Peru was the first country I visited in South America (in Sept 2022). I loved the humble gentle Quechua people, their traditions and deep connection to Pachamama, the artisan markets, restaurants and cobblestone streets of Cusco, the old villages in the Sacred Valley, the Rainbow Mountain and cute alpacas, the 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, impressive ruins along the way, and first sight of the mystical ancient citadel that was worth the 10,000 “gringo killer” steps to get there.