Warning: This article is written in Spanglish.
I just returned for a long trip to Peru with Under30Experiences (U30X), exploring Machu Picchu, Lima and Cusco with a group of random like-minded travelers. Most people would probably say I am on a tour, but I would argue differently.
Wait. Let me start from the beginning and explain.
When I first met the CEO of U30x, Matt Wilson, he kept saying to me, “We aren’t a tour company.” I smiled and said, “Okay,” not really understanding what he meant. Now I get it. I’ve been sent on this Peru trip to create content. Create stories about U30X, my experience with Peru and create stories about the travelers that join the U30X trips. Yes, they are called trips, not tours. I’ll explain why. I’ll also explain why you need to go to Peru with U30x!
1.Como Viajes (Like Trips, Not Tours)
For those who don’t like to travel solo or hate to follow a schedule to the “T,” this would be a perfect traveling group to join. They give you the options to see whatever it is you want to see with your vacation, making your time useful. So relax and enjoy yourself. U30X is about creating experiences and memories. Because the trips are based on creating cultural experiences, and checking out the “off the beaten path” things to do, you’re more likely to travel with strangers that turn into friends, too, making the experience much more memorable.
2. La Comida (the Food)
Calling all foodies: Peruvian food is where it’s at! Not even kidding. It’s a mix fusion between hispanic, Spanish seafood and Chinese, making this the perfect mix for spices, seafood and meats. Their delicacy dishes are one of kind: Alpaca meat and guinea pig. This might be a place for adventure foodies eaters like myself.
The alpaca meat was pretty tasty—tasted like deer meat. Depending how they cook it, it can be slightly chewy. The guinea pig tastes like duck (Yes I tried it—don’t judge!) I respect cultures and I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. Apparently, in each region, it’s cooked differently, making the taste slightly different, too.
U30X did inform me of these cultural delicacies. Don’t worry my vegetarian troops, they cater to your needs, too.
3. Likeminded Travelers
There are two kinds of travelers: The luxury traveler and the experience traveler. What’s the difference? One only travels once a year and spends their time in resorts, five-star restaurants and does all the typical touristy things. This is the luxury traveler. Hey! Ain’t nothing wrong with that. I sure wouldn’t mind a five-star hotel over my five-star hostels when I travel solo!
An experience traveler is someone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty (for lack of a better phrase). They believe in seeing sunset spots that only locals know about, eating traditional foods and just being part a community and culture.
When traveling with U30X, you’ll most likely only meet experience travelers. Not to say that these travelers don’t like their five-star hotels, but you’ll meet people who believe in a good time, making good memories and intend on having it. I believe this is the best part about traveling with U30X. It’s so hard finding one person you like to travel with, let alone a group.
4. El Dinero (the Money)
Did you know that Peru is the number one country for counterfeiting money? Well they are! So now you know. With that said, I was not aware of this. So going to any public “Casa de Cambio” (money exchange place) isn’t a very good idea. U30x has a few spots through Lima and Cusco that are recommended, tested and approved. They will basically make sure you don’t waste any money!
5. They Create Families
Clearly if you pay for a service you’re excepted to be taken care of, but what I mean is that they truly treat their travelers like friends and family. They’ve created a community of travelers that are constantly getting together. They actually have meet-ups in certain cities across the United States where all their alumni travelers get together and catch up, making keeping in touch with likeminded travelers a lot more feasible. Which is awesome!
6. Experiences and Memories are Created
Four words: off the beaten path. This only guarantees that if you want a vacation where memories, experiences and an “aha moment” happen, this is definitely a trip to take.
7. Machu Picchu
It’s one of the new seven wonders of the world. I guess this should be number one, but we all know this is obvious. Machu Picchu has so much history and mystery, I swear I can’t get enough. Also, by the end of my three weeks here in Peru, I could say I’ve been to Machu Picchu three times. Each time made it better than the last. Also, I can’t forget to share that if you do make it Machu Picchu with U30X, you’ll get to tour it with a local. A local named Carlos, who, can I just say, I absolutely love? He’s the best history teacher I never had!