While enjoying our last few weeks in Valparaíso (and wondering what we would do next), a very alluring email appeared in my inbox.
Paul and Renée, the caretakers of Casa Amelia in Huanchaco, Peru were heading back to Holland for the month of July and asked if would we like to come stay the month for a reduced rate.
It took less than five minutes for us fully commit – but getting to Huanchaco would take up nearly two weeks of hard traveling!
In case you were wondering, here’s what our itinerary looked like:
Valparaíso to La Serena
June 8th: 6 hours by bus
La Serena to Copiapó
June 10th: 5 hours and 15 minutes
Copiapó to Antofagasta
June 12th: 8 hours
Antofagasta to Arica
June 13th: 10 hours
Arica to Arequipa
June 19th: 30 minutes to the border; 1/2 hour at the border; 6 hours to Arequipa
Arequipa to Lima
June 21st: 16 hours
Lima to Huanchaco
June 24th: 9 hours
But for several reasons, traveling this way really paid off. Even with taking so many bus fares, we saved a goodly sum over flying. We also enjoyed watching the scenery slide by outside the windows and had the opportunity to see a few new places:
- La Serena, Chile seemed to be a really lovely beach town. Sure, it was overcast and chilly while we were there, but we very much enjoyed Hostal El Arbol with its quiet atmosphere and communal breakfast table. It was pleasant walking down the main thoroughfare to the beach with huge palm trees lining the wide pedestrian avenue all the way to a red and white lighthouse. The surfing looked good, too. We even found a nice Thai restaurant.
- Antofagasta, Chile was nice as well. It’s a very modern city, the economy of which is fueled by the mining industry. Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest city we’ve ever visited – not by a long shot – but it felt real.
Oh, and we stopped in Lima to enjoy the most delicious club sandwich ever at La Lucha in Parque Kennedy.
Our arrival in Huanchaco was the beginning of a 7-week love affair. That’s coming soon.