Have you always wanted to explore Peru? Flight Centre’s Gina Papier recently travelled there to explore Machu Picchu with Intrepid Travel. She shares why this historical place with an authentic culture is a must visit!
I recently embarked on an 8 day tour with Intrepid Travel which I highly enjoyed. We had a free day upon arrival in Lima and on our second day, our tour officially started! In Lima we took local transportation to see the old historical town full of old grand churches and catacombs.
That night we flew to Trujillo, Huanchaco, a northern part of Peru where we stayed for 2 days and 2 nights. Here we visited two incredible archaeological sites, the Chan Chan , and Huaca de la luna. Our guides were very informative and spoke excellent English. I’ve done a number of tours in the past where time was always so rushed but this Trujillo experience was different. We had time to explore, talk to the locals, did some shopping, enjoy true Peruvian food and drink good wine. Later that evening we were transferred to a bus station for an overnight bus ride back to Lima. The bus was unexpectedly comfortable and designed for travelling long distances. It came equipped with a washroom, reclining seats, food and drink service.
After arriving in Lima, we were transferred to the airport for our flight to Cusco that is known for being “The Navel of the World”, at 11,200ft (3,400m). Upon arrival in Cusco that afternoon, we were accompanied by our tour leader for a short orientation walk. As we were at high altitude, it was important to adjust our body. We were asked to drink lots of water and sample the local coca tea to reduce any headaches or feeling of nausea; getting us ready for our trip to Machu Picchu.
On an early start the following morning, after breakfast, we were transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo for the 2 hours beautiful scenic ride to Aguas Calientes and another 1/2 hour bus ride to get to Machu Picchu.
Finally we reached the highlight of our trip Machu Picchu! I don’t know how else to describe this amazing place, it was so incredible and breathtaking that I can only say WOW!! After our 2 1/2 hour tour, walking, and talking tons of photos, we found a place up in the mountain, where we stopped and paused to take the moment in and admire how the Incas had created this magnificent work; a legacy of its kind.
We stayed overnight in Ollantaytambo, in a very simple original style hotel. In the morning, we did another day of exploring. Ollantaytambo is a very authentic old small village with lots of mountains and ruins around. Everything seems to have been preserved by time and culture. The way of life here is very simple, people still practice their old way of living. It has very narrow roads made of stones and rocks; very unique indeed. We were lucky to be there on their market day which happens only once a week.
After shopping and tasting more of the local foods, we headed back to Cusco for our final night before flying back to Canada. Cusco is another old city with lots of old structures influenced by Spanish architecture. Markets and small art and souvenir shops are everywhere; showcasing beautiful colors and unique artwork. Not far from the city, we visited some of the Inca ruins including Sacsayhuaman , Q’enqo. These are truly incredible and magnificent huge stones put together.
The following morning we flew back to Lima where we had the chance to learn how to make Peru‘s national drink, the “Pisco Sour.” Everyone made their own mix and enjoyed the final “salud” the prefect way to end our trip before our flight back to Canada.
Overall it was a truly amazing experience. Intrepid has lived up to their trademark “real life experiences.” What I liked most about it was it was a small group (we were only 10). We had a great tour leader “Pepe” and all of our tour guides were English speaking Peruvian locals who know the true history of Peru. The people were very nice and friendly and food was so good! I will definitely visit again and take my family to share and enjoy the adventure this country has to offer.
Looking for more information on travelling to Peru for a historical adventure? Contact Gina Papier a Travel Manager with Parkgate Flight Centre based in Vancouver, by connecting online or calling 1-866-299-3113.