Featured Traveler: Craig, from Dallas

Peru definitely left a positive impression on Craig, from Dallas. And Craig certainly left a positive impression on Peru as well. From the locals to his fellow Zoom Vacations travelers, Craig truly had all of those around him laughing many times on this trip. Now back in the real world (Dallas) Craig has some time to talk with us about his experience in Peru.

Zoom: What was the highlight of the whole trip?

Craig: This is hard to answer as there were so many magical moments to be savored each day. The sites, the Peruvian people, the gastronomy, the accommodations, the fellow Zoomers were all fantastic! If I did pick one thing it was Machu Pichu. The majesty of the setting, the wonderment of the architecture, and the spiritual experience made a lasting impression on me.

Craig, on Wayna Picchu

Zoom: How was the flow of the trip? Lima to Sacred Valley to Cusco

Craig: The flow of the trip was just right. It was an active trip with plenty to see and absorb. Also, if I needed down time, it was there for the taking. A perfect blend for me.

Zoom: How does Peru compare to other places you have been?

Craig: Machu Pichu was a bucket list item for me and boy did it deliver! What I hadn’t anticipated was how much I would fall in love with Peru. There is just this certain energy of the country and her people that I found inviting and has remained in my heart. I suspected I would love Machu Pichu, but I didn’t expect to be so taken in by the entire country with each region having its own charming attributes and amazing food!

I have traveled extensively in Europe and this was my first South American adventure. While I love Europe, I can say that this has increased my interest in South America and I look forward to expanding my travels there. I guess I would say there is a different tempo that I thoroughly enjoyed in Peru.

Zoom: Did you feel welcome by the locals in all destinations?

Craig: Most definitely. The Peruvian people are warm and inviting. Their eyes would smile as you met them on the streets. Our Peruvian guides were incredible in providing the history and also as people. For me, it is a good sign if you want to stay and have a drink with your Peruvian guide and connect with them on a personal level.

Zoom: What was your best meal?

Craig: This is very hard to answer as each stop had amazing food. I feel like there should have been a Peruvian food porn blog we could have uploaded all our meals. If I had to pick one, I would say it was the first night at the colonial mansion in Lima. I think this may be the case because it was the initial excitement of the trip, the beautiful mansion, attentive staff and meeting my fellow travelers.

Zoom: Was there anything you like more than you thought you would?

Craig: Yes. Cuy (guinea pig). I told all my friends before I left there was no way I would try that meat. Then, as we stopped at this delightful stop in the Sacred Valley and the aroma of cuy was in the air and everyone was tasting it, I dove in. It was much tastier than I imagined and a good reminder for me to be open to all experiences!

Zoom: How was Peru different than you thought it would be?

Craig: Hard to describe. It was much more inviting, and more interesting. It is not just Machu Pichu.

Zoom: Did anything go wrong during the trip?

Craig: A rain storm had the hotel water go out part of the day at Machu Pichu. It also washed part of the train tracks out so our train was delayed. The benefit of the Zoom staff working on our behalf was that after hiking Waynu Pichu, and needing a shower, we were allowed to have a late check out since the train was delayed. All ended up well and we (travelers) didn’t have to think about anything. Thanks Zoom!

Zoom: What advice to do you have to people traveling to Peru?

Craig: GO NOW! You will not be disappointed. Also, Machu Pichu may have to start limiting people to get in so I say do not wait.

Zoom: How was it traveling part of a gay group?

Craig: This was my first ever gay group tour and I went by myself. I am not going to lie, I was nervous heading down to Peru, but I could not have had a better experience – it was great! The people on the tour were wonderful! I never felt like the “single guy” and it is always good to make new friends who share a love for travel!

Zoom: What about COVID and how much did it impact the experience?

Craig: Covid is Covid. Each destination has its protocols. In Peru you had to wear a KN95 mask or double mask at airports and museums. It wasn’t bad at all and I thought it might be. Zoom arranged for our PCR test back to the States to that was easy. Before I might have thought Covid would deter my travel, at this point, it will not deter me from future travel.

Zoom: What would you like your next destination with Zoom to be?

Craig: Is there help for a Zoom addiction as I believe I may have it?! This trip was 5 star amazing all the way! I can’t decide my next Zoom trip, but at top of the list is: India Holi Festival, an African Safari (now to decide which option), Morocco, Vietnam, Egypt……so many amazing choices!

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