Peru – 2007

Peru is legendary among world travelers looking for exciting new experiences. From the soaring peaks of the Andes and the lush Amazon Rainforest to pre-Columbian ruins and Spanish colonial mansions, Peru beckons with the allure of the ancient and mysterious. This is truly a spellbinding country, and its most significant site, the “lost city” of Machu Picchu, is on many a bucket list. Seemed a fitting follow-up to our WOW! 2006 inaugural journey to India, so off we went in October of 2007.

But we had to do it the “wow” way …. with a few unusual twists!

Highlights:

Lima

  • Lima is a necessary place to spend a couple of nights for logistical reasons … but would never be considered a highlight on its own. But we made it fun (and competitive) by organizing a scavenger hunt which was a unique way to learn about Peru’s culture and history

Sacred Valley

  • Our first flight was to Cusco – which can present acclimatization challenges because of the high elevation (11,000 ft.). So we took a convoy of self-drive SUVs from the airport through the magnificent Andean scenery to the lower elevation of the Sacred Valley
  • The Inca Emperors used the Sacred Valley as a place of recreation … as did we – as we shot the rapids of the Urubamba River
  • We visited the remarkable, mortarless Ollantaytambo Fortress
  • In the rural community of Misminay, the villagers greeted us with a musical procession and took great pleasure teaching us some basic tasks like milking a cow, shearing a sheep and spinning wool
  • We enjoyed a special “wow” fireworks display
  • Because there’s more to Peru than Machu Picchu, we visited the unique archaeological site of Moray as well as the sacred city of Maras, known for its salt evaporation ponds which have been in use since Inca times

Machu Picchu

  • We stopped the Vistadome Train at the 104 kilometer marker, where some of us climbed off and hiked for about five hours on the last part of the Inca Trail, reaching the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu just as the sun was setting (and all the day-trippers had left the site). Others in the group – feeling a bit less fit – opted to stay on the train all the way to the terminus
  • We stayed overnight at a legendary property: Inkaterra Pueblo Lodge (one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 Best in the World)

Cusco

  • Several of us couldn’t resist sampling the traditional gastronomic specialty, “cuy” (guinea pig)
  • We rode Peruvian ponies to a clearing in the forest where a shaman gave us a special healing ceremony
  • We enjoyed a “wow” event on our final night, when a boys choir gave a private performance in an historic monastery

What our WOWees have to say:

dana-borowkaDana Borowka:
There is no other organization I’m aware of that goes over the top in providing the detail, the care, the support and the love to make it seamless as does The WOW! Travel Club.”
Eve YenEve Yen:
I consider myself a professional traveler but I’ve never experienced anything like this WOW! trip. I cannot count how many times I‘ve been WOW’ed.”
Ellen BEllen Borowka:
The journey to Peru pushed me beyond my limitations. You assembled a wonderfully supportive group as we experienced a whole new world. It was an expression of your love of sharing the world – to provide insight about how other people live. The trip was summarized to perfection at the end with the visit to the Shaman – it showed the intent of your heart.”