Latin America expert Luis Saravia has just returned from a 10-day journey through Peru, from the stunning jungle retreat Reserva Amazonica to the Lares region of Peru. Read about his special moments on the road and fascinating insights into the way of life of the local people .
My journey began at Reserva Amazonica, an Inkaterra property located near in the Tambopata Province of the Peruvian Amazo. This is a true luxury eco-resort and an incredible getaway in the heart of the jungle. I enjoyed canopy and wetland walks during the day and a nighttime excursions to witness river fauna at dusk.
Next I flew to Cusco to participate in the Discovering the Lares Region program, one of Mountain Travel Sobek's most popular Peru adventures. I spent two nights in Cusco, prior to the start of the program, and enjoyed wandering through its beautiful UNESCO-listed streets. The 16th-century Jesuit Church is a classic example of colonial baroque architecture and one of two major cathedrals around Cusco’s main square or Plaza de Armas. This type of construction is what makes Cusco a wonderful place to visit! I have been there in three different occasions and it never ceases to impress me.
The town of Chichero is located at 12,500 feet above sea level and has a large archeological complex. The photo shows the very top of the complex. What is relevant is to see the type of construction which is typical in many parts of the Peruvian highlands. This picture shows a Spanish church built on top of an Inca foundation. Notice the Spanish-style white-washed campanile and arches, on top of the Inca earthquake-tolerant trapezoidal openings. It is also interesting to note that this type of Inca construction used no mortar, they shaped each rock to fit perfectly with the rocks surrounding it. It is likely that the Inca construction will outlast the Spanish.
During our Discovering the Lares Region program we witnessed a number of cultural activities that gave us a glimpse of how the Peoples of the Andes live and work. On one occasion, at the town of Chinchero, we saw how a cooperative made up exclusively of women continue to use a traditional methods to manufacture amazingly ornate textiles from alpaca wool. After shearing the animals, they wash the wool using the yucca root and once dry they manually spin it into yarn. The yarn is then colored using a variety of natural dies, and they use a manual loom to produce the textiles. Some of products can take up to a month to weave. The colors are bright and the designs often represent the region where they live. It was a pleasure to support these industrious ladies by purchasing their products.
Lastly, I love the picture of the roofs because it shows a great panorama of Cusco from El Mercado hotel during a stormy afternoon. There was thunder and lightning and I was hoping to catch a lightning bolt while enjoying the cool rain.
About Luis Saravia
As an avid traveler for the past 30 years, Luis has visited some of the world’s most beautiful natural places and cities. In particular, he is fond of highlands of Peru and Patagonia, where the natural beauty of the land meets the welcoming warmth of its people! Luis is an Adventure Coordinator for the Latin America team at Mountain Travel Sobek.