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In the span of about 5 days, Dasa and the Village Travel staff put together a last minute trip to Peru for me and two of my friends from Boston. Somehow, Dasa managed to plan everything we wanted to do in the limited time we had available.

My trip began in Puno, the nearest town to Lake Titicaca. I could never imagine the excitement of seeing this beautiful blue lake situated at 14,000 feet on top of the Andes. Initally, I took a boat ride to the Uros Islands which are actually man made out of reeds. The islands need to be replaced every 8-12 years, and each family must work to maintain the island. There were about 40 total islands, however, the number changes because ... if a family doesn't do the work to maintain the island, they literally get sawed off and float away! 




As great as the sites were leading to Machu Picchu, we could only anticipate how this wonder of the world would blow us away. Our expectations were exceeded. With the immenseness of Machu Picchu in front of me, I decided to climb up the main mountain called Montana Machu Picchu. Arriving at the top was the biggest thrill of my life, and looking around and down was the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. 


My next stop was Cusco, and I took an 8 hour bus ride to get there. The ride seemed like only an hour as frequent stops at historical sites and the beautiful landscapes kept me occupied the entire time. Cusco was a fabulous and  beautiful city beginning with the Plaza de Armas. In this plaza, I saw a festival on the night and a flag raising parade the next day. Towns in Peru truly take pride in their own, and this was just a demonstration of that pride. Other sites along the way included Pisac, Ollyantambo, Saqsaywaman and much more. However, nothing could compare to Machu Picchu.


Finally, our trip concluded in the Puerto Maldonado Jungle near the Tambopata River. Sleeping amongst monkeys and numerous other animals was such a thrill, and we got to watch these animals in their natural settings.
I will never forget this trip and how it has made my life more complete! 

Laurence Kaplan, MSEd, CSCS

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