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WIN A FREE PASS ON PERU HOP WORTH $199 USD

WIN A FREE PASS ON PERU HOP WORTH $199 USD

COMPETITION TIME!   I am very excited to announce that Tales of a Backpacker has teamed up with Peru Hop to give one of you lucky people a free pass to travel through Peru, worth up to $199 USD!  About the Prize The lucky winner will receive a free pass on Peru Hop worth up to $199 USD.  They can choose their route from the options available from Lima to Cusco, or Cusco to Lima, or a Short Tour (subject…

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Pisac – Exploring Peru’s Sacred Valley

Pisac – Exploring Peru’s Sacred Valley

Pisac wasn’t quite the “Andean Shangri-La” that Lonely Planet painted it out to be, but is definitely worth a visit!  After the hustle and bustle of Cusco I wanted to escape for a while.  My hostel ‘Hospedaje Chaska Pisac’ promised great things, it had a gym, meditation room and only 2 beds in the 3 bedroom dorm room I had booked, so I had high expectations of my visit. The town is easily reached from Cusco by colectivo, people carrier…

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Huacachina – Sandboarding in the Desert of Peru

Huacachina – Sandboarding in the Desert of Peru

Huacachina’s reputation precedes it.  An oasis in the Peruvian desert, surrounded by sand dunes, where Limeños flocked to escape the city.  Sandboarding and drunken debauchery in the tiny town close to Ica, and 4 – 5 hours drive from Lima. I had heard Huacachina was crazy at the weekends.  The usual Peru Hop hostel, Casa de Arena, has a nightclub attached to it, so I had no desire to lie awake all listening to banging music & drunken idiots.  So…

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Nazca Lines: The Mysterious Markings in the Peruvian Desert

Nazca Lines: The Mysterious Markings in the Peruvian Desert

Or how I paid $85 to vomit over a UNESCO World Heritage site! I was excited about Nazca. I didn’t know much about the ancient civilization that gave the town its name, except that they had left the famous ‘Nazca Lines’ in the desert, deep in Southern Peru.  I was hoping to learn more about them, and understand why they drew the lines in the sand that could only be appreciated from the air. There was a group of 4…

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Arequipa – Peru’s White City

Arequipa – Peru’s White City

Also known as Peru’s White City; Arequipa is filled with beautiful architecture & surrounded by spectacular scenery. White volcanic rock called sillar was used to construct most of the buildings here, and so earned Arequipa its nickname. Peru’s second largest city is also the base for treks to Colca Canyon & surrounding volcanoes including El Misti and Chachani, and is a great stop off between Cusco and Lima.  I spent a couple of days here either side of my Colca…

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Cusco – Touristy but worth Exploring

Cusco – Touristy but worth Exploring

Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire, and was also known as the bellybutton of the World. Evidence of Inca culture is everywhere, and Cusco isn’t afraid to cash in on its famous history. That is what irritated me about Cusco; although beautiful and interesting to explore, at every turn someone was trying to sell me something. Massages, restaurant menus, llama keyrings, photos with a Peruvian Cholita, photos with a llama, photos with a Peruvian Cholita and a llama,…

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Peru Hop: The Best Way from Lima to Cusco

Peru Hop: The Best Way from Lima to Cusco

Hop on & off as you wish!  (The bus, that is).  Peru Hop have regular buses running every other day from Lima to Cusco, and vice versa, going via Puno or Arequipa depending on your route. It seemed a little more pricey than getting individual buses between each destination for the route I wanted, but they promised hostel pick up and drop off so no faffing around with taxis and scary bus stations at ungodly hours of the morning. I…

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A Magic Moment: Sunrise at Machu Picchu

A Magic Moment: Sunrise at Machu Picchu

I cried the first time I saw Machu Picchu. It had been an emotional few days! I had been pushed to my physical and mental limits; hiked for four days across peaks up to 4400m high. I had been wet, cold, hot, sweaty and constantly exhausted. But it was all worth it to see the sunrise at Machu Picchu. When we had finished our trek, we were taken by bus to Ollantaytambo. The plan was to stay there overnight, take…

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The Day a Horse named Zaino Saved My Life

The Day a Horse named Zaino Saved My Life

OK, so I wasn’t really dying. But when you’re 4000m high, your perspective tends to be a little skewed. We had just started day 3 of our 4 day trek to Machu Picchu, and I was exhausted. I’d slept fairly well considering the cold temperatures and aching limbs, but after breakfast I really didn’t fancy trekking another 14km. And when we started again with a steep climb straight away, my heart sank. From the day before I knew I was…

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The Trek to Machu Picchu

The Trek to Machu Picchu

When I decided to book this trip back in June, the traditional Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu had already sold out. However, I had read online that it was often busy, felt over-crowded in places, and there was a mad rush to get through the Sun Gate first. So I wasn’t that upset about missing the main route the Incas used to get to Machu Picchu. I decided to book a different trek through Dragoman Overland, and you can…

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