Peru Adventure Travel Guide
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Leaving a legacy behind of bewildering manmade structures and an enduring culture, the Incas were undoubtedly an intriguing and mystifying empire. [caption id="attachment_10971" align="alignright" width="300" caption="You can trek the Inca Trail... Read full post...Posted by Dion Wick on 22nd July 2012
Its strange to think that South America was once a slightly fearsome proposition for some travellers. Of all the worlds continents, it has always been the source of the most mystery and intrigue. [caption id="attachment_10594"... Read full post...Posted by Paul McWilliams on 8th July 2012
Mountain bikes go where other cycles would never dare. Identified by knobbly tires and enhanced frames - some even have suspension set-ups befitting of a 4x4 - these machines are made ready for a ride on the wild side. [caption... Read full post...Posted by Mark Pawlak on 5th November 2010
As with the land, the climate can be divided into the three regions, although there are many microclimates within these. The coast has a sub tropical climate where there is little rain; this region is warmer in the north although the whole coast is subject to the cold Humboldt Current in the Pacific making the warmest time January to March and the coolest July to September. Central and Southern coastal cities are affected by fog in the winter.
The highlands are affected mostly by the Andes Mountains with temperatures ranging from cool to very cold; the higher the altitude the lower the temperatures with rain in the summer months of September to March and dry winters during May to August.
In the Amazon Rainforest the climate is hot and wet all year round with only the south having a brief dry period between June and August.
The Capital city of Lima is situated in the centre of the coastal region; it is by far the most populated city in Peru and is the welcoming airport for the beginning of your adventures. Other major cities act as staging posts for many of the tours and activities that you will be experiencing, these include; Arequipa in the southern Andes, Cuzco in the south eastern Andes, Huancayo in the central Andes, Iquitos in the Amazon rainforest and Trujillo and Chiclayo on the far north west coast.
On a bike you can get pretty much everywhere. The dirt roads take you up into the mountains, along Inca trails, across meadows, down into the jungle and through canyons. A moderate level of fitness is needed as even when the track is downhill the effects of altitude can still make the going challenging. With regular stops along the way to enjoy the amazing scenery the exhilaration of being so close to ancient wonders and spectacular wildlife keeps the adrenalin going all day. Combination packages are available from some operators where the uphill parts are mostly trekked and the downhill cycled.
On the most northern part of the coast Mancora’s beaches are sandy, the water warm and the waves ideal for surfing almost all the year round. The currents of the Pacific make this area the best for experts and beginners alike; the town is busy with a lively nightlife. For a more laid back break the town of Huanchaco has similar conditions for surfing. Both areas have schools for anyone new to the sport or for help improving your skills, there are plenty of options for renting boards or buying second hand ones.
The Andean Mountain range has many peaks between 5000m and 7000m, these are best accessed between June and September when the weather is drier. The Cordillera Blanca region accessed from Huarez has peaks suitable for all levels of experience with Pisco for inexperienced, Alpamayo for moderate experience and Huascaran; Peru’s highest peak, a challenge for the most experienced. The snow topped volcano of El Mista near Arequipa is a great start for those with little experience and peaks towards Colca canyon including Ampato have dramatic scenery as a reward for a tougher climb. Cuzco also acts as a base for mountaineering in the Cordilleras Vilcabamba and Vilcanota regions for the very experienced wanting a difficult climb.
While trekking and mountaineering take you up mountains; canyoning will take you down. Prepare for dare-devil rappelling down dry rock faces and through falling rivers. Often with steep inclines this is a fantastic opportunity to test your nerve pursuing a new sport. The journey to the starting point encounters impressive scenery while on the way down you will be busy negotiating the rock face. Prepare to get wet as at the bottom many canyons end in rivers adding to the excitement of the descent.
Peru is probably best known for its Inca ancestry and the hidden cities left behind. There are many tours to choose from to discover these for yourself, ranging from two-day excursions to three-week challenges. The reward for the trek (mostly uphill and rocky) will be the spectacular scenery and wildlife encountered along the way, as well as the wonder at seeing these centuries-old cities up close. Machu Picchu is the popular choice, but if you prefer somewhere a little less crowded, Choquequirao is the nearby 'sister', which can only be reached on foot. As well as mountain summits and ruins, Peru also has fantastic treks, through canyons in Arequipa and up to glacial lakes from Huaraz. Most routes require an average level fitness, with some designed for those needing more comfort, as well as those up for a demanding challenge.
Through the Andes Mountains and into the Amazon run many rivers, from gentle Grade 1 through to Grade 6, which the most experienced kayakers will find fearful. Courses are available to learn the basics and try out the lower-grade rivers, before you prepare for the more thrill-inspiring waterways through canyons where fallen boulders make for fast and narrow runs. Perseverance and adrenalin keep you paddling through the rapids until the more gentle grades approach and then you can spend time looking at the scenery you are passing through. Some kayak tours include treks and team-building on whitewater rafts - a great way to work closely with the friends you make.
Whichever sports you choose to do there are some must see sights of Peru that should be included in your time here. The Huascaran Mountain in the Cordilla Blanca range in the Western Andes is the highest peak in Peru at 6746m above sea level it takes approximately 6 days to climb. Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world, its artificial islands made of reeds are populated and offer a great tourist attraction. The Amazon River, at least in part must be explored for its varying surroundings and wildlife as well as for the fact that it is one of the longest rivers of the world contested only by the Nile. Peru is well known for its Inca heritage so the Nazca lines, geoglyphs carved into the rocks in the desert and Machu Picchu an ancient city are magnificent viewed first hand.
While many think of Peru only as a country for exploring ancient civilisations and trekking through mountains or rainforest it does have another more extreme side. This side is just starting to be explored and works well amongst the historical backdrop which gives these adventures that extra shine and exhilaration.
Peru’s location, scenery and culture enhance all of the activities that are available making the experiences really memorable. As well as those already described you could try Fishing, Hydrospeeding, Motor biking, or Paragliding in Cuzco. Horseriding or Whitewater rafting from either Cuzco or Lima and Kitesurfing in Mancora.