The jet touched down gently at 5:00 AM in Lima. After delays in Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas due to stormy Southwest skies, we were finally and happily in Peru. Four hours later, we enthusiastically hit the streets to start our three-week Peruvian adventure.
Traveling for us means connecting with the people and their cultures. Having lived abroad 35 years ago, we enjoy the serendipity of exploration. Into Latin America was a perfect fit for our needs as we planned our custom journey. Our itinerary gave us flexibility to enjoy planned activities and have some down time as well. The guides and our handlers were friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. Having guides who were fluent in English and lived in the areas we toured enhanced our experiences. We anticipated some glitches with transfers during 21 days of travel, using in-country busses, vans, trains, and even an air trip to the jungle region. Thankfully, all was in order, which made the trip more relaxing.
What were the highlights of our journey? So many! The Sky Kitchen Cooking School in Lima was a perfect way to start our trip by zeroing in on the colorful mercado, delicious food, and varied cultures.
We were stunned by the vastness of the altiplano region, framed by the soaring Andes. Our first sight of Machu Picchu took our breaths away, as it appeared and disappeared in the cloud forest. Just as memorable was an “off the beaten path” day hike on an Inca Trail in the Sacred Valley, passing Inca ruins and communities not part of the tourist scene.
The Amazon Delta aroused all five of our senses each day as we explored the rainforest, lake, a community farm, and the river’s treasures while staying at a remote ecolodge. Kayaking down an Amazon tributary, with parrots overhead and caimans sunning on the riverbank, will remain a special memory. Did I mention fishing for piranha?
A highlight, especially for me, was visiting Lake Titicaca and the floating islands. I remember studying this community in elementary school and later introducing my sixth grade students to these remarkable people and their way of life.
On the top of my husband’s list of incredible days would be our Colca Canyon experience, culminating in our morning trip to photograph the grandeur of this deep canyon and the condors soaring on the air currents. Truly a sight to see.
We have been home for a few months, enjoying our fantastic Oregon summers. Yet, the indigenous history and ruins, the colorful Peruvian traditions, and the flora and fauna of each of Peru’s geographical regions, will continue to paint vibrant pictures in our minds for years to come.
Portland, Oregon USA
Peru Trip in May 2014