Before coming to Peru, I knew I was in for an adventure. I had never seen large mountains before (unless you count the Appalachian Mountains – I sure don’t now) and was really looking forward to staying in the Andes, namesake of one of my favorite mint chocolates and the longest continental mountain range in the world. Peru certainly did not disappoint. On my flight to Cuzco from Lima I was glued to the window as the plane passed over the mountain range. Upon landing in Cuzco, my jaw dropped as I took in the view. The city is surrounded by small mountains on all sides. I was thoroughly impressed, but things kept getting better from there. As we took our side trips all over the region we kept encountering taller and taller mountains and getting better and better views, including expansive valleys and towering snow-capped mountains, like the one pictured below.
Then, as if the mountains and ocean weren’t enough, we took a trip south of Lima, to the desert Oasis of Huacachina. Yes, desert. This trip also marked my first time being in the desert, which provided incredible views and tons of extreme entertainment. Riding in a dune buggy and sand boarding are up there with some of the most fun things I’ve done in my life. After all that excitement it was nice to lay back and watch the sun set over the dunes.
Peru is incredibly diverse and home to many environments, animals, and cultures. I was able to experience a lot in one month, but know that there is still so much that I have yet to see and do. Visiting the rainforest and Lake Titicaca are on the top of my to-do list for the next time I visit Peru, which I absolutely would love to do.