PERU

Boasting 28 of the 32 climates that have been identified on Earth and an unparalleled range of native Flora and Fauna, Peru has good reason to lay claim to being the most Bio-Diverse nation on the planet. The country may be characterised by the towering Andes Mountain Range that shoots up the spine of the country, but the vast expanses of inhospitable jungle wilderness and untouched peoples in the largely unexplored East and the volcanic Pacific coastline to the West also chip in to make Peru the jewel in South America’s metaphorical touristic crown. 

We entered the country by ferry from Bolivia across the world’s highest navigable lake, the unbelievable Lake Titicaca. Our bus then took us past floating villages, remarkable pre-Incan towns, and sweeping descents into the beautiful Spanish-colonial city of Arequipa. This made for an ideal location from which to explore the sights of Colca Canyon, the world’s second deepest, and dust off our hiking boots. 

Our next stop was the capital of the Incan empire, Cuzco. It was here that these great people made their final stand against the Spanish Conquistadores, and despite the inevitable result, the city has the air of a place that never really embraced the pitfalls of Western Civilisation and it seems all the richer for it. Cuzco was our gateway to exploring Machu Picchu, which was every bit as magnificent as we had expected. 

We were also lucky enough to get the chance to climb up to Rainbow Mountain, which was definitely worth the lung-bursting ascent.

After we had exhausted the many sights of Cuzco and the surrounding area, we took a 30-hour bus up to the mountainous city of Huaraz. Unfortunately, Nicola was struggling with a back injury and we had to postpone our plan to do a self-supported multi-day trek through the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. We made the most of our time by heading out on a couple of stellar day hikes to Laguna 69 and Laguna Cherup.

Our final stop was the surf town of Mancora, on the Pacific coast. It made for a refreshing few days of rest after an intense few weeks of hiking. 

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