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Moquegua, Peru - Junction To Desaguadero, Tacna & Arequipa

Peru travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2010 Sep 2015   » View Photoset (31 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
2010: I turned up in Moquegua after leaving Arica in Chile in the middle of the day. Firstly the border crossing into Peru to Tacna bus terminal by co-op taxi. Then from
Peru Photo - Desolate grasslands and rocky hills between Torata and Desaguadero.
Desolate grasslands and rocky hills between Torata and Desaguadero.
Tacna by bus for about 150kms to Moquegua. I chose to visit Moquegue simply because I had already stayed in Tacna, Camana and Arequipa a year before. This was the beginning of my 4 day dash up the coast of Peru from south to north so that I could continue my travels in Ecuador and Colombia. I had already seen the coast of Peru twice before on other trips.

Find a Hotel

It was late afternoon when I arrived in Moquegue and I found myself a room in a good cheap hotel. I got some food at a street cookup where I sat down with the locals and then later had a good nights sleep. I had had a lot of travel this day. The altitude here is over 3500 meters above sea level. The area is surrounded by valleys and in the distance by mountains where on the top of one is a Jesus statue that is clear to see from town. The streets here are nothing flash, just typical Peru style housing with a touch of ramshackle. There are several bus companies running from here and they
Peru Photo - A hill crowned with a cluster of rocks west of Desaguadero.
A hill crowned with a cluster of rocks west of Desaguadero.
are all on the main street. There are regular buses to Ilo which is a popular coastal destination from here.

Lots of Avocados

I got the feeling after walking around for a while that one of the main crops grown in this region is the avocado. There were many people on the streets selling them and you could buy avocado sandwiches at stalls also. For my first meal of the day I had avocado sandwiches and a bowl of chicken foot soup. Then I walked to a different part of the center 10 minutes away passing people sitting having meals at the street cookups along the way.

Sights Around Town

I came to a busy little roundabout where there is a monument of a
Peru Photo - Farmlands and pastures in front of a rocky backdrop, west of Desaguadero.
Farmlands and pastures in front of a rocky backdrop, west of Desaguadero.
man in a wheelchair, it says Homenaje A Mariategui which is refering to Jose Carlos Mariategui, a Peruvian journalist who lived from 1894 until 1930. Walking along a street from there on the left is the market Mercado Central de Moquegua and on the street side itself are many stalls selling items. Traffic stopped at red lights are entertained by a boy doing handstands and cartwheels for loose change. A busker plays classical guitar and a man with no hands plays a recorder at separate places along the street and I see more avocados for sale. I didn't see it but there is a cathedral here called Catedral Santa Catalina.

Booked a Bus

I went back to my hotel and paid a few more Soles so that I could have the room until 6pm. I booked a bus with a great bus company in Peru called Cruz del Sur on the main street. It was nearly twice as much as what the other companies were charging
Peru Photo - Sandy rock hills and a green valley around Moquegua.
Sandy rock hills and a green valley around Moquegua.
but it was because a friend of mine was in a crash in Peru the year before in a bus with a dodgy company. The ticket was $110 Soles to take me north to Nazca through the night leaving at around 8:30pm and taking about 7hrs. The service is great with this company with an attractive hostess and proper hot meals. After sleeping in the afternoon in my hotel to rest before the bus journey that night, I ate a meal at a local place called Restaurant La Tacnenita. The lady charged me more than she charged the locals at the next table for the same dish.

Night Travel

Through the night I travelled north to Nazca to rest up before the next part of my dash up the coast. I arrived in Nazca for the 2nd time at about 5am and waited at the terminal until the sun came up a bit. Then I walked out and found a bed in a room to sleep in for a few hours before I hit the road again in the early afternoon going through Ica and onto stay the night in Chincha Alta.

2015: I passed through Moquegua from Tacna on the way to Desaguadero on the border of Bolivia, there are some good photos of the journey!

     

View all photos in the Moquegua Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Moquegua to Desaguadero (Peru) to:


Map location: Moquegua to Desaguadero, Peru. I chose to visit Moquegue simply because I had already stayed in Tacna, Camana and Arequipa. Moquegua is full of avocados and you can eat avocado sandwiches for lunch! I have also taken the road from Moquegua to Desaguadero on the Bolivian border!
 A : Tacna - Peru 115 kms 115 kms straight distance | 1hr 57mins 1hr 57mins by car (155 kms) | 2hrs 20mins 2hrs 20mins by bus (155 kms) (155 kms)
 B : Chile Border to Tacna - Peru 140 kms 140 kms straight distance | 2hrs 41mins 2hrs 41mins by car (201 kms) | 3hrs 13mins 3hrs 13mins by bus (201 kms) (201 kms)
 C : Arequipa - Peru 108 kms 108 kms straight distance | 2hrs 57mins 2hrs 57mins by car (213 kms) | 3hrs 32mins 3hrs 32mins by bus (213 kms) (213 kms)
 D : Arica - Chile 156 kms 156 kms straight distance | 2hrs 57mins 2hrs 57mins by car (214 kms) | 3hrs 32mins 3hrs 32mins by bus (214 kms) (214 kms)
 E : Puno / Juliaca - Peru 180 kms 180 kms straight distance | 4hrs 35mins 4hrs 35mins by car (254 kms) | 5hrs 30mins 5hrs 30mins by bus (254 kms) (254 kms)
 F : Camana - Peru 197 kms 197 kms straight distance | 3hrs 57mins 3hrs 57mins by car (265 kms) | 4hrs 44mins 4hrs 44mins by bus (265 kms) (265 kms)
 G : La Paz to Desaguadero - Bolivia 215 kms 215 kms straight distance | 4hrs 23mins 4hrs 23mins by car (297 kms) | 5hrs 15mins 5hrs 15mins by bus (297 kms) (297 kms)
 H : Puno to Bolivian Border - Peru 216 kms 216 kms straight distance | 4hrs 54mins 4hrs 54mins by car (314 kms) | 5hrs 52mins 5hrs 52mins by bus (314 kms) (314 kms)
 I : Copacabana - Bolivia 225 kms 225 kms straight distance | 5hrs 11mins 5hrs 11mins by car (328 kms) | 6hrs 13mins 6hrs 13mins by bus (328 kms) (328 kms)
 J : Iquique to Arica to Peru Border - Chile 280 kms 280 kms straight distance | 4hrs 57mins 4hrs 57mins by car (384 kms) | 5hrs 56mins 5hrs 56mins by bus (384 kms) (384 kms)
 K : La Paz - Bolivia 307 kms 307 kms straight distance | 6hrs 12mins 6hrs 12mins by car (402 kms) | 7hrs 26mins 7hrs 26mins by bus (402 kms) (402 kms)
 L : La Paz to Copacabana - Bolivia 276 kms 276 kms straight distance | 6hrs 14mins 6hrs 14mins by car (405 kms) | 7hrs 28mins 7hrs 28mins by bus (405 kms) (405 kms)
 M : Iquique - Chile 346 kms 346 kms straight distance | 6hrs 39mins 6hrs 39mins by car (521 kms) | 7hrs 58mins 7hrs 58mins by bus (521 kms) (521 kms)
 N : Oruro - Bolivia 412 kms 412 kms straight distance | 8hrs 38mins 8hrs 38mins by car (595 kms) | 10hrs 21mins 10hrs 21mins by bus (595 kms) (595 kms)
 O : Cusco - Peru 422 kms 422 kms straight distance | 11hrs 5mins 11hrs 5mins by car (650 kms) | 13hrs 18mins 13hrs 18mins by bus (650 kms) (650 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Moquegua, Peru:

Hotel Jupiter, Moquegua, Peru - Large Photo
Hotel Jupiter, Moquegua, Peru (May 2010 - 1 night) - A room for about $9USD with bathroom, the bed was OK, located at the bottom of the main street near a parque and close to all the bus companies.

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Moquegua, Peru - Junction To Desaguadero, Tacna & Arequipa. I chose to visit Moquegue simply because I had already stayed in Tacna, Camana and Arequipa. Moquegua is full of avocados and you can eat avocado sandwiches for lunch! I have also taken the road from Moquegua to Desaguadero on the Bolivian border!

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