I was lucky to be invited to be part of one of G Adventures biggest ever educational trips, which involved over 100 travel professionals and G staff from all over the world, coming together to learn more about G Adventures, how they run their trips, and how they work within the areas visited to ensure that tourism is a huge force for good, ethical and sustainable for future generations of travellers and the communities visited, in conjunction with their not for profit partner Planeterra. Peru is a wonderful example as there are many wonderful projects there demonstrating Planeterra's work, which I was privileged to be able to experience first-hand.
After a long set of flights we arrived in Lima for a delicious lunch which was the first of many. If you’re a foodie then Peru is definitely for you, everything delicious and healthy, and a super-foodies dream. At today’s lunch we also enjoyed our first Pisco Sour (of many!)
Today we started with a walking tour of Barranco, the bohemian district of Lima, by the sea, with beautiful Spanish colonial architecture, vibrant street art, and a little food tasting and local musical serenades along the way! In the afternoon we left Lima for our flight to the high-altitude town of Cusco.
We spent today soaking up the stunning scenery of the Sacred Valley, visiting some of the many community projects supported by G-Adventures, including the Ccaccaccollo Women's Weaving Co-op, where the ladies craft beautiful materials using traditional methods, benefitting the community financially and passing down traditions to future generations. Lunch was at the Parwa Community Restaurant with more amazing and delicious traditional food (including the local delicacy guinea pig!) It was a wonderful surprise when the whole community came out to celebrate our visit with an impromptu Peruvian style festival of music, dancing, fun and happiness in the glorious sunshine to top off an already amazing day.
After checking in to the most beautiful Aranwa Wellness Hotel in the Sacred Valley, surrounded by huge mountains on all sides, we enjoyed the hotel facilities and grounds, starting the morning with a yoga session in the peaceful spa overlooking the river. Then in an idyllic field in the hotel grounds we took part in a shaman earth worshipping ceremony, which was a very interesting experience, and a beautiful thing. The field was also set up as a sample camp site so we could see first-hand what our customers can expect when doing the Inca Trail trek with G-Adventures. We put up tents, carried giant backpacks, played games and ate delicious food cooked by the talented Inca Trail chefs.
Machu Picchu day! We had an early start to catch the glass roofed Explorer Train from the valley through to the edge of the Amazon jungle, then a local bus to the sacred site. Machu Picchu is even more beautiful than I had imagined it would be. The site is surrounded on all sides by the lush jungle covered Andes mountains. I loved the feeling of simply being there taking everything in and imagining what it would have been like for the Incas to live there 500 years ago, brought to life by the stories told by our brilliant G-Adventures local guide.
On the last day of our adventure we started with a walking tour of the beautiful city of Cusco, filled with happy locals out doing their Saturday shopping in the busy markets, a delicious alpaca steak for lunch, and then back to our hotel for the Change Maker summit including a keynote presentation from G-Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip. Our day ended with a party to end all parties in G-Adventures Cusco office courtyard, which was a brilliant end to a fun and inspiring week.
My week away was action-packed, fun, insightful and full of G Adventures happiness. I was massively inspired by how G Adventures work with their not for profit partner Planeterra to deliver so many life changing projects, as well as falling in love with the people, landscapes, festivities, and food of Peru! You can learn more about the work of Planeterra and their projects, including the ones I visited in Peru here https://planeterra.org/what-we-do/
If you’d like to know more about Peru get in touch. I can help you design the perfect adventure to suit you including visiting Machu Picchu - which can be either challenging by doing the 4-day Inca Trail trek, or more relaxed by getting the glass roofed train, or something in between! Xx