Friday, August 8, 2014

Geocaching in Latin America

Since finding out our MBA class would be traveling abroad I have looked forward to finding a geocache outside North America.  If you aren't familiar with geocaching it is a hobby similar to a scavenger hunt in which players use a GPS device to find hidden objects at posted coordinates which have been listed on the internet. After finding the hidden geocache players sign and date a log book and later log the find online.  More info about geocaching can be found in this Geocaching 101 Guide.

A map of the 6 geocaches hidden around Lima.  The smiley face represent a geocache I had already logged as found.
Due to Peru being a developing nation geocaching is not as popular here as it is in other parts of the world.  This is likely due to lack of expendable income and broadband penetration.  Luckily some geocaches have been placed in the country, mostly by visitors.  Peru currently has 103 active geocaches.  This isn’t very many when compared to the more than 30,000 geocaches hidden in New York State alone.

When planning my trip and hoping to find a geocache one particular one stood out to me called “TOP 10 LIMA POI.”  POI stands for point of interest.  Unlike traditional geocaches which are hidden at the posted coordinates this geocache was a puzzle cache, meaning I needed to collect information to find the final location.  In this case I needed to visit 10 historical landmarks and match them with their name in order to solve the final coordinates.  Luckily many of the 10 locations I needed to visit were on our tours Saturday and Sunday such as Pachacamac, Armas and San Fransisco.  Between our tours and some googling I was able to find all the information I needed to solve the final coordinates.

At one of the 10 points of interest Wednesday night.
Solving this puzzle was a great example of why I enjoy geocaching.  It takes me to new places and allows me to see sites I otherwise wouldn't encounter.  Geocaching can many times lead you to the local hotspots you wouldn't encounter on your own.  In the case of this geocache I struck out to find the final location Wednesday morning when we had a couple hours of down time.  My hunt lead me the Reducto No. 2, the site of the Peruvian Military Museum and a beautiful memorial park.  After taking in the sites and snapping some pictures I moved on to find the final container, a small piece of Tupperware hidden on a restored steam engine!

One of many statues in Reducto No 2 park.

Happy to have made the find at the final location.

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