Wow, I can’t believe it has been a month since we got back from our unforgettable trip to Peru! Here we marked a couple of bucket list items off our list and we learned so much through this experience.
Here are some of the highlights and need to knows about Peru, a South American gem.
Bucket List Travels
Spoken languages: Spanish, Quechuan (Native Andean language), and many other Amazonian dialects
Money: Nuevo Sol and the current conversion from American dollars is about 3 Sols to $1.
6 Things you need to know before traveling to Peru
- 60% of Peru is part of the Amazon Rainforest.
- Here you must drink bottled water or you may get sick from different bacteria in the tap water that our bodies are not accustomed.
- Altitude sickness is no joke! If you are traveling through the high plains as most travelers here do, oxygen is thinner and harder to breathe. Consider taking precautions. In most hotels, you will find an optional oxygen tank in the lobby to help anyone who needs it, take advantage as needed.
- Shop local! In most of the villages that you visit here, you will find markets with local artisans selling goods. It’s totally ok to haggle here, they expect it.
- Book travel arrangements for Machu Picchu and other must-sees early as there are only a few ways to get to this wonder of the world. I suggest booking through a travel agency even. NOTE: There are so many other ancient ruins here and this is just one of many to admire see the others too.
- Don’t forget your sun protection. You will be much closer to the sun here. A sun hat and frequent application of sunscreen is a must to prevent deep burns, notice how most locals wear pants and hats even on hot days.
- Guinea Pigs
- Wild Dogs
In the countryside of the Sacred Valley, you will see many farms and different types of animals roaming. This land is fertile and many farms are family-run.
NOTE: This list does not include any animals that may be found in the Amazon, as we did not get a chance to explore much yet other than our time at Machu Picchu. That’ll have to be an adventure for another day.
Food and Beverage
- Potatoes: So many kinds, so little time. A famous saying in these parts is, “I am more Peruvian than the potato.” Here they have more than 4,000 types of native potatoes.
- Quinoa: We learned that this favorite superfood only grows between 5,000 and 9,000 feet high, making the Andes a prime location and therefore the birthplace.
- Corn Beer: This is a local Sacred Valley brewed beer that is typically drunk in one sitting after made as a party and celebration. This is strictly made from corn and nothing else, unusual for a beer. This is because it continues to gain strength with each day that it sits.
- Ceviche: A delicious seafood dish, perfect because it is so fresh here. If you aren’t afraid of a little raw fish with a spicy kick, this is a dish for you.
- Guinea Pig: Well it isn’t what we are accustomed to but here they eat different animal meat which is indigenous here and this is one of those meats. (If you eat meat.)
- Weavers: Handspun, hand-dyed, and done in traditional manners
- Ceramics: Hand thrown
- Jewelry: Mines in this area have some of the best silver and gold in all of the world.
- Wood Carvers: Amazing to see the detail that they can make with this artform.
3 Highlights of Peru
- Ancient ruins everywhere.
- A beautifully preserved culture that is deeply rooted in understanding mother earth and the value of hard work.
- A diverse ecosystem, from the foggy shorelines to the Amazon Rainforest there is so much to experience here.
I have so much else to share with you about this mystical country, but that will have to be next time. So until next time friends, live lightly and love courageously.