Peru. Home to the majestic Machu Picchu and Katia Lopez. Katia is one of our destination experts based in Peru, and her journey is an experience in itself. Here, we go on the other side and live a day in her life.
Let’s start with Cusco, famously called Machu Picchu’s gateway that has been delighting travelers worldwide. Other than Cusco, one can access the majestic mountain from three known cities- out of which the Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes are an absolute delight too. As for Katia, Cusco has always been the top choice.
“Cusco is an adventure into the past, this city got me closer to where I’m today.”
America’s oldest inhabited city is a multi-layered journey in itself. From discovering history in its colonial architecture to the warm hospitality of its people, Cusco is a time machine.
Born and raised in Peru, Katia has explored its length and breadth but it never feels enough.
“It’s tough to put Peru in a box with all that it has to offer, and I think it’s more of how one feels when in Peru- than ticking off a list.”
On one of these visits, she took a group to Machu Picchu. They walked and marveled at the stunning Andean mountain.
Talking about Peru’s vibe and culture, Katia shares how it’s tough for her to sit back when talking about her country.
“The natural surroundings are a story of their own, but the food, the people, the rich history and traditions are another world. Peru has sheltered civilizations and seen so much. One can still feel its power no matter where one goes.”
Typically, Katia says her work is focused on providing every guest with a cherishable experience, especially the ones they haven’t lived before. Her motivation is watching a million eyes light up at a moment they haven’t lived before in their lives.
While there are many more things to take home from Peru, Machu Picchu is a potent force. Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham 100 years ago, Machu Picchu is not only one of the world’s seven wonders; it also stands tall with an architecture that has stood the test of time. In addition, the backdrop of the spectacular landscapes amidst the ruins gives this space enigmatic energy.
Having grown up in Peru, Katia also shares anecdotes on how having too much ceviche turned out to be a not-so-good experience on one of her trips to the magic citadel. However, she says a light meal should suffice, and one can always come and explore the menu later.
Shifting the narrative to the experience and how it gets everyone together, Katia shares her journey with a group from Hong Kong. The group was ready for a three-day trek from Cusco to Vinicuna, Peru’s magnificent rainbow mountain.
Before the trip, Katia thought about what could go wrong as she had never camped before or spoken to anyone from China. But, to her surprise, it was one of her top experiences where the entire group hiked for more than eight hours each day and bonded as though they had known each other since years.
The moment one arrives at Vinicuna is a burst of euphoria- out-of-the-world landscapes, picturesque valleys, and plains teeming with Andean flora and fauna. The skies change color faster than London’s weather, and when you stand atop 5000 meters above the sea, it’s nothing short of spectacular.
Inspired by her many travel stories, Katia plans to continue the work of discovering the world and taking people along with her. “I still look at all the places I’ve been to with people from various corners. No matter how many times I move about, each time is different- each time I learn something new, I live a different experience”.