Peru 2007 - Lima, Huancayo, Huancavelica, Ayacucho, Paracas, Islas Ballestas, Ica, Nazca, Tarma, La Merced

I returned to Peru in June 2007. This time I wanted to explore some areas in the Altiplano which until a few years ago were difficult to visit due to security problems. However, the route from Lima - Huancayo (3,271 m)- Huancavelica (3,600 m) - Ayacucho (2,200 m) appears to be safe during day-time.

The scenery in the mountains is absolutely gorgeous and the roads are sometimes in very rough condition but manageable. It takes about 11 hours from Huancayo - Ayacucho along narrow exposed mountain roads. Accomodation and restaurant prices are the lowest I have seen in Peru. As there are very few foreign tourists a good command of Spanish is required.

From Huancayo there are several excursions which are highly recommended; I had the opportunity to climb up to the Nevado Huaytapallana (5,557 m) with an indigenous group guided by a Shaman.

Returning to the coast from Ayacucho I followed the Transamerican Hwy. to Paracas (Islas Ballestas), the wine centre Ica with the famous oasis of Huacachina nearby and the famous Nazca lines.

In November 2007 I returned to Junin - my favorite region in Peru. First the road reached an altitude of 4,781 m near the world's highest railway station by Oroya and then descended into Tarma at 3,053 m also called the "Pearl of the Andes". From there one can explore the area with several day excursions.

Only 243 km or 6 - 7 hours by bus from Lima very few foreigners venture into this off-the-beaten track. Only Peruvians are slowly discovering this spectacular area; therefore prices for everything is very reasonable, people are pleasant and life is slow going.

After another 2 hours and almost 3,000 m drop the bus is now reaching the Chanchamayo River and entering the Peruvian selva with its tropical climate.

The Chanchamayo Valley offers many opportunities to relax and to explore native villages in the nearby jungle. San Ramon and La Merced are the bigger towns with hotels and restaurants; several resorts are hidden in the woods near impressive waterfalls.

The roads become a bit rougher and after 3 - 4 hours one reaches the Austrian-Tirolian/German settlement of Pozuzo via Oxapampa.

Click on the image below to start the slide show.

Huncayo, Nevado Huaytapallana, Hualhas
Laguna de Paca, Ocapa, Ingenio, Huancavelica
Huancayo - Ayacucho
Paracas, Islas Ballestas, Ica, Nazca lines
Tarma, San Pedro de Cajas, Muruhuay (Chanchamajo)
La Merced, Perene, Pichanaki, Satipo

 © 2007 J. Wolf Kuehn and Canadian Institute of Gemmology. Users may View/Download  images for their own private, non-commercial use.