After three and a half weeks, we’re finishing up our trip to Peru. We’re flying back to Lima today and then back to Canada tomorrow. It’s definitely been an incredible trip and the longest period of time I’ve spent on vacation! We spent the last week in Manu National Park, it’s located on the eastern side of Peru and is a part of the Amazon Rainforest.
We left Cusco last week and drove for a full day to get to Salvacion, the town we stayed in. We left the Andes and traveled through the mountainous beginnings of the cloud forest as we descended in altitude towards the rainforest. It was one of the scariest roads we’ve traveled on in Peru. We were in a huge bus and the roads felt like they were barely wide enough for us, it had some beautiful views though!
We decided to do a work and travel program in the Amazon in order to save money. We thought we’d be working part time on a conservation project, but it turns out the website we’d booked on was a little out of date and we didn’t end up actually doing any work. The company we worked with is owned by a couple and it ended up just being us on the tour, so we had a very specialized trip!
We spent two nights in town and we spent another two nights in a cabin in the rainforest. We had the opportunity to go bird watching at an oxbow lake and we went on lots of walks in the jungle looking for animals. Seth got lucky and we saw lots of birds! We saw macaws, heron, and the ridiculous looking hoatzin and Amazonian umbrella bird. We also saw lots of different monkeys, frogs, and insects. Seth even saw a few snakes and opossums.
On our last day, we went out for a motorcycle ride to see some more birds and animals. Luckily it was overcast the first two days we were there, when the sun comes out it gets so hot that you can’t really do anything! Overall the trip was different than we expected, but we had a great time exploring in the park. Aside from the animals we saw, we also saw some incredible flora. Everything grows so high in the rainforest, almost no sunlight makes it down to the jungle floor. We saw a kapok tree, the biggest tree in the Amazon, and we spent a lot of time near the Madre de Dios river which eventually flows into the Amazon river.
We’ve been spending our last few days in Cusco. We were going to visit some more Incan ruins, but they’re actually pretty expensive and we decided we’d seen enough ruins, so we’ve been trying some other things. We did some shopping and had an hour long massage with hot stones for the low price of $10! We even spent one afternoon at Cusco’s very own ChocoMuseo, a museum all about chocolate! It was actually super interesting and they had all kinds of chocolate treats for tasting, we particularly enjoyed a chocolate tea that they make.
Yesterday we decided to go white water rafting on the Urubamba River! I’ve been rafting once before in BC and I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it ended up being really fun! The rapids were all class 2 and 3, so they weren’t too overwhelming, but we still had a few laughs when two of the girls fell out of our raft and pulled the guide in with them! Seth and I both managed to stay in the raft the whole time, although I did jump out for a swim at one point. The river runs through the Sacred Valley outside Cusco, so it was a pretty scenic trip with the Andes all around us!
I’m so glad we got to spend several weeks here and had the opportunity to check out a lot of different sites; there’s so much to do in Peru! We skipped several big tourist attractions and we didn’t visit the top half of Peru at all, we easily could have spent several more weeks here. But I am excited to be coming home now and ready to get that piece of paper that says I have a degree! See you all soon!