Currency: Peruvian nuevo sol (symbol: S/), code PEN
Language: Quechua, Aymara and Spanish
ATM Networks: Common
Electricity: 220V, 60Hz with Type A and Type C plugs
Internet: 69% slower than in U.S. WiFi coverage is moderate. Relatively easy to find one when needed.
Water: Not safe to drink
Tipping: Expected around 10%
My romanticized idea of the legend of the fearless Amazon women served as an impetus to my Amazon jungle adventure. We started in Iquitos, Peru where we got on a canoe and meandered down the river to our lodge which as the pictures show is really rustic with a make-
We would gather around in the evening to chit chat. Clearly there were none of the legendary Amazon women but it was home to the Amazon mosquitoes. They were biting through my pajama.
What was really delightful were a group of resident macaws who were perched by our lodge. I would feed them everyday. It’s quite interesting that each one had a different personality. There were also flocks of parakeets and other birds twitting melodious sounds as they were flying by. Truly a bird lover’s paradise.
During the day, we would go on hikes in the jungle looking for birds, sloths and other jungle denizens. There were lots of plants which had medicinal properties and tree roots which are chock full of water. There were also lots of llanas around. If you are wondering what llanas are, they are those vines that “Tarzan” used to swing from tree to tree.
We walked through the jungle wearing boots as we had to wade through marshes and muddy ground which had leeches. There were no alligators around even then. We also visited an island where the Indians lived. We brought lighter, pencils and other items and did some bartering.
At night we went on canoe rides looking for nocturnal creatures. We had to rely on natural lighting and we had to be very quiet so as not to scare away the animals. Our guide truly had eagle eyes as he would point out a tarantula high up on a tree. We also saw a cayman but that was the only one we encountered.
This was truly an off the beaten path type of adventure although accommodations are much more comfortable now. I suppose modernization is the natural order and I think that most of these nature sites are not what it used to be. I’m glad I went when I did, chigger bites and all.
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Much has been written about Ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew used by the shamans in rituals. Many experience spiritual revelations regarding their purpose on Earth, the true nature of the universe as well as deep insight into how to be the best person they possibly can be.
And so it was that I spent a week in Peru in search of my own spiritual awakening. Purging, in the form of nausea and diarrhea, is an essential part of the experience, as it represents the release of negative energy and emotions built up over the course of one's life.
Except for 2 of us,everyone experienced the psychedelic effects of the brew. We had none of the mind blowing hallucinations. However, i can attest to the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. We had 3 ceremonies spaced every other day. The taste was quite horrible (I don’t know how else to describe it) and I had difficulty ingesting the brew. I would gag every time I tried to drink it and for some reason the shaman always give me a full cup. Just the thought of the taste creates havoc in my stomach and stops me dead on the tracks of trying it again. There must be another way to this path of self-
Since Ayahuasca didn’t seem to have any effect on me aside from the purging, I decided to try Huachuma. Huachuma is a columnar cactus used as a means for esoteric healing in neo-
Properly prepared Huachuma medicine is dark brown in color, similar to coca cola. Like ayahuasca, I couldn’t get used to the taste and had great difficulty drinking the concoction. It made me pensive but I didn’t get the experience I was hoping for -
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Hello and Good-
I was in Lima for only a day and I wish I had stayed longer but this was a sort of gateway to my trip to Northern Peru. I found Lima to be a modern, bustling city. We found a good restaurant that was able to accommodate our group but it seems that everybody was eating out.
Unlike most of my other destinations, my trips to Peru have largely been experiential in purpose.
The first time was a visit to the Amazon Jungle, more an off the beaten path type of trip. Upon arriving in Iquitos, we were herded off in canoes and floated down the river to our lodge. These days, it probably is not as rustic as it had been when I went years ago
The second time I signed up to take part in a shamanic journey This time we were driven through a dirt road through a forest to go deeper into the jungle where the facilities are located.
The third time was similar in nature to the Ayahuasca trip; also involves a shaman, but used a different medium. This trip took me to the northern part of Peru. We drove up to the different mesas where we partook of the huachuma, a concoction made from a type of cactus but tasted just as awful as the ayahuasca.
A word of caution about Iquitos. Be careful with your belongings especially when eating out at a restaurant. Don’t leave anything unattached as it is easy for thieves to just grab and run. One of the participants in our group got his camera stolen.