This was the second tour that
have been on and we were quite pleased with the services and the people
we were with on this 9 day tour of Peru. We used
Tours and we really appreciated the services that the tour managers
provided to get us around Peru. Unlike the China tour, we were
alone with the tour gide for much of the journey. We got passed
off from one local guide to another, but they were all very friendly
started in Lima and then
headed for the desert and saw the Nazca lines, Huacachina Oasis and
Paracas. The Nazca lines were of special interest to us, as we
had read about them since we were kids. We took a four seat
Cessna plane ride to be able to see the lines and, although Joan got
airsick, it was a sight of a lifetime. We went on a boat ride to
the Ballestas islands and saw
a tremendous amount of birds and sea lions. We then went on to
Cuzco to see the Inca ruins there and then on to the tremendous site of
Macchu Picchu. Then we went on to the jungle, taking a flight to
Puerto Maldonado, a bus trip, then a canoe ride to the Posadas
Amazonas, where we stayed for three nights. Back to Lima, for a
day tour, then back home. Wow!
Lima, the capital, was our
port of entry and had a Spanish colonial charm. Here is the
cathedral in the central square.
From Lima, we drove many hours
south into the desert to see the Nazca lines. These were made
1500 years ago by an ancient civilization. The reasons for these
lines are lost in time. They are made in the desert and can be
seen by no one, unless viewed from the air. How could people 1500
years ago see them? That's the mystery. Click here to see
information about Nazca. We saw them by going up in a four person
Cessna and flying over them. There are many drawings of animals
and geometric shapes. Unfortunately, Joan got airsick and we
weren't able to photograph them (I was taking video). The picture
below is the only one we have of the lines.
From Nazca, we drove to
Paracas where we went on a boat ride to the Ballestas Islands.
These are rocky, uninhabited small islands where all kinds of birds and
sea lions rest and mate. Here's a shot showing both.
Another interesting site in
the southern desert is the oasis of Huacacina. It's a remarkable
vision to see a beautiful spring-fed lake with palm trees and hotels,
in the middle of a sandy desert.
From the desert, we flew to
the mountains to see Inca country. Cuzco, at 11,000 feet was the
base of operations in Inca country. The high altitude did affect
us and we went slowly, just as we did in Tibet in the previous
year. Here's a view of Cuzco from the hills overlooking the city.
From Cuzco, we visited
Sacsayhuamin, sitting on top of the hills above Cuzco. It was a
temple built by the Incas and was also used as an Incan fortress during
the Spanish conquests.
From Cuzco, the highlight of
the trip was a train ride to Machu Picchu. This Incan city in the
clouds was long forgotten until discovered in the 20th century.
It is truly a site to remember.
The last part of our trip was
a trip to the jungles of eastern Peru. We flew from Cuzco to
Puerto Maldonado and took a jungle bus and then a canoe ride to get to
Posada Amazonas, an eco-tourism lodge in the middle of the
jungle. There was no electricity and therefore no hot
water. We stayed for three nights and made many hikes into the
jungle to see wildlife. Here is a great shot of a monkey, shot
from a tower, which allowed beautiful views of the jungle from above
the forest canopy.