It's all about preparation/prevention. I'm disappointed at this article that mostly spoke negatively of Peru. If they had prepared by reading up or asking around on traveling to Peru, they could've had a great trip as I did. It would've informed them to book way in advance to secure legitimate tour guides, how to prevent/prepare for robberies, obtaining Diamox for altitude sickness, avoiding seafood and fresh vegetables to prevent food poisoning, etc. I wish I could've written an article on my travels to Peru last year, which was awesome!!!
I think that if you are going to Peru you need to plan and do your research. You need to educate your self about the culture and the surroundings. You need a guide to see all the right places. If your going to a country and you dont speak the language then why would you not have a guide to begin with?? Peru is one of the most amazing countries in the world. Nobody even whats to hear or read this stupid article. Reading this article just makes me mad that somebody can be this ignorant in their travel plans and then make the people of Peru look this bad.This article does not justify the beatiful country of Peru and it should be taken off the internet. ASAP.
Great job Claus! You wrote a very interesting, amusing, and informative article about your trip to Peru. You told it from your own perspective and didn't hold back on your opinion. Not everyone are professional travellers who plan ahead and have a perfect trip. You're not the Director of Tourism for Peru or getting paid to write this article so you don't have to tell only the good things about your trip. I wish you could write a travel review on all of the places that I plan to visit. By the way that pig plate looked like something out of the t.v. show "Fear Factor". Keep up the great work! Colin.
I agree with Mokihana808 & Massey 84: So many of your mishaps sound like the result of poor research, a lack of simple travelers' common sense (keeping your passport in a backpack?!!), and a refusal to learn about the people and their culture. I spent 3 weeks this past summer in Peru as a single female traveler and had a wonderful time. The local people I interacted with were warm and hospitable. I met up with other solo travelers with whom I exchanged travel tips or for safety purposes we traveled to common destinations. A lot of the whiney complaints you make sound like you were expecting the same living standards as the United States. If that is your expectation on a vacation, you should probably limit yourself to domestic travel - perhaps Disneyworld. Peru is a fascinating country, and your article reflects a very sheltered and paranoid view.
This is Claus. Thanks, all, for making mine one of the more-read articles this month! I guess controversy will always do that.
And thanks, Colin, and to the people who wrote directly to me but didn't post public comments, for the nice feedback. That is very kind of you- and I appreciate that you took my review in the spirit in which I hoped people would.
It's unfortunate that Peru fans are upset by my negative point of view, but I stand by my words. I allow for the possibility that I had a spate of bad luck, but we did do our research. And this still happened.
This falls under the range of experiences that people can (unfortunately) have. I hope someone will read my article and take it as a cautionary tale, and then be encouraged to do MORE research before heading to Peru.
After all, we can't all be as lucky and as thorough as the folks who feel they had a fantastic time, and then felt compelled to post raving rants back at me.
Cheers, and see you next month!
This is Chunk again. Your description of dissenting opinions as "raging rants" is, sadly, a bit extreme, as was the description of your disastrous trip. I have read a couple of your other travel stories as well and am baffled that you view yourself as "an adventure traveler". I had friends from other states read your Peru story (and who did not post comments) to get their impressions. They, too, said your view smacks of xenophobia. So Claus, like you, I stand by my words, and stand by my opinion that you and your wife are better suited to doing your next "extreme" vacation at Disney's Adventureland.
I have read your article and first of all let me express my deepest sympathy in having the worst vacation in Peru. Virtually, all the things that one fears when going abroad - not just to Peru - seemed to have happened to you.
However, like others have said, this could all have been avoided with a little more research which you even recommended others to do. Fair enough.
With a little research you'd have known that is EXTREMELY recommended that you being your trip by visiting Arequipa FIRST and then Cuzco/Puno. Arequipa sits at the midway point between Lima (sea level, per se) and Cuzco.
Stopping in Arequipa allows you to get acclimatized to the high altitude of Cuzco and Puno; otherwise you'll get sick as you did.
Another point, RIMAC is a no-no when going to Lima. It is located on the backside of the the Historic Centre and it is a very poor part of Lima. It is well documented as a dangerous neighbourhood.
Furthermore, when booking hotels/hostels (if you spend more than $40 or $50 a night consider yourself ripped off) MOST if not ALL of them offer free transportation from the airport, bus terminal, to the hotel. So getting ripped off on the way there would be expected.
As a third-world country, you should also know off the bat, that sanitation wouldn't be a top priority. When eating any type of seafood, you really gotta pick your spots. Don't walk into any "crab-shack" and expect a 5-fork dish. Unless I know the restaurant I am going to, I avoid sea food like the plague. Who really knows how the meal is prepared in these "lesser" known restaurants.
To sum up, a lot of the things you have described here could have been easily, easily avoided if a little more research had been done. It is all spelled out in the Lonely Planet book, not sure how anyone could miss those warnings.
I was in Lima last year in February (summer) for 2 weeks and found the architecture in the Historic Centre to be nothing like anything I've seen throughout North America (except New Mexico, perhaps) an "unattractive version of LA"? I think that statement speaks volumes. Personally, I have seen better LEGO buildings elsewhere than LA.
Ironically, now that you know what to expect in Peru, I am very positive that you'll have a much better time on your next trip. But already decided against it.
I've been living in Peru for a year, and this is pretty much true, I know it makes Peruvians look bad but it's the truth....yeah. I agree with Claus Hansen.