As I am in my final week in Peru, I can confidently say time has certainly flown by. I have done a bunch of activities in Peru. Whether it is in Cusco or somewhere in the mountain range, I have been a part of excitement and learning experiences. Some of my ventures have led me to common tourist attractions, Starbucks and more. And all my adventures have led me to meet new people and create friendships. The people and places are the reason why my time has flown by.

One of the first tourist attractions I went to was to the statue, Cristo Blanco. I went with four other people. Two of them had shown up in Cusco the day prior, so the climb up the hill to Cristo Blanco was strenuous on them. As for the rest of us, we had already acclimated to the altitude, therefore the hike was not as arduous (still tiring though). When we reached the top, we were greeted by the statue, a beautiful view, and a man trying to get us to ride horses. He was persistent. He didn’t leave. We refused though. After seeing everything we could, we headed back down. A couple of people in our small group almost slipped, but luckily, they did not get hurt. In the end, the hike was well worth the sight.

The next tourist attraction I went to was rainbow mountain, which was beautiful. The altitude was crazy. At the very top of the mountain, it was over 5,300 meters (I don’t know the exact height). Either way, it was significantly more difficult than Cristo Blanco, because of a 1,500-meter difference in height. I was able to make it up the mountain, somehow. At the very top, I traveled a little way to see the red valley, it is right next to rainbow mountain. It was beautiful, all there was were red mountains. The only other color was green and that was due to vegetation, no other reason. On the way back from the red valley, I could really feel the thinness of the air, it was hard for me to breathe and I began having a headache. I ended up spending some money and taking a horse down the mountain, it was worth it and relieving (even though ironic because of not taking a horse ride at the other site). I was able to breathe a lot easier as I rode down. The whole trip was amazing.

The most recent attraction I went to was a world wonder, Machu Picchu. Before I went to Machu Picchu, I visited the sacred valley, which is the way the Incans traveled by to get to Machu Picchu. The Sacred Valley was incredible and I had gone at the perfect time. There weren’t too many people there and it was sunny but there were clouds to reduce the heat. Machu Picchu on the other hand, I had gone on a great and a terrible time. Terrible because there was a lot of rain and fog, which means I couldn’t get the classic Machu Picchu picture. But the rain and fog ended up being a positive. There were significantly less people there, and the fog created an effect which made Machu Picchu more mysterious and magical. It was certainly lived up to its reputation as a world wonder and I would love to go back to Machu Picchu again, perhaps on a sunny day for a different perspective.

As I only have a couple more days left in Cusco, I’ve seen so much, yet I know there are a bunch of things that I have missed. Four weeks is not enough to experience Cusco at its fullest, yet this time has yielded me amazing memories. I can’t wait to return to Cusco, but I am looking forward to my next stop, Argentina.

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