Traditional boats Chiclayo. Market Central Chiclayo Beach view Mancora
Mancora Beach Surfing Mancora Huaringas
Hi everyone, have been in Peru since March due to the Pandemic. In August the country opened up internally and I have taken the opportunity to do some serious traveling and to catch up on places I have not visited for a while. I began with the north, following the Pacific coast visiting Chiclayo and Trujillo, well known for the Moche and Chimu Civilisation’s followed by Puira and Mancora with its beautiful beaches and climate. I then travelled to Huancabamba which is high up in the Andes, where I stayed four days and spent one night in a place called the Huaringas in the house of a Shaman ( Local Healer ). Very basic but fascinating and also went to the Lagoon called Shimba, which is sacred to the Shamans and participated in ceremony finishing with us all entering the lagoon. After this I travelled to Jaen, which is quite close to the Ecuadorian Border with a very tropical climate. The journey took some 7 hours, crossing the final part of the Andes from Huancabamba which lies at 2,000 meters above sea level and then descending until we reached the coffee areas on the lower slopes of the Andes. It was a spectacular journey, passing through many micro climates until we hit the heat in Jaen. From here begins the high jungle, lots of coffee and fruit to sample and taste. You can visit the coffee plantations and overnight with some of the owners, but you need to choose your month in order to be around for the harvesting period. There are many coffee shops in Jaen and I can guarantee the coffee taste is brilliant. Those that want to do some birding there is an abundance if you travel past the town of San Ignacio, which is about 2 hours from Jaen. From here I travelled to Chachapoyas, which has a more temperate climate due to the altitude which is at 2,300 meters above sea level. It took about three hours, traveling first to Bagua Grande and then to Chachapaoyas, two thirds of the journey is flat high jungle, but unfortunately you are struck by the de-forestation and the lack of trees that once covered this area. Most of it has been cleared for rice, coffee and dairy farming, lots of cows no shortage of milk and cheeses. The last hour of the journey you climb and the landscape changes, we stopped at Gocta, this site is a wonderful place and it has one of the highest waterfalls in the world and yes, its spectacular. There is a small village where you can stay and you can base yourself here instead of Chachapoyas’ in terms of visits. I stayed in Chachapaoyas and visited Kuelap, which was closed due to the Pandemic, but i have been inside before. All other sites here were closed which was unfortunate, but again I have been to all on previous trips. From here I went to Moyabamba, beautiful place to stay, I enjoyed a good week here, great water falls to see and bath in, hot thermal springs and some great jungle walks. I then journeyed to Tarapoto, which is very well connected with its airport. Here they have a well-known water-fall called Ahuashiyacu, where you can bath. Visited the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful lake and a great thermal bath called Paucanyacu. Then onto Lamas with its unusual castle and spectacular scenery and finally some good jungle walks. Tarapoto is the beginning of the low jungle and it is a different experience to Moyabamba. To get around in any of these areas you take the Motto Taxi, basically a motor bike with a two-seater carriage at the back, very cheap and pretty effective. You see few cars, most people ride bikes here, which all gives a very different atmosphere to, America, Europe and the UK. Well from Tarapoto I have now travelled to Yurimaguas, which is a frontier town giving access to the deep jungle. Here you will find if you are lucky tribal people in their typical dresses from well inside the jungle, some do not speak Spanish, only their local language. My idea was to check the departure of the cargo boats which leave for Iquitos with a journey time of about four days. I found one departing in about 12 hours, but decided to not take it this time. There is usually at least one departure per week, but you never really know which day. It’s a great experience you just swing a hammock on the top deck and the boat makes many stops on the way, dropping of cargo and people. There is a kitchen onboard so you have your three meals per day. Did a nice trip on one of the community boats which transports the people to some of the many villages dotted on the river, it’s an experience to be with the community, to get off and find a moto taxi which takes you through the jungle on a basic track to the local village. In this case we visited a small community called Santa Maria. The markets in Yurimaguas are fascinating, you even find oversized maggots being roasted and eaten by the locals. The range of fruit juices are amazing, some you will not have heard off like the Aguaje and Cocona, Coconut water is everywhere, you stop pay a very small amount, its pierced and then you drink, very refreshing. From here I travelled to Juanqui, a small town about two and a half hours from Tarapoto, located on two very large rivers called Abiseo and the Huallaga. It was from here I followed the path to one particular remote village which grows cacao and met Felipe and his family, who spent the whole day showing me where they grow and produce the cacao. Fascinating, I enjoyed a very typical lunch with them, they role fish and yuca inside a banana leave from where you eat, they are called Juanas. Delicious and so healthy, no plate or washing up. I am now in Tingo Maria will update you soon on my new experiences.
Meanwhile do not forget to check my web, have launched a wide range of Seat in Coach, with fixed departures monthly that you can join too, plus two fixed departures in Peru which I will be personally guiding as your tour leader. We have also given some very special offers on these programs. Give it a check and any quires or help, just drop me a line from my web site. If you need some help on general questions again have no problem in answering them!