Ask a room full of people the destinations they’d like to visit and you’ll get a wide variety of answers. One country most have in common however is a bucket list adventure to Peru. While Machu Picchu, the Unesco World Heritage site, will top the list, once you begin researching, you’ll find there is so much more to this country than just the Sacred Valley.
Peru is a destination where you can go from downtown Lima to the Amazon River in a few short hours. Add in the Andes and you’ve got a landscape as colorful and vibrant as the people and animals that inhabit the former Inca Empire. Blending all of this diversity together can get a little overwhelming when planning a trip, and that is one of the reasons I was thrilled when AdventureSmith Explorations invited me on this incredible bucket list adventure to Peru.
You might remember my trip to Alaska last year on a small ship cruise. It was one of my all time favorites. Of course I loved the landscape, the hiking, the amazing food, but most of all I liked the unique style of adventure provided by this award winning company. I know that on my Peru journey I will also be exploring some of the world’s most exotic and inaccessible regions without sacrificing luxury and the health of the environment. I’ve seen AdventureSmith in action; they walk the walk of responsible travel. I know that the company is as committed to sustainable tourism as they are to providing unique experiences.
I’ll be covering a lot of mileage over the 14 days. Nine flights to be exact; somehow I wish I didn’t just add that up, it’s much less daunting to look at the itinerary in sections. Here are some highlights I am really looking forward to experiencing.
8 Highlights of My Bucket List Adventure to Peru
- I’ll be traveling again with my partner in Boomer Travel Media, the company we established in 2016. Patti Morrow is a great travel companion. We know how to have fun and compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses-like getting to the top of the Great Wall of China!
- We begin our journey in Lima and paragliding is at the top of our to do list. While the activity is weather dependent, stay tuned for more.
- The variety of ingredients in Peru are complex and varied. The country is definitely having a moment in the food world. Waves of immigrants throughout history are reflected in the country’s culture, each bringing a piece of culinary fusion to the table. Although I’ve tasted ceviche around the world, I can’t wait to indulge in the Peruvian version of this seafood favorite.
- Iquitos is the largest city on the planet without a road to get there. Transportation to the destination in the jungle is by air or boat. After arrival, we’ll be cruising for 4 days on the Amazon. The rainforest basin is home to more species of animals than any other place on earth. 900 bird species and 1000’s of my favorite orchids to start. The possible wildlife list we might be seeing is 5 pages long!
- There may be piranha fishing as well as a dip in the Amazon. I am very curious to see the logistics and if I’ll be brave enough to dive in! This is a photo worth waiting for.
- Textiles of Peru are legendary and every region has their specialty. The traditional back strap weaving technique used is unique and in the villages we’ll have ample opportunity to see its complexities.
- Along with the food are the markets. Did you know there are over 3,000 types of potatoes in this country. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all have their own variety. I think my taste buds are in for a thrill.
- Hiking is one of my favorite activities and the Lares Trek from mountain lodge to lodge will give some spectacular scenery. Am I nervous about the altitude? You bet, as well as the distances we will cover each day. I’ll take you right along with me as the challenges present themselves.
- And then of course there is the main event. Machu Picchu at dawn. Will it live up to all they hype?What will the crowds be like? I will be reporting on some of the new regulations that have recently been instituted and can’t wait to see if this dream in my minds eye will come true.
For all it’s offerings, you can see how the concept of tackling Peru on your own could turn into one deep, dark hole of web sites and lists. This trip is covering all the bases I’d like to see, combining a hot and humid journey on the Amazon, where wildlife and a culture centered around the mighty river thrives with the well known bucket list adventure in Peru we all want to experience. Some great food is sure to make an appearance, along with some new tastes and a few photo ops you might not have been expecting.
This will truly be the adventure trip of a lifetime for me. As you can tell, my excitement is palpable, and I feel truly blessed to witness all I am about to see. I hope you’ll follow along and be inspired to journey there yourself in the future. And of course if you’ve already been, let me know what you enjoyed the most about Peru in the comments.