Many tourists flock to Peru’s most popular wonder, Machu Picchu. This is for good reason, as Machu Picchu is one of the most inspiring and beautiful sites in the world as well as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. However, much of the Northern regions of Peru go unexplored. If travelers only knew the many amazing sites left unseen, I’m sure they would want to add a week or two on to their Peru Expedition. One of my favorite cites is Huanchaco, a beach town that provides epic surfing, fresh seafood, and nearby archeological sites.
It has been argued that Huanchaco is the true birthplace of surfing. Surfing has been tied directly to the local environment and fishing community for more than 2,500 years. Fishermen create reed boats, “Caballitos de Totora” or little reed horses, from the California bulrush plant. The fishermen paddle out in these boats, place fishing nets, haul in the catch, and store it on the boat for the ride back. The boats are made so they are able to ride the waves back to shore from both a kneeling or standing position. These traditional boats are still used today for fishing and occasional surfing, along with modern surfboards. There are surf competitions held throughout the year, and there are plenty of businesses along the boardwalk offering surf gear for rent. A national surf protection law, as well as being honored as a World Surfing Reserve by Save The Waves Coalition helps to protect Haunchaco’s surf breaks.
Huancahco, and Peru in general, has a cold-water ecosystem that is maintained by year round nutrient-rich water upwelling that supports large fisheries. This ecological system has allowed the communities of coastal Peru to thrive as fishermen. What does that mean to travelers? The seafood is to die for! One specific dish is Peruvian ceviche. If you visit, try to book a cooking class where you can learn the different dishes of the region.
PAST MEETS PRESENT
There are many stunning archeological sites in the Northern regions of Peru. A simple day trip can allow you see both Chan Chan Archeological Zone and Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temple of the Sun and Moon).
Chan Chan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the District of Huanchaco. Chan Chan was the capital of the Chimu Kingdom in the 15th century. It is located in the once fertile river valley of Moche or Santa Catalina, and was the largest earthen architecture city in pre-Columbian America. The Moche and Chicama rivers once supplied a surplus of water, which sustained the region around Chan Chan during the height of the Chimu civilisation.
The Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon) are adobe brick temples built by the Moche civilization between 100 CE to 800 CE. Archeologists have estimated that the Huaca del Sol was composed of over 130 million adobe bricks and was the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure built in the Americas. Located at the center of the Moche capital city, the temples appear to have been used for ritual, ceremonial activities and as a royal residence and burial chambers.
Huanchaco has amazing surf, food, sites, but most of all kindest and most interesting people. They care deeply for their Peruvian culture and the environment, and they share that passion with everyone who travels there. While the list of things to do and see in Peru is long, visiting Huanchaco is definitely worth including.
Post written by Kelly Salamone
Seattle resident Nikki Rymer had always wanted to visit Machu Picchu — and thanks to Acanela, she finally got her long-awaited chance to travel to Peru. It was a dream come true, and after she returned home, we loved hearing a little more about her experience. Here’s everything that she told us about her trip.
Best friends Anna and Jillian have always loved traveling with each other. When they found out that Acanela was offering a two-for-one discount on its classic Peru expedition, they jumped at the chance to visit South America together. After their trip ended, Anna told us a little more about traveling to Peru with her best friend.
Henry Thompson and his family had no idea how much they would love Peru. But between the hikes, market visit, cooking class, and llama blessing ceremony that they experienced, this family vacation was a dream come true. Here’s what Henry had to say about the trip.
While there are many things to do and see in the world, some of the most treasured experiences cannot be planned for. Like the time I was invited to a Llama Blessing in the Lares Valley of Peru. The Lares Valley is tucked away behind Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, a journey that will take you past tiny mountain villages that dot the mountainside.
Last October, I had the pleasure of visiting Peru for the first time. I was able to interact with the locals, experience their cuisine, and explore the cities. During my stay, one of the most memorable things was the hospitality from the local people and their willingness to open their hearts to travelers. This life changing trip really inspired me to write about the amazing experiences that makes this destination one of my favorites.
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Many tourists flock to Peru’s most popular wonder, Machu Picchu. This is for good reason, as Machu Picchu is one of the most inspiring and beautiful sites in the world as well as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. However, much of the Northern regions of Peru go unexplored. If travelers only knew the many amazing sites left unseen, I’m sure they would want to add a week or two on to their Peru Expedition.
Imagine taking a 10 hour flight, 3 hour drive, 1 hour train ride , 30 minute public bus, and a a 15 minute hike, you will find yourself at a place voted to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the World--Machu Picchu. While many people visit Machu Picchu, which don't get me wrong - is a spectacular site- they often miss exploring the beauty of the valleys & villages that surround it. Like visiting Juan, his family, and their 1000 alpacas.
Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an experience unlike any other. With three routes to choose from, the trek takes you through the Andes Mountains to the gates of the famous ruins. This journey can be found on many travelers’ bucket lists, and while almost anyone can accomplish it, a lot of important preparation must be done. The expedition will test your physical and mental limits like never before, but the experience and the breathtaking views make it so worth it. Keep reading to learn our tips for hiking the Inca Trail!
A couple weeks ago I went on the most incredible trip with Acanela, and what’s more I was allowed to bring my brother, Cameron, along for free! Together we discovered Peru, learning about their beautiful culture and taking countless photos.
Born and raised in the small village in the Peruvian mountains, Juan has dedicated his life to farming and caring for his family’s home and herds. Because the conditions are so extreme at the top of the Andes mountains, only certain products can survive, namely potatoes, corn, and, of course, Alpacas. This is how they survive in the mountains.
Almeurzo. That mid-afternoon meal where friends and family gather to take time to enjoy one another’s company. It’s not just lunch in Peru. It’s THE meal of the day. Everything comes to a halt for food, and then it’s naptime before heading back to work. Peru celebrates the afternoon like the Europeans celebrates the evening. The magic of a meal, however, is timeless.
Nothing brings people together quite like food. It’s at the heart of so many cultures, and learning about the local cuisine is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a new environment. There are countless destinations across the globe that offer mouthwatering dishes and rich culinary diversity, but some countries reign supreme. Keep reading for the top culinary destinations around the world!
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I feel that sometimes we can get caught up only experiencing the “touristy” locations, but Acanela made sure to show us the real Cusco.
We had the opportunity to travel with some INCREDIBLE Content Creators, Brands, and Influencers on our Tour of Peru! We had an AMAZING time as we immersed ourselves in Peru's BEAUTIFUL culture, cuisine, and landscapes.
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While there are so many things to do and see in Peru, some of the most treasured experiences cannot be planned for. I'll never forget the time we were invited to participate in a Llama Blessing Ceremony (alpaca are commonly blessed, too) in one of the villages outside of Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru.