This is now the fourth time this month that Peru has made its way onto my radar. That’s got to be a sign, right? I knew it was chock full of gorgeous sights to be seen, but after taking a look through Merari Teruel’s photos, I’m fairly confident that I need to experience it for myself. Because, and let’s be honest here, this is not something I want to miss! There’s more from this wonderful trip right here in the gallery.

From Merari TeruelPeru is a country full of rich history and friendly smiles. I’d been wanting to go to Machu Picchu or the Lost City of the Incas since high school. I’m a bit of a history nerd and visiting an ancient Incan city got my nerdy antennas going. As a photographer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to explore such a place with my camera. I volunteered my sister to come along and we headed to Peru for a week for a little sibling trip.

We purposely didn’t plan all that much since my favourite part of adventuring is getting lost and finding things off the beaten path. We walked miles upon miles, rode horses, a train and many, many buses. Along with Machu Picchu, we had the chance to visit Cusco, Aguascalientes, Pisac, Saqsaywaman, Urubamba, Oyantaytambo and the capital: Lima. All with unique history and all filled with the kindest people. Markets, little shops, children playing with baby llamas and men playing their flutes was the usual scene throughout.

We drank Coca tea every day which helped a ton with altitude sickness, and the typical dish of Lomo Saltado, steak and potatoes with rice, was enjoyed consistently. So good!

Our headquaters in Cusco was the Ninos Hotel. I researched quite a bit for an affordable, clean and beautiful place to stay for the trip and this place did not disappoint. It’s an old villa filled with bright colors, beautiful flowers and the friendliest staff I’ve ever met. On top of that, all proceeds from the hotel go to the Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation which help local Peruvian children with schooling, meals and medical assistance.

Peru was a wonderful learning and exploring experience. It’s humbling to stomp on the grounds were folks used to live hundreds of years ago. People who lived quite differently than we do now. I highly recommend everyone make it out there at least once in their life! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will cherish forever.

Photography by: Merari Teruel | Hotel: Ninos Hotel Ninos Unidos Peruanos Foundation