Seattle resident Nikki Rymer had always wanted to visit Machu Picchu — and when she won one of our giveaways, 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. (We really appreciate your wonderful review, Nikki!)
I can’t really pick a highlight! All of the trip was amazing!
We were greeted off the plane and driven to a small town called Cusco. This is where we were going to stay for a few days. I quickly noticed how awesome the building structures were designed, how tight the small alleyways were, and how old the cobblestone roads were. Our hotel was surrounded by other little shops, walking distance to the town.
The next day, our wonderful guide picked us up in a van headed to the “White Christ” and the Sacred Valley. We sat in the back, and I took in the scenery with the rolling hills, dogs running around, kids playing, and small towns throughout the journey. We stopped on the side of the road to talk to some of the locals. They showered me with such beautiful homemade purses, wind chimes they had made, handbags, earrings and clothing made from alpaca fur. The day was warm, and I could smell the hot road, dirt and country air.
The tour to the Sacred Valley was fascinating because we were able to experience how the people made the cities and buried their loved ones. We also got to walk through villages built centuries ago. I love to hike, so for me, this was a breath of fresh air.
That evening, we headed up by railway to visit Machu Picchu the next day — that was an amazing experience going from the city to the jungle! The rooftop was all glass. We arrived at a little hotel nestled deep in the forest, and it was like being in a treehouse. The inside was all cedar, and all the foliage was beautiful jungle leaves and flowers.
We got up super early to begin our trip up to Machu Picchu. Let me tell you: the scariest part was that bus ride up the mountain, and I have nothing but respect for those drivers. I got to see some alpacas grazing, fog lifting to open the view of the city like a veil, and it was spectacular. It was also very intriguing listening to the guide talk about the tunnel under the mountain and how they constructed the city by transporting the rocks all the way up the mountain. We also got to see part of the Inca Trail, which I hope to see again soon.
We parted with our guide, and my friend and I took off to visit Machu Picchu Hot Springs, which was located in the town. I remember admiring how interesting it was that the people built a city in the side of a mountain surrounded by lots of jungle and the railways go right through town. The hot springs were amazing as well — the lounge area featured bright colors and relaxing chairs, and we could have a few drinks while soaking in the sun and beauty that Peru has to offer. That evening we traveled back to our original hotel and had dinner in the city.
Our final day, we had the day free, so we walked through Cusco, visited some local shops, and toured a few little pubs. That evening, we met another guide who took us off to a local market, which — let me tell you — was a dream! Each row was filled full of cheeses, smoothies, chocolates, breads, fruits and veggies, etc. I think I wanted to eat everything I saw!
At the market, we picked up a few things for our cooking class and private dinner experience, then taxied over to this building, where we were greeted by another assistant who helped us get into our aprons, wash up, and begin to make some Peruvian dishes. The first thing we made became my all time favorite drink, Pisco Sour! The first dish we made was ceviche, then a dish of red quinoa. The fact that we had the whole place to ourselves, enjoyed amazing views of the city, and were able to experience the culture made for an extremely memorable evening.
The journey had come to an end, so the next day, we ventured back to Washington. This was a very very special trip, and I was so happy to experience something that was on my bucket list! As an American and an avid hiker, I was amazed by the beauty that surrounded us, and the languages, foods, and cultures that we learned from. I would definitely return to Peru!
My advice to people planning on taking this trip is to visit Machu Picchu hot springs and get altitude sickness meds before you go. Unfortunately, I experienced altitude sickness throughout the entire trip, but we were able to find the local drug store and secure the medications for me to feel better.
Finally, I’d like to say thank you to all the guides and the Acanela team that helped me before the trip. I feel blessed to have gotten this chance of a lifetime — the opportunity to go to Peru and the chance to tell my story!
Thanks again for your review, Nikki! Travel is such a powerful way to immerse yourself in another culture, and it sounds like you learned that firsthand on this trip.
If you’d like to travel to Peru and visit Machu Picchu, we’d love to show you around. Book a trip with us today, and get ready to embark on a journey you’ll never forget!