Road Travel Peru (Part 1) – Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Arequipa

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Some people wonder how we can travel so slowly. How much is there to see and do in a country, they wonder. Which got me thinking, how can I show you the charms of road travel? We have 7200 photos of Peru so that’s a tad too many to share…

So I selected 1 topic: the Land Cruiser, which brought the number down to 400. I cut out workshops photos, which left me with a lot of images, but it became manageable and still kept the theme a bit broader than our series Windshield Views from Asia (check here).

Chullpas, old burial sites, in the middle of nowhere.
Flat tire on an asphalt road
First rough camp in Peru, along Lake Titicaca.
Decent asphalt – nice start.

I think this, and the next, photo blog post of Peru will show you that there is enough reason to slow down, turn off the engine, go for a walk, take in the surroundings, and rough camp. Here is part one, from the Bolivian border to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and beyond, and south to Arequipa. Part two will be about the stretch from Arequipa all the way north to the Ecuadorian border. Stay tuned!

For a map with our driven route, plus lots of practical info, check out this Peru information page that we put together for you.

Narrow streets characterize Cusco.

From the Bolivian Border to Cusco

More on this stretch in our blog posts:

In Cusco we camped at the Quinta Lala Campsite, where we enjoyed the company of other overlanders. We had a fun night sharing tips on the stupidest things we had brought on our journey – and the best (read about it here) and we learned to bake bread in our newly purchased Coleman Camp Oven (that fits on our Coleman stove) from a fellow overlander (read about it here).

From Cusco to the Sacred Valley and on to Machu Picchu (Santa Teresa to be exact)

Most people take the train to Agua Calientes and from there go to Machu Picchu. There is another way though, which is exceptionally well suited for overlanders as it is a stunning drive from Ollantaytambo to Santa Teresa. We camped at Cola de Mono campsite and left the Land Cruiser in their care while we hiked to Agua Calientes (about 3 hours, along a railway track; easy and you can’t get lost).

Gian Marco offered us to join him ziplining, which you can read about here, and to see Machu Picchu through Coen’s lens, check out his fabulous pics here.

By the way, if you’re interested in organic food, there is a farm where you can buy it in Ollantaytambo, read about it here.

Salt extraction that started during the Inca era.

From Pisaq to Paucartambo and Manu National Park, and Back

We were in luck as we were able to visit the extraordinary spectacle of the multiple-day Paucartambo Festival, one of our favorite festivals ever (read about it here). It is still very much a local scene, and absolutely worth driving to Paucartambo for, which by the way is pretty much on the way of you want to watch the spectacle of clouds and light from Tres Cruces and/or drive to Manu National Park.

Paucartambo – Tres Cruces; an incredible journey.
Almost back to sea level.
Last stretch is fun off-roading.
From the dry altiplano down to humid jungle.

If you’re interested in any of our camping spots, check out our overview with GPS Waypoints here.

From the highlands down to the tropics.

From Cusco South to Arequipa

From Arequipa we returned to Chile to renew our visa, after which we slowly made our way north via Lima to North Peru.

This is part 1 of a 2-series story about our journey through Peru. Here you can find part 2.

For more on Peru, check out these articles:

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Thank you for your support — Karin-Marijke & Coen

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