Category: Peru Destinations.

In Peru Destinations, I’ll write about places I’ve traveled to in Peru, and offer some travel tips too!

Oxapampa, Peru

Getting There:

Flights: There are flights twice a week from Lima to Oxapampa, in the department of Pasco, but its $300 USD each way.  By far, the most economical transport to the region is by bus, around ten hours trip time.

Buses:  Four bus companies make the run each day, traveling only at night.  This is because the road is heavily traveled during the day by logging and mining vehicles, and excessive traffic just passing through Lima.  It’s much faster and safer at night.  All buses leave Lima between 7pm and 8:30pm and arrive in “Oxa” about 6:30am.

  • La Merced – Blue Bus, located in the La Victoria district of Lima, Block 15. La Merced is an OK bus, but others are preferred.
  • La Molina – Pink and Grey Bus, also located at Block 15 of La Victoria
  • Labato – Green Bus, located in La Victoria, Block 21, Good Company
  • Movil Tours – Located on Javier Prado, just two blocks from Cruz del Sur bus terminal. It is a bit more expensive, but awesome service.  It is the only bus line of the four that offers 180 degree seats.  Since the busses travel at night anyway, it is a great time to sleep.  On my trip to Oxapampa, I took Movil Tours.  Going, I opted for the lower deck of the double decker bus, which was 80 Soles ($25) and the seats were a comfortable 160 degrees. I purchased the ticket on their website, and left the return trip open ended not knowing when I would travel back…. On the return trip, I tried the 2nd floor with the 180 degree seats for 110 Soles ($34). Definitely the way to go for a good night’s rest.  If sleeping isn’t your thing, both upper and lower seats offer a tablet style screen with movies, music etc.

While most are sleeping, the route to La Merced, and Oxa winds over the Nevado Ticlio Pass at 4,818 meters (15,807 feet above sea level) The tracks of the highest railway in the world are located at the foot of Ticlio peak.  The bus is heated, and the altitude is hardly noticible just sitting.

Upon arrival at the bus terminal in Oxa, there will be small moto-taxis or Tuk-Tuks as they are called in India, for 1 Sol.  They can take you to your hotel, or to the taxi stand for onward travel.

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What’s the best time to go to Oxapampa?

Climate: Average monthly weather in Oxapampa, Peru

On average, the temperatures are always high.  Night time lows are cooler though.

  • Oxapampa has dry periods in May, June, July, August and September.
  • On average, the warmest month is October, just in time for Octoberfest!
  • On average, the coolest month is July.
  • February is the wettest month.
  • July is the driest month

Typical of most towns, there is a main square lined with restaurants and hotels, as well as small tourist shops.   Oxapampa was founded as a German/Austrian community in the 19th century, which shows in much of the architecture throughout the city.  Its primary staple is ranching and coffee.  Oxapampa is located in the (Selva Alta) or High Jungle area where the mountain foothills meet with the jungle._DSC0261

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Above: Half Timber style architecture.

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I stayed a couple nights at Hostal Cruz, on the main square.  It was clean, with spacious rooms, gift shop, and offered tours.  My main reason for traveling to the region was to meet with a coffee producer in Huancabamba.  I actually stayed in Oxapampa on my way back to Lima.  This is my first post in a series however, because Oxa is the first stop. Hotel prices range from the cheaper hostal to over $100 per night at the Egg Resort.

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The little booths are used during special events and festivals.  Hotels will fill quickly during festivals and concerts.

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Andean woman passing through the park.

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Mopeds and motorcycles are numerous, and a main form of transport for many people.

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Woman taking a break on her D’Onofrio Ice Cream Tricycle.

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Rustic table and stools.

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The church by the main square.  In older photo’s this church was covered with white siding.

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Oxapampa is a launching point into the Biosphere Reserve, and the Yanachaga Chemillen National Park, to see Flora and Fauna.  Much of the Reserve is closed off to human traffic to protect wildlife. Pictured below, a beautiful butterfly in a box being sold at a tourist shop.

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RUPAC

 

Machu Picchu limeño – The Machu Picchu of Lima

 

The trip began in Lima, at the ZBUSS terminal, (Zitabus) at Jr. Julian Pineyro 440 – Rimac – Lima. There is also another terminal at Plaza Norte. Cost: Monday –Friday 7 Soles, Saturday-Sunday 8.50 Soles. DNI, Passport required.

After two hours of Jackie Chan fight scenes playing on the bus TV, we rolled into the city of Huaral, located north, in the state of Lima. We took a taxi a short ride near the Mercado (market) where fresh juice, fruit, and water can be purchased. There were several taxi drivers on the sidewalk and haggling over prices, (around 30-35 Soles each person). Luckily we had a couple from Huaral in our group, and they took us to the Tourista Terminal a short walk back down the road. There a couple of vehicles were hired as we had nine people in our group, for 25 Soles each. (Contact info: Jose Rafael P. Claro: 997277583 Movi: 995729290, or 7252578) Jose can haul up to 7 people, 6 comfortable plus gear on top, and can pick up/drop-off at the bus terminal if arranged ahead of time.

Matucana

For this day trip, my friend Gino and I traveled three hours by bus from Lima, passing Chosica, to the little mountain town of Matucana, which sits at 2389 meters, 7841 feet above sea level, and offers five different hikes or areas to visit. For this outing, we chose the hike to Antankallo waterfall, a short 2.6 km hike with an elevation gain of 361 meters, 1181 feet at the falls.

The trail is well groomed with some trashcans at the midpoint, and the falls. At one point, I rounded a corner and met three ladies from Lima on their descent, wearing flip-flop sandals, and flats. Not much foot protection, but it’s an easy to moderate hike, depending on your personal fitness level. After living in Lima for four years at near sea level, an altitude adjustment was a minor concern.

Matucana is a quiet town, where everyone was very friendly and talkative. Besides hiking, it’s a great place to purchase farm fresh milk, cheese, and butter without the hormones and antibiotics. Un-pasteurized, un-radiated, and I lived to tell about it.

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Lovely fellow-hikers from Lima on the trail.

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XXIV Matsuri AELU 2015 Festival

Yookoso, Bienvenido, Welcome.

This year I attended the 24th annual Matsuri AELU. Matsuri means “Local Festival” in Japanese, and nearly every shrine celebrates its own Matsuri. According to AELU (Asociacion Estadio La Union – Association Union Stadium) land for the club was purchased sometime after WWII, and a community effort ensued for several years to clear the land and build the club. The Japanese colony in Peru began arriving as early as 1800 for various reasons.

During the festival, many different musical talents took to the stage, Karate, Judo, Aikido exhibition, raffles from Air Canada and Delta Airlines for a Lima-Tokyo-Lima flight. Also, an anime orchestra concert, a procession that is an important element of Japanese festivals, in which the local Shrine’s kami (Shinto deity) is carried through the town in mikoshi (a divine palanquins, or portable Shinto shrine). It is the only time of the year when the kami leaves the shrine to be carried around town.

Following the procession, Sake for everyone was passed around. Then the artistic shows began with a traditional dance and eight other dance acts, a special Musical Okinawense and followed up with the grand finale of fireworks. Here are some of the pictures and video, from the event.

 

Click on Pictures to Enlarge:

Chosica

Much of the winter, and much of the year for that matter, Lima is cloudy and sees little sunshine due to an inversion created by the Andes. If a person needs a dose of natural vitamin D, a short trip north, south or east of Lima is often the ticket to catch some rays of sun.
Chosica is a small town east of Lima, about two and a half hours by public bus for 3.50 Soles. Chosica has a large park as the main square, and there are several smaller parks along the Rimac River. It makes a nice day trip; however there are accommodations for an overnight trip.

Temple Of Pachacamac

The Temple of Pachacamac is an archaeological site located 40km (25 miles) SE of Lima, and predates the Inca by several hundred years. Inca construction is visible however as they were the last to inhabit Pachacamac. The site is impressive, but being made of adobe, it is not as lavish as the stone sites in and around Cusco. There are many other Huaca’s (adobe structures and pyramids) scattered around Lima.
Located near the entrance are a museum, and where a guide may be hired. The tour lasts over three hours at the site, with approximately a half-day in total. Book your tour in Lima with a tour agency, and transportation and a guide is provided or public transportation can be taken directly to Pachacamac.

 

For further reading and study on Pachacamac click here