Peru, the land of the Incas, is well known for its rich culture and traditions, and the Inca citadel of Machu Pichu. However, did you know that there is so much more to this fascinating country? It has incredibly varied landscapes from ice-capped mountains to burning hot deserts, the rainforest, and even coastal areas for surfers! Here are four interesting things you can do on your next trip to Peru.
Did you know that guinea pigs actually originated from South America and were not considered pets until they were brought to Spain? Till today, guinea pigs are not considered pets in Peru. Cuy, as they are called locally in Peru, is a special dish prepared only during special occasions such as birthdays and festivals. Since it is considered a special meal for the Peruvians, if offered, it is polite to accept and try it. While there are many ways to make it, it is usually served whole. As for the taste, it is quite similar to a mixture of chicken and rabbit, but a lot more nutritious.
The Rainbow Mountain, also called the Montaña de Siete Colores, is about 5,200 meters above sea level, and did not exist till 2015! The colorful hues of the mountains, due to weathering and mineral deposits, were hidden by the ice and snow of the region that gradually melted away due to global warming.
Don’t expect brightly colored mountains like the ones you see on social media, those are saturated images edited to make colors stand out. However, expect to see different shades of dusty rose, turquoise, lavender, and gold that gently blend into each other, creating a magical-like landscape.
Peru is a mystical wonder, every corner of it seems to have an unexplained ruin or structure, one of them being the Nazca Lines. Though it has been studied for more than 80 years, none of the theories behind it have been proven to date. These lines are called geoglyphs, and it has three types; straight lines, pictorial representation, and geometric designs. Some straight lines extended up to 30 miles! While some stone arrangements go anywhere from 50 to 1,200 feet! It is also believed that these formations are over 1000 years old; therefore, it is considered a UNESCO site.
The Nazca Lines are too vast to be seen from ground level, so the best way to view these eccentric structures is by air. So, board a plane, designed to have window seats for all passengers, and experience this magnificent structure.
The Peruvian side is known for the Uros people, who still actively follow their culture and traditions. They live in man-made islands, made of reed, and are complete with an elementary school for the kids. About two hours away, by boat, is Taquile Island, located almost in the middle of the lake. This island is also considered a UNESCO heritage site, not because of its beauty, but because of its products. The inhabitants of Taquile Island are exceptional weavers and knitters, which is strongly intertwined with their culture. In fact, they have a particular school for handicrafts, on the island, to help preserve this tradition. The Taquile creates some of the most intricate and beautiful textiles that reflect their culture.
So what are you waiting for?
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