One of Goway’s travel experts, Soran Prasad has travelled all over the world. She recently added Peru to her list of adventures, and has some insights for travellers heading to the land of the Incas, and the agents helping to get them there.
What cities/places did you visit in Peru?
Our group of 12 travel professionals was fortunate to visit Lima, the capital of Peru, followed by Cusco, the small villages of Misminay, Moray, Maras, and famous Machu Picchu.
What was your highlight and why?
There were many highlights but # 1 was Machu Picchu. The weather was beautiful with blue sky and sunshine, which is not always the case. We got our million dollar photo. It was amazing to finally see Machu Picchu and learn the history. I would suggest having a guided tour. Watch out for the llamas who wander freely in their home of Machu Picchu.
What was your favorite property and why?
Peru is home to some of the most luxurious and well-appointed hotels I’ve seen. This country has also been awarded world travel awards for its culinary offerings, so it is not really a fair question. All the resorts we stayed in and visited where all amazing. Peru has a wide range from 3 to 5-star, boutique to modern. Westin Lima had all the 1st class modern decor. The Sumaq #1 Hotel Machu Picchu has the best location and a stunning view of the mountains & river. Tambo Del Inka in The Sacred Valley is a large resort with 1st class accommodation and a great location. Palacio del Inka & Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco have charm and history. No two rooms are alike and you have the feeling of being back in time while still having the modern touch. All resorts spoke of amazing service, high quality food and beverages, and amazing staff.
What are some interesting excursions, or itineraries that you would recommend?
The #1 attraction in Peru in Machu Picchu. However, there are many attractions on the way. Peru is rich in culture and history. In Lima visit the Larco Museum. It houses 5,000 years of Peruvian history, represented by more than 45,000 exhibits. When arriving in Scared Valley head to Moray and see the large circular terraces that were used by the Incas as a botanical laboratory. Next, visit Maras salt ponds, which produces the finest salt in the world. Ollantaytambo is still a living, original Incan town. This town is also the hub for the trains to Machu Picchu. One last must see is Misminay, an indigenous community that still honors preservation of its traditional customs. This was my favorite, as the locals share their homes, food, customs and local agriculture. You will learn how to spin and dye wool, and they will dress you up like a local.
Finally, what are your ‘Top Tips’ for those visiting (and selling) Peru?
For anyone visiting, be sure to take your altitude pills prior to landing in Cusco. You will be at 1,200 feet above sea level and everyone adjusts differently no matter your age or your heath. Take it easy and don’t over-do it with walking. Eat lighter than you usually do. Dress in layers, as the weather changes throughout the day. For Machu Picchu, a walking stick can be useful, and you must wear runners or hiking boots. February is the rainy season. You must try the national drink, Pisco, or Chicha Morada, made by a purple corn. Food is a must, from seafood to 3,000 types of potatoes, or 300 different types of corn. Peru has the most amazing food in the world. And be sure to bring your camera for a photo with the local animals, llama and alpaca.