My trip around the kingdom of Chachapoyas was not my first one out of the department of Lima, but it was indeed the longest so far (21 days) that I did alone to an unknown place; as a matter of fact, when I was 14 years old I went alone twice to Iquitos in the Amazon basin in order to visit my grandparents during my school holidays.
And to be honest with you, the mere thought of traveling alone has always caused me concern and even fear, but I suppose this is just the emotional start of any lonely trip, isn´t it?


I must admit, on the other hand, that it is kind of relief when there is a chance to make a journey with your friends or in a group. Even better if the idea of traveling comes unexpectedly and without so much time to think about it.

Silvia came over us and said with enthusiasm I have a great idea, guys, why don´t we go to Cusco after we finish our job. In those days, we worked temporarily at the airport asking tourists questions about their staying in Perú. Then, we have a few days off until a new poll begins. Alejandra replied just as quickly Cool I have always wanted to visit Machu Picchu…are you in, Sergio?

"Colca Canyon"
Trying to take a snapshot of a condor in the Colca Canyon – Arequipa

It sounds terrific, definitely, but you know what? I have already been to Machu Picchu. But what if we do this route, I suggested, the Colca Canyon first; then the Lake Titicaca and the archaeological site of Sillustani, and finally Cusco?

A couple of days later, we all three met at the bus station on our overnight way to Arequipa. We all were on a tight budget (especially me) so our motto was from the very beginning Save, Save, and Save. Thus, we took night buses as much as possible so we did not pay for accommodation. We did the same on our third night on our way from Arequipa to Puno even though it was very cold. We indeed envied the passengers who carried blankets to cover themselves.

Isla Amantani in the Lake Titicaca
Alejandra, the backpacker and Silvia on Amantani Island hilltop
"Sillustani in Puno"
Alejandra and Silvia modelling at Sillustani – Puno

At the end of our second and fourth nights we had mingled with local people in the town of Chivay (Colca Canyon in Arequipa), and in the Amantani Island in the Lake Titicaca. After sightseeing the impressive site of Sillustani we finally arrived in Cusco in our fifth night, and we stayed there three more nights in order to do the City tour, the Sacred Valley tour as well as the one day Machu Picchu tour.

"Machu Picchu"
the classic Machu Picchu view from Intipunco, the sun´s gate

We decided to take another route on our way back home, and it would not have been better: through Abancay, a small and quiet Andean city. I still remember the wonderful landscape full of hills, mountains, rivers, and snow-capped mountains. Alejandra and Silvia missed these views because they fall asleep due to many mojitos during the night before.

Alone or in a group I can not resist the temptation of traveling around my country.

You may want to read these posts too:

Modern Lima

Lima archaeological museums

Quechua Day

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