What Makes Peru Great?
Peru is great for its rich cultural diversity, centuries of fascinating history, and breathtaking landscapes. To a traveler’s delight, influences from the ancient Inca Empire are still seen in modern life and lifestyle. From the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, living on the land, and potato farming, the Inca’s reverence for Pachamama (mother earth) is very much alive in the Andes people’s modern beliefs and activities.
From the blog: A foreigner feels at home spending the day with cuddly llamas and a baby alpaca. Read the story here. What happens when you channel Pachamama energy with coca leaves? High elevation at Machu Picchu is not what you think. Over 4,500 potatoes are native to Peru and one variety makes the perfect french fry.
The Inca Trail is the route to Machu Picchu in the high elevation of the Andes Mountains. The Inca traveled through these trails over 600 years ago to reach the ancient city. Details along the way are nuggets of history about their empire and brilliance.
Machu Picchu is an architectural feat of wonder—a stone city that sits in a valley surrounded by mountains. The Inca designed its incredible buildings, walls, and terraces to blend naturally into the rock escarpments and greenery within which it’s situated. Many people believe the site is a powerful energy source, emanating from Pachamama herself, and they pilgrimage here for a profound experience.
The Quechua village Chinchero is built on top of Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley. The indigenous mountain people of the Andes and their language both use the term Quechua. People know the land intimately and survive from its many natural resources. They bond with the animals who are as much pets as sustenance providers. Living without most modern trappings, people are easy-going and happy with a simple and genuine lifestyle.
Weaving traditions are passed down through generations in Chinchero households. Raw materials come from the animals (wool) and the land (plants provide dye). Expert craftsmanship comes from knowledge, skill, and deep connection with Quechua culture and heritage.
Nearly 5,000 potato varieties are native to Peru and indigenous groups are, unbelievably, discovering more. The International Potato Center is actively working to preserve heirloom varieties. To protect this heritage, today’s planting, growing, and harvesting follow traditional Inca farming methods.
Ceviche originated in Peru centuries ago. The Inca’s ate the salted, marinated, raw fish dish as a staple in their diet. There’s a flair for preparation and presentation that keeps the country’s national dish popular everywhere.