Peru is a beautiful country, a combination of ancient Inca civilisations and Spanish colonialism, located in western South America, between Chile and Ecuador. To be able to visit this amazing country with my husband and two of my very best friends Nicky and Adrian, was like a dream come true. When we were there, we made sure to visit all the famous places and capture the historical and scenic highlights, making the most of our time and budget. The days we spent at Peru were a whirlwind of excitement, combined with the high altitudes of Machu Picchu and Cusco — throughout the trip, it felt like we were on cloud nine.
We flew directly from Gatwick airport and arrived in Lima. By spending just one night in this vast and sprawling city, we were able expierience the welcoming hospitality of Peruvian people, and test the fantastic food. One of the well known foods that my husband tried in Lima was “Ceviche,” which is Peru’s national dish. It consists of cured raw fish and is served with red onions. This dish truly tantalizes and teases your taste buds. Myself as vegan I also had lots of choices for vegan food. I was surprised how many vegan restaurants I could find in Peru. So if you are a vegan don’t worry you will not be hungry there.
The next day, we flew to Cusco and stayed there for five nights. Cusco is a small town, which is located 2,900 meters above sea level within the Peruvian mountain ranges. Here, we met our amazing travel guide Matt ( www.peruvianterrablog.com ) who gave us a city tour and show us the best of Peru. The first place we went to was Humantay Lake, which can only be accessed through hiking. Located 4200 meters in attitude in the Andes. This lake offers the most breath-taking views, and its natural turquoise water is spectacular. Also, you will find visitors here participating in several outdoor activities like swimming, mountain biking, and even paddle boarding.
After witnessing the remarkable white mountain peaks and green landscapes of Humantay Lake, Matt took us to the Sacred Valley, which is also known as the Urubamba Valley. Used by the Inca people, the valley was a highly prized site due to its rich agricultural lands. It is full of beautiful landscapes and impressive ruins. It has a perfect climate and is best for activities like canoeing, cycling, water rafting, mountain climbing, and more. To be honest, I was amazed by the beauty of the Sacred Valley; it was like nothing I have ever seen before.
Sunrise marked a new day of excitement as we embarked on a journey to Machu Picchu, lost City of the Incas, the place which we were most excited to visit. Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height. Just as I imagined, the Machu Picchu site took my breath away (we went there to see also the sunrise) with its astonishing 360-degree views of the stunning mountains and ancient Inca ruins. This place is something that cannot be felt or experienced by just seeing a photograph, and you must visit this place to appreciate its beauty fully.
When in Cusco, we also got to visit the less explored small towns – Maras and Moray, which are in the middle of the valley, between Ollantaytambo and Pisac. These places provided us an opportunity to get off the beaten track and explore the Incan history.
Then from Cusco, we took a bus to Puno, where we stayed for two nights. Puno is a port city that is surrounded by hills and mountains and sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca. It is the perfect place to start your trip onto Lake Titicaca. In Andean belief, Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun. Set between Peru and Bolivia, it’s the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world.
Titicaca serves a vital role in Peruvian history as it is believed the Inca empire was founded here. We were quite mesmerized when we went there by the blue waters and the blue sky that beautifully blended into one. This place is definitely worth visiting!
It was almost the end of our wonderful trip to Peru, from Puno we flew back to Lima, where we spent the last two days exploring the town, which we couldn’t do when we first landed here. Lima is the second-driest world capital, rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs. This bustling city boasts abundant historical significance, culture, and art. We visited the Miraflores district, where you can drink and enjoy food while overlooking the eye-catching and serene beaches.
The Plaza de Armas, also known as the Plaza Mayor, sits at the heart of Lima’s historic center, one of the few remaining parts of the city that still gives a sense of the city’s colonial past. Night time visit “Magic Water Circuit.” Thirteen fountains, some of which are interactive, provide plenty of entertainment, especially at night with the illuminated shows. Also, this time we made sure to explore the top restaurants as Lima is the culinary heaven. This summed up our trip to Peru. Peru is etched in my heart forever. PERU IS A destination that begs to be explored. In this vast and storied land, ancient, colonial, and modern traditions meld together for an unforgettable cultural experience. This place has something very special about it that left me intrigued, and I can’t wait to revisit Peru and you should do it as well.
Love and shine always,
Agnes dos Santos xx