You can buy a baby alpaca pullover for 30-100€ depending on the quality or a Vicuna scarf for 3000€!
We are not really museum people, but we loved every piece of precolumbian art museum.You can see very beautiful decorative porcalain and ceramics dated to 5000BC but somehow feels like from future. I think Picasso,Myro and Hundertwasser were inspired by looking at what our ancesters produced. What we call today symbolism and minimalism were the styles they used to capture the essence of nature.
Another museum tipp would be the Inka Museum where you can read about how Spanish forbid Incas to paint, play instruments, theatre of any ancesters tradition. They are displaying reformated narrow skulls which was accepted as a sign of nobility.
We left Cusco with unforgettable memories and made our way to Peurto Maldonado looking forward to our jungle adventure.
Leaving the Andeas behind, we flew over what seemed to be like a green blanket, uninterrupted by roads or traces of civilization. In fact Puerto Maldonado is the only town within a radius of 300 kms in Peruvian part of the Amazon. Our guide Fernando with whom we spent the next 6 days , picked us up and drove to the Tambopata river. There, a long tail boat was waiting, to take us to our first lodge Posado Amazonas. After 4 hours of open air boat trip, we arrived at our lodge, by 10 mins walk into the forest, welcomed by the sounds of hundreds of birds. On our first tour we saw a giant opposum and a sweet aguti.
Life starts early in forest, to arrive at the location before the animals wake up you have to be even earlier than chickens :)We woke up around 4:30 every morning and had a 3 hour trekking before we came back for breakfast at 7:30. It may sound a bit difficult but for jet lagged Europeans it couldn’t have been better. And the experience of walking in the dark forest, not knowing what you can face the next minute, until the sunset which is the trigger for thousands of birds to start their daily concert, can not be explained by words. Close to Posada Amazonas, we visited an Oxbow Lake where we saw black caymans warming up, giant river otter family fishing and Piranhas eating leaves.
Our next stop in the Amazon was Tambopata Research Center; a 6 hour journey from Posado. This part of the Amazon was chosen delibaretly by researches for it’s unique forest environment, with the highest concentrations of avian clay licks in the world. A range of animals comes to satisfy their need for salt along the river banks of the region. Waking up 4:30 in the morning and arriving at this quite place and all of a sudden watching hundreds of macaws and parrots meeting up was an amazing experience. Our guide calls it the “bird disco” because of many of the birds coming not only for salt, but to find a partner on the tree tops, showing off with their colourfull wings and unimaginably loud songs.
We spent the next 6 days looking for different species of birds and mammals in this remote national park which is solely owned by nature.The limited presence of humans had done a wonderful conservation of different ecosystems. There are so many species that surprise any scientist: 1,234 types of different butterflies, 592 of birds, 127 of amphibians, 103 of mammals, 74 reptiles and a lot of varieties.
Our experienced guide was able to reproduce their unique songs to call them somewhere near us so that we can see and if we are lucky to capture them with our camera. I noticed that the animals are much more sociable than humans as birds were immediately attempted to come and check their friends once they hear a similar call, whereas some tourists were hardly ever happy to say good morning in the breakfast area when they saw others. One can wonder which one to call animal 🙂
Our last destination was Refugio Amazonas Lodge where we watched the thousands of stars and milky way on a 35mt high tower and felt part of this universe and cosmos. The next morning we went all the way back to Puerto Maldonado to take our flight to our next destination to Ecuador via Lima.
In Lima we experienced the wonders of Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine and interesting but little known fact the Japanese settlers specifically the Nikkei created a cuisine which some would argue not only rivals that surpasses that of the Japanese. Having been to Japan we can vouch that Nikkei cuisine is extremely creative and in itself wort the trip to Lima. Try the Nikkei spin on the Peruvian classic Ceviche or sashimi embelished by jalopenas.
We spent 3 days in Marriott hotel in Miraflores district looking onto Pacific ocean indulging ourselves in the luxury treatment which was well deserved after our adventures.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Peru and are looking forward to going back to discover the wonders of the Paracas National Park to see the incredible animals of Islas Bellestas and the Sechura desert.
Pinar & Craig
Tambopata Macaw Project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tambopata_Macaw_Project
Marriott Lima: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/limdt-jw-marriott-hotel-lima/