home (that is the further inside the jungle) was pretty fun. We also visited a tribe but it was quite sanitised as a lot of tribes live off the government payments these days. Interesting fact: despite knowing about the city, the indigenes prefer living in the wild. They think the city hasn't got much on offer!
By the way, food at the jungle is YUM YUM YUM. I'd probably highlight the chonta (palm tree leaves), which they call the spaghetti of the jungle; and carambola, a very sweet fruit shaped as a star, as my two fave things while there. MMM, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
You could also try the piranhas we fished! The locals eat pretty much any fish from the river and apparently is very tasty. It's fresh! I think my head could not cope with the idea, so maybe next time.
Oh yes, there will be a next time.
Words cannot express how astonishing this place is.
I am not one to believe in supernatural vibes but visiting Machu Picchu (which means 'Old Mountain') and being there for a day was an unforgettable experience, and it definitely made me feel something.
I started my day at 5,30am (bugger!) with a cold shower at what is probably the worst place I have ever stayed in my life (called Los Caminantes, do not ever go there!) and head to get a powerful breakfast. Not only was I going to walk a lot through this Inca civilisation but I was also climbing Wayna Picchu, the hill behind the old town at 2.600m above sea level. BLIMEY! It was so rewarding, though. I was lucky enough to get a ticket to go there as only 400 people a day are entitled to trek it. To be honest with you, I liked that! It is because not many people can access what it used to be an observational lab that it is in pristine condition. And guess what! You can see Machu Picchu from the top. HA!
As I went up the perfectly shaped rock stairs (though steepest and smallest rock stairs ever, even for me!), I felt I reached heaven. Or so I thought, cause I was surrounded by white clouds and I could not see, smell or taste anything else than nature. I couldn't have had it any better.
Walking down the mountain was tough as my legs were like jelly but I managed! My body was hyper for more action and so I got a guide to explain me what all those beautiful inca ruins were. After it I took some time to explore and it was fantastic. So many places to stop and stare and just take in what it is in front of you: one of the few wonders left in this world.
Just few hours away of Lima by busit's the beautiful oasis of Huacachina.
Despite it's considered touristy by many, this place is still a gem even for Peruvians, which spent their Easter holidays there.
Huacachina is an oasis in the middle of the peruvian desert, the xxx at xxx altitude. It is known because of its buggy rides on the desert and sandboarding. Should you need more excuses to go? Bumpy rides that felt like a themed park in the middle of nowhere, beautiful and colourful sunset and adrenaline shot by trying to sandboard. OH YES, PLEASE.
You probably won't need more than a day there, unless you use it as a link between other nearby cities. You can also spend some extra time just to chill and endure the entertainment that it provides: swimming pools, good food and partying.
I stayed at Banana's Adventure, which was great at first -great facilities, great service, swimming pool, lots of activities, great peeps- but my room was next to some sort of club and I literally could not sleep all night. BUMMER!
In any case, if you have some time to spare, this is defo what you should do!
P.S.: Please make sure you get there by Cruz del Sur bus, I've never experience such a fancy bus ride! Even better than some long-distance flights. There, I said it.
WHAT I WORE:
FOMO London Snake Leggings
H&M Sport Top
Stan Smith Adidas Trainers
I must admit spending time in Lima over the holidays was a lot of fun. Not only this city has lots of culture but lots of friendly people, great food and great fashion.
Foodies out there, if you haven't been at least at one of Chef Gaston Acurio restaurants, then you haven't really tried the essence of Peru. Here people pay tribute to the Chef religiously. He was the one who brought back to the country the love for food and the curiosity to try new things, and his meals reflect it.
However, there are other great options as well. Popular in Larcomar has a great seaside view and is perfect for a gals brunch; and so is Cosme in front of the beautiful store Isidra in San Isidro neighbourhood.
Speaking of shopping, I must admit Peru has great talents! I managed to meet in person the jeweller and shoe designer Ariana Santillana and she is such a babe! Not to mention her designs are super dreamy. If you are looking for minimal yet trendy items, she's your gal. If you are looking for something more querky/vintage...then you have Jessica Butrich. Watermelon bag? Check. Watermelon Heels? Check Check. And then you need a bikini, of course. For that, the one and only choice you should go for is Capittana.
There are many more designers worth having a look and they probably have a store in Miraflores or San Isidro, fashionista spots in the city.
Barranco is also a very hip neighbourhood. Mario Testino recently opened its own museum there! Not to mention the area is full of artists and street art. Yuppie.
All in all, you've got a couple of busy days in the city to go for.
I certainly enjoyed it. I hope you do too.