We’ve arrived in Arequipa

After a major flight delay that caused us to stay overnight in Lima (compliments of LAN), we arrived in Arequipa this morning under clear, blue skies and warm temperatures.  The 12-hour delay in Quayaquil offered us some down time (in a luxury hotel also compliments of LAN) that we used to plan out the next part of our South American journey.  We now have a high level idea of where we will be going and what we will be doing for the next 3-4 months and we’re very excited about this next leg of our trip.

When we we were in Peru two years ago, we visited Lima, Cusco, and Iquitos; we spent a week in the Amazon jungle and hiked the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu.  This time, we will focus on the southern region around Arequipa and Lake Titicaca which we missed completely the first time around.  After a couple of weeks in this region, we will travel by bus to Bolivia where we have two primary objectives: first secure our Brazilian Visas, and second, visit the salt flats.  We will continue south by bus to Santiago, Chili.  From there, we will fly to the most southern town of Chile, Puntas Arenas where we will spend a couple of weeks hiking in the Patagonia mountain range.  Next we head to the port town of Ushuaia, Argentina – the debarkation point for Antarctica cruises. We are still undecided about this because of the exorbitant cost (prices start at $8,000 per person!).  Hopefully we can snag a good last minute deal that won’t break the bank.

We will then head north, doing some more hiking on the Argentinian side of the Patagonia mountains and ending up in Buenos Aires for a couple of weeks.  Iguazu Falls are a must see and we’ll fit that in somewhere on the way to Brazil.  On March 21, 2012 we are booked on a 21-night transatlantic cruise departing from Sao Paolo, Brazil and ending in Venice, Italy on April 9th.

That pretty much sums up what the next few months look like, but of course, we will continue to be flexible (with the exception of our transatlantic cruise), so we can take advantages of opportunities as they present themselves.  But, back to the present, Arequipa.  We’ve checked into our hostel, Casa de los Pinguinos (House of Penguins) which is very clean and comfortable, and about a ten minute walk from the main plaza.

We’ll spend tomorrow hitting all the sights in town and then we’ll downsize our packs (and store our belongings at the hostel) and head to the Colca Canyon for a multi-day, self-guided trek.  We definitely won’t have internet connection while hiking, nor are we dragging our laptops with us, so we’ll be back online to share our experience later in the week.

On another note, I have added some general info about Peru including the currency (Peruvian Neuvo Sol which has an exchange rate of 1 PEN = 0.38 CAN), the size, the population and some other interesting tidbits about the country.  You can access it from the “Peru” link on the “Where are we now” side bar.  I have also added a summary of our trip to Ecuador which can be accessed from the “Where we’ve been” side bar (near the bottom of the left hand column).

Category: Peru, South America
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