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Peru & Machu Picchu: Land of the Incas
Machu Picchu, Peru
Have you ever been somewhere that totally took you by surprise in all the best ways? I have to admit, I was a little nervous about traveling to Peru - how could it possibly live up to all of the hype? I'd already seen a million pictures of Machu Picchu on Instagram and Google, could it really be that much better in person? Was it possible the food was really as delicious as touted? What exact did they mean when they said you have to "walk through the Sun Gate"?
Well, I am here to tell you - no, I am here to SCREAM to you - that Peru is not only as amazing as it looks, but 100 times better than anything you imagine it to be. And I don't say that lightly. Before visiting Peru, I had traveled to 27 other incredible countries on this Earth - and I can't think of one of them that I didn't love. But I can say for certainty that my experience in Peru was one of the most transformative travel experiences in my life.
My time in Peru - only 8 days - was much too short for the breadth it has to offer. Peru is not a small country - it's ranked 20th on the world's largest countries list - and the diversity and variety of landscapes, climates, topography, and history to be discovered is mind-blowing. It actually does have something for everyone.
Are you looking for long stretches of sandy beach? Check. World-famous trekking and hiking with stunning views? Check. Breathtaking (literally, and figuratively) mountains and scenic valleys? Check. Fascinating history and legacy of ancient cultures? Check. World-renowned and inventive culinary experiences? Check. Warm, inviting natives and small, authentic villages? Check. Colorful and thriving cities? Check. The world's cutest animals (just google "alpaca" and I am sure you will agree)? Check. World Wonders and UNESCO sites? Check. Oh, you want to sandboard down a sand dune? Check. You'd like to see a mountain that looks like a rainbow was painted onto it with exquisite watercolors? Check. You're interested in mysticism and shaman? Check. Cruise through the jungle down the Amazon River? Check.
And I could go on...and on. I think it is probably clear to you what an incredible destination Peru is, and we haven't even touched on Machu Picchu, the number one tourist attraction in the country, and in the top 10 in the entire world.
I opted to do the one-day Inca Trail Trek to hike up to Machu Picchu, and this was without a doubt the highlight of my trip, and one of the top highlights of my travel career. I was terrified of doing the trek not knowing what to expect or how I would handle the trek, or the elevation, physically. Well, it was AMAZING. I trekked side by side with a new friend, stood in awe every few minutes of the mountains and the sights, surprised myself at every turn that I could handle the twists, turns and steep inclines the trek through at us, and broke into immediate tears upon reaching, and walking through, the "Sun Gate", where other trekkers were gathered and cheering the newcomers on. The emotions at seeing Machu Picchu for the first time are indescribable, and the best thing I can say about it is that I want every traveler - and every client - to be able to feel that feeling for themselves.
Peru has SO much to offer and I can't wait to help you discover yourself better in Peru!