Category Peru

Camaná & Mollendo: A Tale of Two Eerie Peruvian Beaches

THERE ARE TWO beach towns within a three-hour drive from Arequipa: Mollendo and Camaná. Each costs between 10 and 15 soles to reach, and there are loads of minibuses and regular buses that leave every hour. Neither is better advertised from Arequipa’s bus terminals, and neither is a popular foreign tourist destinations, which might lead a sun-starved off-the-beaten-track backpacker to […]

lauca national park

In Photos: Reasons to Love Northern Chile

IF YOU’RE BACKPACKING through South America, you’ll likely pass through Northern Chile—after all, the northernmost city, Arica, marks the only route to Peru. But it would be a mistake to truck through without spending at least a few days—the region’s colourful architecture, perpetually cool beaches and proximity to little-seen desert parks makes it a totally unique experience, combining […]

ayahuasca tourism amazon jungle

Searching for the Amazonian Jews of Peru

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM facing the only synagogue in the Amazonian city of Iquitos, Peru, is that nobody knows where it is. Hotel concierges won’t know what you’re talking about; tell a moto-taxi driver to take you there and he’ll shake his head briskly and drive away. Ask a middle-aged police officer wearing faded pink lipstick […]

Cañon de Colca

An Independent Traveller’s Anecdotal Guide to Trekking Colca Canyon, in 11 Aphorisms

1. Appreciate silence.  Near the end of our six-hour bus ride from Arequipa to Cabanaconde, three awful, young French people boarded the bus, standing near our seats. The loudest wore a backwards cap and blue tinted shades, and I could see the flowing tattoo of an angel wearing armour on his arm beneath his too-tight white T-shirt. […]

Mollendo travel

If You’re a Liberal-Minded Westerner in a Poor Country, Maybe You Should Pay More

ABOUT A MONTH AGO, V and I hailed a taxi to Arequipa’s central bus terminal. We knew how much it should cost—eight Peruvian soles in total, less than $3. When the driver quoted us 10 soles, we brought him down to eight. That was the objectively fair price, we reasoned; after years of being overcharged abroad simply because […]

arequipa-expat

Stray Observations on Living in Arequipa, Peru

While standing in line at the Metro supermarket—something I have spent an aggravatingly lot of time doing—I saw, on the widescreen television, a muscular blond actress urging a crying redhead to presumably assault a tied-up man, whose face was purple and beaten. The redhead was literally shaking with terror as the blond one screamed, eventually pushing the redhead aside and […]