I traveled to Peru over winter break and managed to scratch one of the wonders of the world off of my bucket list!

We utilized Alpaca Expeditions (aka the Green Machine) to organize our 5 day hike of the Inca Trail and had an amazing experience full of awe-inspiring sights and exquisite three course cuisine. It’s pretty crazy how much the Chasquis (our porters) can carry given the altitude and then at twice the pace that we were going at.

We also used Tarantula Expeditions to explore Sandoval Lake in the amazon forest near Puerto Maldonado where we saw hundreds of species of plants, insects, birds, and animals including leaf cutter ants and giant river otters. I highly recommend this if you’re a fan of animals. I’m still amazed that I saw a bunch of plants and animals that I had only previously seen on PBS.

Some things I should mention to people who want to come to see Machu Picchu:

  • Don’t drink chicha before you start your hike. I’m pretty sure that is how I upset my stomach.
  • Do the Inca Trail for at least 4 days! The hike was the best part of this trip. I don’t think I would have gotten nearly the breadth of knowledge from just doing the train ride and bus tour to the top of Machu Picchu.
  • Make sure you pick a reputable company to plan your expedition. Don’t skimp here! I heard rumors about a lot of people who had to bring snacks because the food sucked. We never had that problem plus we were able to enjoy our trip because we had enough porters so that we didn’t have to carry much.
  • Do spend a few days in Cusco acclimating. The altitude is killer.
  • Don’t bother spending any time in Lima. It’s pretty similar to any major city.
  • Do check out the Amazon forest and Lake Sandoval. It’s amazing! (although everything is trying to eat you– so bring bug spray)