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  • Writer's pictureFatua

Peru Retreat Brochure & Travel Recommendations

Updated: Mar 9

Joining me in the rainforest on retreat in Peru at Novalis?

Here is the brochure for details about:

  • traveling to & from Peru from your home country, & the jungle

  • packing list

  • what to expect living in the rainforest

  • further retreat details

  • Puerto Maldonado town

  • information about visiting Cusco & the sacred valley

*Scroll to the bottom below the photo brochure for specific hotel & restaurant recommendations




























TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS


Puerto Maldonado


Accommodations


Wasai is in a great location along the river and just a minute’s walk to the plaza de armas (main square). It is close to some of our favorite restaurants. They have a swimming pool, air conditioned rooms, restaurant, and incorporate the jungle into the scenery. Their newer rooms are really lovely and have balconies, however, they are closer to the street and are more noisy. I prefer the older rooms that are closer to the river and are more quiet, and also more affordable. You can book on booking.com, note that they have two different links depending on if you are booking the newer rooms vs. the older ones.


La Fauna Hotel

Affordable shared rooms, hostel vibes, single rooms available, cute outdoor garden, bar, and balcony seating areas. Does not have AC, but has fans, also a close walk to the plaza.


Beautiful & secure, peaceful forest grounds just on the outskirts of town off a dirt road. Most taxis can easily get you there, but if they don’t know the way it is best to show it to them on the GPS, or have the hotel send a car taxi for you. Kapievi has a slightly more “luxe” vibe, comfortable beds, a pool, included breakfast, option to have lunch and dinner, and is a good way to escape the hustle and bustle of town. The only downside is they do not have AC, so the rooms can be stuffy, and you will need to call a taxi every time you want to leave, and return.


Hotel Tambopata Inn

Affordable rooms, shareable, walkable, simple and practical.


*All above rooms are available on booking.com


Restaurants


La Semilla

La Semilla was previously owned by Juan & Cassandra, and is one of the only places in town with organic coffee and food. It has an upper outdoor seating area and downstairs garden patio, and features juices, smoothies, treats, buddha bowls, pizzas, & wraps, and some locally made artisan items for sale. It is just a block from the plaza, and often where we meet before we head to Novalis together.


Cacao Center

Owned and operated by our dear friend Ava, Cacao Center features cacao from Ava’s farm, as well as delicious and beautifully crafted food, she has created an experience. Juices, açaí & smoothie bowls, cacao, treats, purple pancakes, waffles with lots of local fruit, pad thai and even veggie burgers, her place is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just two blocks off the same street as Wasai past the police station, and is a quiet escape from the busy part of the city. You will be happy here, bring an extra mug along and take your leftover cacao with you.


Típico Sabor

This is a favorite local spot, literally called “typical taste of the region,” and is 10 minute drive from the plaza via moto taxi. Fresh caught fish is steamed in leaves over an outdoor grill, and served with local traditional food such as plantain balls, yucca, and mini salad, or rice. It is simple, cheap, and delicious. If you don’t know spanish, order the “patarashka,” and then you will be asked if you want the head “cabello” or tail “cola” of the fish, and tell them which you prefer. You order at the table and go to pay separately in the back when you are finished.

To get there, look up “El Embrujo” restaurant on google maps, (because típico doesn’t show up) and go literally across the street. You will know you are at the right place if you see a painting of an owl and a tree frog on the wall inside, and the block has 4 or 5 restaurants that all basically serve the same thing, but we like Típico the best.

*The fish here is farmed outside of the main river, so it is safe to eat


Panachos

Behold, a bakery! Fresh bread, sandwiches, treats, burgers, good vibes. Be mindful of the dairy (in general in this town, it can be too rich when working with ayahuasca, and a lot of the cheese in Puerto is sold non-refrigerated).


Local Market: Mercado Modelo Puerto Maldonado

Any moto taxi will you take you here, you will find everything from tropical fruits, clothes, kitchen supplies, flowers, mapacho, agua de florida, coca leaves, honey, shoes, hammocks, rain ponchos, etc. This is where we go to get most of what we need for ceremonies and groceries.

You will see many vendors on the side of the main street, but go inside the market through blue gated doors, there are multiple entrances, its open air with lots of stalls inside. You can get food and juice here as well, just choose wisely as the market is a bit less clean.


Playa Verde Bio Tienda: (Organic Goods Store in the Plaza)

This shop has a beautiful vibe with things like locally made soaps, and natural body products, coconut sugar, jewelry, artisan items, bug spray, teas, essential oils, incense, local artisan beers, kombucha, delicious popsicles and other fun things.


There is a little art store in the plaza too, if you desire paint, pencils, notebooks, or supplies, if you are going into the jungle for dieta, sometimes making art is a great activity during that week.


Laundry:

Lavanderia Burbujas

Va. 2 de Mayo 769 (+51 982497738)

This is the laundry service we all use at Novalis. They often can return your laundry to you the same day if you ask, but to be safe it is best to drop it off and expect to pick it up the next day. So far my clothes are always returned and my white clothes remain white.

*In Peru, you won’t usually find a laundromat or washer to do your laundry yourself, it is custom to drop off your laundry


Notes on Puerto:

Puerto is generally safe around the plaza areas of the city, and it is also busy, so it is always a good idea to keep your belongings close to you, especially when in the market.

It is okay to walk around the main square/area at night where there are many people, but don’t walk around alone on the outskirts of town.


Food Safety: The river in the region is unfortunately polluted with mercury due to gold mining operations, so be careful with eating fish, farmed fish is usually safer.

Ideally before ayahuasca you are cutting out dairy, but know that the cheese sold in puerto is not always refrigerated, and multiple people have experienced diarrhea from eating it.


*As with Peru & many countries in this area of the world, be careful eating raw produce, and never drink the water. (Buy bottled unless you are positive the water has been meticulously filtered). If produce is not properly cleaned or interacts with unclean water, you can get very sick. When in doubt, eat cooked food.

(at La Semilla I do eat the salad and have been fine).


Moto Taxi Costs:

From the plaza to the market should cost 5 soles.

From the plaza to Kapievi should be 10 soles.

From the airport to the plaza/Wasai should cost 20 soles.

From town to the puerto pastora dock runs about 25 soles.

Most of the taxis are moto taxis you sit in the back inside, in Puerto there are also moto taxis that are just a guy and his motorbike, he will have a taxi vest on and you can literally just hop on the back of his bike if you choose. Car taxis are more easily found at the airport, or we can arrange to connect you with one if you prefer.


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Cusco


Accommodations

There are so many places to stay in Cusco, over the years I have stayed in everything from hostels, hotels, boutique places and airbnbs. Booking.com and airbnb will give you many options, I recommend to stay in San Blas area, that is the main plaza with lots of shops, restaurants, and many fun alleyways to explore. Honestly I have my favorites, but also find it fun to stay somewhere new and have a different experience every time. Prices are lower doing low season, and higher during busier tourist times.


Amaru Colonial & Amaru Inca

These are two different hotels but operated by the same people, and both have a similar vibe, cozy, charming, views, cute, clean, and reasonably priced, in a great spot in the neighborhood, a close walk to the plaza and right outside a couple of my favorite restaurants, one being Green Point.


Antigua Casona San Blas & Spa

This hotel is beautiful, they have a water filter, outdoor fireplaces, a restaurant, art exhibitions, and cozy rooms. If you want to treat yourself, this is the place, and during low season they drop their prices immensely.


You do not have to stay here to book a spa day, where you can get a delicious massage, sit in the steam room with fresh local eucalyptus plants, and enjoy a whirlpool with fresh fruit. The massage is amazing and the entire experience is worth it, and costs $60-95 USD.


Selina Plaza De Armas

Selina Hostels are worldwide, and the Cusco one has its own charm and in another corner of San Blas to explore. They always have events going on, and a bar, so if you are looking to meet other travelers, share a room, or have your own space, this Selina has a sweet vibe.


Casa de La Gringa Mountain House

Gardens, close to the temple of the moon, huachuma (san pedro cactus) ceremonies


*Booking.com & airbnb will offer you endless options of places to stay, it is hard to go wrong


Food:

There are so many amazing restaurants in Cusco, from local dishes to vegan and organic places. Google maps will help you to find whatever your tastebuds are desiring, these are some of my favorites.


Green Point

A total vibe, with an outdoor garden, serving up delicious vegan food and desserts, baked goods, and craft beers, and delicious teas and kombucha. They also have a store across from their restaurant where you can buy their absolutely delicious baked breads, vegan pastries and vegan chocolates.

*The burrito & the chocolate truffles are amazing!


Chia Vegan Restaurant

Cute vibe and delicious & beautiful food, from tacos, soups, burgers and pasta


El Jardín

Healthy food, coffee, garden boutique vibes, in the plaza


Organika

Organic & delicious, try alpaca, and trout ceviche, chocolate mousse, the classic cocktail- pisco sour, goat cheese pizza, and more, quaint and garden vibes


Qura

One of my favorite breakfast spots, they have coffee, cacao, chai tea, lattes, smoothie bowls, and breakfast dishes in a spacious, artsy, upper level space. Great place to relax and do computer work or connect to wifi over a beverage. They have food for lunch and dinner too.


San Pedro Market

Fresh juices, and I really like the chicken soup, it is a fun experience to go in the morning and sit amongst the local people huddled around the chicken soup stands and eat your bowl of soup.

Sopa de pollo, or caldo de gallina is the soup. The other option will give you marinated vegetables and chicken with the soup and noodles served separate.


Explore


San Pedro Market

A must when in Cusco! This market is full of artisan souvenirs, fruits, smoothie stands, groceries, plant medicines, tobacco, agua de florida, cacao, and beyond.

*Note though, if you will be going to the sacred valley and want to find some very well-made textiles by locally made families in the mountains, save buying textiles in the open air street market in Pisac, San Pedro offers textiles but more commercial quality


Museums


Treks & Adventures

Killa Expeditions: private and group tours, highly rated and enjoyed by friends

Machu Picchu

Salkantay

Rainbow Mountain

Mt. Ausangate

There are many different treks to amazing mountains and sacred lakes, some day trips and some for longer. You will find many tour groups within the city and sacred valley and you can learn more about the variety of treks offered.


Temple of the Moon

Saqsaywaman Inca Fortress

Cusco Cathedral


Sacred Valley






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