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Rainbows and Weaving in the Sacred Valley

To celebrate 15 years of CAT Travel we’ve asked members of our team across the continent to tell us about their favorite places to travel to in South America, and also to share some of their travel stories, photos and inspiration with us. First up we have Cynthia from our Lima, Peru office with a very patriotic vote for traveling in Peru.

Cynthia & Gustavo in the Sacred Valley

Can you introduce yourself please?

Hello, my name is Cynthia Alegre and I’m from Lima, Peru. I’m in charge of supervising the commercial and operations department here in CAT´s Peru office.

Where are your three favorite places in Latin America and why?

It´s difficult to choose just three places because I think each destination has its own special magic, but if I had to choose it would be Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca.

Can you tell us about one of your favorite places to travel to?

I’ll choose the Sacred Valley near Cusco and Machu Picchu in Peru. I have been there many times over the years, first with my parents when I was a child, then with my schoolmates, then with my husband. I have also travelled to the Sacred Valley through work, and my last visit was in 2011. On this last trip we visited a local community and participated with them in their activities. I even had a go at weaving!

Having a go at weaving!

It was really interesting to learn from them and to see how the women have taken charge and decided to develop a sustainable craft project of their own. They told us they started the project to preserve their culture and customs and also to earn money for their children’s education.  To be able to give them, not only their native culture, but also a modern education. It really is a marvelous place, so peaceful and really rich in culture.

The Amaru Community Weaving Project

What made the trip so special?  

Without a doubt the people and their positivity, they teach you to appreciate the simple things and nature. One day we decided to go on a walk and it started raining heavily, after the rain began to move across the valley we saw an amazing rainbow – It was just beautiful and I got a great picture of it.

The Rainbow after we got soaked through!

What about the food, any recommendations?

Food is just great everywhere in Peru. They have some interesting varieties of potatoes in the Sacred Valley and some different cooking styles.

Do you have any other tips for someone travelling to Latin America?

Well, if you are coming to Latin America, do not miss Machu Picchu! It will be something you will talk about for a long time. When I travelled with my husband in 2007, one of my main objectives was to persuade him to travel to Machu Picchu. He is also Peruvian, but believe it or not, it was his first time! He prefers the beach, but for that trip I managed to convince him to try something different. He was really impressed, and he also really loved Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley – he still speaks about it!

What is it about travel in Latin America that you find inspiring?

I think that although there is development and modernity, you can still find places where people live traditionally with their ancestors´ customs. There is also so much unspoiled nature – wonderful places that allow you to meditate, think and recharge your energies.

Where´s next on your Latin America travel list and why?

Bolivia! I have been to La Paz and Copacabana near Lake Titicaca, but I really want to go to the Uyuni Salt Flats, I know it is a beautiful place and I want to see it with my own eyes.