Peru and YOU: How Tourism Benefits Local Economy

One of the things that continues to impress me about Peru, even more so than the beautiful cities and sites it has to offer, is the fact that tourism has such a large impact on the community. Unlike some of my previous experiences abroad, I feel like the money I spend traveling here actually goes to people who need it, rather than to large money-hungry tourist agencies.

There have been several moments over the course of my stay that have really demonstrated the importance of tourism in Peru, and I’d like to share those here. [Continue reading...]

Jul 072011
Cajamarca: A Love Affair. Part I.

After spending some time in the desert, I was ready to move on and experience the mountains that Peru is so famous for. Taking Julio’s advice, I booked a daytime bus for Sunday (rather than an overnight) on Transportes Linea from Trujillo to Cajamarca so that I could witness the beautiful scenery. It was truly remarkable; stunning mountains as far as the eye can see, small towns perched on the hillsides, and beautiful lakes. This is what I had been waiting for. Arriving in Cajamarca at night, without hotel reservations, was not as distressing as I had initially foreseen. Instructing my taxi driver to drop me off in the Plaza de Armas, I stepped out of the car onto a street lined with more hostels, hotels, and tourism agencies than I could count. Even at night, the view was beautiful! [Continue reading...]

Jul 062011
Trujillo: An Archaeologist's Dream

Having stayed put in Lima these past 4 weeks, I decided it was about time to see some other parts of the country. Not that Lima isn’t full of things to see (even if I lived here a year I doubt I’d be able to see everything), I just felt like I needed to experience other regions of this beautiful country in order to fully appreciate it and all it has to offer.

My opportunity came two weeks ago when Jacqui mentioned she’d be visiting Trujillo for a swim meet. For those of you who are unaware, Trujillo is home to Chan Chan, one of Peru’s more famous archaeological sites. Having read about it in school, the site was on the top of my Peruvian must-see list, right under Machu Picchu. Having never traveled alone, I had hoped to buddy up with one of the other volunteers to go exploring – this was my chance! Having invited myself along on her trip, Jacqui politely accepted, with one condition. She’d be busy in Trujillo, but planned on visiting Cajamarca afterwards and welcomed some company on that leg of her journey. In other words, I’d get the chance to try traveling on my own and I’d be able to travel with a buddy. I thought “okay, I can do this!” [Continue reading...]

Exploring the Sacred Valley

Reasonably priced for a ten hour adventure, the bus shuttles us around the mountains stopping in Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero. I am a bit put off when a tourist market is the first stop instead of the promised ruins; however, the stop is brief and I find solace in chatting with two other folks from China and Slovenia who are equally anxious to see the ruins. [Continue reading...]

Jul 232010
Welcome to the Jungle

What do you think of when you think of the Amazon rainforest? What comes to mind? Do you think about colorful birds and insects? Perhaps plants that eat those said insects? Jungle cat’s maybe? I know I do. Even with certain preconceptions that I’ve developed over the years from a myriad of sources ranging from National Geographic magazines to Disney’s “The Jungle Book”, I still didn’t really know what to expect when arriving at the Puerto Maldonado airport. Was it going to be just like the nature films I watched in high school Biology class, or was it going to be something different. Upon researching Peru prior to my arrival, when I learned that part of the rain forest stretched into Peru I immediately booked a tour. So my jungle adventure began with Corto Maltes. [Continue reading...]

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