The Amazing Peru Adventure
I was recently lucky enough to be able to team up with Compass Expeditions, an adventure motorcycle touring company based in Australia, for the ultimate Peru Adventure Tour. This is truly the ULTIMATE Peru bucket list adventure and I would have the honor of leading the tour. The tour starts in Puno, situated in Southern Peru next to Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable lake in the world and largest lake in South America at 3812 meters above sea level (12507 feet). Our first excursion took us out on the lake by boat to visit the floating reed islands of the Uros, indigenous people of Peru and Bolivia who live on forty two self fashioned floating reed islands.
Next up, we headed for Cusco, once the capital of the Incan Empire and known as the 'Naval of the Universe' by the Incas. On route from Puno to Cusco we would cross over the highest point between these two cities, a mountain pass called 'Col de La Raya' at 4335 meters above sea level. A great point to stop and do some shopping of local artisanal items and take photos of the spectacular views with the snowcapped mountains in the background. Once we reached Cusco our expert guide, Ruben, took us on a tour of the ancient Incan ruins that can be found all around the city.
The ruins are just absolutely amazing and our next day's ride would take us down some twisty bends and switchbacks before reaching the amazing Sacred Valley. We visit a beautiful animal sanctuary on route and the silver market at Pisac, before leaving our bikes in Ollantaytambo to catch a scenic train ride to Agua Calientes, the stepping off point for the famous Machu Picchu!! You can view a lot of the Inca hiking trail from the train and enjoy a show on board as well. I unfortunately fell ill here and couldn't make it to see the sacred ruins, but there's always next year! :)
Back to Cusco for one night and then we caught a flight to the Amazon basin, staying at the wonderful Eco-Amazonia Lodge for two days where we got to see different species of monkeys, cayman all along the river, parrots, toucan and tarantula! It was nice taking a bit of a break from the altitude and we even welcomed the humidity and the heat down in the jungle.
After our jungle excursion it was on to the magnificent Colca Canyon with equally magnificent views on route. Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and home to the soaring Condors with wingspans of up to 3 meters! First up we enjoyed a well deserved soak in the local hot springs in Chivay, known for it therapeutic qualities. All the while my fellow guide, Pieter and I opted for a more adrenalin pumping activity by way of a zip line over the hot springs first. Fun and games followed by an early rise the next morning to view the soaring condors from a vantage point overlooking the magnificent Colca Canyon.
We leave Cruz del Condor and ride among volcanoes and mountains through a spectacular desert landscape. It's within these very mountains that the mighty Amazon River begins its journey to the Atlantic. We spend two nights in Arequipa with arguably South America's finest Plaza de Armas.
For our last couple of days on the tour, we hug the coastline with spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean. (My first time seeing the Pacific). We stay at Puerto Inka, a beautiful lodge situated right on the beach. I love falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves. It is from this very bay that the Incan caught fish and relayed their catch, via foot runners, to Cusco within 24 hours! From Puerto Inka we make our way to the famous Nazca, where short flight gives us a bird's-eyes-view over the every mystical Nazca Lines. There are many stories as to how these lines came to exist. Ancient geoglyphs etched into desert sands, covering an area of nearly 1,000 sq. kilometers, there are about 300 different figures, including animals and plants. Scholars believe the Nazca Lines were created by the Nazca culture between 500 BC and 500 AD
Our penultimate day's riding takes us to the desert oasis of Huacachina for some dune buggy and sand boarding fun before our final day's riding into the capital city, Lima.
This was definitely an adventure of a lifetime...and one that I would recommend a thousand times over! Here's looking forward to the next one! For more on Compass Expeditions visit their Website. For more on our next Epic Adventure Tour click HERE.