Ciao Peru, hola Bolivia

Looking back to Peru from the Isla del Sol in Bolivia
Looking back to Peru from the Isla del Sol in Bolivia

With two weeks in Peru done we boarded a night bus from Cusco for the border of Bolivia.

Peru has got some serious game as a tourist destination. The Incan sites are impressive, from Machu Picchu right on through Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The food is a really pleasant surprise. The Colca canyon is just one awesome example of Peru’s stunning geography. Even though we spent most of our time on the main tourist trail it didn’t feel overrun or overpopulated with McDonalds.

There was plenty of Peru we didn’t see including its jungle, beaches and more of its mountainous Andean area. We would have been happy to stay if another country and increasingly imminent plane tickets out of South America hadn’t beckoned. We would happily recommend Peru as a destination to a wide range of people. It’s very accessible but still very authentic.

As ever for us New Zealanders, crossing the border was a slightly surreal experience. There was no plane ticket to be booked and no real advance planning. We turned up at the bus station bought a ticket and woke up approaching the frontier. After a little pernicious bureaucracy when we realised we had lost our departure cards we were in to Bolivia.

Our first stop was Copacabana. On the shores of Lake Titicaca it has so much tourist infrastructure that it’s turning tourists like us away. It is indeed about as tacky as the eponymous Barry Manilow song. But luckily, we’ve been assured, it’s not at all representative of Bolivia.

Ever since we arrived in Bogota and found it surprisingly sensible and European we’ve been looking for some crazy. And we have a sense we’ll find a healthy dose in Bolivia.

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