A successful weird little venture which started off in Brazil over to Peru and then ended in Brazil in a quick 10 day holiday. Ive made a compilation of my whole journey.
(please click the city for more about the trip)
Straight from London and my first stop. This part of the trip was and insight to one of Latin Americas richest metropolis.
After a glimpse of life in one of South Americas most developed and rich citiy I go to one of its most undeveloped capitals (In my opinion). Nonetheless the experience was a valuable learning curb. In this Leg I visited Central Lima and the Larco Museum to build the flavour of my trip ahead.
And now it was time to acclimatise and get ready for our main purpose (Machu Picchu). A quick roam around the city, into their market and main points of interest. Getting a feel of rural Peru.
Basing at Ollantaytambo the night before Machu Picchu, so we could get an easier transit to the mountain attraction. However I just fell in love with the village and wished I could have stayed longer. The scenery was just amazing.
Again this village was amazing, it felt like a movie set. A quick snack before and after our trip up Machu Picchu. Very touristic but still a pleasure.
A spectacle to see, the most amazing place I’ve been to. Hiking up Wayna Picchu was also something I’m glad i did, the challenge of those slippery un-barricaded steps was a worry but seeing the famous Machu Picchu from another height and view, it was all worth it.
After an adventurous time across Peru’s smaller rural villages it was time to head back to Cusco and roam the city a bit more. Excursing outside the city with the ATV tours showing us Moray, Salt Mines and more.
Finishing Peru its another round of Lima but this time it was the wealthier Mira Flores, here we did shopping in Larcomar and the Indian markets.
Although the bad reputation, I needed to see the paradise destination for myself. In my opinion well worth the visit and what a way to end the trip.
“2nd city of my Brazil and Peru tour”
Type : City
Best Date : May – Sep
Expense : Fair
Things to do : Dine, Shop, Museums, ect
Points of Interest: Museo Larco, Larcomar, La Catedral de Lima, Park of the Reserve, Plaza Mayor, Park of love, ect
The Good: Vey rich in colonial Spanish culture/ plenty of preserved buildings from the Spanish era.
The Bad: One of the most undeveloped capitals I’ve been to/ taxis have no meters making it difficult for tourists to determine correct prices.
Lima is the capital city of Peru which founded after the ‘Peruvian War of independence’. The city has a population of more than 10 million making it the 3rd most populated city in the Americas. An interesting fact is that the City of Lima is built on a desert and is known to be one of the most driest capitals in the world some sources says it is second driest just behind Cairo.
Lima for me was out of the ordinary, it was the most undeveloped capital city I have ever encountered in terms of lifestyle. However this wasn’t a massive blow but an interesting aspect of the country. The city itself was large and easy to explore, first impression is that the city is very very religious (Christianity) with churches nearly every corner of the city.
Firstly the best place to visit in the capital is ‘Lima’s historic centre’ along with ‘Rimac district’. The historic centre is a UNESCO world heritage site since 1988, with plenty of traditional old styled Spanish buildings. Whilst I can’t say I visited every points of interest, there is definitely plenty to see and do. One of the places to go is ‘Plaza Mayor’ which is one of the main square of the district and the area where Francisco Pizarro (a Spanish Conquistador) founded Lima. Around this square you will find the ‘Municipality of Lima’, ‘Lima Cathedral’, ‘Palacio Arzobispal de Lima’ and a few others surrounding a beautifully gardened plaza.
Another square to visit (within rimac and the historic centre) is ‘Plaza San Martin’ which is about a 15 minute walk in the opposite direction of ‘Plaza Mayor’, this is where plenty luxury hotels and restaurants reside a good picturesque square to take pictures and even dine although very expensive. Along the alleys and streets connecting ‘Plaza Martin’ and ‘Plaza Mayor’ you will find plenty of attractions such as museums and churches, so a walk along these alleys and streets is a must. The most significant and interesting building I found is the ‘Torre Tagle Palace‘ which has had many important owners, now it is stately owned and used by the ministry of foreign affairs but the special attribute of this specific building is the two balconies. Others places seen around these streets are ‘Iglesia san Pedro‘, ‘Iglesia de la Merced’, ‘Casa Mariscal Ramon Castilla’ and many more. I advise that tourists also find ‘Petateros Alley’ which has its own historic significance but today it is home to the upper class restaurants, cafes and at times various exhibitions.
In my opinion the historic centre should equate to a whole days visit with plenty of churches, monuments and significant buildings around. Furthermore there is also countless modern outlets and restaurants so there will be plenty to see and do whilst visiting this area.
One of the highlight of my Lima trip is ‘Larco Museum’ in the Pueblo Libre district known to
be one of the best in Peru and top 25 in the world. Here there are many historic relics and artefacts from the ancient Incan era. In my opinion It is a good way to start off your journey if you are visiting Machu Picchu.
Finally one of the more developed places in Lima is ‘Mira Flores’ which is definitely the upper residential and commercial neighbourhood in the city. Firstly the place that must be visited is ‘Larcomar’ which is a large modern upper class shopping mall in Lima, here there are high end brands and restaurants such as Nike, Kipling, Pandora and so much more. Mira Flores also has a ‘cliff walk’ which gives various panoramic views of Lima Bay, this pathway welcomes many with pets and allows various leisure activities such as biking, skateboarding, yoga and many more. Along this area there are lighthouses, paragliding, surfing and many more. The ‘Park of Love’ which is part of the cliff walk and about 15 minutes away from Larcomar, is also a popular place for locals and tourists to unwind. Finally Mira Flores is also the district where there are plenty of traditional outdoor markets one of them which I visited was the ‘Indian Market’ which had various souvenirs and traditional crafts, the best place for souvenirs in my opinion.
Overall Lima is a capital that is catching up with the rest around the world in terms of modernising, however the real gem of the city (for tourism) would not be their modern approach anyway but their history. All their preserved Spanish colonial buildings made the city for me and I don’t think any new buildings would give the city a push in tourism. I was particular assured that there was plenty of security in nearly every corner of the tourist areas I walked (especially in centro) but i tend to think why they need the large numbers, is there something I’m missing in terms of safety? Anyway The biggest negative I have is the fact that taxis do not have meters and a price is negotiated with the drivers, now how can this be fair for a tourist who has no clue on what is fair or not? Nonetheless the city was enjoyable, there was plenty to see and learn, sometimes too many. 3 days would be a good duration to stay in the capital.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima https://www.lonelyplanet.com/peru/lima https://www.wsp.org/featuresevents/features/lima-running-dry-–-promoting-water-culture-second-driest-capital-world
Its now 2018 and i’ve got more travel plans on the agenda, this year I’m looking for something new, somewhere I’ve never been, doing activities I have never done.
So my initial plans for this year are:
- Lima/ Cusco/ Aguas Calientes (Peru)
- Sao Paulo/ Rio De Janiero (Brazil)
- Edinburgh (Scotland)
- Marrakesh (Morocco)
And many more across the UK and the Philippines.
To start off this year (in March) I’ve got my first ever trip west from Europe and I have chosen ‘South America’ instead of the richer more developed ‘North America’. With only 7 days to spare from work, ill be visiting 2 different countries, 5 different cities and 2 of the ‘7 world wonders’.
Firstly I fly to ‘Sao Paulo/ Brazil’ where ill spend a single day. I plan to visit the city’s Cathedral, Municipal Market and other attractions allowable within my time frame. I will then leave Sao Paulo for a short layover at ‘Lima’ in ‘Peru’ where I will arrive late night and only have a few hours till I leave early next morning for a 5am flight straight to ‘Cuzco’. I’ll probably stay at the airport due to it being late night and only having a few hours, not a problem as I will have plenty of time to roam Lima on my way back. ‘Cuzco’ will be my base for the next 4 days but will excurse to one of the world wonders ‘Machu Pichu’ whilst staying overnight at the nearest town ‘Aguas Calientes’ where I’ll have a whole day to roam the small town before heading back to Cuzco. After returning to base at ‘Cusco’ I plan to visiting many more attractions within the Inca trail including the ‘Moray’, ‘Sacsayhuaman’, ‘Coricancha’ and plenty more. I will then return to Lima for a longer period to roam around the capital, probably at the city’s central. Then to end the vacation its back to Brazil but this time into ‘Rio De Janiero’ the samba and carnival capital of the world where I will stay for 3 days. Here I am not sure what I’ll be doing but I will most definitely visit another of the world wonder in the ‘Christ the redeemer’ statue. Overall its somewhat of short boomerang trip.
There are a few potential problems in this trip, from my busy jam packed schedule, the hurdles of Peru’s undeveloped cities and Brazils reputable crime rate. My daily itinerary is so tight and busy that if I miss a single flight, it will ruin the following sector and mess up my whole schedule which could result in wasting valuable time, missed reservation and higher spending. Furthermore even with early planning I’m finding transport a little difficult in Peru where trains and buses seem less straight forward and find myself with a huge chance of getting lost. The two countries also speak very little English which will toughen my trip should I need assistance or enquiries. Another precaution of this trip is the altitude of ‘Cuzco’ and ‘Machu Pichu’ peaking at 2,430m which will probably be the highest I’ve ever been, hopefully altitude sickness is something I don’t get. Finally the main thing I’m cautious about is safety in the regions I’m visiting more so for Rio De Janiero, with the city being a metropolis for snatchers, pickpockets and robbers that sometimes carry weapons, the dangers loom and I’ll need to be vigilant.
So why am I going?
Apart from all the negatives and risks these two countries retain, they both have the most beautiful landscapes, attractions and culture in the world.
According to Lonely Planet’s 500 best places, Peru’s ‘Machu Picchu’ is 3rd behind only to the ‘Great Barrier Reef’ 2nd and the ‘Temples of Angkor’ in Cambodia winning the title of best place in the world. Brazils ‘Christ the Redeemer’ 170th and ‘Ipanema Beach’ is 440th. Visiting these places will just be a spectacular and an amazing experience the reason for taking this trip even with 7 days.
What I expect form this trip?
Well its not going to be a relaxing trip, that’s for sure!
In Peru I expect to experience new cultures, somewhat familiar to the influx of tourist but still hold ancient values some maybe influenced from the Inca empire. I expect to find tourism to be the breadwinner in Cuzco, so maybe people will be very welcoming but also aggressive on selling products, tours and food as it has been in many rural tourist spots I’ve visited in the past. However I hope to find new ways of life that I’ve never seen before and lastly to witness probably one of the most majestic villages left by the ancient world in ‘Machu Picchu‘. Lima would probably be a developing city, a metropolis of Hispanic influence.
Brazil is probably more livelier as I’m visiting two huge cities ‘Sao Paulo’ and ‘Rio De Janeiro’. I expect ‘Sao Paulo’ to be a busy business and industrial centre, whilst ‘Rio’ will be the messy but beautiful party and cultural region. I am aware of the dangers in Rio and although I wont ignore them, I will try and enjoy the city for what it is. In the country overall, I envisage to find a division between the rich and poor as shown in many movies, shows and documentaries.
South America will be very new to me and although the two countries can have influences and similarities to places such as Spain and Philippines, I expect to find a new side to Hispanic cultures.
Picture Credits: Cover Photo Machu Picchu -Lonely planet (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/peru/machu-picchu) Christ the redeemer - https://wall.alphacoders.com/by_sub_category.php?id=210814&name=Christ+The+Redeemer+Wallpapers