Peru South – Andes To Pacific
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE ! IT’S AMAZING !
From November 30 to December 8,2023 TotalAdventure was the guest of The Adventure Travel Trade Association, PromPerú and APTAE for an exploration of Southern Peru from the high Andes to the desert beaches of the South Pacific Ocean. The trip was led by Apumayo Expedicones and Colca Trek.
The trip began and ended in Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city ,with a population of just over a million. TotalAdventure first passed through the city in 1988, as a reporter cover the Trans Amazon Rallye.. Though better conditions now prevail,many of the roads were familiar.
General area of the expedition. Lima Peru is only a five hour flight from Miami.
From Arequipa, Elevation 2300 meters we drove quickly up to 5000 meters where the oxygen is thin and temperature cold, slightly above freezing.
We stopped in the town of Chivay where we were welcomed by the local tourism committees. SEE THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE !
Overnight was at Colca Trek Lodge . The rooms were comfortable and the night was very cold – close to 0 C. Thankfully there was a blazing fireplace in the bar.
In the morning we went to observe Condors drifting above the Canyon. Then we biked downhill very fast for about 20 km. SEE THE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE ! Afterwards the team traversed the Colca Canyon dropping down over 2500 meters to the river itself.
Mid day sun directly over the Colca River. Early December in Southern Peru is the strongest sun on Earth.
Coca leaf is completely legal and is chewed or taken as a tea. It helps for altitude fatigue and commonly used by everyone. This is the legitimate use. For the illegal use, three kilos of leaves, about a garbage bag full, are required to distill one gram of the isolated alkaloid.
The night was spent in a private house where it was again, very cold. The sun comes up at 5 – breaking the cold ,time to enjoy coffee with an inquisitive cat.
Again we drove to 5000 meters -over 16,000 feet. The snow is perpetual on the glaciated mountaintops that are 6500 meters.
The beautiful shot above, of a glacial lake below the Coropuna Volcano. Credit : Jehiel Boner of Tripsite. The TotalAdventure logo is automatic, but the photo belongs to the photographer.
Afterwards we dropped down 13000 feet intoa warm dry valley to dine at Hacienda Ongoro. Above – freshwater crawfish.
Hominy on the Cob. The Andes are home to over 200 varieties of corn and 2000 types of potato. When the Spanish bought these staples home, European cuisine changed completely.
At one of the driest spots on earth – where it last rained in 1941, we explored petroglyphs from the 12th century. the pictures tell a story – similar to the very large ones at Nazca – 200 km North.
When TotalAdventure flew above Nazca in 1988, the concept of Space People became very convincing.
At last it was time to move on to the clear, cold Pacific Ocean. Our route was slightly detoured due to a small 4.2 quake that morning ( woke to that) which had caused a rock side on the road.
Caleta San Jose,. A place so exclusive – it is almost impossible to get to. SEE THE VIDEO ABOVE to experience the insane ride to the desert beach.
Playa y Pacifico Panorama.
The water is clear and about 18 C. 65 F. The Humboldt Current from Antarctica keeps things cool. Winters can be foggy – we were there for the start of summer, so the sun came out around 9 AM.
After dinner discussion.
Followed by a bonfire on the beach.
TotalAdventure ,having spent most of life by the sea, could easily adapt to life here, with fresh fish and uni from the surf every day, nightly bonfires and clear weather.
It was time to return to Arequipa, where TotalAdventure had over 30 meetings with excellent Peruvian Adventure providers. many of whom will soon be selling on TotalAdvnenture.
Alpaca – It’s What’s For Dinner !