world map

Peru

More than Machu Picchu

date of entry 25/05/1997
mileage 168,301

capital Lima

area 1.285.220 km²

population 29.546.963

GDP 173,5 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Spanish/Quechua/Aymara

Gunther and Christine Holtorf travelled to Peru six times with Otto. Most Europeans probably automatically associate this state in the Andes with the mysterious Inca city of Machu Picchu, which is visited by around 2,000 people every day. But Peru has a few more attractions to offer. Otto visited both the capital, Lima, and the isolated rainforest city of Iquitos. He explored the Amazon Basin and parts of the Atacama Desert, and drove at a height of 4,800 metres along what was for many years the highest railway line in the world. Of course, the itinerary then also took in Machu Picchu, although Gunther and Christine Holtorf had to explore that without Otto: the city, which is more than 500 years old, is car-free.
  • However, Otto survived every leg in good shape.
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  • Machu Picchu is probably the first thing that occurs to most people when Peru is mentioned.
    1  of  22
  • The 15th century Inca city is world-famous and attracts about 2,000 visitors every day. Jahrhundert ist weltberühmt und zieht täglich etwa 2000 Besucher an
    2  of  22
  • Gunther and Christine Holtorf likewise took time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with its stone images.
    3  of  22
  • Cusco is the starting-point for trips to Machu Picchu.
    4  of  22
  • The capital of the province bearing the same name in the Peruvian highlands is located at a height of 3,400 metres.
    5  of  22
  • At the Inca fortress Sacsayhuaman, they were especially fascinated by the stone blocks assembled without any gaps, which are kept in position without mortar.
    6  of  22
  • Peru also contains part of the Amazon Basin.
    7  of  22
  • The many bridges there can often be crossed by only one vehicle at a time. Patience is required.
    8  of  22
  • The Peruvian part of the Amazon Basin is home to the country’s biggest nature reserve.
    9  of  22
  • Gunther and Christine Holtorf explored the highlands, with their isolated farms and endless stone walls, thoroughly...
    10  of  22
  • ... and also paid a visit to the Peruvian part of the Atacama Desert. It is regarded as one of the driest landscapes in the world.
    11  of  22
  • Otto coped with the Peruvian roads by himself – others were not so lucky.
    12  of  22
  • The Andes are the second-highest mountain range in the world, after the Himalayas.
    13  of  22
  • The railway line between Lima and Huancayo was, until 2006, the highest in the world. Then it was overtaken by the Lhasa railway in Tibet.
    14  of  22
  • Banana harvest: in Peru, tropical fruits are grown for export.
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  • They are also available in abundance at the local markets.
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  • A "Cholita", as traditionally-dressed women are known in Peru, does her weaving on the street.
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  • As always, Gunther and Christine Holtorf enjoyed mixing with local people.
    18  of  22
  • And they, in turn, gave the visitors a friendly reception.
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  • On the Amazon, parts of the journey were completed by ship.
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  • The ferries did not always inspire confidence at first glance.
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  • Video: Peru – more than just Machu Picchu.

Otto was here before ...

Bolivia

date of entry 25 May 1997
mileage 168,352

Argentina

date of entry 29 May 1997
mileage 169,758