North peru, Peru - Dec 24 - Jan 7, 2018
Our trip was full of activity and adventure in Northern Peru for 2-1/2 weeks. Our guide Jhon was young and full of energy and our driver Carlos was an attentive, safe driver. In Trujillo, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sun and Moon Temples and Chan Chan. The demonstration of the straw boats and cooking class in Huanchaco was fantastic.
Heading into the Andes is spectacular. Outside Cajamarca, we loved our hike through Cumbemayo to see the remarkable Andean water works. The Revash was very interesting and we enjoyed our horse ride to the site. Visiting Miguel in his workshop and painting our own Sarcophagus was a lot of fun. Perico and Lola's private conservation property in the Utcubamba Valley was so beautiful and was a favourite of ours. It was hard to say goodbye to them and the family they had visiting at the time. Then off to Kuelap by cable car and another hike to the site...fantastic!
The biggest surprise and highlight for us was our stay at Villa del Monte in the coffee country of Rodriguez de Mendoza. We have a coffee roasting business and requested some time with coffee growers. The home we stayed at in the area was really great and the caretakers living next to the home were warm and friendly. We did an afternoon at an underground cave that was pretty cool although fitting through a small hole to start was a little scary but worth the effort. The best part for us was spending our time with the coffee farmers (owners of Cafe Monteverde) who provided us with such a detailed education of their business from the growing of the coffee at their farm (tasting included) to going to their laboratory in town to watch and participate in grading and cupping of the coffee. This was fantastic for us.
The Gocta Falls is another favourite. The hike is fairly difficult so the horses came in handy. Lunch at the Gocta Lodge is outstanding and so is the view. Our last stop on the coast was the Pyramids of Tucume and Museum Tumbas Reales with the latter being our favourite museum.
With a little more time, Jhon will get better at his English. It's good but sometimes we had translation difficulties. He is a great guide and really cares about what he does. Both him and Carlos were always available and willing to make things work for us.
Thank you Phima Voyages for a great adventure in Northern Peru!
Darlene & Gary Carlton