Customer Review - ‘Peru had been on my bucket list for decades’

Dianne on her first trip to Peru with Culture Trip
Dianne on her first trip to Peru with Culture Trip | Culture Trip

Editorial Manager

Dianne from San Francisco is a Curly Hair Specialist and seasoned traveller who recently joined one of our most popular trips. Cassam from Culture Trip caught up with Dianne to talk about her time in Peru and what she plans to do next.

‘I have traveled around the world and through the states. I started when I was young, going with my grandparents and in particular my grandmother, but during Covid I didn’t travel at all. I was cautious and we were very cautious here in San Francisco. We were one of the first to shut down and the last to open up again’, explains Dianne when talking about how her globetrotting was curtailed during the last few years.

‘I felt like I was dying. It was seriously a problem because I missed the excitement of travel. It is a cliché, but it gives me hope. I would come alive and now when I go into work [after coming back from Peru] people notice it.’

Like many of us, Dianne used to have a rhythm and process when travelling before Covid. Overcoming some of the hurdles after a long period at home involved reading travel sites like Culture Trip. ‘I came up with lists and outlines. I like making spreadsheets and asking people. I have the advantage as a hair stylist of being able to ask people about travel, too.’

Dianne experienced a variety of historical and cultural highlights in Peru

Beach holidays don’t appeal to Dianne, but she did find the perfect itinerary while browsing Culture Trip.

‘I went on the Ancient Peru trip, which is something very new for many people. It was very mountainous but I took all the precautions needed. It took three flights from San Francisco, which was the shortest route. It was worth it as the food, the colours, and people were incredible. I studied where to go for years and Peru was on the top of the list for decades. It was on my bucket list for more than 40 years.’

Dianne likes to do her fair share of research and reading before travelling, but even so there were still some pleasant surprises for her when she arrived in Peru and began her trip with a small group of like-minded travellers. ‘I was surprised by the food and how there was so much of it that I enjoyed! I’m not too keen on fish, and thought there would be a lot of that, but when we went to the Cusco region we had our choice of root vegetables. Quinoa comes from the Andes originally and it was in a lot of food. It was phenomenal and that’s coming from a foodie.’

Incredible food for every type of traveller as sampled by one of our recent Culture Trippers

Though hard to pick just one highlight, there was a special moment of the view overlooking the Sacred Valley. ‘It was stunning. We had so much fun with the group, and there were also so many heartwarming experiences with the people on the trip and those who live there.’

‘I tend to travel solo, with a lot of research from books. I’ve done some group travel before, but what I loved about this trip was that this was the quintessential learning experience. We had three Local Insiders with us for Peru and I could ask a lot of questions. It’s better than the internet. They had all the answers and we felt very safe with them. It’s sad we won’t see them again but they were always helpful, patient and compassionate.’

Safety was one of the main concerns Dianne had before the trip and she tells us that it was part of why she had never committed to going to Peru before. ‘For me, I would only go in a group to South America. It’s the same for other countries too – in other parts of the world where I am more comfortable with a guide.’

Making new friends from all over the world

One tip from Dianne was a piece of travel advice she wanted to share with everyone. ‘I only travel with carry-on luggage now, which is very un-American. I heard someone say that they had to wait hours for their suitcase and I just like to get going’.

Hopefully we’ll be seeing Dianne on one of our future trips – she is currently considering joining us in either Egypt, Turkey or Morocco later this year.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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