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Casma - A travel report by sgsdgsdgs
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Casma,  Peru - flag Peru -  Ancash
4498 readers

kirikou's travel reports

Peruvian Oasis

  9 votes
Page: 1 2
Hitching a ride on our way to Huaraz, we stumbled across this little town - literally in the middle of the desert. And what was supposed to be just an overnighter became another day and another day and another day...


Casma travelogue picture
Casma is a small town close to the Peruvian coast, yet in the middle of the desert. This is a fascinating area filled with contrast, where sand dunes go straight into the ocean. And then there's this little oasis among all the sand - suddenly there are mango trees and green grass.

Favourite spots:
Casma travelogue picture
Fabulous sand dunes right outside town, the feeling you sitting in a fruit garden and seeing mountains of sand, hanging in parque central having fresh mangos from the trees, gnawing grilled chicken meat and chili peppers of a stick while seated on the sidewalk late at night.

What's really great:
Casma travelogue picture
First thing we did when we got into Casma, about half an hour before dusk - was running through town to go play in the biggest sand dune we could see outside it. Asked a couple of ladies for directions, and they went No, no, girls! You can't go there alone and at this hour, there are bad people by the river And so we figured all right, they probably know. And got chatting to them. Which ended with us sitting on their porch eating mangos (the old doña had the neighbour kid run of to pick us fresh ones) and talking till midnight, and being invited over for ceviche the next morning. And so we turned out to have guided tours of the whole town and the ruins outside it, conversations every night and being introduced to pretty much all their neighbours.

Sights:
Casma travelogue picture
In town itself none. Outside town, you can walk to the sand dunes, about half an hour - and if you walk further on, you get to a beautiful shallow water lagoon. This takes approx. 4 hours, and walking should be done early before it gets way too warm, bring water. Plenty of water.

Right outside town are the Sechín rouins, a small museum and an archeological dig. A moto taxi will take you there for 1-2 soles a person. These prehispanic ruins are nothing like the ones of i.e Tikal or Macchu Picchu, but interesting enough. Mostly walls with ornamate carvings on them. Apparently archeologists think they are to illustrate a massacre which took place 1500 b.c

Also nearby is the village of Tortugas, just saw it from the road when arriving, looked very cute - right on the coast, and with some decent beaches we were told.

Accommodations:
Casma travelogue picture
We stayed at Hospedaje Central, right by the main park - paid 12 soles a night for a double with no windows and no fan, but pretty clean shared bathrooms. Checked out a few other places which were about the same style and nearby, most of them with more expensive windowrooms with en suite bathroom. There's also one big, fancy hotel in town - they were even said to have a pool.

Nightlife:
Non-existent.

Hangouts:
Heaps of cafes that kept open late, a few cantinas - probably more of them in the streets we were advised not to go.

Restaurants:
Fruit market by the park during the day, street food-ladies out at night, plenty of nice cafes with amazing seafood. Try out their ceviche, and the arroz con mariscos (unless you're scared of the little squids), and maybe also the pavo, which is a bit of a local specialty - didn't like it too much though.

Other recommendations:
Casma is a lovely town, and we really enjoyed the people we got in touch with. If staying overnight, you're likely to be the only foreigner there, although every now and then a tourist bus will pass through, stop for lunch and head out to the ruins before leaving.

Internet's available a couple of places. Bank, but no ATM that we saw.

Published on Wednesday June 23th, 2004


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Thu, Jun 24 2004 - 02:40 AM rating by britman

Hi Stine
Nice report - an insight to somewhere "off the beaten track" in Peru, which I enjoyed reading.

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