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A Guest's Insight in Peru

My husband and I set out last year to find a trip we could take together sans kids that would fit our opposite travel styles and preferences . We found it absolutely in Peru and Macchu Picchu. We traveled with a small group of family and friends, including Latitude founder Linda Shepro. I had traveled with Linda before, but it was a first-time international trip for my husband. The minute we stepped into the bustling, and surprisingly metropolitan, city of Lima, we were in love. Although it was misty and cooler during Peruvian winter, the sites were beautiful and we enjoyed exploring the architecture—it is both historic and modern. And who knew that Lima is in the top 5 cities in the world for Gastronomy?! The food was excellent, and when we returned to Lima for a privately guided food tour on the last day of our trip to eat where the locals eat, we could see why.

The main attraction of the trip was Machu Picchu, but visiting the other Incan ruins along the way further built my excitement and disbelief. The fact that people could create these amazing structures—that have withstood weather, earthquakes and countless visitors—with their bare hands is something you have to see for yourself. Taking the train to the Inca Trail, with its great views along the way, was a fun way to begin our journey to the breathtaking Incan city of Machu Picchu. The hike was definitely strenuous, but doable, and my husband had concerns about the heights at times, but the beauty of the Andes mountains, the ruins, and engineering marvels we passed along the way helped to keep his mind occupied. Seeing Machu Picchu in the afternoon sun, after a challenging hike, made it that much sweeter—so worth it! I wish everyone could see this place in person, as it's hard to put into words. The next day, three of our group members also climbed the mountain behind Machu Picchu—Wayna Picchu—also known as, "the death hike." If you thought your heart was beating fast before, try this hike for next level adrenaline! The climb to the top took us about 45 minutes, but gave a wonderful and different perspective of Machu Picchu, and I am glad I conquered my fears to do this "bonus" hike during the trip.

All in all, the people, the sights, the food and the guides were fantastic. It couldn't have been a better trip, and I would absolutely recommend Peru to anyone looking for a great mix of activity, repose, culture and visually stunning landscape. Truly, it is a once-in-a-lifetime trip! Now, my husband is asking what our next trip will be...

Jenny F. Minneapolis, MN

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