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We decided to use Peru Hop as our mode of transport from Lima to Cusco, their 7 day itinerary fit in perfectly with the time we needed to be in Cusco for to acclimatise before taking on the Salkantay trek.
Hacienda San Jose with Peru Hop
Our first stop after Lima was Hacienda San Jose – a house with a huge history.
The Hacienda used to be part of a plantation that owned hundreds of slaves. Once the slaves left the ships they had been carried in from Africa they were subjected to walking through narrow, dark tunnels all the way to the house so that the owners could avoid paying taxes.
The tunnels still exist under the house and we were able to explore some of them. There were sudden drops, steps and then rooms off to the side where slaves were apparently tortured.
The house is now used as a hotel, and the difference between the luxury of it now and its horrible history is huge.
Paracas with Peru Hop
A couple more hours on the bus and we arrived in Paracas. Paracas is a tiny town on the coast which seems to simply be a stop off for backpackers to visit the Ballestas Islands.
The Ballesta Islands are sometimes called the poor man’s Galapagos and given that we’re lucky enough to be visiting the real thing we gave the trip to the island a miss.
Instead we spent the morning walking on the beach, watching pelicans scare anybody who dared to walk to close to them, birds diving in to the sea from great heights, and tiny fish jumping out the water.