Published on January 10th, 2016 | by Mark Chesnut
“My Peru” — Travel Box International’s Mo Noubani on Why You Should Visit Southern Peru
If you want to know a destination, ask someone who really knows it well. That’s the concept behind LatinFlyer’s “My” travel series. In this entry, Mo Noubani, owner-operator of The Travel Box International, shares his insider travel tips about southern Peru, one of his favorite places in the world.
Mo was born in the country of Oman and raised in Jordan. “From an early age, I was sent to visit relatives in other countries and so my travel addiction began,” he says. “Travel is my biggest passion in life. I love learning about people and culture first hand.” Mo currently lives in Orlando, Florida, where he runs his leisure travel company, The Travel Box International, which specializes in once-in-a-lifetime experiences. “As a certified luxury travel specialist, I enjoy putting together bucket list trips, which is why Peru is a destination I favor,” he says. Here are his travel tips for the best of southern Peru.
What do you love about southern Peru, and why should people have that region on their vacation itinerary?
Peru is a complex and beautiful destination. It offers a huge contrast of elements. I mean, you can go from beaches to mountains, desert to rainforest all in one country. That said, most visitors focus their itineraries around Machu Picchu and often overlook the south.
The south offers the complete opposite landscape [compared to] the mountains of Cusco and Machu Picchu. In the southern part of country, the desert is the main player and dominates the land. The dunes are endless, and the way the desert meets the pacific makes for stunning landscape views.
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The infamous Nazca Lines are a mystery and sight all its own — it’s simply mesmerizing. Taking a flight over the lines is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that leaves you wondering how these lines originated. There are unique places and towns to visit in the region like Huacachina, a small village around a lake in the middle of the desert. It’s different and I like that. Also, the southern part of the country is where the desert meets the hard-hitting Pacific. It’s a beautiful contrast that sets the rugged coastline.
Having the desert be the key player sets the scene for some fun, adventurous activities, like sand boarding. Other unique activities people can enjoy can be a night out on the desert dunes in a luxury tent, gazing under the dessert stars or ATVing across the endless sand dunes. I personally like unique and adventurous experiences when I travel, and I found that to be the case in southern Peru.
Basically a visit to southern Peru will balance and complete any itinerary to the country.
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You’ve mentioned Paracas National Reserve as a must-see place. What makes that reserve so special?
Though there has been research performed in the area, it remains seemingly untouched in most areas. The land is vast, dramatic, especially where the pacific meets the desert. The sounds of waves crashing to the shoreline can be heard far away off the beach — a dynamic and dramatic coast line. It feels like you are on a different planet. You hear the waves crashing in the distance and no civilization in sight! The open, vast land gets your mind going. It allows you to have a truly spiritual moment of reflection on where we came from and where we are going.
What are some other “must-see” things and places in southern Peru?
There is an abundant array of things that must be seen while in southern Peru. Some of my favorites include exploring the mystery of the Nazca Lines, taking some time to be adventurous on the dunes around Huacachina, a visit to the Paracas National Reserve and one must-not-miss: the beauty of the floating Islands of Lake Titicaca.
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What kinds of food do you recommend that visitors try when they travel to southern Peru? Any personal favorites?
The food scene in Peru is well known to be exotic and full of flavor. There are too many great dishes to pick a favorite. However while I was addicted to my Pisco drinks (the local alcoholic drink) I also enjoyed the most delicious ceviches. I tried different ones at different places and never was disappointed! The roasted chicken (pollo a la brasa) is really good too. I personally have not had cuy (guinea pig), but it’s very popular.
When is the best time of year to visit southern Peru?
This depends on preference. There are some who may disagree, but I think the best time to visit southern Peru would be December to May, when it’s most dry.
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What types of travelers will like southern Peru the best?
Southern Peru is great for those that enjoy adventure and an aspect of being an explorer. Both luxury and budget travelers can find places to stay. it caters to different styles of travelers from Honeymooners/couples looking to create memories that will be unique to families and friends looking for group trips.
How does your background growing up in Jordan influence your views on Peru?
Growing up in Jordan, which is home to Petra, one of the seven world wonders, I always found myself intrigued with other world wonders. Thus Machu Picchu was always a fascination. But then the more research I did about the country the more I became increasingly intrigued by the mystery and adventure that is in the south. The more I read the more I was fascinated, until I went to see firsthand. That’s when I got hooked!