Tag Archives: Peru

10 Tips & Tricks for Bus Travel in Peru

26 Jun
travel by bus to Cusco

Cusco

Traveling within Peru by bus is one of the best ways to discover the unrivalled landscapes the country has to offer – something you’ll definitely miss with the plane. Brimming with a myriad of scenic gems, Peru’s buses pass through many regional sites that will awaken your inner wanderlust. If you’re currently in South America or planning an upcoming trip, here are our 10 tips & tricks for bus travel in Peru.

1. Get ready for high altitudes
Wondering why bus travel in Peru is longer than your usual trek? High altitudes are to blame, and they can reach 5000 meters above sea level. If you aren’t used to traveling on these routes, you may start to feel tired and dizzy thanks to the low air pressure up there.

2. But know how to curb its effects
The best way to deal with high altitudes is to be sure you stay hydrated, pack altitude sickness pills, and avoid overexerting yourself.

3. Discover Peruvian snacks at bus terminals

Delving into the local fare is a fun way to discover other cultures. Want to begin sampling the region’s food before stepping off the bus? Mouth-watering snacks you’ll come across at Peru’s terminals include juanes, tamales, and humitas, which are all neatly wrapped up in traditional leaves. These goodies are easy to pack, making them perfect for on-the-go munchies.

4. Don’t forget to layer
It can get chilly depending where you are, so bring an extra sweater. From the Andes, to the Peruvian Amazon, traveling through many geographical regions means experiencing different temperatures!

5. Admire the scenery
If you’re traveling by day, you’ll begin sightseeing before reaching your destination. With prime views of the Peruvian panorama, unearth the many coastlines, canyons, mountains, and active volcanoes that dot the landscape – for free. If you pass through small towns, you’ll even get the chance to observe how the locals live.

6. Take advantage of full stops
Another great way to snap Instagram-worthy pictures is by getting off the bus! Not only are these breaks welcome after hours of sitting, they’re the best way to get a sense of Peru’s picturesque backdrop. These are also popular locations to buy souvenirs as local crafts people set up shop here – no need to worry about buying gifts during your stay.

7. Research and book your bus tickets online
Search your departure date & time and book your ticket with Busbud. Once that’s done, simply arrive at the bus terminal and board stress free! This is also the easiest way to ensure you are booking through a safe and reliable bus company – and it’s an eco-friendly alternative to other modes of transportation.

8. Opt for luxury
Consider upgrading to first class for ultimate comfort during long day trips or an overnighter. Peru has some pretty luxurious coach buses that are at par with some airline cabins. They offer reclining leather seats, WiFi, power outlets, movie screens, air conditioning, and a hostess that serves onboard snacks and meals.

9. Learn the lingo 
Knowing a few key words and phrases in Spanish will come in handy for bus travel in Peru: Bus (autobús), bus station (estación de autobús), Where is the bus stop? (¿Dónde está la parada del autobús?), schedule (horario), arrival (llegada), departure (salida), destination (destino), bus driver (conductor de autobús).

10. Talk to your bus driver
If you do speak the language, chat your driver up during breaks. You’ll be amazed at how much they know – and how much they’ve seen. They will even give you tips on which side of the bus you should sit on to get the nicest views…and photos!

Have you taken the bus throughout Peru and have some tips you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Q&A with Lainie from Raising Miro on Travel and the Road of Life

19 Jan
Miro and Lainie from Raising Miro

Miro and Lainie from Raising Miro

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured Nicole and Cameron Wears from Traveling Canucks. Today, we’re happy to feature Miro & Lainie from Raising Miro.

Lainie and Miro are a mother and son team who have traveled to 12 countries and experienced many personal changes, living an inspired possession-free-lifestyle, volunteering and learning naturally. They are blessed to be accidental unschoolers and have become advocates for “life learning” at any age.

1) Where are you now? What are 3 reasons why you picked this place?

We are currently in Cusco, Peru. We have been in Peru for over a year already, and the last four of those months we’ve spent here, high in the Andes, deep in the Sacred Valley. There are several reasons that have initially drawn us here, and several more that have kept us here. Briefly, both Miro and I are taken aback with the powerful energy of this country. It’s a cultural, historical, mystical and harmonious place. The people, although culturally diverse, are kind and welcoming. But mostly the landscape, ruins, history and countless mysteries inviting us to participate deeper keep us here. Peru has provided a fertile ground for all kinds of investigation and natural learning for both Miro and myself.

Miro and Lainie in Tambapata

Tambapata, Peru

2) What has been your favourite place so far, and why?

Miro and I both have different answers as we both have different interests. For example, Miro’s very keen on some of the adventure aspects of our trip. Ica, Peru was one of his favourite spots because of the vast sand dunes (and the ever-so-fast dune-buggies that bounce up and down with speed ), the deep amazon jungle for the wild adventures, sounds and the first hand experiences of animal and plant life not found anywhere else on the planet, and finally the capital, for so many reasons that remind him of the comfort of home and it’s wonderful sushi eateries topping the list.

For me, I am enthralled with ancient cultures, archeology and mysticism. I love the southern coast of Peru, including Nasca and Paracas for stretching my imagination and allowing ‘other worldly’ ideas to become a part of my vocabulary (yes, I’m talking “Ancient Aliens”). I loved the jungle too, having spent days and nights acutely aware of my surroundings, being invited to be deeply planted in each passing moment of presence. But at the moment, my heart belongs in the Sacred Valley, near the ancient structures left behind by the Inca and the mysterious pre-Inca cultures, temping my imagination with each new star-gate, elongated skull, megalithic structure and petroglyth I personally experience.

Raising-Miro-Chan-Chan

Miro at Chan Chan

3) How do you decide on your next destination?

Two factors determine our ‘next destination’. First, depending on where we are geographically, we normally decide to go where is next (I know, very Zen.) Second, our destination depends on our budget. If we are inspired to go farther than where the next bus will take us, if we can afford to go, we will.

But how we decide is equally important to two other factors. First, Miro and I are partners in our journey. It’s based on a conversation between the both of us. If Miro feels strongly about one way or another, we talk about it. And vice-versa for me. Sometimes it’s about giving and taking, for example our 8 month stay in Lima was because Miro was very comfortable and wanted to be there. After a period of time, I was inspired to be closer to the archeological sites and that was my preference to move to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Yes, we are partners.

Next, we both are keenly in touch with our inspiration and our intuition. There had never been a case where Miro and I disagreed about a destination or moving on since our inspiration and intuition are finely tuned within ourselves and with each other. Being guided by inspiration is a blessing and we both listen.

On the way to the Ballestas Islands

On the way to the Ballestas Islands

4) I really enjoyed reading your perspective about unschooling and learning math, and I agree with you that ultimately, it’s up to the parents and their children to decide. But what about learning social iterations? I’m sure that by travelling together so much, you and Miro must meet a lot of people. What are some valuable social lessons that you’ve acquired and can’t be learned in a classroom environment

I’ve been told by many, the answer to this question should be the basis for a book. Maybe it will someday, since I’m certain I could fill many, many pages. But for now, would like to present a question to you, and your readers. When is there a point in our lives that we are NOT learning? It a matter of framing the experiences we are having as such.

You are right in assuming we meet people of all walks of life, all ages, all interests, all social and economical status. As humans we are social creatures and function within social structures. The difference between a child educated in the world, the world being his classroom, is that he / she interacts with a cross section that more represents life, because in fact, it is life! Children in traditional school systems are put in a classroom to socialize only with those of their same biological age. To me, that’s arbitrary and not conducive of learning social lessons. As for curriculum, math, other ‘educational’ topics, I invite you and your readers to visit our web site, as we talk a lot about learning, as in ‘natural learning’ which is also known as ‘unschooling‘.

In fact, you can read about my unschooling too.. (remember my question above about ‘when are we not learning?’ This also applies to me. )

5) What is a great anecdote you have about a bus ride you’ve taken in your travels?

Both Miro and I don’t mind bus rides, even like the long ones from time to time. We have been on two 40 hour bus rides at different times on our journey. And once in Guatemala, we were caught in a shuttle bus for 30 hours in a bad storm where the roads were literally washed out. In this case, Miro and I got to observe the best and the worst of ‘creating your own reality”. We were both patient, wide-eyed and accepting of what was happening. On the other hand, we were in the company of a couple of travellers who choose to experience the situation in a very negative manner. Both Miro and I were observers, and choose to learn in every experience, reflect and grow than making the choice to suffer, judge, or condemn what is happening. (Again, very Zen, right?) I wrote about that experience in detail here.

Miro with an Alpaca

Miro with an Alpaca

6) At Busbud, our mission is to make bus travel information easy to find so that travelers can make better travel decisions. Have you ever had difficulty going around to places due to language barrier? How do you manage communicate when you don’t speak a local language?

At this point, we’ve been traveling for the last 3 1/2 years in Latin America. My Spanish is embarrassing, but Miro’s is fluent. We’ve both learned what we’ve learned through listening. But there have been times and will continue to be times where we cannot communicate accurately with others. But I can say, the most important aspect of communication is tapping into your own humanity, recognizing that in others, and of course SMILE all the time!

Lainie and Miro at Machu Picchu

Lainie and Miro at Machu Picchu

7) Finally, do you have some advice for those who are seeking to be nomads like you?

I would say, fear is the most common reason people do not embark on a lifestyle like ours. If you are interested in a travel lifestyle and are frozen with fear, here’s my most valuable piece of advice:

First take your own journey inward. Learn to listen to what fears are coming, up, learn to decipher the difference in your fear voice or your inspiration.

This focus will keep you grounded when your rational mind is cycling through the giant to do list, feeling stressed and fearful, and experiencing self doubt. Yes, it’s all part of the experience, (and it’s magnified once you are on the road) unless you have tools to keep the surface noise in check.

Just what is that spark of inspiration that led you to this place? Let’s look at the ‘spark’ itself. Like any living thing, it needs attention to stay activated, to remain alive. Simply, give it attention. Give it attention often. Feel the feelings associated with your inspiration and just sit with it. With a little practice, you’ll be able to access that feeling at a second’s notice, and it’s there with you when you need it. And that connection will keep you safe and your journey fear-free. Then, you can get back to enjoying and appreciating all the ups and downs of travel, even those occasional 30 hour shuttle bus adventures!

Thanks Lainie! You can get in touch with her on Facebook. And follow Lainie and Miro’s adventures on Raising Miro.

Photos by Lainie Liberti at Raising Miro

Miro in Lima

Miro in Lima

Q&A with Nomadic Samuel: Teaching Abroad, Epic Bus Journeys and… Ostrich Rides?

31 Jan

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we contact travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured with Matthew Kepnes from NomadicMatt. Today, we’re happy to share an interview with Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel, a travel blog featuring photos, videos & quirky travel stories along with photography tips, interviews, ESL tips, reviews and general travel advice.

Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel at Angkor Wat

Samuel Jeffery from Nomadic Samuel is not your typical travel nomad. Originally from Canada, he’s spent the majority of his 20’s overseas working diverse jobs in Asia. He’s visited 26 countries during his 6 years abroad, and his longest bus journey was 68 continuous hours from Quito, Ecuador to Puno, Peru! We’re happy to feature him today.

1) Where are you now, and where are you headed next?

I’m currently based in Asia as a digital nomad. I’ve most recently visited some friends in Korea and Taiwan and now I’m figuring out where to base myself. With so many attractive options it’s very hard to narrow it down exactly!

2) You’re a self-described jack of all trades with a long list of skills and careers. Which one of these skills have you found most useful while traveling, and which job have you found most fulfilling while living a long-term lifestyle on the road?

This is a great question! In my opinion, my skills and qualifications as a teacher have come in most handy while being based overseas. Prior to becoming a digital nomad I literally funded all of my backpacking expeditions through my savings teaching overseas. Now that I’m a digital nomad, I feel as though my skills as a travel writer, photographer and v-logger are what’s going to allow me to continue earning a living on the road. I think having the background as a teacher is very comforting because I know if for some reason I was struggling financially or not making ends meet with my travel related projects, I could always go back to teaching temporarily.

Taking a picture at La Paz

3) At Busbud, we’re focused on making bus travel easier. What tips would you give for new travelers, and which countries have you found most bus-friendly?

I’ve had some fantastic journeys by bus. Two countries that immediately come to mind when I think of excellent trips and services are Argentina and Chile. Not only were the buses modern and comfortable but I was also provided with delicious meals and other on board snacks and entertainment. For new travelers, I would suggest bringing enough items to keep you entertained. Charging your iPod, Kindle or other portable media player will allow you to pass the hours on long trips. Additionally, having some books or guidebooks to read are a great way to kill time. Finally, bringing some items such as a neck rest, sleeping mask and/or ear plugs will certainly help you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

4) You’ve ridden by camel, horse, donkey, elephant and ostrich. Can you elaborate on the ostrich experience and how it compares to bus travel?

LOL! I can say immediately that I’d much rather be on a bus than an ostrich. If the ostrich was capable of speaking it would have said something like this: “You want to go on a ride? HA! I’ll give you one you won’t forget anytime soon.” It literally tore around the pen and I felt I was riding a bucking bronco. I would compare an ostrich ride to some of my the most treacherous bus journeys I’ve ever been on in Bolivia. In both cases, I was somewhat fearing for my life!

Climbing Macchu Picchu

5) Do you have an interesting bus story to share with our readers?

Although I have many tales of misfortune that I could get into I’ll pick something positive. When I was travelling in South America I met some of my closest friends that I still keep in touch with on various bus journeys. Many of my trips were 24 hours or longer providing the perfect opportunity to get to know whoever I was sitting next to. When traveling by bus I would suggest keeping an open mind. A great new friend might be sitting next to you.

6) You’re Canadian (like us!). What’s your favorite hockey team?

I’m a huge fan of Team Canada during the Olympics and World Juniors, but I must admit I’m a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan. Even worse is that I’m originally from a small town located on Vancouver island, so the recent rivalry between the Blackhawks and Canucks has been especially intense for me. I was in Sucre, Bolivia when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. I was prancing around the courtyard on this occasion and a mostly European crowd didn’t have the slightest idea what was going on.

Giant cactus in Norte Argentino

7) Finally, what’s the most rewarding thing that keeps you passionate about travel after 6 years and 26 countries?

The stimulation I feel from being in an exotic land and experiencing something new keeps me going. Furthermore, certain places I loved visiting feel more like home when I come back again. I feel like I’m living my life to its fullest potential when I’m on the road. I know this is what I’m meant to do. I still get goosebumps the same way I did on my first journey. I absolutely love what I do :)

Thanks Samuel!

Samuel Jeffery is the wizard behind the curtain pulling the strings of Nomadic Samuel Travel Site. He also runs other travel related sites like Smiling Faces Travel Photos. You can get in touch with him on Facebook, Twitter , Stumble Upon, Youtube & Google +.

Photos by Samuel Jeffery

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