So often when traveling the focus is on the place; we chose to go on beach vacations, jungle excursions or mountain treks. Brochures, advertisements and websites boast of natural resources and built infrastructure that become the primary tours used to lure travelers to a destination.
I find, however, when traveling it is often the people of the destination that make the difference and leave a lasting impression. It is the community’s’ culture that we visit, their service we experience and the interactions with them that create unique experiences as we go from destination to destination.
Looking back on my trip to Peru this past March, of course I remember the resounding majesty that is Machu Picchu. The rolling hills leading into steep terrain will not soon be forgotten. So too will the vast lakes, colorful markets and picturesque cities that give Peru its’ individual flair. But I keep going back to the people. The friendly faces I encountered during my time there will forever be engrained in my mind as the image of Peru. Brimming with local pride the Peruvians I met were eager to share their culture, both ancestral and modern, and give tips to travelers simply looking to find their way around. A country’s people are its best tourism resource for it is the people that actually interact with visitors on the day-to-day.
The people of Peru embody the welcoming spirit of the country- one which is thirsting to share its’ treasures with the world. Peru invites travelers to come live the legend. In my opinion, the people of Peru are the greatest legend of them all.