Peru is truly awe-inspiring. We arrive in the Andes, the world’s longest continental mountain range, and immediately notice the thin, clear, mountain air. One of our first and most memorable views is of the rare Incan walls, enormous granite blocks carved to fit together perfectly without the aid of mortar and cut and wedged so precisely that a credit card cannot be inserted between them.
We descend into the Sacred Valley along the Urubamba River, traveling through snowcapped peaks and rolling terraced hills, and acclimate as we set up camp. Weather dependent, we raft through the waters or fly over the Sacred Valley on the Via Ferrata and zipline with unparalleled views surrounded by Incan ruins perched high on the hilltops. We follow the river and explore “the lost city of the Incas,” high in the rugged mountains on our trail to Machu Picchu. No walk anywhere in the world holds such natural beauty or sheer mystery.
For many years, The Road Less Traveled has been working alongside native Peruvian communities in an effort to improve the local schools and medical facilities. Our project focuses on repairs to the local school and construction of a community center—a gathering place for village meetings, visiting doctors, and traditional celebrations. Using conventional methods of Peruvian construction, we lay adobe bricks and make mortar by mixing mud, water, and straw with our feet. Afternoons and evenings we teach English, play games with the local schoolchildren, and meander through the surrounding terraced hillsides.
For our last adventure we explore “The Sacred Lake,” Lake Titicaca—the highest in the world. Straddled between Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is home to the Uros people who famously live on floating islands composed of totora reeds. Finally, we head back to the Llachon Peninsula, where we enjoy traditional Peruvian cuisine at our final banquet, celebrating our work, our friendships, and our adventures in equal measure.