Traveling Light: Peru Overview

Posted on May 04, 2016 by Sean MacDonald

(View from the La Aurora hotel, Huaraz Peru)

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Peru and visit some beautiful places. I also tested out a lot of new photography gear that is either new to the market or new to our store. In this first post, I am just going to give a trip overview and then follow up with posts about some of the photography gear used and how to capture images like these.

Why Peru?

My wife is from Peru and her parents still live in Lima, so we travel to visit them every couple years. This year we not only visited Lima, which can be a whole trip in itself, but also were able to visit the Huascaran National Park near Huaraz, Peru. This city is situated in the Andes mountains, and is many times refereed to as the Switzerland of Peru because of the many snow capped peaks in the beautiful mountain range. It was an amazing opportunity to view God's beautiful creation and a great place to test out my travel light kit that I put together.

Our first few days in Lima were spent settling in and spending time with family. Peru is also becoming world famous for its cuisine because of the blend of many different cultures from the Pacific region and Asia. Peru also offers many unique plant varieties from the Amazon forest that can only be found in this region, as well as fresh sea food from the Pacific Ocean. This combination of cultures and resources blends into world class flavors and foods only found here.

After a few days in Lima, we flew to Huarez, Peru on a small propeller plane. It was an amazing flight traveling over the Andes mountain, and I had a window seat!

One of the sites we visited was the buried city of Yungay. In 1970, this city of almost 20,000 was buried from a massive landslide from a nearby mountain caused by a very strong earthquake. You can read the history here.


Huascarán National Park

Our second destination was the Huascarán National Park. Popular among climbers and mountaineers, it is a beautiful range of mountains and lakes that create stunning views. The trek to the park is no easy task either. Rustic roads and mountain switchbacks take adventurers to a starting height of 11,000 ft at the parks entrance and climbs to 22,000 at the summit of mount Huascarán.

The road through the park ends at one of the many mountain lakes in the range. The lakes are filled by the run off water from the snow caps as they melt, giving them a unique color from the minerals picked up along the way. This is as far as vehicles can go, and beyond this point it requires hiking into the mountains with guides. We did not bring adequate gear to hike, so this was the farthest point for us. The return ride back provided another great opportunity to soak in more Peruvian landscape scenes and experience the lifestyle lived here.

Stay tuned for following posts about the gear used and tips for travel photography!


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