Venturing further into the Sacred Valley, I discovered quaint old villages that seemed frozen in time. The natural wonders of Peru also beckoned, from the awe-inspiring Rainbow Mountain to the endearing alpacas that graced the landscape. The pinnacle of my journey was the challenging 4-day Inca Trail, a trek that led me through breathtaking landscapes and past impressive ruins that bore witness to the ancient Incan civilization.
All of these experiences were a prelude to the grand finale: the first glimpse of the mystical ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. It was a moment that made every one of the 10,000 “gringo killer” steps taken to reach it entirely worth the effort.