I. Can. Not. Believe. It.
I made my way to South America (Peru more specifically) on Thursday, May 14th. I had a 3-hour layover in Dallas, TX, as well as a 5-hour layover in Lima, Peru.
A week before my departure date, the nerves starting to set in. I began to ask myself what I was getting myself into, and how I was potentially putting myself in a dangerous situation by moving to a country that has some dangerous areas or is close to potentially dangerous areas.
There were days when my anxiety would shoot through the roof. I kept asking myself if I was prepared enough and if I would be physically and emotionally ready for this trip abroad. It would be my first trip abroad and I would also be going solo.
After only 2 days in Peru, I feel like a totally different person. Landing in Peru hit me like a ton of bricks. Very few people could understand English, and it was time to put my Spanish speaking skills to use. I know enough to get me by, and I also can understand a decent amount of what people are saying. Forming sentences is quite difficult for me, and thinking of what to say immediately back to someone is quite nerve wracking as well.
Getting around Peru is RIDICULOUSLY cheap. I had no idea just how cheap everything was in the city of Cusco. I spent 13 soles on a 5-course meal, which might've been the best meal of my life. If you are ever in Cusco, DEFINITELY check out Green Point. It is a vegetarian restaurant but doesn't be fooled, if you are a meat eater you will STILL love this place. They have a set menu for the 5-course meal or you can order from the menu that has many different options. You can even see the cooks make the food. Oh yeah, unlimited salad with the set menu!
1 US dollar = approximately 3 Soles.
So that means my 5-course meal is approximate $4. The tip is already included as well.
Getting around Cusco is quite easy as well, as taxis are readily available. I get around Cusco for about US$1 each way. Amazing.
If you plan on visiting Cusco, make sure to use a local company. I will attach the link of the company that EVERYONE I know goes through. Once you land in Cusco, check out his spot in Plaza de Armas where you will find even MORE tours he has. His site only has a few, but he actually has a ton more to choose from. His name is German Flores so you can also add him on Facebook! He is very friendly and has perfect ratings online. Also, the prices are about as cheap as you'll get here in Peru.
My volunteer trip ends July 11th, and I am planning to make the most out of every single day, especially weekends. I am starting to plan my weekend excursions and I already have my Machu date set. I will be taking a 4 day trip to Machu Picchu and I am so pumped for it already! I have been trying to figure out what I exactly want to do after my volunteer program ends. I was thinking about adding 2 weeks of jungle conservation in the Amazon, or backpacking to Santiago, Chile.
If you have any recommendations of other places to visit in South America, please let me know.
I have only been here 2 days and am already blown away. I walk outside and it hits me, I'm in Peru. I'm living in the beautiful city of Cusco filled with some of the most amazing histories in the world.
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Have you ever been to Cusco, Peru? Or any other places surrounding Peru?