This was the start of my first trip to South America. I’ve always been a little uncertain whether the Caribbeans is part of that continent, but after some consideration, I’m going to say that Peru is my first South American country ever. And it was quite an experience.
But first, let’s be honest about a few things: I’ve always wanted to go to Machu Picchu. I had no idea that Machu Picchu was in Peru. I wasn’t sure if Peru was in South America or Europe. Oh how my education has failed me. Ironic considering my profession. Regardless, my family and I joined a tour to go to Peru – highlight: Machu Picchu – and it was amazing. The entire trip – despite certain factors – and I feel that I’ve learned and seen so much more.
Let’s start. The flight to Peru was not fun. Delays plus the fact that we landed there past midnight made for a very hard morning to start our trip. But still, we managed to wake ourselves up after 3-4 hours of sleep and get around the city. I want to talk more about the tour itself (the logistics of it) – but I think that will be saved for a different time.
The first place that we went to was Pachacamac. This is a temple in the Lima area, built during the Inca Empire. But most of the temple is now buried under. It’s an archaeological site and it simply amazes me that people were able to find anything. For the most part, it looked like a long and wide stretch of empty land.
We were a little confused at the start of the tour when we were told that we were going to visit the museum. And it ended up being this little temporary building – my dad thought it was the washroom. The temporary museum is in place, across the construction of the actual museum that is still in progress.
It was an interesting experience to see people actually working on the sites and there were multiple groups of school children brought here to learn more about the history of the area.
After lunch, we did a city tour of Lima that brought us to the Main Square where we saw the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishops Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall.
The tour also brought us to the San Francisco Monastery – a beautiful church in Lima with a library that had me in awe.
In the midst of a modern district was the Huaca Huallamarca, a pre-Incan pyramid. It was interesting to see that the South American pyramids – without the pointed tops like the ones in Egypt. Here, we also learned about the unique way in which they mummified the corpses.
Finally, we got to visit Miraflores and see the beautiful coastline of Peru. There was also a beautiful bench mural that is inspired by the designs of Gaudi (Park Guell).