The best way to visit the South Coast

 Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUS – The best way to visit the South Coast!

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit the South Coast in Peru! If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in the South Coast



South Coast Travel Essentials – What you need to know about a visit to the South Coast

A Short Overview – A short, but a very informative overview of the South Coast region of Peru. It discusses climate, history and even lists a few things to do while visiting!

Idea-Packed Travel Guide – A helpful travel guide that provides a more in-depth overview plus more! They even have a section to help you plan your trip ie. different transportation options, medical etc.


Things to do in the South Coast

Adventures You Can’t Miss Out On – A short but excitement packed list of activities to do while visiting the South Coast. Riding and sandboarding on the dunes sounds like a ton of fun! Have you ever done either of those?



Things to do with kids in the South Coast

Family Friendly Activities – If you by chance, need to take your little ones on a vacation with you, don’t fret! In the South Coast of Peru, there are many fun and family-friendly activities that everyone can enjoy!

Where to eat in the South Coast

Food For The Trip – A great list of restaurants located all along the South Coast of Peru. If you click on the name of the restaurant, you will be able to see the location, contact information, and a short description!


Where to stay in the South Coast

Finding A Place To Stay – A great list of some beautiful hotels located along the South Coast. As with the link for the restaurants above, once a hotel name is clicked you will be able to view a short description, location, contact details and you can even book a room directly from the page! How convenient is that?!

Children Friendly Accommodations – A short list of four great options for child-friendly accommodations while visiting the South Coast! Don’t worry, you will have the chance to relax! All of these hotels have been kid tested, and approved!



The best way to visit Nazca, Peru

 Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUS – The best way to visit Nazca, Peru!

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit Nazca, Peru. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in Nazca, Peru



Nazca Lines Travel Essentials – What you need to know about a visit to Nazca, Peru

A Mystery of Old – This is a fantastic post from National Geographic that speaks about the history of the Nazca lines – aren’t they incredible? Have you ever heard a theory as to how they got there?

Things You May Not Know – This is a short list of 15 fun facts about the Nazca lines that you may not know as of yet! The lime in the rocks helps keep the designs from eroding! They are a pretty stunning sight if you ask me!

Prepare For The Trip – This post is a very informative, and helpful place to find tips on how to prepare for your flight about the Nazca lines! It’s better to be safe than sorry as they always say!

Things to do in Nazca, Peru

There’s More Than Lines Nearby – Nazca, Peru is home to many exciting activities other than just flying above the lines. This list provides 7 other options that are sure to delight! Have you ever been to Nazca, Peru? What did you do to bide the time?

Keeping Busy in Nazca – While this isn’t a post – it’s a good list of thing you can do while in Nazca, Peru! Among the activities are quite a few interesting museums and some ancient ruins, not to mention much more! You are able to see the ratings, and reviews that each location has acquired.




Where to eat in Nazca, Peru

Food For The Trip – A decent sized list of great restaurants in and around the area of Nazca. If you click on the name of the restaurant you’ll be able to see price range, website, and a short description! Pretty helpful, I’d say!



Where to stay in Nazca, Peru

Finding A Place To Stay – A great list of some beautiful hotels in and around Nazca, Peru! If you click on the name of the hotel, you can see their website, location, price range and a short description!

An Alternative Option – If you are staying in Nazca, Peru and are looking for an affordable place to stay – consider this highly related hostel! It’s clean, bright and comes with some wonderful amenities!



The best way to visit Kuelap & Gocta Falls

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUS – The best way to visit Kuelap & Gocta Falls!

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit Kuelap & Gocta Falls. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in Kuelap & Gocta Falls


Kuelap & Gocta Falls Travel Essentials – What you need to know about a visit to Kuelap & Gocta Falls

An Adventure Into The Unknown – This blog post is about a woman who decided to take a trip to Peru with her siblings. Unfortunately, their plans to visit the Machu Picchu ruins were canceled and they decided to make the best of their day and go exploring instead! A great post to read through!

An impressive View – This post is actually part two of a two-part post. You can find the first part here! This stunning location was only discovered several years ago – can you believe that? It’s definitely worth the trip just for the view alone!


Things to do in Kuelap & Gocta Falls


Hiking With Mermaids – I found this post to be fantastic – it’s an up close and honest opinion about the trek to Gocta Falls. It even mentions a fun folklore story about a mermaid who bathes in the pool under the waterfall.

Tour The Fortress – One of the best things to do in Chachapoyas is of course…to visit Kuelap! Such an impressive structure! It stills holds the remains of animal sacrifices thousands of years ago! Its current residents are a herd of llamas that tend to not be so friendly.



Where to eat in Kuelap & Gocta Falls

Food For The Trip – While this is not a post, it is a very informative list of restaurants that can be found in and around Chachapoyas. There are many reviews for each of the restaurant so you will know what to expect! If you click on the name of the restaurant, more information will pop up such as phone number, photos and the website of the restaurant itself.


Where to stay in Kuelap & Gocta Falls

Lodging It In Chachapoyas – There are many opportunities to find affordable and comfortable places to stay in Chachapoyas. This is a great and long list of hotels and hostels in the area. If you click on the name of the location, you’ll be able to see all of the features and have the option to book!


5 best reads before trekking in Peru

Are you heading off on a trek in Peru soon? Here are some ‘must read’ books that will get you inspired (or scared) to pull on your boots and get out and discover! These are a little more specific than general Peru reads, but just perfect if you want in-depth knowledge of the Incas, and their empire and the people that recently have explored this fabled land.

  1. Turn Right at Machu Picchu (by Mark Adams)
  2. Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie
  3. Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham
  4. The White Rock by Hugh Thomson
  5. Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa

For reviews of each book, please visit our website.



Things to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Apus Peru FOCUSThings to do in the Sacred Valley, Peru

This series is a collection of travel tips and stories shared by other bloggers and traveler’s around the web.

We hope these tips and stories will inform and inspire you to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already been, please share a tip on things to see and do in the Sacred Valley.




Sacred Valley Travel Essentials – What You Need To Know About a Visit To The Sacred Valley

Exploring The Sacred Valley – While this article does not provide a lot of text, what it does provide is many pictures to help paint an image of the region, especially for those who have never been. I find images to be helpful to gain a sense of what the culture, and community is like.

The Symbolism Is Strong With This One – This is a fun read that highlights the story of how the beloved ruins of the Sacred Valley came to be.

The photo below is just one example of these ruins. It shows a close up of the God Tunupa
overlooking the city of Ollantaytambo

Things To Do In The Sacred Valley

Hiking With Llamas…And Kids! – Peru is known for its many incredible trekking trails. This one just so happens to be kid friendly! You get the chance to get to hang out with some pretty cool llamas as well as hike with them – who wouldn’t want to do that?!

To Market, We Will Go – It’s no secret that the Cusco region hosts one of the world’s most famous markets drawing many tourists and visitors! As it is a tourist destination, it can be a little hectic at times, remain patient and take your time as this is one stop worth waiting for! Also, please note that some of the vendors may not enjoy having their photo taken, so please ask before doing so!



Festivals Galore – The Sacred Valley hosts some incredible and exciting festivals throughout the year! This is a great, and helpful calendar of sorts that highlights when each festival takes place as well as a short description of each. The festivals provide a chance to not only see but to take part in the culture.

Learning On Vacation – While visiting, why not take up a few fun and exciting classes? These are just a few that are offered through this particular group. You can take cooking classes, learn how to weave and even learn Spanish!



Another Path Less Traveled – Speaking of weaving, Apus Peru offers a tour designed to take you away from hiking the dirt trails and instead give you a glimpse at another village tradition – weaving! (don’t worry, we still go hiking). This particular village is one of three that our NGO Threads of Peru works with!

Where To Stay in the Sacred Valley

A Family Friendly Stay – If your looking for somewhere family friendly to stay – look no further! This blog post has you covered! Please note that these suggestions are not limited to just families – anyone can stay! I found this post to be helpful as it highlighted the pros and cons of each of the three main towns located in the Sacred Valley



Photo via



The Best Of The Best – This is a longer list of suggestions on where to stay when visiting the Sacred Valley. Again, these are family friendly but not limited to just families. Each hotel has a fantastic little description along with it, as well as a photo!

Don’t Break The Bank – If you are a solo hiker, or even a couple looking for a quick and clean place to stay, this is a list of many hostels located in the region. With affordable prices, they might be a worthwhile option! I love that this site provides reviews of those who have visited previously so that you know what to expect from each.

Sacred Valley Hotel – recommendations from the folks at Apus Peru. These hotels have been tried and tested by people that work in the area.




 Where To Eat In The Sacred Valley

Looking For Food Fuel In The Sacred Valley – A fantastic travel website that breaks the restaurants down by not only area but cuisine type too! It uses a simple dollar sign to show the range of prices for each restaurant – how helpful! When clicking on each restaurant it will open a new page which has a short description, address, phone and website of each restaurant should they have one.

Ausangate Trek « why should someone do this trek? why is it special »



¨Ausangate¨ or ¨Auzangate¨ is a mountain, located in the region of Ocongate, at an altitude of 6384 meters (20,945 ft), this is one of the highest mountains in the Cusco region and in fact the whole of Peru. The hike around the base of the Ausangate mountain includes  spectacular mountain scenery and highland wildlife. The Ausangate trek is becoming an increasingly popular trek, that is usually 5 days long but can be done in even 4 days).

The mountain is highly significant in Incan mythology. Every year the QollorRiti festival (Quechua for “snow star”) attracts thousands of Quechua pilgrims as well as an increasing number of tourists. It takes place one week before the Corpus Christi feast.

The region is inhabited by llama and alpaca herds, and constitutes one of the few remaining farming communities of its kind, in the world. During this hike you have to walk between lakes (each is a different color) and snow capped peaks, you can actually hear the slabs of ice as they crack, crumble, and finally crash to the waters below.


 On the First day, you start to walk from Tinqui (the biggest town near to the Ausangate Mountain) to arrive in Upis, which is the first campsite and where it is possible to enjoy some beautiful hot springs.  On the second day, you have to climb the first pass  at 5 000 metres  to get to the Ausangate Lake for the second campsite. On the third day, you have to go to Jampa after climbing another 5000 meters pass, and if you don’t have time you could stay for the night. If you have time to continue, you can go to Pacchanta (it is possible to enjoy a dinner and a beer at the hot springs). You need to ascend  another pass at 5000 meters for this. On the fourth day, you return to Tinqui, from where you will be transported back to Cusco.

 To be honest, it is one of the most beautiful treks around Cusco, having awesome scenery every day. Compared to the Salkantay trek, it is quiet and remote during the hike, and even though it is a famous trek, you don’t have lots of tourism. In addition, the scenery is more beautiful than Salkatay in my opinion. Of course this trek is difficult, but not impossible. It will be easier to enjoy this trek with an expert guide, and all the equipment from Apus Peru .

Apus Peru offers a number of Ausangate options!

5 day traditional Ausangate trek:

The All new in 2016 Ausangate and Vinicunca Trek:

Also mentioned in this story is the Qollor Riti Piligrimage:


A Short Trek with the Llama Pack Project

Everyone wants to see llamas while in Peru, and a trek with The Llama Pack Project is an excellent chance to do just that, while at the same time supporting an eco-friendly enterprise.

We heartily recommend this trek as a great option for a family outing while you are staying in the Sacred Valley. Additionally, farmers, animal lovers, or those with an interest in animal husbandry would find this to be a satisfying activity!

My family and I opted for the half-day trip, which was basically a short, steep hike up a hill, accompanied by a herd of llamas. Miss M loved the hike: she casually took the hand of one of the herders and off she went! The climb was quite hard for Nana, who, at 71, is fit, but the hill was rather steep.

1-Miss M took hand, trekking with llamas, trekking with kids,  sacred valley family holiday

Miss M casually took the hand of one of the herders and off they went!

This was a fantastic chance to get up close and personal with llamas – and these are just not any llamas – these are purebred llamas, large, robust, and handsome. Miss M became friends with two cute females, Chincha and Aceituna – though we were cautioned not to let her get too close, as these are still animals from a herd. (i.e., they are friendly, but not super tame)

Getting up close- but not too close

Getting up close- but not too close!

We loved hearing about the work of the Llama Pack Project. Like our non-profit project, Threads of Peru, this NGO is dedicated to the revitalizing of ancient traditions in Peru -in this case the use of llamas as pack animals.

The llama, a species of the camelid family, was first bred by ancient Peruvians for carrying loads in the Andes. Much larger than the other domesticated camelid, the alpaca, they have certain attributes that make them gentler on the environment than mules and horses. For one thing, they are easier on foliage: mules and horses cut grasses and plants close to the ground when grazing, rather than nibbling the green leaves off as camelids do. Most importantly, camelids have soft padded feet that don’t cause erosion like the hooves of horses.

Dont cause erosion

The llamas’ soft feet don’t cause erosion like the hooves of horses do.

Over the past few centuries, since the time of the Spanish conquest, the llama has fallen into disuse as a pack animal. Its relative, the alpaca, has always been valued for its fine fleece, but the cargo-carrying ability of the llama was perceived as much less valuable. Llamas were also perceived as less useful than Spanish mules or horses, which can carry up to 20% of their weight. Since their weight is greater than that of a llama, they can be given heavier loads. A 1200 lb. (545 kg.) horse can carry up to 240 lbs.(109 kg.) ; in contrast, a 400 lb. (182 kg.) llama can carry 80 lbs., (36 kg.) at the most.

Contributing to the devaluation of the llama was the fact that the local people allowed llamas and alpacas to breed together, creating a smaller llama with inferior wool as compared to a pure alpaca.

Enter the Llama Pack Project, aiming to improve the breeding genetics of the llama, and by doing so have the llama re-valued (and therefore used more), thus creating another source of income for high Andean communities. They started out four years ago with breeding sire “Guapo” (handsome in Spanish), a purebred llama who is capable of carrying a large load. As a stud sire, he is rotated among 9 communities in the Sacred Valley and Lares region, and is improving the genetics and animal husbandry in those areas.

Large beautiful llamas

These large, beautiful llamas are the result of improved animal husbandry.

In addition, the folks at Llama Pack Project have been educating the local people on the value of using llamas for transporting goods and carrying equipment on tourist trips.

This is where travel agencies like Apus Peru come in. We can play a significant role in generating a groundswell of support for the idea of re-introducing llamas to common use in the mountains.

If you would like Apus Peru to organize a llama trip for you and your family or companions, please email us at

1-Took the Hand

Trekking with llamas- a family activity.