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The Peruvian Coastal Desert and the Majes Valley

I spent that night in the bus, crossing the coastal desert on my way from Lima to Arequipa. The first thing I saw when I woke up was the landscapes of unbelievable surreal beauty. The Peruvian Coastal Desert stretches for about 25ookm from Ecuador to Chile, between the Pacific Ocean and the western slopes of the high Andes.

Day 31: 12 January 2016

The Majes Valley

The Majes Valley is about 180km away from Arequipa and is an excellent destination for a day tour. Despite the fact that it is the most beautiful Valley on the Peruvian coast, it is a bit off the mass tourists path. I arranged a private driver to see the magnificent oasis valley of Majes River, rich of agricultural productivity and archeological remainders. The name Majes comes actually from Spaniards (MAJES-TUOSO – Majestic), who were admired by the beautiful weather, fertile land, clean river abundant in shrimps and fish.

Amazing! They cultivate here rice, one of the most water demanding plants in the middle of one of the most arid corners of the Earth!

Toro Muerto Petroglyphs

Toro Muerto is quite a mystical archeological site not far away from Majes Valley. It is a collection of about 3000 ancient rocks scattered in the desert with petroglyphs of Wari culture. Toro Puerto means “Dead Bull” and is commonly referred to the livestock died here of dehydration when Wari people moved from mountain regions to the coast to worship their gods.


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