I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.- Susan Sontag.
Perú was in the works for a very long long time but this year was the right time to go. When you are based in South Florida you get the best of both worlds. The American comfort in a Latin American environment for which, I felt I wasn't missing out much in terms of the people as I am lucky to have very dear Peruvian friends, however, I learned long time ago that we (Latin Americans) may feel like one big family, which I believe we are, but each of our countries is so different from one another! so Perú, beyond Machu Picchu, was on top of my list of countries to visit.
Luckily, my cousin Marianne was volunteering in Cusco to help doctors aid locals and build proper kitchens in villages, this was the perfect occasion to head down there. I was able to meet her there and start our little adventure, the first of many to Perú for sure (Just to be clear for those Perú experts, we only had about 6 days for this trip, this was just a very quick trip, many more will have to follow as there is so much to explore).
Upon arrival, we explored Cusco, this town brought memories of my school summers spent in my family's town up in the Andes in Venezuela in every corner. The narrow streets, the hidden corners, the smell of cold humidity of the walls of each place we visited, everything reminded me of that beautiful town where my family is from and that I have not visited in over 20 years. So to say the least, I loved Cusco.
We barely had time to explore the Sacred Valley but managed to make it to Pisac!
Click on the image below to see more of Pisac:
After exploring Cusco, we went trekking through the mountains to reach Rainbow mountain in the Vinicunca mountains near Nevado Auzangate, we reached this mountain at 15,000 feet - no easy task! I had no idea I was going to be so affected by heights, the first lesson learned on this trip is to take every prevision possible and rest to get adjusted to altitude on future trips. I guess it takes experiences like these to know your body even more.
The landscape was simply breathtaking, spending the day with locals, trekking and riding horses in the open landscape was simply wonderful. There is nothing that can beat being out in nature, learning about other cultures and meeting amazing and honest people whichever place you go.
Once we made it up to the top - 15,000 Feet, we went back to Cusco and start descending to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu.
Arriving to Aguas Calientes is a bit like arriving to a Gabriel Garcia Marquez story. Not quite a Macondo given the amount of tourists, it still made me feel I could be in an almost forgotten place.
Macchu Picchu blew us away. I had the feeling that I wanted to immerse myself in the jungle and find hidden treasures but the height of the place quickly made me stay within the ruins confines, I will leave that to my next visit to Venezuela. Here are some images of Peru, a return visit is in order to explore the rest as I only had very few days to get away!
Click on the image below to see more of Machu Picchu: