||SUSAN BERNSTEIN, Contributor
Well, it’s going to happen. After three years or so of telling people I’m going to Peru, I’m finally on my way. A friend once told me if you keep telling people that you’re going to do something, eventually you’ll have to do it. Turns out my friend was right.
Macchu Picchu in the morning light. Photo Credit: iStock
There’s something about Peru and the Incas that draws me in. I love that Machu Picchu is a hidden-away treasure that was only discovered 100 years ago. This year marks the anniversary of this amazing find.
It has been too long since my last major trip (Spain, Portugal and Morocco), but that’s the price I pay for being a homeowner. I love my house, but I knew when I bought it my big trips would be less frequent.
But it’s time for a new adventure. Peru’s high season is in June, so it’s also the most expensive time to travel there. I prefer to travel on the cusp of popular seasons when it’s less pricey, so come September, I’ll be traveling to Peru on the cusp of a season that can swing between dry and rainy.
When researching which places I wanted to visit, I found a GAP Adventures’ trip that included the top activities on my list — hiking Machu Picchu, experiencing the Amazon and seeing a place that sounds so titillating, Lake Titicaca!
There is so much to see in Peru, including the Nazca Lines (a series of ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru), but with just two weeks of vacation time, I can only see and do so much. I looked into Canadian-owned GAP Adventures, and also met with Karl and Anna, founders of a customized travel company called Your Journey.
For this excursion, I’ve managed to convince six of my friends to come with me. In the past, I’ve been known to wander solo, but with a somewhat challenging hike ahead, I’m looking forward to a little encouragement along the way.
A Peruvian woman harvesting rye near Colca Ca. Photo Credit: iStock
We met with Your Journey and discussed which highlights we were interested in seeing, as well as our time frame. Karl and Anna have both been to Peru, so they recommended we visit the beautifully scenic areas of Colca Canyon and Arequipa. When planning a trip, the Internet is a great place to start, but I strongly recommend having a face-to-face chat with travel experts or friends that know the area you’re eager to discover.
As I move further along into my 40-something years, camping throughout my entire trip no longer holds great appeal. Quick tip: To save cash and vary the experience, try mixing in both camping and hotel experiences.
I’ve done camping trips in other countries and found you don’t always get an authentic food experience. Camping food is basically just camping food, no matter where in the world you are.
A country needs to be explored for its landscape, architecture, people, culture and definitely its food. As a big food lover, I look forward to trying the freshest ceviche and possibly taking a bite of BBQ guinea pig on a stick.
In the next few weeks, I’ll be seeking out new hiking boots and gear, the most helpful iPhone apps for traveling Peru, and of course, finding out where in Peru to get the best food.
Fresh-cooked guinea pig, anyone? Bring it on.
Originally from Montreal, Susan Bernstein got the travel bug after a four-week trip to Australia and New Zealand in 1998 — what she calls “a tame start, but nonetheless a start.” Since that first trip, she has traveled to 25 countries and lived in Australia for a year. This is her first foray into writing.
Date Added: July 27, 2011 | Comments (4)
Sue – happy travels! It sounds a wonderful trip. However, Tufty was a bit upset with your somewhat insensitive comment regarding the culinary delights of Peru
Comment by Amanda — July 27, 2011 @ 4:42 pm
Sue have a great trip! I can’t wait to hear about it when you come back!
Comment by Louise — July 27, 2011 @ 10:22 pm
Can’t wait! Not too sure about the guinea pig but you never know!
Comment by Jocelyn — July 29, 2011 @ 12:05 pm
Great article Sue! The ceviche is a definite must! The quinoa soups are great and of course don’t forget the Pisco Sour drinks! Oh and the delicious popcorn! Corn and potatoes come in so many varieties. OK I am ready to go back! Oh and the guinea pig does taste good, but I prefer when it is not on a stick!
Comment by Anna — August 4, 2011 @ 12:43 pm