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PERU part 1. How to go to Peru on your own, a travel plan for the many

One of the wonders of the world, the magical Machu Picchu – and not after hours spent in a crowded bus but after a three day hike on the Inca Trail. Two days of exploring the waters and islands of Lake Titicaca, also among the local people, for the equivalent of less than a hundred zloty. Turtles, penguins and pelicans within the reach of your hand during a boat trip in Paracas, and an hour later – the taste of pisco as you're surrounded by the sands of the dessert? Dinner in Arequipa with a view at Misti Volcano, and a day later – trekking in the Colca Canyon, a place of unrivalled beauty and the deepest canyon in the world? You can see and experience all this in Peru. And you'll be able to read about it and see it in our photos in the next few days.

How to fulfil your dreams and organise a trip to Peru on your own? How many days you need not only to get a glimpse of this beautiful country but to get a real taste of it that leaves you craving for more? What budget do you need and why is it half the price of the shorter, tiring and only seemingly similar trip with a travel agency, which, in our opinion, is the opposite of real tourism? We are going to answer these and many more questions describing our journey on the "gringo trail", i.e. the most popular – because it is absolutely unique – trail through the southern part of Peru.

Planning is key. We often act spontaneously and it's also how we bought tickets to the land of the Incas, deciding to go there in a matter of minutes, simply not to miss a great promotional offer. Later we buckled down to the task of looking through maps and guides, which turned out to be a smart choice. We secured one of our greatest adventures during hitchhiking in Peru on a winter evening in Warsaw, when we read that it's necessary to book places on the Inca Trail at the beginning of the year – if you're late, you have no chance. Only 500 people a day are let on the beautiful trail that ends with a sunrise at Machu Picchu. The tickets are issued in your name and there are regular passport controls on the route so it's no wonder that contacting licensed travel agencies in Peru in January (only they have the admission ticket) is the only way to see the hundreds year old trail. We succeeded and we're going to tell you how.

We're also going to write about a dancing party with the local people on the Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca and an unexpected greeting of the New Year with the Aymara tribe, when we happened to stop by Bolivia and saw a ritual killing of a llama on a hill on Isla del Sol. Read about this any many other events, including a scare we had when our taxi stopped in a dark alley.

You'll discover Peru in the rhythm of our journey journey, which lasted almost three weeks: we departed from Barcelona to Lima on 11 June, and flew back to Europe on 2 July. Tomorrow, we are going to write about what you should pay attention to when planning a trip to Peru. Enjoy reading and we wish you the most wonderful experiences – just like ours after our hike on the Inca Trail.