I. To Travel Is To Live
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us! Holidays and leisure is an important part of human life- it is the portion of life that is pliable and concentrated on catering for you, your needs, your aspirations and your wishes. Scientific studies have continually shown that people who are satisfied with their lives are not only more jubilant and happy, but they also have a chance to live a longer and better life! Below are some of the reasons why you should choose to travel.
Recent studies have shown that students who have been abroad are nearly twice as probable as their non-travelling friends to complete a college degree. They also are reported to earn higher incomes, as much as 40% of higher than rest of the students.
Coming to the working class, people who take some time off for leisure and pleasure are more likely to be productive and have higher morale and inspiration. They are less likely to wander off and zone out on the job. They also report fewer stress attacks and burnouts.
Up to one-third of all leisure travelers say that they have more sex while they are on vacation. Sex is a great indicator of good mental and physical health.
Travelling also benefits the host country a lot. For example, each US house would have to pay up to $1,000 more in shape of taxes if the revenue generated by travel and tourism was removed.
Travel gives a country great economic thrust; it supports great amount of jobs and sustains a good number of tourism-related jobs.
The Subtle Benefits of Travel
Expand Your Mind: Traveling allows the horizon to expand and observe the world and the society in large, new and different perspective. If a person becomes comfortable with a certain monotonous lifestyle, our minds shut down to many possibilities and opportunities in life.
Become More Flexible: No matter how hard you try to plan a perfect vacation, traveling will always throw you in a whirl of unpredictability. This will force to become more adaptable and learn to cope with different situations and problems, which will ultimately help a person in other aspects of his life.
Put Things In Perspective: Due to our lack of exposure and in some cases maturity, we all envisage that our individual trials and tribulations are the worst in the world. That happens until we witness the anguish and problems of others. Watching other people’s struggles can really put one’s life in perspective. This greatly helps in plummeting any sort of stress or depression that may be persistent in one’s life.
Try New Health Foods: Traveling forces us to break our comfort zones and try different and new things in life. One of the greatest perks of traveling to different places is that place’s exotic cuisines. This means that besides relishing our taste buds with scrumptious news flavors, our body will also be getting different nutrients that we might be lacking- adding a facet of health to our travels!
Be More Active: Mostly, traveling consists of fun activities like sightseeing, walking, hiking, and ground or water sports. This means that you can get a good workout while enjoying a new place and discovering new adventures.
Build Team Synergy: Traveling is often a great way for a team to gel. Taking a trip with another person or even a team group can help a lot in bringing everyone closer, and building mutual trust and respect.
Learn Patience: There are often great bit of surprise thrown in your way when a person is traveling, some good and some not so much. The communication gap, the language barriers, and culture shocks can sometimes start getting on one’s nerves. Moments such as these teach us to remain calm and collective, and not lose our cool.
II. Peru – A Heaven on Earth!
Divine Biodiversity and Peruvian Natural Beauty
Peru is proud to be one of the 10 mega-diverse countries of the world, with hundreds of both common and rare species of flora and fauna living and breeding on this mystical place. It is a paradise for bird and orchid spotting enthusiasts; also presenting some awe-inspiring sites for the people with the passion for exploration of remote and mythical natural landscapes, coupled with some still immaculate unexplored lands brimming with life.
A single trip is simply not enough to discover all the wonders this land holds within its bosom. We will highlight a few of the many miraculously gorgeous places in this e-book, such as the Huascaran National Park and Pacaya Samiria, which present a mouthwatering prospect for any visitor and must be appreciated and enjoyed when anyone visits Peru.
These areas can be divided into a variety of categories: parks, national sanctuaries, historical havens, reserves, hunting grounds, communal reserves, picturesque sites and wildlife territory.
National Parks and Natural Beauty
Gifted with incomparable beauty and magnetism for the tourists, the Peruvian parks and natural reserves, such as the Huascaran National Park, which has been internationally acknowledged as a Natural Heritage of Humanity, Peru offers a large variety of ecosystem and flora and fauna. From rising glaciers to stunning lagoons, and from sky-high peaks to ancient remnants, this county has it all! Other parks have been created to conserve and protect endangered species, with its thick rainforests providing the ideal environment for conducting such activities.
Then, there is the astonishing gem known as Machu Picchu, which has been declared as a natural and cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It holds the secrets of once great Inca Empire. Machu Picchu is the most popular natural site in Peru, mainly because if offers a great deal of biological diversity along with its historical heritage due to its microclimates.
01. Huascaran National Park
The Huascaran National Park has been acknowledged as a Natural Heritage to Humanity due to the extraordinary exquisiteness of the Cordillera Blanca, the intense and gripping lagoons formed due to the melting of glaciers, and the large variety of Andean animal species.
Visit Huascaran National Park will give you an opportunity to witness the highest tropical peaks on the face of the earth, which includes Huascaran; the highest in Peru stretching up to 6,768 meters (22,205 feet) above sea level. The area is a heaven for mountain sports and nature tourism enthusiasts. Due to its grand value, it was declared a World Heritage in 1985.
02. The Huascaran National Park located in
Ancash, is the tallest tropical mountain range in the world, stretching over 340,000 hectares. It has the greatest biological and cultural diversity of Peru. Its foundations were laid in 1975 and it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1977. It was added on the UNESCO’s Natural Heritage of Humanity list in 1985.
The park consists of up to 660 glaciers and 300 lagoons formed due to the glaciers. It also boasts excellent hydrological system and sources. Thanks to the snowy peaks that feed the Maranon and the Santa and Pativilca river basin. This park is boasted the highest mountain in Peru: called Huascaran, rising up to 6,768 meters (22,205 feet) above sea level, and another great mountain Alpamayo, which stands at 5,947 meters (19,511 feet) above sea level. There are other snow-capped peaks as well, measuring between 5.000 – 6,768 meters (16,404 – 22,205 feet) above sea level. This is the core reason of such huge attraction of mountain climbers from all over the world to this park. It holds as many as 25 walking trails and 125 climbing paths, with different levels of difficulty, much to the delight of trekkers and climbers.
The pristine natural landscape is theatrical, and the ecosystems of the park are upbeat and brimming with life. Visiting and exploring the park is an expedition through the amazing past of Peru that gives the visitors a glorious opportunity to experience some scenic landscapes.
Some of the most-popular and easily reachable sites within the park are the Llanganuco Lagoons, which is located at the foot of Huascaran. Their turquoise color and Quenua woods get together to create an aura of beauty and purity.
Major tourist activities include camping, boat rides, rock climbing, mountaineering, trekking, paragliding, as well as bird and animal watching and visiting archaeological sites. The park offers close to 25 trekking circuits and 102 climbing routes for the visitors.
The temperature fluctuates between -2°C and 15°C (28 and 59°F), with the coldest season coming in the highest parts of the mountain range. It is usually sunny during the day, with the rainy season starting from December to March. Hence, the best season for a visit to this fantastic place is between May and October.
02. Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, or shortly called RNPS broadens over Loreto, Requena, High Amazon and Ucayali provinces in Loreto province. The national reserve stretches over 2,080,000 hectares and is located in the Ucamara depression, at the spot where the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers meet together and give way to the Amazon River. The south-western part is held on by a border of low-lying hills that divide the waters coming from the Huallaga River.
Pacaya Samiria is the second largest protected natural heritage in Peru, and it is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best spots for nature tourism fans. The reserve also works as a protection to the tropical rainforest ecosystems that contain great biodiversity’ of the Amazon. The main reason of the reserve is to conserve the bionetwork, as well as provide a healthy lifestyle to the large human population that makes the most of the natural resources. The reserve also contains the basins of the Pacaya, Samiria and Yanayacu-Pucate Rivers.
The majority of its terrain consists of floodable jungle, with sprouting islands and lagoons here and there. The most visited lagoon (cocha) is the prominent El Dorado, which is considered to be the heart of the reserve and the center of tourism.
Treading along the rivers, one can observe diverse animals like manatees, pink dolphins, and monkeys, as well as some exotic genus of birds, mammals, and fish.
Main tourist attractions and activities consist of trekking, hiking, camping, bird watching, and caving, etc.
The average temperature ranges between 20°C and 33°C (68°and 92°F). The rainy season is usually between October and April, and the best time for touring the reserve is between May and September.
03. Manu National Park
The National Park of Manu, which has also been declared as a World Cultural Heritage Site, has the greatest biodiversity on the planet. It is placed in the departments of Cusco, Paucartambo province, and Madre de Dios, Manu province, which also includes the entire basin of the River Manu. Located in southern Peru, and in the eastern side of the Andes mountain range while neighboring the Amazon basin, it has the distinction of being the only park in the Americas entails the full variety of environments and conditions, from low-lying tropical jungle to cold, high grassland rising over 4,000 masl.
The park was established on 29 May 1973, and it covers a collective area of 1,716,295.22 hectares.
It is one of the highly popular and widely visited places in Peru. The low-lying basin of the River Manu is signified by the lively Amazon plain. Five zones are suggested for tourism, each with its own unique diversity of flora and fauna: Limonal, Juarez, Salvador, Otorongo, and Pakitza. All of them have paths to navigate through the lakes and swamps, where the vacationers will also see the seals and sea lions.
Another spectacle of this place is the clay licks, which are visited by huge flocks of macaws as well as other species of birds every year. The park holds some 221 different species of mammals, which includes the otorongo (jaguar), Black Panther, capybara, spider monkey deer, etc. Coming to the birds, very rare and majestic birds like harpy eagle, roseate spoonbill, jungle goose, the cock of the rock can be viewed in their full glory. There is an 18 meters high metal tower and an elevated walkway with a raised area in the park, which allows the people to be able to spot birds and to behold the enormity of the woods from the treetops.
The best time to visit for the travelers and vacationers is between the months of May and August when the skies are clear, and it is possible to witness the sun rise twice during the same sunrise, due to a natural phenomenon.
Manu also boasts the most distinguished research centers in Amazonia, also known as the biological station of Cocha Cashu. It also boasts an interpretation center at the main guard post of Limonal.
A large portion of the park is native territory, and as many as 30 communities that inhibit this place speak Quechua as their first language. There are scores of native Amazonian tribes also living in the area, which includes the Matsiguenka, Yine, Nahua and Amahuaca, people to name a few. There are also other local clans who live in a deliberate isolation. The cultural affluence of the area can be seen by the archaeological sites that have not even been studied yet.
Services like hostels, interpretation center, toilet facilities, park rangers, and radio are available on the premises of the park.
The lower altitude zones enjoy an average temperature of 35°C during the day and 25°C at night. However, all round the year, there can be some periods of heavy rain, due to which the temperatures can fall significantly. Probably, the rainy season starts from January to March, but there is a possibility of rain all-round the year. In that retrospect, the best time to visit the park is between April and December.
04. Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve
The Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve is situated between Arequipa and Moquegua, in the provinces of Arequipa, Caylloma.
The foundations of this reserve were laid on 9th August 1979. It stretches over an aggregate area of 366,936 hectares (906,719 acres). The reserve holds ostentatious and grumbling volcanoes, including Misti, Chachani, Pichu Pichu, and Ubinas. Alongside the sky-high mountains, there are the magnificent high Andean plains, populated by Vicunas, Alpacas, llamas and Guanacos tribes. The reserve also consists of beautiful lagoons and marshes, which are also the home of hundreds of bird species, including flamingos and crested ducks.
Altitude range of the reserve is from 3,500 – 6,075 meters (11,483 -19,931 feet) above sea level. The native people inhabiting the reserve hold dear a worldview that is deeply linked with nature and the balance of its fundamental components. Some of their fascinating customs include yanapacuy, ayni (reciprocal work); minka, tinkan (giving back to earth and water) and some amazing knowledge of medicinal plants and their uses.
The natural reserve has decent travel routes and has roadside standpoints to marvel at the magnificent sight of volcanoes and vicuna flocks. Inside the reserve, the tourists can witness the cave paintings in the Sumbay Caves and Salinas Lagoon and scale the Volcano Mountains such as Misti and Chachani.
Activities for the tourists include flora and fauna observation, trekking, mountaineering, bird sighting, and trout fishing.
Average temperatures throughout the year range from -2°C to 8°C. Sunny days and cold nights are usually the norm. The rainy season comes in the months of January to March, and the suggested time for visiting is from April to December.
III. Peru’s Canyons and Valleys
01. Colca Valley and Canyon
Colca is located at a four-hour driving distance from the Arequipa City. The path to this jaw- dropping valley is located across the slopes of the Chachani volcano and the Salinas Aguada Blanca National Reserve. The highest altitude of the valley is at 4,350 meters (14,271 feet) above sea level.
The valley hosts the archaeological heritage of primordial populace of the area called the Collagua people, including puzzling cave drawings and caves with containers for food storage. It is an ideal place for camping and hiking.
There is a natural viewing spot 40 km (25 miles) from Chivay, from where tourists can witness the beautiful condors soaring in skies above the Coropuna and Ampato volcanoes. The tourists can also observe the valley area with a depth of 4,160 meters (13,648 feet) at its lowest point, making it the deepest canyon in Peru.
Towns in the valley have decent enough lodging facilities, and also have traditional foods on offer, as well as fine-looking handicrafts such as carpets, embroidered skirts, and shirts with colorful prints, imprinted tin decorations, candles and carved wood sculptures.
02. Mantaro Valley
Mantaro Valley is situated in Junin department, in Peru’s Andean zone. It is placed at about 3,200 meters (10,500 feet) above sea level. After moving on the central highway from Lima and passing the glorious mountains of the Andes, this lush-green valley offers a unique picture, with mountains setting overpowered by the remarkable Mantaro River, and the countryside with its farm lands, eucalyptus fields and a clear blue sky.
The first capital of Peru, named Jauja, was also founded in this region by the Spanish Conquistadors, but due to its remoteness from the ocean, the capital of the state was later converted back to Lima.
The Mantaro Valiev contains enormous archaeological and cultural riches, which also points towards the significance of this area during the pre-Inca and Inca era. There is a wide variety of lodging available for the visitors as well, and they are sure to enjoy an enjoyable trip which includes fun and recreational activities like hiking, cycling, motor sports and mountain biking.
03. Sacred Valley (Valle Sagrado)
As mystical as its name sounds, the Sacred Valley consists of some most visited and mystifying towns of Pisaq, Yucay, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. The Sacred Valley consists of one of the most gorgeous hikes near Cuzco, with high mountains encircling a green blanket of farm lands, scenic towns, and a picturesque river.
This valley was the agricultural production hub for the Inca Empire, and today, the best Peruvian corn is also grown here. There are many Inca archaeological spots, and the remnants of the glorious culture and traditions can also be witnessed.
Beautiful towns boasting the beautiful immersion of ancient Peruvian and Spanish culture can still be seen in the city’s architectural and artistic legacy and traditional lifestyle: Pisac and its handicraft displays; multi-ethnic Urubamba; the magnificent fort of Ollantaytambo and Moray, and its alluring circular roads are indeed a sight to be seen and marveled.
The valley is located one hour away from Cuzco.
04. Michael Tweddle
The picturesque Reserve of the Subcuenca del Cotahuasi (RPSCC) is located in the province of La Union, at a 10-hour distance via road from Arequipa. In the basin, a visit to the traditional lodgings and the scenic view of the hot springs is a must see. The Sipia waterfalls and the geological fault lines of the canyon present a wonderful sight. It is whooping 3,562 meters deep and is one of the largest canyons in the world.
The Subcuenca del Cotahuasi is an iconic symbol of the Tropical Andes located in the south of Peru, which has some unique and pretty amazing geographical conditions, giving rise to miscellany in floury and fauna of huge importance. This case is the same in each one of its twelve zones of life, which stretch at a stretch of 950 masl, and from the canyon to the snow-capped peaks rising high up to 6,100 masl.
Various ancient temples and archaeological sites have been located all around the canyon, with detailed and prehistoric pathways that shows the originality and brilliance of the aboriginal clans in trying to adapt to their surroundings while conserving the flora and fauna of the area.
The scenery is awe-inspiring, enclosed by the snow-capped peaks of Coropuna and Solimana, and the ever so magnificent Sipia Falls, dropping from a height of 150 meters with a permanent rainbow during the daytime, as if it is smiling and flaunting its own exquisiteness. It is the ideal site for adventure sports enthusiasts, and games such as trekking, kayaking, hang gliding, mountain biking, paragliding, rock climbing, fishing or horse riding are available for the visitors.
05. Tres Cahones (Three Canyons)
A wonder of nature, the converging point of three rivers, the Apurimac, Callumani, and Cerritambo, is located at the geological complex in district Suykutambo, Espinar province, in the Cusco region. These rivers join together to form the Gran Apurimac. It has remarkable geological formations and patterns due to the volcanic origin that are a mammoth 80 meters high, and also have a rich forest setting consisting of quenuas (Polylepis) and tolas (Parastrephia lepidophylla). These rocky patterns, which are also formed by the channel of the rivers, give the place the name “Three Canyons”.
The attractive features of the area which include the mesmerizing rivers, the stiking slopes and green plateau present great attractiveness for the visitors and allow the tourists to participate in fun sports like trekking, paragliding, canoeing and rock climbing. An event called the Eco-Sport Tourism, and Traditional Dance Festival is also annually held.
IV. Lakes, Lagoons, Waterfalls and Rivers
01. Lianganuco Lagoon
The Llanganuco lagoon is a major feature of the Huascaran National Park and the Huascaran Biosphere Reserve. This area has unbelievable and consummate beauty, and its pristine environment makes it a wonderful sight.
Llanganuco Lagoon comprises of two lagoons, the Warmicocha or in more literal terms, the female lagoon, and the Orcococha or the male lagoon. Both of these are formed by the melting of the ice from two of the most symbolic mountains in Ancash, namely the Huascaran and the Huandoy.
The first of the two mesmerizing lagoons, Chinancocha, is amazingly 1,450 meters long, 7,393 meters wide and 28 meters in depth. On the shores of this lagoon, there are quenual trees and the characteristic reeds. Some wild ducks can also be spotted every now and then, adding to the already scenic site. This is no doubt the most admired and visited lagoon in Peru.
The second lagoon, known as Orcococha, is sited at the end of this beautiful valley. It is 910 meters long, 368 meters wide and 7 meters deep. Both of the lagoons flow into the River Ranrahirca and finally merge into the River Santa. This second lagoon is also a good place to observe the wild ducks of the area.
02. Amazon River
The Amazon River is the biggest and longest river on this planet. It originates from the snowcapped peaks of Caylloma province, situated in the Arequipa department, and after traveling hindered of miles, it then merges with the Maranon and Ucayali rivers, the exact spot where it becomes the great Amazon. This magnificent river and a wonder of nature flows into the sea at the epic speed of 170,000 cubic meters per second and is a home for over 2,000 species of fish. The Amazon also presents itself as a communication conduit for millions of people living inhabiting the nearby jungles, which use the river to travel either in their regular boats or in smaller boats called peque peque.
The river basin also brings life to Amazonia, the largest tropical forest of the world. It is also called the green lungs of the Earth as it provides a huge proportion of total oxygen to the planet. Iquitos City is the point of exodus for leaving to tread along the Amazon River. This trail will also lead to the national reserves and tourism lodges, where amazing hikes, boat trips and visits to the local tribal clans like bora, yahua and witoto are organized. Another option for the vacationers could be the walk on the cross hanging bridges or a hike to the floating platforms.
03. Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world, located in the middle of the province of Puno, San Roman, Huancane and Moho, located to the north. It has an average height of 3,810 masl and stretches to 36,180 hectares.
The lake has a diverse base of flora and fauna and is at the heart of many cultural customs of the inhabitants of the region. The great biological miscellany of this lake includes the famous giant Titicaca frog and the wild duck.
The inhabitants of the islands located in and around this lake have arranged several experiences-based activities, opening amazing opportunity’ for the getting the know-how of the local culture.
The total length of the Peruvian part of Lake Titicaca is considered a wetland of global significance, especially due to the fact that it is a habitat for water birds.
This lake expands up to 8,600 km2, and more than half of it is located in the Peruvian territory. This lake has been divided geographically into three major areas: the Large or Chucuito Lake, having the greatest depth of 283 meters, the Smaller or Winavmarca Lake and in the end the Puno bay. The lake’s only discharge occurs through the Desaguadero River, while the rest is lost through natural evaporation. In essence, this spectacle is one to be seen and marveled upon at least once in a person’s lifetime.
I hope that this article will be of great benefit to the people looking for exotic and relaxing sites to travel within Peril.
The fundamental motivation of writing this article was to give the tourists a flavor of the diverse and magnificent visiting sites Peru has in store and to give them a little idea of the scores of fun activates they can enjoy in this amazing country. I hope this article has been able to achieve this goal.