Jaja, casi no lo puedo creer....hace años que hemos estado pidiendo este foro.
Soy Michelle, tengo un hijito peruano-americano (su papi es peruano), viví en Peru por 2 años y ahora estoy haciendo mi maestria en EEUU.
I lived on the northern coast of Peru for 2 years, and I have a son who is Peruvian-American. Right now we are back in the states because I'm starting a Master's program. Last time we were in Peru, we had such a bad time that I am not planning to go back to live there for a while, but I know we will go back someday. My dream is to start an NGO organizing poor communities.
I've heard that the indigenous communities around Quito (particularly La Chimba) offer some really fascinating off-the-beaten-track tourism opportunities. La Chimba is really close to Quito, like a 2.5 hour bus ride. Check out the South American Explorers Club, they might be able to give you some good advice. I've also heard that Cuenca is really beautiful. I have been to Loja and Vilcabamba, which are in the southern mountains of Ecuador. Might be too far away for you, as they would involve a long bus ride or a short flight. Vilcabamba is gorgeous, but a little touristy. It has become a mecca for new-age-y expats with money.
Also, I wouldn't worry about more vaccines than Hep A, maybe typhoid if you could get a hold of it. Those are the two food or water related diseases that seem the nastiest.
If there are any long-term expats reading this, how did you deal with food poisoning? I have always gotten sick at least once or twice a month, even after living there for months and months and eating SO carefully. It got really old really fast last time I was in Peru. Does it ever go away? (Honestly, this is one of the major reasons I don't want to move back to Peru....it was that bad...and I lovelovelove living in Peru)
Edited to respond to next post: (my computer is acting up and I can't reply, just edit)
I'm not sure whether it was food poisoning or getting sick from the water. How do you tell the difference? I have been to Peru three times, and the second time I tried the approach of mild exposure to the water (brushing teeth, mainly) and got very sick very often. The first time, I was childless and ate everything including rural food where I was volunteering, again sick quite often. The third time, I was super careful about not eating at any restaurants, never drinking or washing or brushing teeth with unboiled water. I still got sick quite a bit, sometimes from the fact that my MIL leaves the food out on the countertop for hours on end and sometimes just randomly. I lost so much weight, I was down to 92 lbs, it was scary, honestly. I really want to go back someday but I'll most likely be doing it alone with my kid, and the idea of being bedridden every few weeks as a single parent is just not feasible. Not to mention, extremely unpleasant.