Our Machu Picchu Photo Contest Winner

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Peru For Less helps thousands of travelers from around the world experience the best cultural, historical, and natural sights of Peru every year. Employees of PFL love to travel and share their stories for our Friday blogs, but we also like to share the stories of our clients. As the winner of our Machu Picchu photo contest, enjoy this extra special Peru travel tale from a recent client of ours, Kelsey Goering.

Goering Family, Machu Picchu tour, Peru

The picture that won them the crown, here is the Goering Family with their guide Fabricio at Machu Picchu!

Kelsey a native of Kansas has been living in Peru for over a year serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the north of Peru in the department of Piura. Kelsey lives in a small town (less than 1,000 people) and works with youth development within her community. Kelsey has fallen in love with Peru and was ecstatic at the opportunity to share the culture and lifestyle of Peru with her parents on their July vacation. Having not seen her family in over a year, this Peru travel tale is one for the books!

In the past year Kelsey had already made a trip to Machu Picchu with PFL, leaving her truly amazed and wanting to return. This made her even more excited to share this wonderful place with her family. Working with one of our expert travel advisors, Matt Greenberg, the Goering family created a unique travel itinerary which took them to the city of Cusco and on to Machu Picchu. Next, they moved on to Puno and Lake Titicaca before making the final leg of their journey to a very special place, Kelsey’s new home in Piura.

Cusco cathedral, Cusco City tour

A beautiful photo captured of Cusco’s Plaza de Armas from the start of the Goering’s Peru trip.

To start their journey, the family explored the capital city of Lima before making their way inland. Upon arrival to Cusco the Goering family walked the streets and explored the many shops and restaurants that can be found here. Kelsey recommends other travelers add more time in Cusco as her family was only able to stay one night, and she wishes she could have explored a little more! She goes on to explain, “I think a lot of times people tend to skip over Cusco and consider it a necessary evil to get to Machu Picchu.  But if you take the time to walk around Cusco and the markets you’ll find that it’s a fascinating and beautiful city. In hindsight I wish that we had more time to just be in Cusco.”

Machu Picchu tour, Peru

This happy family is the perfect complement to the stunning Machu Picchu backdrop!

From Cusco the family made their way to Machu Picchu, which Kelsey said was the “highlight” of their trip. They embarked on a Machu Picchu Tour with their guide Fabricio, whom Kelsey described as incredible, stating, “Fabricio had all of these little-known theories and quirks about the Incans and their architecture that were fascinating.  My family and I felt like we were let-in on a well-kept secret.” The Goering family learned a lot while exploring the citadel and made sure to capture a lot of spectacular photos to always remember their time there.

The next stop on their journey was to Puno and Lake Titicaca. The beauty of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, made for some great family photos. The Goering’s were able to visit some of the floating Islands called Uros during their Lake Titicaca tour. These islands are constructed of tortora reeds and sit atop the beautiful blue waters. Time in Lake Titicaca will also allow you to learn more about the culture and people who live here. Check out Kelsey teaching two local children how to do a “thumbs up”!

Lake Titicaca tour, Peru

Check out Kelsey at Lake Titicaca engaging in a cultural exchange. We give this photo a “thumbs up”!

The perfect end to their fabulous Peru vacation was off the beaten track in Piura where Kelsey’s family was able to meet members of her community and the host family she has been living with the last year. Kelsey is truly grateful for this opportunity, commenting, “Sharing my Peruvian life with my family is something that I will cherish forever.”

Piura, Peru

The Goering family visiting one of the schools Kelsey works at in her community.

Kelsey also considers herself somewhat of a Peru expert. Having lived here the past year, here is her advice to travelers. For those travelers looking for five-star dining she recommends going to Astrid y Gaston, where her family dined during their time in Lima. Kelsey is a huge fan of Peruvian food and it doesn’t have to be five-star to be good. In fact, Kelsey prefers eating in more local establishments and she recommends trying the Aji de Gallina, ceviches, cuy (guinea pig, for those who are adventurous), and the country’s signature soda, Inca Kola! Recommended to her by one of Cusco representatives Corey, Kelsey and her family really enjoyed Paddy’s Pub in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, where she recommends enjoying some of the tasty food with a cold beverage. Kelsey’s final suggestion is for travelers to RELAX and enjoy the beautiful landscapes, history, and culture that country has to offer, all of which she has come to love while living in Peru.

Start planning your Peru vacation by contacting one of our expert travel advisors today!

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is a group of travel-loving experts who live, work, eat, and breathe all things South America. Their inspiration stems from a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity that make this continent so special.

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