A Taste of Peru with Mike and Jason

by Emma Hackwood

Last year we hosted a little contest called The Best Travel Job Ever where a ton of prizes were given away including trips to some pretty spectacular places like Peru. It was great to see Mike and Jason take in the beauty and wonder of Machu Picchu through their videos they made of their Intrepid Travel Tour:

We asked Mike what he loved best about Peru:

Peru really has something for everyone. I would be hard pressed to name another country with a mountain range, a jungle, a massive river, a desert, a coastline and a wonder of the world… the place is stacked with things to see. Mix all those with the music, dancing and food of Latin American culture, and you’ll find out why after visiting almost 20 countries, Peru is at the top of my list.

If you want to snowboard down a sand dune, Hike to the top of the world, or have a Macaw as an alarm clock at 7am, Go to Peru.

My favourite moments:

#1. Hiking to the top of Huayna Picchu (360m above Macchu Picchu) and spending an hour absorbing the view; A panorama of mountains covered in swirling cloud forests framing a now hand sized Machu Picchu.

#2. Staying in an ecolodge in the Amazon Rainforest. The room had 3 walls, the forth opened directly to the jungle, no glass, no screen. We slept under a mosquito net and went to sleep to a soundtrack most people have to pay for back home in North America. The real deal doesn’t have a volume knob, and trust me, it’s much better than the recordings.

#3. Learning about the Incas. I used to think Incans, Mayans, Aztecs = very similar. Visiting Macchu Picchu and Cuzco, blew me away. Check this out: The Incans had no written language, they kept records with rope. Different colours, lengths and knots all meant different things. They also constructed walls that are still standing 400 years later… without mortar! Essentially each blocks in these walls were like puzzle pieces, each one perfectly sculpted to fit their neighbour.

Jason’s Top 3 Favourite moments:

#1. Machu Picchu- Not only is the destination a must-see, but if you’re physically capable, the 4 am hike from town to the gates of Machu Picchu to be one of the first through when they open up at 6 am is a must! You’ll witness the birds starting to sing, clouds slowly clearing, and if you’re lucky, watch the sun come up over the mountains. It’s an incredible view that makes it so much more worthwhile if you sacrifice sleep to do it!

#2. Buying locally made handicrafts on Tequile Island on Lake Titicaca. Not only are the male artisans known for being the best in Peru, they produce the highest quality products you’ll find anywhere. Most of the curios are made out of alpaca wool and they withstand the test of time. I’ve been wearing two bracelets I bought on Tequile Island since June 5th, 2010 and, eight months on, they’re still not showing any sign of wear. They haven’t been untied or adjusted since day one. Incredible quality.

#3. Spending time in Cusco. Cusco is so full of life and is the Historical Capital of Peru. There are ruins, galleries, temples all within walking distance or a short taxi ride away but probably the most interesting thing you can do in Cusco is try out the local cuisine, especially cuy. I’d recommend the restaurant Nuna Raymi for this experience because they serve the traditional dish in two different styles, both of which are worth a try! Add a Pisco Sour to the mix and you have yourself a genuine Peruvian feast!

Have you been to Peru? What were some of YOUR favourite moments?

We’ve got lots of adventure tours like Peru on sale right now. Offer ends Feb 28th, so if you’ve been thinking about an adventure tour, now is the time to book!

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