Ten days from now we'll be hopping on a plane for our 3 1/2 week trip south of the equator. The endless trip planning has frayed our nerves a bit, but it's also elevated our excitement about this adventure. It still doesn't feel quite real...and probably won't until we land in Lima.
A lot of folks have been asking us what we're planning on doing while in Peru, so I thought I'd make a few posts here describing our itinerary. Below you'll see a map of our planned route (click on the image to see it bigger). The dotted lines represent air travel (except for those on Lake Titicaca, which will be a boat), with the solid lines being ground travel (bus, taxis, train or dugout canoes).
The other thing I wanted to do is highlight some of the things we are anticipating the most. I'll post several of these lists over the next couple of days.
5 Places We're Looking Forward to Seeing:
1. Machu Picchu
One of the world's most famous archeological sites, there's no way we could go to Peru without spending a day or two here.
2. Manu National Park
Nine days in the Peruvian Amazon, traveling by dugout canoes and staying in tents and thatch-roofed jungle huts. Need I say more?
3. Lake Titicaca
Ever since I was a little kid I've been fascinated by Lake Titicaca. Probably primarily because it's named Titicaca, really. Our time here at the "world's highest navigable waterway" (12,507' above sea level, required traveling over a 15,500' pass to get there) will mostly be spent staying with a family on Islas Amantani.
4. Colca Canyon
A two-day tour from Arequipa to Colca Canyon will give us a chance to see the amazing Andean Condors. The bus also passes through an altiplano wildlife reserve with an opportunity to see wild vicuña.
5. Isla Ballestas
We still haven't decided about whether or not we'll have time to take a boat tour of these islands, known as "the poor man's Galapagos". The biggest draw for us would be a chance to see Humbolt Penguins. I think we might just wait until we're back from Manu to decide if we want to try to do this.
There are certainly a lot of other places we'll be visiting, but these are the highlights. I'll post a few more lists of what we're hoping to do and see in the next few days.