There were around 16 million of them when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1528. Now Peru and the surrounding areas are spotted with everlasting monuments to the Incan masterful architecture and civilization. Although specific rural areas still have some people who use ancient dialects and traditions, much of the country and its population is transitioning into a modern society. However, when you do reach the special places where the remnants of their society still stand, it is more life changing than any of the modern luxuries can claim.
The legacy of the Incas
The mountains, countryside, rainforests, farmland and ancient ruins are all beautiful and their views will certainly take your breath away. Yet, what remains truly awe-inspiring is how fascinating these Incan landmarks are. To learn about how these amazing people were able to adapt and become expert farmers by terracing mountain sides and growing different crops from the different micro-climates they created. To walk through the different sacred temples composed of huge boulders placed together without so much as a hairline thin gap between them. To understand their respect for nature and their various gods, and see how they were able to use that respect to create lasting cities at the tops of mountains and deep in unforgiving forests. That is the best thing about travelling to Peru, being able to learn and witness the history of an amazing culture that thrived in places where many people today, with all our technology, still struggle.
Beholding ancient wonders
The most important places to visit for any tourist are Cuzco, Pisac and the Sacred Valley, Saksaywaman, Ollantaytambo. However, the best of all to behold firsthand is Machu Picchu, named a Wonder of the World and UNESCO world heritage site. Constructed in the 1400’s and abandoned when the Spanish conquistadors appeared, Machu Picchu stands as testament to the amazing things the Incan empire were able to accomplish in their time. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this site beyond the architectural feat in and of itself is simply its setting.
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Hidden at the top of a mountain in the middle of the rainforest, it is hard to walk too far in any direction in the city without finding yourself standing over a cliff looking hundreds of meters down to the waterways below. Further higher still, is the Sun Gate, which marks one of the final stop along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, and the point where the sun rises over the mountains on the summer solstice. The hike is a mile long and the journey takes about three to four hours to endure, especially given altitude and amount of breathable oxygen, but the views of the area will last a lifetime.
The true meaning of travel
It is not every day that someone gets to experience something that makes them pause and reflect. There are only so many places in this world that allow people to marvel in ancient cities and temples, wonder is picturesque landscapes, and get lost in fascinating neighbourhoods with friendly people. Peru has these things and more. It is a place that allows people to experience the true meaning of travel. You will see beautiful things, you will experience things and a way of life that is vastly different than at home, you will learn about humanity, and it will change you.
Collette Tours helps you dive deeper with an 11-day Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries Tour. Get in touch with your local Travel Associates Consultant to take the first step in your own journey of discovery