Exploring Peru’s Sacred Valley

3jX398t8Ur8j7GyOB8xLPgxRavzkznIoRTAM85fkC-QPeru’s Sacred Valley is a special place in so many ways. The site of so many Incan ruins, it holds the remains of a civilization, adding the sense that we were trespassing on something special. The valley is also a fascinating look at the more traditional lives of many native Quechuans, most of whom are more than happy to welcome visitors into their villages for an up close peek at their way of life. Finally, the breathtaking views of this region are hard to capture on film, both from the effects of the area’s altitude and the soaring peaks of the surrounding mountains.

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Photo of the Day: Alpacas, Soft & Stylish

After a shopping frenzy in the tourist trap that is Cusco, I decided to debut one of my latest Alpaca finds while on a tour of the Sacred Valley. While browsing through the piles of chompas (sweaters) I was unsure at first. I was expecting the itchy quality of wool, and perhaps even a strange animal scent permeating the thread.

I couldn’t have been more wrong! Warm and woolly, my sweater held up marvelously against the¬†finicky Andean weather.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the numerous Inca ruins, and marveling at the glorious pop of color against the bleak landscape.

Small Town Life in the Peruvian Andes

The van rounded each bend with a sharp turn, and I felt my stomach drop at the combination of nearing the cliff’s edge, and the breathless mountain scenery. With each pass the air grew thinner, yet the views grew more magnificent. Rising mountain peaks, cotton ball clumps of fluffy, white sheep, and the occasional Quechua native, dotting the landscape with a burst of color.

While traveling through the Sacred Valley region of Peru, I had been given the change to visit the tiny town of Rumira, high up in the Andes mountains. Accompanied by Threads of Peru, an NGO dedicated to the preservation of the traditional Quechua weaving traditions, I had the rare opportunity to meet and speak with the women of Rumira, talking about their daily routines, the process of weaving, and raising children while working such a laborious life. Continue reading