As with all Exodus trips that I have been on, prepare yourself for early starts and long days. It is not a holiday but more of an adventure so be prepared to immerse yourself in a feast of archaeology and anthropology in order to gain some understanding of the cultures and history of one of the cradles of civilisation. You will explore the diverse geographical regions from coastal deserts, islands, high altitude lakes, the Altiplanos, the famous sacred valley from Cusco, the spectacular Machu Picchu and the depths of the Amazon rainforest. There are an endless numbers of churches, museums, archaeological sites to admire and inform your thirst for knowledge. The Incas, although significant, were not the only civilisation to occupy Peru.
If you are as lucky as we were, Exodus managed to make the earth move for us (4.3 on the Richter scale at Arequipa} and a nearby volcano even elected a new Pope! Later on, they conversed with the gods to allow us to experience a 24-hour rainstorm in the forest- it easily beat the 5inch days I used to see in Wales.
Our driver, Alex, successfully managed the frenetic driving conditions in the cities, Pan American Highway and our ascent into the Andes- I could not work out whether a Highway Code actually exists. At the end of each day, he was also skilled in Acupressure and massage- enough to release any tensions.
Our guide had the unique knack of managing and leading our group to maximise their understanding of not only his proud identity as one of the ‘locals’ but also to find other passionate guides at different intervals to further our understanding of the history of his country. Despite the farmers’ protests towards the end, he still managed to get us to the pinnacle of the trip- Machu Picchu.
Truly an adventure in which you have to immerse yourself.