Cities

Top 7 Swimming Pools in High Amazon

Top 7 Swimming Pools in High Amazon

The water in the vast Amazon River system is largely run-off from the Andes Mountains, and some of the most spectacular scenery and interesting wildlife can be found in the region of Northern Peru where these two gigantic geographical features meet - an area known in Spanish as ceja de selva (literally 'jungle's eye-brow') and incorporating a wide range of eco-systems between the altitudes of 500 m (1,640 ft) and 3,000 m (9,840 ft) above sea level. 

Even at a slightly higher elevation, the heat can be stifling, and so a nice swimming pool is extremely welcome for the purpose of cooling down and calmly taking in one's surroundings. We therefore list below some of our favourites in the high Amazon provinces of San Martin and Amazonas. 

Shipibo-Konibo Indians

Shipibo-Konibo Indians

It is estimated that Peru's Amazon is home to 16 language families and around 65 ethnic groups. That this is only an estimate is testament to the vast area of Peru covered by dense Amazon rain forest, in which there are still 'uncontacted' tribes. 

One indigenous people that you are likely to come across are the Shipibo-Konibo, who have traditionally lived along the Ucayali River.

Lima's Rimac District

Lima's Rimac District

Most visitors to Lima's Colonial Centre get a tantalizing glimpse of a district that starkly reflects Lima's contrasts. Visible just north of the Presidential Palace and San Francisco Monastery, across the natural boundary of early Colonial Lima, the Rimac River, is the district named after the river. 

Being so close to Peru's post-Conquest heart, the area has a number of interesting and historic attractions, but it is also evidence of the rapid, chaotic, urban growth that characterizes much of Lima from the 1960s onwards.  

Chachapoyas: Peru's most unexplored region?

Chachapoyas: Peru's most unexplored region?

Gocta Falls is the second highest waterfall in Peru, yet was not scientifically measured until 2006, at which time they were declared the third highest in the world (an opinion since revised several times). They are barely 32 km (20 miles) north of Chachapoyas as the crow (or condor!) flies, and yet had escaped the attention of travellers and researchers.

Ten years later, just how remote and unexplored is Chachapoyas?

Cajamarca: where history was made ... and ignored

Cajamarca: where history was made ... and ignored

The Cuarto del Rescate is one room, of Inca stonework, with a red line drawn at around 2m high, supposedly indicating the height at which the room was to be filled with gold treasures. 

Not really much to indicate the change of regimes, religions, language and world view that the execution of Atahualpa signified. Not to mention the massive loss of life through pestilence and warfare. 

Luckily, Cajamarca has a lot else to offer, even if its remarkable place in history is not abundantly obvious or celebrated.

Walking tour of Central Lima

Walking tour of Central Lima

Despite living in Lima, it is seldom that I actually go to the centre. Over the last 30 years, the economic, cultural and tourist focus has largely shifted to the coastal districts of San Isidro, Barranco and Miraflores, and there are few practical reasons to visit.

So the visit of my photographer friend, James Brunker, offered a great excuse to explore once again, in the company of someone with a keen eye for the details, contrasts and absurdities that central Lima offers in abundance.

Riding with Elvis ... to Three Forests

Riding with Elvis ... to Three Forests

Peru is well known for its diversity, with the much-quoted triumvirate of Coast (Pacific), Mountains (Andes) and Jungle (Amazon) only providing a hint at the number of distinct eco-systems within her borders. To get an intense feel for this diversity, Peru North can recommend making the drive from Tarapoto in the department of San Martin, to Chiclayo in Lambayeque, on Peru's northern coast. And who better to have at the wheel for a journey as intensely spectacular as this, in the company of one's parents, than a driver called 'Elvis'. (This was not a nickname.)