Getting off the couch after our protracted international travel intermission, we are revisiting South America for a two-month trip to Peru. After touching down in the capital city of Lima, we will take the bus through southern Peru, stay a while in Cusco, and hike a trio of multi-day treks along the way.
To get around southern Peru, we will hitch a ride on Peru Hop. Peru Hop is a long-distance bus carrier that allows us to hop-off at any of its stations, stay as long as we like, and then hop-back-on to reach our next destination.
After a few short but interesting hops, we will jump-off the bus for a week in “The White City” of Arequipa. Set amidst three spectacular volcanos, and with a colonial historic center constructed almost entirely of white volcanic building stone, Arequipa is arguably Peru’s most beautiful city.
From Arequipa, we will visit high-altitude Lake Titicaca, complete a three-day trek into Colca Canyon, and finally board a Peru Hop bus destined for the Inca capital of Cusco. In Cusco, we will settle down for three weeks to leisurely look around the city and nearby archeological sites in the Sacred Valley.
From a trailhead in the Sacred Valley, we will embark on a five-day trek to reach Machu Picchu, the most famous icon of the Inca civilization. Our plan is to limp into Machu Picchu for the June solstice, just in time to thank the sun god for sparing our lives on the trail.
As if a five-day slog to Machu Picchu is not enough trail time, the final destination on our two-month Peru itinerary is the Cordillera Blanca and hiking mecca of Huaraz. In this section of the high Andes Mountains, we plan to make several day hikes before concluding with a four-day trek on the popular Santa Cruz route.
With challenging hiking treks, interesting Incan and Spanish colonial history and architecture, and inspiring natural and cultural wonders, our upcoming trip should be the kick in the pants that we need after our long-drawn-out travel interlude. At long last, we are returning to South America to renew our month-at-a-time adventures in Peru.
Feature Photo: The Lima Letters at the Plaza de Armas (main city square) with the Chicory Champs flag. The Chicory Champs are a crazy circle of friends in our new neighborhood in Arizona. The beautiful flag was stitched by the talented Joan “Betsy Ross” McSweeney.