Peru is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, photographers or first time travelers looking to immerse themselves in a culturally diverse experience. With the help of Peru Trek 4 Good, we put together a 7-day Peruvian adventure this past July!
Our host & hiking aficionado Brooke Willson and a group of travelers headed off to explore some of Peru’s most beautiful attractions from Rainbow Mountain to Machu Picchu!
“I had been to Peru about 4 years ago and LOVED it. It is the perfect adventure country. I spent a lot of time traveling around Peru, sightseeing, eating the local cuisine, the rich history, culture (ruins), the colorful culture and textiles, the markets, and of course the endless hiking. With this mix of adventure I figured it would be a place my followers would love to go to – creating an itinerary that hits all of this!”
What to pack?
“I was unsure of the weather and for sure would have packed more warmer clothes and less summer stuff. Peru has some weird weather! It may get up to 18 degrees during the day (celsius) but in the morning its -1/0 degrees and also in the mountains it is colder. I swear by PACKING CUBES and traveling with a carry on whenever possible. I also had a backpack with me that I was able to use day to day – for my camera gear and things I would need on a day to day basis – water, snacks, layers etc.
I always pack an extra outfit, extra shoes, and some toiletries in my backpack as well incase my luggage gets lost. If you plan to travel with checked luggage! We had 4 flights on the way down and you never know what could happen. I am always so happy to see my luggage on the carousel at the final destination!”
The “Must Visits”
Peru is home to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most important heritage sites, originally created by the Incas. The site is made up of tombs, temples, pathways, storage rooms and is surrounded by spectacular natural scenery as it sits on top of a mountain. It is both a sacred and cultural site that has withstood the test of time.
“I had been to Machu Picchu before and was AMAZED by it! I could have spent hours wandering the ruins. This feeling didn’t change my second time there. I just kept on trying to envision the past and what it would have been like back in the day, being the first person to come across this place and what must of been going through their mind. I mean I am sure it was WAY over grown and slowly as it was being uncovered and cleaned up, just would’ve been such a sight and experience.”
Peruvian cuisine is a reflection of the nation’s long history with a combination of European, Asian and African influences. One of the most well known Peruvian dishes worldwide is Ceviche, a dish that combines seafood with marinated citrus juices and spiced with chili peppers and seasoning.
Another popular Peruvian dish? Guinea pig! If you dare, try this local delicacy that is baked and served with side dishes like roasted potatoes and salad!
“I would eat Ceviche and drink Pisco Sours everyday! Peruvian delicacies. I know guinea pig is a HUGE deal in Peru, and yes I tried one bite from someones dish they ordered but just couldn’t do it myself. I just kept seeing their cute little innocent faces every time I thought about it and just couldn’t!”
Machu Picchu sits on top of a 2,430m high mountain. Another popular destination, Rainbow Mountain, is a day long trek at high altitude where you’ll pass local villages and mountain streams. So, can anyone do it?
“I wouldn’t say difficult, as I am an avid hiker, but they did take my breath away, literally. The altitude sure does get ya and I high suggest if traveling to Peru and planning to do Machu Picchu or Rainbow mountain that you come earlier to acclimatize and get use to that altitude. I believe that if you are acclimatized that anyone could do the hikes, it just takes time and it’s about going slow and enjoying the whole journey to the top! I would like to think I am in shape and a good hiker, but the altitude sure did slow me down. It’s all about deep breaths and knowing you will make it eventually!”
Llamas are photographed just about as much as Machu Picchu. This furry animal has become synonymous with Peruvian culture, and local communities still rely on llama wool as their primary income, which is sold and exported around the world.
“The locals love to dress up in their traditional attire and walk the markets with their llamas for you to get photos with them. I felt as though they were treated well and they all looked healthy! There were also llamas along the routes we would drive, and at Machu Picchu! Where I was able to snap a classic ‘selfie’ with one of them. The llamas are something that also attract people to Peru, and I can see why. “
“The friendships made, seeing the connections form and watching everyone interact with each other. I LOVE making connections and it truly made my heart so happy, seeing everyone else happy and enjoying what we had planned for them. Peru brings so much joy to others, and having a group that gets along and appreciates the culture, and experiences, and is able to laugh on the little things made my trip one to remember!”
Brooke Willson will be heading to Patagonia next March to explore the natural beauty of Argentina and Chile! You can join her for a 7-day trek across glaciers, lagoons and incredible hiking trails!