Peruvians from all classes and walks of life still believe in the power of brujos (witchdoctors), shamanes (shamans) and curanderos (curers) to resolve myriad problems: sickness, broken hearts, business ventures, bad luck, and spiritual threats.
In this age of social media, we were able to keep a close track on the progress of Anglo-Malaysian clients, Andy & Julia Little, as they travelled from Lima to The Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu to Cusco to Lake Titicaca (both Peruvian and Bolivian sides) and back to Lima. Here is a photographic journal of their 'exciting and action-packed' two-week journey.
Except for a tuft between their ears and on the end of their tail, these medium-sized, dark Peruvian dogs are completely hairless. In spite of their unorthodox looks - or perhaps because of them - viringo dogs were prized by the Moche, Chimu and Virus cultures, who included them as sacrifices in many important burials, and depicted them on painted pottery.
One of PeruNorth's first forays into Northern Peru was in 2006, to see first-hand Catarata Gocta, which had just been claimed as the third-highest waterfall in the world. At that time, we learned that Gocta was just one of many drops from this one plateau in the Amazonas province.
In the subsequent years, another of these waterfalls, Yumbilla, had been surveyed by Peru's Geographical Institute (IGN), and found to have a total drop 125 m (407 ft) higher than Gocta. So, it went to top of our list of must-see natural attractions.
When thinking of movement in Amazonia, river transport probably comes to mind. Being home to the longest river in the world, with countless tributaries, it is certainly true that a myriad boats - ranging from dugout canoes to narrow peke-peke speedboats to luxury cruise ships - ply the waterways, carrying people and supplies.
And yet, when you step out of the airport in Iquitos, Tarapoto, Pucallpa, or any city in Peru's Amazon, you will be struck by the sight - and sound - of another form of transport: the mototaxi, which will generally outnumber cars by at least five to one.
Guano (seabird droppings) covers the coastal islands and cliffs of Peru in a thick,
odiferous, white layer. Derived from the Quechua word huanu (manure), guano has
been used as a natural, nitrate-rich fertilizer since pre-Inca times. The sunny atmosphere of the coast bakes in the nitrates, and lack of rain ensures that the droppings are not washed away.
Although the Moche (100 B.C. to A.D. 850) ruled over a relatively small area of the coastal Peru - mainly from Lambayeque in the north, to Nepeña in the province of Ancash in the south, with some influence as far away as Piura and Huarmey, their tremendous cultural contributions made them one of the most important pre-Inca societies.