Africa is our first love – where we started our lives in travel. And while our loyal clients often go to Africa multiple times (some more than a dozen!), they are travelers at heart and want to explore the world. We’ve been planning trips Out of Africa for years, but have now made it more ‘official.’
Journey Specialist Sara has been lucky to spend time in Peru, including exploring the Inca trail, the Amazon, and the country’s vibrant food scene. She’s shared some of her top travel tips for guests to the country here.
There’s so much to see and do in Peru, but there are a few can’t miss things as well as some really important tips for visitors.
There are 2 ways to travel to the famous Machu Picchu ruins – by train or by foot. If you have the time and are up for the challenge, I recommend taking 4 days to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. As you walk this pathway built by the Incans, you begin to feel connected to Peru and its rich history. The ruins found along the way are one of the best surprises to hiking the trail. Visiting these ruins before Machu Picchu builds the anticipation of arriving and allows you to learn more about their importance and the Inca culture. By the time you arrive at Machu Picchu you have a better understanding of its significance and a greater appreciation of the destination after all your hard work hiking!
When most people think of Peru the first thing to come to mind is not the Amazon. However, many of its tributaries run through the country. If you like a bit of nature, adventure and wildlife – then don’t skip this part of the country. When staying at an ecolodge in the forest along the river I awoke to strangest and most amazing bird calls I could imagine. The hammock on my porch was perfect for a bit of relaxation and reading in this tropical environment while taking in all the different sights and sounds. The waterhole nearby was perfect for an afternoon swim to cool down. Wildlife found in the area includes crocodile, caiman, monkeys, birds, butterflies and capybara. You can even take a night hike to see nocturnal creatures.
You can experience some radical altitude changes in Peru. It’s typical to travel from sea level to a little over 11,000 feet when you arrive in a city such as Cusco (gateway city to Machu Picchu). To get the most out of your trip, be sure to plan extra time in cities such as Cusco to adjust to the elevation change and avoid altitude sickness. Cusco in particular has so much to offer – markets, museums, Spanish architecture, delicious Peruvian food and easy to navigate streets – you will not regret an extra day or two in this incredible city.
I typically take a car or train ride as an opportunity to grab a quick nap or review photos. However, I didn’t want to miss a moment of the picturesque landscapes I passed in Peru. The scenery changes so quickly and every change is beautiful. You can see coastline in the morning, pass fields and small villages and be at the foothills or in the mountains by the afternoon. If you like photography, the opportunities are endless. Along the way, you will encounter so much delicious food. Lima is known as one of the food capitals of the world. Be sure to try the local pisco or coca tea. I recommend a bit a research before you go to make the most of your dining. Or better yet, ask for recommendations from your experienced guide or your Journey Specialist at AAC.
Peru is rich with history and culture. A quality guide can make all the difference between engaging and memorable travel or just seeing the sights. Booking your trip with AAC who works exclusively with the best guides ensures that you will have fun on your trip while learning about the topics that interest you!
NOTE! Ticket restrictions at Machu Picchu continue to evolve with the intent of avoiding overcrowding. Hour specific time blocks must be booked, so be sure to discuss your preferred time of entry with your Journey Specialist!