Because of my health, I had to take it slow in Arequipa. I really enjoyed walking around in this beautiful town, saw condors in the Colca Canyon and went island hopping in Lake Titicaca.
Taking it slow in Arequipa
During my first couple of days in Arequipa, I was really drowsy and slow because of all the medicine I had to take (why? Check out the story in this travel diary). Luckily, I was not in a hurry and I had plenty of time. There were many beautiful squares to relax and read a book and when I felt good I visited a museum or wandered around the historic city center.
One of my favorite things was a visit to the Monastery of Santa Catalina. This is a huge complex in the middle of the city center and when you’re walking around the monastery, it feels like you’re in a small medieval village. The walls have a bright blue an red color and there are flowers, trees, and cactuses everywhere. So pretty!
Arequipa is surrounded by volcanoes and the most famous one is El Misti. You can see this picture perfect volcano pretty much everywhere you go in Arequipa, but the best view is from the Yanahuara Scenic Overlook.
Condors in the Colca Canyon
One of the things I really wanted to do during my time in Arequipa, was a hike in the Colca Canyon. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel good enough to go hiking. However, you could also take a one day trip to the canyon, which I booked. We were very lucky to see about 30 (!) Andean condors when we arrived at the viewpoint of the canyon, it was so pretty!
We also made a lot of stops at different viewpoints and got a good view of the canyon. And we also saw lots of lama’s and alpaca’s (they are so cute!).
A rushed day trip is a thing I usually do, but I just had to see the canyon, it was really beautiful.
Isla Taquile & the Uros Islands in Lake Titicaca
When I finally was feeling better, it was time to move on. Next stop: Puno. The town itself is not very nice (although it has some good restaurants), but I really wanted to see Lake Titicaca. I took a long day tour because I really wanted to see more than just the very touristic Uros Islands, and it was a great day. Like I expected, the reed islands were kind of fake. There were dozens of small islands where the ‘locals’ were performing exactly the same show for the tourists. It looked pretty, but it felt like I was in Disneyland.
My favorite part of the tour was a visit to the island Taquile. Very remote and I barely saw any other tourists. We had to hike up to 4000 meters (my first hike after the fall, and it felt so good!) and were rewarded with a spectacular view of Lake Titicaca.
We also had time to go explore a bit on the island and walk around for a bit. It was absolutely stunning.
We had a great lunch (trout) with a view of Lake Titicaca before sailing back to Puno again. Before I left for Peru, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to visit Lake Titicaca, but I’m really glad I did. Next stop: Cusco! In my next travel diary, I will tell you all about this fantastic city and about the four-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
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