Thoughts on Peru

Arica Travel Blog

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Floating reed island on Lake Titicaca

Ok.. so now that we are in Chile.. I have been reflecting on what I thought of Peru.. There is definetly a difference.. We noticed the difference right at the border.. The Chiliean people were dressed nicely to begin with.. You can tell they have more money for clothing and jewelery etc. So, here we go..

1. Peru.. TAXI´S TAXI TAXI! Everywhere are these little Ford Rabbit looking vehicles they use for taxis. Of course.. Get two passengers and some backpack´s in there and we are bottoming out on every curve!

2. Horns! The horns are NONSTOP in Peru.. The taxi drivers and buses have police sirens too.. They set them off to let you know that they either want you to move.. or they are available to give you a ride.. Ironically.. I never heard a police siren by a police officer.

Two little girls on the reed islands
They don´t have cars. Only motor bikes.. So they use whistles.

3. Poverty.

4. Culture. They have definetly maintained as much of their culture as possible.. Even with the Spanish conquest 500 years ago. It´s really cool to see.. since they have such a colorful culture. There are still 3 official languages for Peru. Spanish, (Keetch-wa), and (Armon-ee) . Well, that is how there are pronounced.. not spelled. The middle is the Incans language and the last is the Pre-Incan tribe that swam out on Lake Titicaca to to avoid being slaughtered when the Incans came.. Then set up living on the on the lake by fashioning the reed islands.

5. Rip Off Artists- well a small minority, but I´m getting bitter! Ok, so the least to trust is the taxi drivers.

Another island in the Uro´s group of islands
They will straight out LIE to you. We were at the bus station to cross into Chile and you can take a bus or taxi. Well, these taxi drivers tried to grab our bags so we would have to go with them.. I was quite stern so they left. Then Ben ran into them again when he was looking at the various bus companies. They told him that a bus was 25 soles and they were only 15 soles (per person) so we should go with them it was much cheaper.. Then Ben blew them off and went looking and found out it was only 6 soles for the bus... Not so bad on the street if you grab one to go somewhere but DO NOT RECOMMEND getting a taxi from the bus station or airport.. Most hostels offer pick up service with your reservation! Always do that! 

6. Machu Picchu is fabulous! They know it so expect to pay full US price when you go to the town at the base Auges Calinetes (hot water- named after the hot springs there)


Boy on a REAL island on Lake Titicaka..
Does not seem to be dangerous for tourist at night in the towns we went to.. Few people have a car so most are out walking home at night... old ladies.. kids etc... Only shady town was Tacna.. but warned about that. It´s the border town between Peru and Chile.. Lots of pick pocketing tourist at night etc.. Especially down by bus station.. we came through and left during the day though.

8. VERRRY little english is known EVEN at the REALLY toursisty towns... Did not expect that.. Thought it would be very common for most to know some english.. Most knew NO english... but fun if you have a little pocket dictionary.

9. KIDS are taught to sell the parents home made product and NOT relent. They basically are taught all the words to beg you to buy their socks they are selling or whatever.

View from our lunch spot. (REAL island on Lake Titicaca)
They follow you relentlessly for you to buy.. Not so much in the city areas as the little villages you go to visit to see the Incan ruins. Expect that.. relentless...  They have also started catching on to the photographs.. To get you to pay them to take their picture.. This guy on a tour took a picture of these kids and they tried to charge us because they though him and his wife were our papa and mama. We had to argue with them that they needed to go tell him to pay them because we didn´t know the guy!

10. is great.. We decided not to couchsurf in the underdeveloped countries.. Hostels are cheap here.. some for as little as 12.00 per night... and we don´t know the language.. Thought it would be funner doing the couchsurfing thing if we could communicate.

11. Puno is the music capital of Peru.. Visit Puno the first two weeks of Feb if you can. There is a festival for a virgin which involves a major musical battle-of-the-bands thing that brings in groups from across Peru.. We were there only for the few days prior to the start so just saw the ¨warm up performances¨which were awesome! Old guys dancing their hearts out in the street! Fun!

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Floating reed island on Lake Titic…
Floating reed island on Lake Titi…
Two little girls on the reed islan…
Two little girls on the reed isla…
Another island in the Uro´s group…
Another island in the Uro´s grou…
Boy on a REAL island on Lake Titic…
Boy on a REAL island on Lake Titi…
View from our lunch spot. (REAL is…
View from our lunch spot. (REAL i…
photo by: jendara