Posted: November 10, 2015
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The Heart of Peru


After having spent a month and a half in the incredible Amazon, we left to discover more of Peru on a three week adventure travel excursion. Our first stop was Urubamba, a city nestled between giant mountains in the Sacred Valley. It was a big change for us. Cold weather, high altitude, and mountains the size of god. It was pretty amazing to say the least.

Whilst in the Sacred Valley, we explored a glacier at 13,000 ft. and visited Parque de la Papa (Potato Park) which is composed of five indigenous communities. The hike was a true test of community. As we walked slowly but surely up the mountain, our heavy breaths were only overpowered by words of encouragement from one another.

Montanay Hike, Pictured (right to left): Linda Gaida, Shireen Karimi, Jessica. Photo: Anne McGarvey

Pictured: Montanay Hike, Kira. Photo: Anne McGarvey

We all managed to make it to the end and indulged in a delicious frozen peanut butter lunch while staring at an incredible landscape. It was definitely the highlight of my trip thus far. Next stop: Parque de la Papa. Here we were guided around and were brought to an amazing lagoon where we learned how indigenous communities in the Andes are combating climate change.

Parque de la Papa. Photo: Anne McGarvey

Next stop: The salt mine. On our last day in Urubamba, we were taken to the Mara mines where we learned about salt mining. It was so interesting to see the mine in person and have the opportunity to explore them up close and personal. Also the view was amazing.

The Salt Mines. Photo: Anne McGarvey

As the excursion came to an end, we made our way to Cusco and the drive there was nothing short of extraordinary. The views continuously got not only more amazing, but bigger and bigger. We were giddy.

Pictured: Top row: Jaime Akens, Charlotte Benishek. Bottom Row: Erika Weiskof, Shireen Karimi, Linda Gaida, Anne McGarvey, David Dehart. Photo: Anne McGarvey

It has been an amazing month and we have even more to look forward to. Manu National Park and endless adventures back at Villa Carmen await!

→ Biodiversity & Development in the Andes-Amazon Semester Program in Peru

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