I’ve yet to discover Peru. It’s sad, as most people know that my first trip to South America occured in 2004 and I lived in Mendoza, Argentina, between 2007 and 2011.What most people don’t realize is that when I flew south in 2007, I intended to travel the length of the Andes, from Patagonia to Colombia. Undoubtedly, the most dreamed about portion of the entire journey was my desire to discover Peru.
Without doubt, I can say that my entire globetrotting lifestyle is a direct result of reading about Machu Picchu as a teenager.
Fast forward a decade since my first trip to South America and I’ve become something of an adventure photographer. I love to spent time in the rugged outdoors, discovering new landscapes and the people that call them home. I’ve got plenty of new reason’s to Discover Peru.
Why I Want to Discover Peru
The sport of bikepacking hadn’t been invented when I first learned of Peru; however, it’s one of the primary reasons I now wish to visit peru. When legendary bikepacker and writer Cass Gilbert attempted to circumnavigate the Cordillera Blanca on his Surly Ogre, I was hooked on both the destination and the sport.
The scenery on the Cordillera Blanca is both phenomenal and well known. It’s the setting of Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void, appears in my all-time favorite ski movie, Solitude, and dances in my imagination. These mountains are the real deal; the alpine shores of Lake Carhuachocha sit at 4138 m, which is a few hundred metres taller than the highest summit in my hometown Canadian Rockies.
While bikepacking – basically offroad cycle touring – is my largest draw to Peru, here are five other amazing adventure’s I’d love to complete:
- Hike the Inca Trail – Anybody can take the train to Machu Picchu, but I’d like to earn my arrival by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This 43-km route connects the archaeological sites of Runcuracay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, Wiñay Wayna and Machu Picchu in an epic 4-5 day hiking adventure.
- Sandboard Giant Sand Dunes – I’ve been a skier my entire life, but I’ve snowboarded enough to tackle most double black diamond runs at local ski resorts. I’d love to strap into a snowboard and take on the sand dunes in Huacachin in an epic winter meets desert showdown.
- Trek the Canon del Colca – As an adventure photographer, I like getting unusually close to wildlife. It can be a tough task when attempting to capture condors, as these magnificent birds often soar high overhead. At the Colca Canyon, condors soar at head level, suspended in wind currents rising from the canyon floor.
- Explore the Rainforest around Iquitos – When I picture the Amazon Rainforest, I can barely imagine a human footprint. The city of Iquitos is smack-dab in the middle of the Amazon Basin and despite being home to more than 500 000 residents, it’s inaccessible by road. It takes a small aircraft or boat to arrive in Iquitos and I’d love to explore it’s isolated surroundings.
- Beach Bum on the Coast – Peru is also home to 3000 km of Pacific Ocean shoreline and it’s home to some killer surf near Mancora. The craziest part? The waves aren’t massive, so a beginner can hit the waters. And the beaches aren’t crowded, as there is essentially no surf industry in Peru. Rather than 5-star surf resorts, the miles of empty coastline are simply lined with the world’s longest left point break waves.
But adventure is just my reason for visiting Peru. It doesn’t need to be yours! Check out the video by Marca Peru at the top of this post to learn more about Peru’s modern history, ancient past, and luxurious style!
*This post is sponsored by Marca Peru*