The Sacred Valley of Peru’s country side is abundant with beautiful green hills and the mystifying wonder of Machu Picchu. Its costal capital of Lima is a historic landmark with many museums and churches. Eastern Peru is a vast jungle—home to the Amazon, and the millions of living things that are its inhabitants. I traveled to Peru when I was in 10th grade, with a group from school. Our trip was organized through an educational travel corporation called NETC. This trip broadened my horizons, and has expanded my thinking.
There is something different about this place compared to other places I’ve visited. I am a considerably well traveled young adult. I’ve been to Italy, England, Scotland, Germany, Canada, Mexico, and many places in America, in addition to Peru. But what makes Peru so amazing?
Much of the trip’s duration took place in the Sacred Valley. Here, our group traveled to a llama farm, saw the hillside, and visited an elementary school. At the school, the children danced and sang for us, and the school president read us a poem. I had the opportunity to meet two children, talk to them, and color with them. They simply loved the new crayons I brought for them, and kept each color in meticulous order. They were so sweet, and were so proud to use their practiced English.
The city of Cusco is part of the Sacred Valley region, and it houses one of the seven ancient wonders of the world: Machu Picchu. This is the most amazing and awe-inspiring place I have ever seen in my life. The bus ride up to the ancient spot contains switchback after switchback, and as we ascended, I could see mountains extremely clearly. The mist that surrounded us created a supernatural sort of feeling, but as our group began to tour the ruins, there was a downpour of rain, and nothing was magic at all about that. The wet feeling that stuck to me during that entire day, has cemented the day’s memory in my mind, and I will never forget it.
We walked off of the airplane at Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Basin, and hopped on buses, which in turn drove us down to the river. At that point, we all climbed into motorized canoes and we sailed an hour down the Amazon to an Eco-Lodge in the middle of the jungle. During a hike, monkeys were screeching and were jumping everywhere, including upon the shoulders of members of our group. We traipsed through the deep mud, which led to Ox Bowl Lake; a placid, serene place. There we rested, only to face the long, messy trek back.
I had a fun, awesome, and exciting adventure in Peru. Before I traveled there, I think I let myself socialize, work, and live as a slightly narrow minded person, within a slightly narrow minded group of people. We had studied the Incas in school, but for some reason, I always remembered the Aztecs more. But, now I’ve seen the ancient place that is Machu Picchu; where a society thrived, where a city was preserved from the camouflage of the jungle. I have learned more about a totally foreign culture to me. I ate a different, but just as delicious cuisine, and I even socialized with two Peruvian children. All of these things, together, have influenced my thinking, and have broadened my horizons. To address the question I posed before: What makes Peru so amazing? Well, I’ve told you what I think…now it might be time for you book a trip down South America way!
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