With so much to see and do, you could be tricked into thinking that Peru, in South America, would be impossible to really enjoy unless you had a few weeks spare. Turns out, you can soak up plenty of culture and hit all the highlights in just 10 days, which is what traveller Maite De Hedervary did recently. We asked Maite a few questions about her journey.
What were your impressions of Peru before visiting?
Peru was always going to be a bucket list destination for me. I was under the impression I’d need more time to immerse myself, but with the 10 days we had there it was definitely enough to soak in the culture.
What were you most excited about before visiting?
Travelling to a Latin country where music, food, passion and people all come together. Of course, visiting Machu Picchu was also high on the list.
First impressions after landing?
I felt very safe from the moment I landed. Lima is a large city and I wasn’t expecting it to be so clean.
What were a couple of cultural highlights?
The Inca sites, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. But the Amazon was the surprise number one highlight for me – I learnt so much and was moved daily by such an incredible region.
How was the food?
The food in Peru is an activity in itself! I loved the empanadas and even tried guinea pig and termites in the jungle. For lovers of raw fish, the national dish ceviche is outstanding.
What were the people like?
Passionate and amazing! From the mountains to the jungle to the sea, the locals went out of their way to be helpful, friendly, and show us their wonderful country. Peruvians have an amazing spirit and are very connected to nature, their land, and history. It was infectious.
What surprised you most?
The people and how deeply passionate they are about being Peruvian. I didn’t expect Peru to be so clean either. From the cities to the jungle, it was amazing.
It was an escape from technology and a great place to recharge the mind, body and soul.
The Amazon jungle. I felt completely wild and free there. It was an escape from technology and a great place to recharge the mind, body and soul. I was moved to tears by the beauty of Mother Nature!
How different is looking at photos of Peru to being there?
The pictures look amazing, but being there in person was even better. Peru is more than seeing things, it makes you feel things. I took 1200 photos, because every corner I turned there was a story waiting to be shot!
What will be your lasting memories of the place?
The spirit of Peru. I feel like a part of this magical destination will always stay with anyone who visits and it’ll enhance your perspective on life in general.
What would you say to someone thinking of going?
Do it! Even for 10 days it’s well worth the adventure and experience. The memories will last a lifetime.
Image: Yet another incredible view of Machu Picchu, Peru’s number one attraction. Photo by Tomas Sobek