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Peru: A Place of Hidden Treasures
When I was traveling through Latin America on assignment with Travel Channel, I made a few stops in Peru to explore ancient ruins and sacred sites. I’ll never forget the moment the morning fog lifted and I first saw the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. It was the view of a lifetime!
There is so much to do and see while visiting Peru. Its ancient mysteries are revealed by touring the Sacred Valley, Cusco/Sacsaywamán and Machu Picchu. When you go, plan to spend several days at the area’s ancient sites…the experience is beyond words.
Here are some other adventures for your trip to this amazing country:
Manu National Park
One of the World Cultural Heritage sites, Manu National Park is paradise for the wildlife lover. It has a little bit of several different regions covering the Andes mountain range, River Manu and bordering the Amazon basin. Nature is the star of the show and you can see over a thousand species of birds and 221 species of mammals, including jaguar, black panther, spider monkey and more. Make sure you visit the clay licks where you’ll be sure to see a flock of macaws looking for a tasty lunch.
Urubamba Valley on Horseback
While there are some bike tours through the Sacred Valley, you should consider riding horseback on a tour of the ruins and sacred sites. The base of the valley is at 7,000 feet and your body might be screaming at you if your not accustomed to high altitudes. Smart travelers ride through the valley and be sure to look for Peruvian Paso horses that provide a smooth ride.
Train to Machu Picchu
At some point, you will be ready to venture to the stunning ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. I say if you have to go through the mountains, then travel by luxury train. Board the Andean Explorer for a 3+ hour journey between mountains and clouds. The journey is really the reward as you take this award winning tour tour the changing landscapes and climates of Peru. The vintage cars are decorated in the style of Pullman trains that includes dining cars and and outdoor observatory. Treat yourself to a luxurious ride!
Have you visited Peru? What was your favorite adventure or archaeological site?
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I have to live viscerally through my friends, family members and co-workers who have traveled there until I get the opportunity. In the meantime I will occasionally enjoy Peruvian cuisine at a restaurant that a Peruvian has checked out and verified to be authentic. One of my best friends also lives in Lima and is encouraging a visit, which I will take her up on as soon as “the stars align.”