The Amateur Traveler talks to Nick Stanziano, co-founder of SA Luxury Expeditions and newly minted Peruvian citizen about his new country of Peru.
Nick has called Peru home for 8 years now. He is based out of Lima but has also spent significant time in Cusco as well as living in the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Nick pitched to me the reasons that a visitor should not just pass through the Sacred Valley, but we did spend much of our time discussing Lima, Machu Picchu, and other well-known Peru landmarks as well both ancient and modern.
Nick calls Peru the “Mesopotamia of the Americas”. Abundant local resources facilitated the development of civilization in what is now Peru earlier than elsewhere in the Americas. One of the earliest civilizations, not only in the Americas but potentially the world is called Caral about 3 hours north of Lima. From Caral which is dated about 5,000 years ago to Machu Picchu which was built in the 1400s. This has left some spectacular ruins.
Machu Picchu is the most visited of these, getting just under a million visitors a year. The park itself has a limit of 2,500 people per day. Within that 2,500 people, you have the 500 people per day permitted on the classic “Inca Trail”. The Inca Trail is 3 full days of hiking. On the morning of the 4th day, you arrive through the “Sun Gate” which is the main entrance. If you don’t do the Inca Trail the main way to reach the park is by train.
We also spend time discussing modern Peru (and Peruvians) that Nick fell in love with.
SA Luxury Expeditions
The Humboldt Current
The Mystery of Caral
Classic 4 Day Inca Trail
Cuzco Travel Information
The Sacred Valley
Ceviche: The Peruvian National Dish
I Ate Guinea Pig in Peru
Rafael’s Restaurant, Lima
How to Prevent Altitude Sickness in Peru
Planning a Trip to Machu Picchu, Peru
Hiking Peru – Where to Hike, Tips for Hiking
Uganda and Homosexuality
Accosting strangers for travel stories