While there are so many things to do and see in Peru, some of the most treasured experiences cannot be planned for. I'll never forget the time we were invited to participate in a Llama Blessing Ceremony (alpaca are commonly blessed, too) in one of the villages outside of Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru.
After breakfast, we traveled through the mountains to the Latis Valley, located on the other side of the Sacred Valley, on a scenic journey through the tiny villages dotting the mountainside. As we departed from Ollantaytambo with our small van zig-zagging up the mountain, we watched as rugged streams and sprawling green hills rolled by. After about an hour, we reached the first village, where we were introduced to several locals who were so kind and quickly became our friends in a matter of minutes. We learned about how they live their day to day lives before continuing on another hour or so until we reached the Andean highlands.
As we stepped out of our vehicle and felt the hard crunch of gravel underneath our feet, a clumped mass of white alpaca caught my eye. Juan and his family were there to greet us with big hugs, and in the distance I could see hundreds of alpaca gathered together for the blessing. The blessing ceremony is very special, as the people believe it brings good luck and health to their animals, which are an important part of the livelihood in Peru.
First, all the llamas are gathered together, and the youngest are brought forth to the front of the herd—our baby llamas were just 2 weeks old. Cocoa leaves, incense, feathers, and other items are gathered up in a pouch and burned. Special water is thrown over the tops of the llama heard, and the baby llamas are decorated with flowers & natural colors as prayers are spoken. At the end of the ceremony, the people dance around the herd with flags and vibrant clothing until all the llamas are released back into the mountains.
In the late afternoon, we continued onwards to Juan's village for a traditional Pacha Manca lunch. Pachamama is the Quechua word for "Mother Earth," and as it holds a lot of significance in Peruvian culture, it was very fitting for our dining experience. The food was cooked in the ground in an oven that was dug from the earth. All the ingredients for the meal were harvested from the land, including potatoes, lima beans, squashes, bananas, and meats.
After our lunch, we traveled to Pisac to visit the local markets and buy traditional Peruvian textiles & ceramics—two of the best souvenirs you can bring back from Peru. It was such a great day and one I will never forget, as some of the best experiences cannot be planned for.
If you would like to experience a traditional Llama Blessing Ceremony and immerse yourself in the culture of Peru, travel with us on our Classic Peru Expedition.
Trying to plan a family getaway but not sure where to start? We know it can be difficult to travel with the whole family. After all, how do you find a destination that is appealing to both adults and kids of various ages? Luckily, we have done the work for you! Read below to discover five of the top family-friendly destinations in the world.
Seattle resident Nikki Rymer had always wanted to visit Machu Picchu — and thanks to Acanela, she finally got her long-awaited chance to travel to Peru. It was a dream come true, and after she returned home, we loved hearing a little more about her experience. Here’s everything that she told us about her trip.
Best friends Anna and Jillian have always loved traveling with each other. When they found out that Acanela was offering a two-for-one discount on its classic Peru expedition, they jumped at the chance to visit South America together. After their trip ended, Anna told us a little more about traveling to Peru with her best friend.
Henry Thompson and his family had no idea how much they would love Peru. But between the hikes, market visit, cooking class, and llama blessing ceremony that they experienced, this family vacation was a dream come true. Here’s what Henry had to say about the trip.
Summertime often evokes images of frosty glasses full of ice-cold lemonade, scrumptious ice cream cones, and lazy days on a sandy beach with a great novel in hand. For most people, the lengthening days bring with them a much-anticipated break from school or a slower work schedule. It is no wonder that this season has become readily associated with vacation time! The lingering twilight, warm sunshine, and slower pace of life make the summer one of the best times of the year to adventure with those you love. Perhaps you hope to jet off on a romantic getaway to a faraway island, or maybe you want to simply seek respite from the heat in the coolness of the mountains; either way, summer is the perfect time to explore the world. So, whether you are planning to visit the other side of the globe or just the other side of the country, here are some of my top vacation destinations to get you started thinking about your next summertime trip!
Machu Picchu is one of the most popular travel destinations in South America. Here’s everything you need to know to plan a successful trip to this World Wonder!
While there are many things to do and see in the world, some of the most treasured experiences cannot be planned for. Like the time I was invited to a Llama Blessing in the Lares Valley of Peru. The Lares Valley is tucked away behind Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, a journey that will take you past tiny mountain villages that dot the mountainside.
Last October, I had the pleasure of visiting Peru for the first time. I was able to interact with the locals, experience their cuisine, and explore the cities. During my stay, one of the most memorable things was the hospitality from the local people and their willingness to open their hearts to travelers. This life changing trip really inspired me to write about the amazing experiences that makes this destination one of my favorites.
The South American country of Peru might be most famously known for Machu Picchu and the Amazon Rainforest, but don’t be fooled into thinking that these are the only things that Peru has to offer. Here are 10 additional sites you may want to seek out during your visit to Peru, and and check out this handy travel guide.
Peru has one of the most diverse climates in the world, making it significantly more tricky to pack for. If you’re planning a trip here, you’ll most likely be exploring sites surrounding Cusco, here is our guide to help you prepare.
Who doesn’t love a llama? These curly haired cuties are full of surprises — here are a few things that might surprise even you, you llama super-fan.
Celebrated as Peru’s most famous hike, the classic Inca trek to Machu Picchu can be considered one of the world’s iconic trekking experiences. In 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the new seven wonders of the world.
Peru a is popular designation in South America. This well-known country is home to Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, and a section of the Amazon River. Peru is the third-largest country in South America! Peru is a well-known travel destination but do you know about their unique hotels?
Peru is a huge country with so much more to offer beyond Machu Picchu, its best-known attraction. Here are some of Peru’s natural wonders that you won’t want to miss on your next visit to this beautiful country.
Peru contains 84 of the 103 ecosystems in the world and 28 of the 32 climates, making it the most ecologically diverse country in the world. And while the country is certainly travel-friendly all year round, the various regions and climates make different times of the year ideal for travel. Read below to figure out the best time to plan your perfect trip to Peru!
With its fresh ingredients and bursting flavors, Peruvian food has been climbing up the popularity charts over the past few years. Some restaurants have even consider the food a “trend.” Be sure to take advantage of all of these delicious dishes during your next trip to Peru!
Many tourists flock to Peru’s most popular wonder, Machu Picchu. This is for good reason, as Machu Picchu is one of the most inspiring and beautiful sites in the world as well as one of the 7 Wonders of the World. However, much of the Northern regions of Peru go unexplored. If travelers only knew the many amazing sites left unseen, I’m sure they would want to add a week or two on to their Peru Expedition.
Imagine taking a 10 hour flight, 3 hour drive, 1 hour train ride , 30 minute public bus, and a a 15 minute hike, you will find yourself at a place voted to be one of the New 7 Wonders of the World--Machu Picchu. While many people visit Machu Picchu, which don't get me wrong - is a spectacular site- they often miss exploring the beauty of the valleys & villages that surround it. Like visiting Juan, his family, and their 1000 alpacas.
Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is an experience unlike any other. With three routes to choose from, the trek takes you through the Andes Mountains to the gates of the famous ruins. This journey can be found on many travelers’ bucket lists, and while almost anyone can accomplish it, a lot of important preparation must be done. The expedition will test your physical and mental limits like never before, but the experience and the breathtaking views make it so worth it. Keep reading to learn our tips for hiking the Inca Trail!
A couple weeks ago I went on the most incredible trip with Acanela, and what’s more I was allowed to bring my brother, Cameron, along for free! Together we discovered Peru, learning about their beautiful culture and taking countless photos.
Born and raised in the small village in the Peruvian mountains, Juan has dedicated his life to farming and caring for his family’s home and herds. Because the conditions are so extreme at the top of the Andes mountains, only certain products can survive, namely potatoes, corn, and, of course, Alpacas. This is how they survive in the mountains.
Almeurzo. That mid-afternoon meal where friends and family gather to take time to enjoy one another’s company. It’s not just lunch in Peru. It’s THE meal of the day. Everything comes to a halt for food, and then it’s naptime before heading back to work. Peru celebrates the afternoon like the Europeans celebrates the evening. The magic of a meal, however, is timeless.
Nothing brings people together quite like food. It’s at the heart of so many cultures, and learning about the local cuisine is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a new environment. There are countless destinations across the globe that offer mouthwatering dishes and rich culinary diversity, but some countries reign supreme. Keep reading for the top culinary destinations around the world!
The Seven Wonders of the Modern Day World are Petra (Jordan), Machu Picchu (Peru), Taj Mahal (Agra, India), The Roman Colosseum (Rome), Chichén Itzá (Mexico), Christ the Redeemer Statue (Brazil), and The Great Wall (China). Each monument earned a deserved spot on the list—as all are UNESCO World Heritage sites and some of the most visited places in the world.
I feel that sometimes we can get caught up only experiencing the “touristy” locations, but Acanela made sure to show us the real Cusco.
We had the opportunity to travel with some INCREDIBLE Content Creators, Brands, and Influencers on our Tour of Peru! We had an AMAZING time as we immersed ourselves in Peru's BEAUTIFUL culture, cuisine, and landscapes.
Peru offers breathtaking views and exciting adventures year-round, but depending on how you plan to spend your trip, some months are better for travelers than others. Different times of the year provide diverse scenery, opportunities, weather, and flora & fauna. In Peru, the year is split into two distinct seasons—wet and dry. While they correspond with winter and summer, you’ll find that distinguishing between wet and dry will be the easiest way for you to plan your ultimate Peruvian getaway.
Machu Picchu is one of the top places to visit in of South America, followed very closely by the Galapagos Islands. A journey to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands is a trip that every traveler should take once in their lives. So, when is the best time to visit Galapagos and Machu Picchu? Typically Spring (April-June) and Fall (Sep-Nov) is the best time to visit, as the weather is mild and pleasant in both countries.
Don’t miss these 5 places to visit in Bolivia including: riding the cable-cars in La Paz, watching the sunrise over Lake Titicaca, hiking the Valley of the Moons, eating the street food in Copacabana, and taking the “Death Road” into the Bolivian Amazon. Bolivia is a hidden gem for adventure, amazing food, and beautiful photo locations - keep reading to hear more about my favorite places and favorite activities from my trip to Bolivia.
One of the best parts of traveling is trying new foods that are unique to the area you are visiting. Finding something delicious that you can’t get at home can be an adventure on its own. Here are ten sweet treats worth trying in different parts of the world.