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Dakar Rally Returns to Peru in 2013
Following the huge success of last year’s Dakar Rally, the organizers have agreed to return to Peru in 2013, with stages in Lima, Nazca and Arequipa, alongside later stages in neighbouring Argentina and Chile.
By: Real Peru Holidays
This year the route is reversed, so the good people of Lima will be cheering the contestants off rather than along the final straight, but with altitudes ranging from sea-level to over 4000m in places (that’s roughly the height of Mont Blanc!) and with terrain ranging from freezing Alpine glaciers to the driest desert in the world, the route is still the ultimate test for both man and machine.
From Lima on January 5th, the contestants will initially head south to Chincha and Pisco, before looping up into the towering desert dunes around Ica. This stage of the race was a massive highlight of last year’s Dakar Rally, both with spectators and drivers, and was also a huge hit with television audiences around the world.
From Pisco, the drivers will head further south to Nazca. This small desert town is a popular location for holidays in Peru, as it is the home of the enormous prehistoric geoglyphs known as the Nazca Lines. From Nazca, they will climb up into the foothills of the Andes, to the beautiful city of Arequipa. Known as the “White City” because of the local white granite used to construct the majority of its buildings, and as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Arequipa was a very popular stop on the Rally last year.
After Arequipa, the Rally will head back to the coast and cross over into Chile at Arica on January 9th. From here on in, the drivers cross backwards and forwards over the heights of the Andes Mountains in what is probably the most challenging section of the Rally and some of the toughest competitive driving in history. Those who have the mental and physical toughness (and the best mechanics!) will finally cross the finishing line in Santiago on January 20th, where the welcome will no doubt be as rapturous as it was in Lima a year ago.
Popular reaction in Peru to the announcement has been very positive, and Dan Clarke of Real Peru Holidays (http://www.therealperu.co.uk/