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Onward to your dreams with Kuluar!

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Author: Ksenia Koloda, 32 , Kharkov, Ukraine
Teamleader: Yulia Yurasova
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Why Peru and with Kuluar? In the fall of 2019 I made my dream come true - I made it to Peru and saw its beauty. Initially I was ready to go there only for Machu Picchu, and I knew little about this country before the trip, to be honest.

For too long I was lured by one of the seven new wonders of the world, so the archaeological complex of Machu Picchu was the main goal of my trip. However, the program offered by Kuluar convinced me that Machu Picchu is not the only one, so to speak, that Peru is valuable. And the price for the tour was comfortable for me.

PREPARATION FOR THE JOURNEY

Assembled a small team, were scheduled dates for the tour, bought tickets. I began to look more closely at the guide of the program – Yulia, a seasoned traveler and mountaineer. Kuluar often enough consulted me at the stage of planning and preparation of the trip. For me it was the first independent trip abroad. I used to travel either with my family or friends. So I was very nervous before the trip. But advice from Kuluar, buying the right clothes and shoes and my innate determination strengthened my faith in my abilities. And so before the trip, the people on our little team began to merge. I was worried, already thinking about giving up tickets, but Kuluar decided not to leave me, and the next tour of the guide was in Patagonia, which is relatively close to Peru, so my trip was still possible. And the fact that people had merged later made me even happier. Fewer people, fewer problems. Yes, and the format of the individual tour with a guide was very attractive to me. So when day X came, I was happy to go on my long-awaited trip together with Julia. With her I met at the French airport to make a transatlantic flight together.

When the journey goes off script

Upon my arrival in Lima, something happened to me that affected the trip and my experience as a traveler in general. The cunning crooks at the cafe where Julia and I had dinner upon arrival (tired and relaxed) took advantage of the situation and stole my bag, which contained my personal money, both passports, phone, and other things useful to me. Good thing I left my camera in the hotel room. And I managed to give money for the program to Julia before going to that ill-fated cafe. I could only blame myself for what had happened – I myself had overlooked my bag, hanging it carelessly on the back of my chair. And you can’t do that, even in the most prosperous part of the country! I realize that only one’s own experience can teach me anything, but to anyone traveling to Peru I would wish not to repeat my bitter experience. After all, being robbed 12,000 kilometers away from home in a foreign country is far from a pleasant or even dangerous experience. Nevertheless, the financial support of my family helped me to move forward, without denying myself gastronomic delights and wonderful things that I bought for my relatives and friends as a reminder of the country. But since we had to go through a bureaucratic quest at the Embassy of Ukraine in Peru, the program had to be reformatted. Due to the lack of acclimatization days we cut the trekking part of the trip substantially, but we added something to it that was not there in the beginning. In the end, my trip to Peru was a success all the same – I saw everything I was going there for. I returned from Peru a satisfied man with a huge luggage of impressions, souvenirs, and photographs.

My final program of the trip

And now for more details. The tour “Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountains, Lake Titicaca, Climbing El Misti” that Kuluar stated on his website was not 100% done in my modified reality. It did not include trekking to the lakes at the foot of the Ausangate snow massif, the Upis campsite with its hot springs, or climbing El Misti volcano. The last one upset me the most, because I wanted to test my body at the highest altitude possible under the program – 5,800 meters. But I still went to a higher altitude, the Rainbow Mountains, which is 5,100 meters, though lower than the volcano, but also a decent altitude. The thing is, we were delayed in Lima, waiting for my temporary passport. And we just didn’t have enough days to acclimatize. So we had to cut back on the trekking part.

Nevertheless, my trip to Peru was full of other goodies that were not in the original program. We spent longer in Lima than we had hoped, so we decided to take as much of it as we could. We rode the Metrobus, a high-speed bus. We visited the gorgeous Archaeological Museum of Peruvian Gold and Weapons of the World, where we saw a rich collection of weapons and gold and silverware. I also enjoyed optional excursions – the fountain complex, where I watched a light show, and the Palomino Islands, where I swam with sea lions. We stepped away from the program outside of the Peruvian capital as well. For example, we went to a colorful show at the Folk Art Theater in Cuzco, and seeing the local color in the costumes, live dancing, and music gave us great aesthetic pleasure. We visited the Coca Museum in Puno, where we learned about the history and culture of this sacred indigenous plant. While in Arequipa, we had a wonderful excursion that included a visit to the world’s deepest Cañón Colca, where we enjoyed views of the valley and watched condors in their natural habitat. Also in Arequipa we wandered through the incredibly cozy and beautiful Monastery of St. Catalina. In the end, the off-program visits made up for me morally for what we had cut back with Yulia initially because of the robbery. So I was still satisfied by the end of the trip, which turned out to be very rich in pictures and emotions.

Guide support

I want to separately thank Julia, my guide. After getting to know her, I realized that she and I have quite a lot in common. We got into a conversation quickly, and literally from the first day our relationship was more like warm friendship than dry business (which can be between the guide and his client). Her valuable advice, experience, knowledge of Peru, general erudition, and character brightened up my trip, making it comfortable and safe enough. Throughout the whole eventful program Julia was relentlessly telling and showing me something interesting. We had a lot of fun together on the road – she turned out to be a wonderful companion for different road games. During the trekking part of the program Julia helped me get over myself and move forward. Although I am an active person who has always been a friend of sports, for an office worker hiking with minimal weight at altitude is not easy. Physical preparation was before the trip, but when you find yourself in the natural conditions of altitude and varied natural terrain, you think that you only panted in training “below” for nothing. I think, of course, that it was still not for nothing, but I was well convinced in practice that one thing is training, and quite another thing is the real conditions of testing your body at altitude. I had never been higher than Hoverla, and in Peru I reached an altitude of 5100m within a short period of time!

And also my camera failed me right at Machu Picchu – it couldn’t handle the tropical humidity. But Julia helped me out there, too – she lent me her camera so that I could capture the place for which I had set out on such a long journey. You know, all the difficulties of travel always turn into interesting adventures, which you later proudly share with your family and friends. So everything went great. Thanks again to Julia, and I would like to wish her successful conquest of her next goals – in the mountains and in life.

Kudos to Kuluar for a successful tour

Thank you Kuluar for preparing and caring during the trip! You are a great company that I would love to interact with again. Perhaps we will meet again in my future travels. You have interesting programs and at the same time adequate prices. And judging by Julia, you have great guides too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my dream come true! Together with Kuluar, I discovered a wonderful country where I want to come back again. Peru is a very diverse country, with its unique color, interesting culture and history. I enjoyed discovering the mysteries of this country and expanding my horizons together with Kuluar. My tour was very rich with unforgettable pictures of various landscapes, gastronomic discoveries and cultural and historical studies. I am grateful to Julia and Kuluar for the fact that my trip turned out to be the very interesting story that one wants to tell to acquaintances and even strangers..

P.S. The photo shows my guide and me at different points of the Peruvian journey.

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