Paracas, located south of Lima, is a popular excursion from Peru’s capital. It also makes for a great stop when travelling in between Arequipa and Nazca in the south and Lima in the north. It is easy to stay here for a couple of days, watching wildlife, relaxing on beaches and enjoying excellent seafood. If you haven’t had any ceviche yet, this is the place to Peru’s national dish.

Check out the recommendations below for a full list of things to do in Paracas:

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The part I like most about travelling are the people I meet. Whether it’s locals or other travellers, I enjoy talking to them and getting to know them. Yet, on my blog, I have only written about the places I have seen, not about the many encounters I had with people along the way. Which is why I have decided to create a new kind of blog post, in which I will interview locals so everyone has a chance to get to know them and find out what life is like in the countries I’ve travelled to.

My first ‘victim’ is called Jaime. I met him in Cuenca, a beautiful city in the Ecuadorian Andes, where he was our guide on a day trip we took to Cajas National Park.

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Also called the Ciudad Blanca, the White City, Arequipa is one of Peru’s most beautiful cities. Its city centre is made up of colonial buildings, with a lively plaza and a long pedestrian zone. From various spots in the city, you can see volcanoes rising high into the sky. With more museums than one can possibly visit, vibrant markets and the Colca Canyon nearby, Arequipa should be on every Peru itinerary. It is easy to stay busy for a couple of days here.

If you’re looking for suggestions on what to do, keep reading.

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Did you know that Sucre is the capital of Bolivia? No? Neither did I. I used to think it was La Paz. But even though La Paz is the seat of Bolivia’s government, the constitutional capital of the country remains Sucre. It is a beautiful city, famous for its white colonial building, that invites you to go for a walk and visit some of its many museums. Here are some of my highlights from Sucre:

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Located higher than 4000m above sea level, Potosi once was the economic centre of Bolivia. It is known for its silver mines and while nobody knows how much silver has come out of these mines until today, legend says that you could build a bridge from South America to Spain with it and still have metal left.

Soon after the precious metal was found, the Spanish started mining in this area. First, they ensclaved the indigenous population and forced them to work in the mines. When, due to horrible working conditions, the natives had died, they brought in slaves from Africa. Eventually, Bolivia got independence and slavery was abolished, but working conditions have not improved much. Eight million people have died in those mines until today.

These days, Potosi is a beautiful city with a colonial centre that is well worth a visit. Some mines are still active and can be visited. But besides mine tours, there are plenty more things to do in Potosi.

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