For a downloadable version of Season 2 Episode 6, click here.
SPOILER ALERT!!! Do not go any further if you haven’t listened to today’s big gay Peru episode. Only after you’ve listened should you use these helpful links to plan your own perfect Peruvian escape.
10. A Big Gay Day in Lima
As your day turns into night, sip pisco sours at Picas Bar, a lively lounge owned by Peru’s first openly gay congressman. For a more, um, raucous evening, hit up the notorious Downtown ValeTodo.
Find more gay Lima recommendations on our Gay Latin America episode here.
9. Savour the Sacred Valley
Taste wood-fired empanadas at Santa Lucia Horno Colonial in Pisac. Dare yourself to order the roasted cuy (guinea pig). Appreciate a hearty plate of lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with gravy and french fries). And finally, wallow in the fine art of the potato. Fun fact: Peru is the birthplace of the potato and has over 3000 varieties that are baked, braised and boiled in countless ways.
8. Hike to Rainbow Mountain
It wouldn’t be The Gay Travel Podcast if we didn’t mention Rainbow Mountain. This fabulous peak is a three-hour drive from Cusco followed by a four to five-hour hike through the Andes. Maybe leave the heels behind on this excursion. ?
7. Spend a Night in a Desert Oasis
About 300km/185 mi south of Lima – roughly the equivalent of a five-hour bus ride – is the desert town of Ica. Use this small Peruvian town as the launching point for an overnight experience in Huacachina, an otherworldly desert oasis. Activities in the area include paragliding, sand boarding (think snowboarding but on sand), dune buggy excursions, and simply watching the sunset from atop a dune.
Insider tip: We highly recommend staying at the boutique Huacachina EcoCamp.
6. Ride the Rails to Machu Picchu
When it comes to getting to Machu Picchu, you have two options: by foot or by train. We at Out Adventures celebrate both ways and encourage you to do what makes sense for you. On our Peru: The Amazon and Machu Picchu tour, our gay travellers enjoy the soaring mountain-scape from the comfort of a glass train. If you’re booking your own Peru adventure, you have the option of budget, moderate or luxury train rides.
5. Eat at One of the World’s Best Restaurants in Lima
Lima is home to nine of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants and three of The World’s 50 Best restaurants. We recommend booking a table at Central Restaurant or ámaz, which is entirely focused on highlighting Amazonian ingredients. Alternatively, try Mercado 28 which features a collection of smaller vendors slinging some of the country’s best dishes.
4. Relax in Cusco
Begin your day at Plaza de Armas before navigating the often confusing alleys in search of other notable sights such as Sand Pedro Market, Santo Domingo Convent and Sacsayhuaman ruins. You may also be interested in visiting Cristo Blanco (the Statue of Christ), not because it’s particularly beautiful but rather for the unmissable lookout.
3. Camp along the Inca Trail
This historic and regulated trail is easily the most popular in Peru. To get your hands on an entry permit, book between six and nine months in advance. Use this link to get your permit now. Alternatively, book our Peru: The Inca Trail & Machu Picchu tour to conquer the trail with a group of like-minded, audacious gay travellers.
2. Explore the Amazon
Falling just short of our top Peruvian experience is ‘Explore the Amazon.’ This lush jungle is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and should be experienced at least once. Visitors have the option to explore the Amazon by trail or river, both offering a unique glimpse into an epic ecological site.
If you choose to do an Amazon river cruise and you have the money, Aqua Expeditions is the height of luxury. For those looking to slumber on land, Inca Terra Luxury Lodge is our go-to. Meanwhile, the more audacious will enjoy Tambopata Research Centre
1. Enjoy Sunrise at Machu Picchu
And our top experience in Peru is – Drum roll, please! – MACHU PICCHU!
Unlike many heavily photoshopped destinations, UNESCO World Heritage Machu Picchu exceeds all expectations. It is best appreciated in the morning, just as the world wakes and the sun creeps out from behind the Andes. To achieve this experience, book a night at the nearby Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. Alternatively, book a room in the closest tourist town of Aguas Calientes, which is a 25-minute bus ride away.
Please note: Peruvian authorities have tightened the regulations surrounding Machu Picchu. Read about the new rules here.
Pro Tip: A short stroll from Aguas Calientes is the oft’ overlooked Museo Manuel Chávez Ballon. This is the official Machu Picchu museum and is a delight even for those who generally avoid museums.
Header photo by Paul Lequay at unsplash.com.
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