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Report 2008: Peru - Land of the Incas

By Paula G. Cullison from Arizona, Summer 2011

Trip Description: I travelled solo to Peru. The 17 day trip covered: Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo; Paracas, with return to Lima during the early part of September.

Destinations: Countries - South America

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Day Tours; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; Single Traveler

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Page 1 of 9: Background and Planning

photo by Paula G. Cullison

Discover Peru

Like many others, I too have had the desire to visit Peru and experience Machu Picchu. You could say it was on my ĎBucket Listí, but I really donít have one.

As a solo traveler who relies on the Internet to make my own arrangements and reservations, I was eager for another travel challenge. After two months of reading, searching and speaking with others who had recently been to Peru, I planned my trip around dates using a United Airlines frequent flyer ticket. Fortunately, I was also able to secure a 17 day window for a trip that required only 40,000 miles round trip with only one change of planes (in Houston), a departure date at the end of August, and return date in mid-September 2011.

As the trip progressed, I would have the satisfaction of knowing that my knowledge of Spanish and Italian enabled me to manage pretty well. Using a pocket Spanish dictionary was helpful too.

During my planning, I made contact with Karen and Kathy, two directors of AIESEC, an international exchange program that had accepted me for a work trainee-ship assignment to Zurich, Switzerland many years ago. I could then meet with some of the students currently working in Peru on AIESEC trainee-ships.

I also contacted and met with India, the Thunderbird School of Global Management Coordinator (here in AZ), regarding their Thunderbird for Good SWEP entrepreneurial womenís project in Lima. She provided me with an introduction, so I could meet with Ximena, the program director of Mujeres Emprendadores while I was in Lima.

Since the parents of our sonís Peruvian neighbors in the US live in Lima, I planned to meet with Angela and Juan Manuel, as well. So the trip was taking on a whole new dimension. It was becoming less about Machu Picchu and more about the people whom I would meet on my journey.

Checking luggage is not on my list. As a seasoned traveler, I know that packing less requires planning, but it can be done. I was able to put everything into my backpack with wheels and an over the shoulder flight bag.

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