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Travel

Explore Machu Picchu and Peru with Under30Experiences

By
Amanda Martinez
on
May 11, 2017

Under30Experiences just did three weeks in Peru, visiting Lima, Cusco and making the journey up to Machu Picchu. Want to join us?

Our Explore Machu Picchu and Peru trip offers everything you need to see and do and a little more. 

It was my first time here, so I saw it all for the first time with the travelers which was a special experience. Since I spent three weeks with three different groups, I’ll break it down to some of my favorite parts from each “day” of the trip!

Day One

Day one of the Explore Machu Picchu and Peru trip is usually the day to explore the historic center of Lima, but each group had completely different opportunities.

With the first group, we walked around the historic buildings and old churches of Lima and we did the catacombs tour at the Monastery of San Francisco.

The first group decided to do Parque de la Reserva at night too, which is a park with fountains all throughout and a historical show projected on one of the water fountains. We decided to run through some of the water fountains to cap off the perfect first day!

Day one of the second trip happened to fall on a national holiday in Peru, Santa Rosa de Lima. This specific national holiday celebrates Saint Rose of Lima, the first person born in the Americas to be canonized in 1671. They had a mass outside in the historic center of Lima followed by a huge parade where military, police and even the president attended!

Day one of the third trip was a completely different experience because Mistura 2016 had just started. Mistura is one of the biggest food festivals in South America...and it was quite the experience! We got to try a little bit of everything from traditional to non-traditional including quy (guinea pig), alpaca, gallina de aji and potato ice cream!

Day Two

Day two of this trip is a fun travel day! But before we traveled from Lima to Cusco, we made a pit stop in Miraflores. A district along the pacific coast, Miraflores is a great spot to spend the morning.

In Miraflores, there’s a ton to do and one of the favorites is Parque Kennedy, aka cat park! So for all you cat lovers out there, go check this spot out, our travelers loved it.

We also got the chance to walk around Parque del Amor where the famous “besos” statue stands and walk down to the lighthouse for some spectacular views. If you find yourself in Lima, go check out Miraflores, maybe even take a surf lesson or paraglide!

After Miraflores, we headed to the airport for a short flight to Cusco where the altitude changes to 11,000 feet...altitude sickness is a real thing people!

‍The views flying over the Andes to Cusco! Where's the heart-eyed emoji when you need it.

Day Three

Day three of Explore Machu Picchu and Peru is the day where the travelers get a chance to make their own adventure. Here are a few of my favorite moments from day three...

I’ll start with the most difficult hike I think I’ve ever done, the hike to Cristo Blanco! (Sidenote: I’m from Florida where we sit BELOW sea level...being at 11,000 feet was a task in itself for me.) The first week I didn’t do the hike, the second week, I thought I was going to pass out on the hike, and the third week, I lead the hike...talk about personal growth and progress.

‍Huffing and puffing in the back of the line, but we made it!

This day was a fun one for me...we got to meet some locals, horseback ride through the Andes, go to some museums, and shop around in the markets of Cusco. Here are some photos to highlight all the different activities:

‍Horseback riding through the Andes where we got to stop and see some temples!
‍Maximo! He played us a traditional Peruvian song!

blog-peru-recap-selfie-alpaca
My first alpaca selfie!

Day Four

Probably my favorite day of this Explore Machu Picchu and Peru trip...well, it comes really, really close to Machu Picchu day. The fourth day is the day where we get a cultural immersion and step into the lives of direct descents from Incas to see how they live their life.

It’s about a two hour drive to Parque de la Papa, a community in the middle of Andes that is completely self sustainable.

The stop that I have to talk about is Awana Kancha. This is the place where we learned about the differences between llamas and alpacas AND we got to feed them! Not only that though, we got a presentation about how the famous alpaca wool is spun, dyed and weaved, a really cool thing to see firsthand.

‍Rosita showed us how they make alpaca wool!

The drive up to Parque de la Papa is one of the most scenic and beautiful rides, driving by a city called Pisac and riding along the Urubamba River. Once we arrived to Parque de la Papa, we were greeted with some music and flower blessings. We got to learn how they grow their crops, how they are tagging their crops and how the climate is changing, making it that much more difficult for them...it was a special day.

After our cultural exchange, we headed to a nearby lake to go on another hike, mind you, now at 13,000 feet! The views are incredible, the air was frigid and the company was spot on.

‍Snapped this picture on our way out, it was just simply beautiful here.

Day Five

This day should just be called Machu Picchu Day. The journey to Machu Picchu, hiking around one of the best preserved cities of Incas, and the pure, positive vibes from this day is what makes it all worth it.

It was an early morning, a three hour train ride through the beautiful Andes into the Amazon and then a bus ride up to one of the most magical places I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

‍Machu Picchu!! Do I need to say anything else?

Machu Picchu is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site...and it has every right to be. Perfectly hand carved stones, in the mountains at over 7,000 feet with the most ridiculous views, I felt like I was in another world.

‍Group pic with our ch'ullus! #hatgamestrong

I got to go to Machu Picchu three different times with three different groups, and on this day, I left with the same exact thought each time... Machu Picchu is MAGIC.

Day Six

This was the last day of the trip where we headed back to Lima. And each time we made this flight, I still felt the same, full of gratitude and happiness.

Peru has left me feeling high on life, thankful for my job, thankful for the people that shared this experience with me and ready to do MORE! So, who’s joining me next time?

Amanda Martinez
Amanda is an Adventure Leader and Content Producer for U30X. She loves exploring around, getting lost in new places and making videos of all the memories. 

Edited by:  Miles Demars-Rote

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