Travel Post: Peru in 9 Days | Amazon Rainforest

5:30 PM

I know, I know - it's been quite a while since I last posted. With a full-time job, being a dog mom, working out regularly, and social commitments, it's extremely hard to sit down and actually write a post. I'll try to be better about that! Meanwhile, if you are craving some A Nibble Bit content, I do update my Instagram, Twitter, and now Facebook pretty frequently. Links are below, feel free to subscribe!

Since my last post and now, I have done a lot. I won't bore you with the details, but the most exciting thing I've done within the last half of the year was travel to one of the places I have wanted to go since I was a teenager: Peru!

Why was Peru on my bucket list? Simply put, the reason why most people go to Peru: Machu Picchu.

When I first saw a picture of Machu Picchu, I was blown away. I couldn't believe that it was an actual destination that people could physical visit. It looked so magical, so spiritual, like something out of a movie. So when my friends proposed traveling to Peru together, I jumped at the opportunity.

I was lucky enough to have five other friends to travel to Peru with. I believe that Peru is one of those destinations that is more fun with a group of people. I did not know this prior to planning for this trip, but Peru is a extremely large country with a lot to see. There is something for everyone - from eating your heart out in Lima, to embracing Mother Nature in the Amazon Rainforest, to seeing Cuzco, which is the oldest continually inhabited city in the Western hemisphere. 

We only had 9 days of total vacation time to work with, so we knew this would be a very jam-packed trip. With that in mind, we all planned together to make the most out of our trip. We decided to visit the Amazon Rainforest, Cuzco/Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu of course, Lima, and Huachachina.

We first flew from California to Lima (with a layover in Mexico City). By the way, the Mexico City airport is the worst airport I've ever been to - there is NO air condition, TSA takes forever - due to drug trafficking being a huge problem there - , and people there do not seem to know the concept of deodorant. We landed in Lima, and then from Lima, took a flight to Puerto Maldonado.

Within the next several posts, I will detail our adventure in Peru. I originally wrote recapped my vacation as one giant post, but realized it was fairly long and would be quite tedious to sit through the entire post. :)

My first post is about our adventure in the Amazon Rainforest

Day 1 -  Day 4 | Amazon Rainforest

We flew to Puerto Maldonado, a city in Southeastern Peru in the Amazon rainforest, so that we could travel to the rainforest. This is where our group separated for a few days. A couple of our friends chose to go to Arequipa instead. Four of us stayed at a lodge in the Amazon rainforest.

We used Amazon Planet as our lodging for 3 nights and 4 days during our stay in the rainforest. It was an all-inclusive package, and included lodging, meals, tours, and travel to and from the airport. I admit I was initially very, very frightened about the thought of staying in a lodge in the Amazon for such a long duration of time, but I was pleasantly surprised at how fun the entire experience was! We stayed in lodges with wide, netted windows and woke up to the sounds of the animals in the rainforest every night.

There was a lot to do in the Amazon. We learned a lot about the trees and animals that live there. We saw many exotic animals, such as caimans, macaws (parrots), tarantulas, snakes, leaf cutter ants, and many more. We did countless activities: caiman hunting at night, rowed in Sandoval Lake, hiked up a suspension bridge to a canopy to watch macaws fly to their nests at night, and hiked through the rainforest during the day and at night.

Gathering around an animal in the rainforest
My brave friend Venus crossing a bridge.
A bee-you-tee-ful butterfly

The suspension bridge that led to the canopy. This was one of the most FRIGHTENING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. The suspension bridge was not very steady and I felt like I would plunge to my death. Thankfully, I made it up the bridge!

On top of the canopy! This is a blurry picture but I felt it depicted what the canopy looked like. We got to see birds fly back to their nests all around us. So lovely!

Hiking through the Amazon

A mushroom

Leaf cutter ants!

These are called "monkey ladders"

Hey little turtle!

a rather large Amazonian tree!

I will say that the worst thing was the presence of the damn mosquitos that flocked to us and constantly feasted on our juicy human skin. Despite our efforts to relentlessly slather mosquito repellent on our skin and clothes (we even sprayed down our clothes prior to our trip), I still got many mosquito bites.

One of the things that stood out at Amazon Planet was the food. We had a group of talented cooks who prepared us delicious, hearty Peruvian meals:

Potatoes in the shape of a chicken on top of some salad

Lomo saltado...this was heavenly
Peruvian tamale

The entire experience in the Amazon rainforest was nothing short of magical; I highly recommend it to anyone who likes adventure, animals, and/or nature.

Read the next post in the series about Sacred Valley in Peru!

*We have my friend to thank for these beautiful pictures throughout the next couple of posts. A few of these pictures were taken on my GoPro, but most pictures were taken by my friend, Alex Botao Wong. 

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