Maroon’d… in Peru

Spring 2017
Elise Bronzo with a group of women in Coyamaya, Peru

During her trip to Peru, Elise Bronzo ’10 (far right) visited the Coyamaya community around Lake Titicaca, where the women shared quinoa bread and the history behind their textile heirlooms. Bronzo learned that the colors and specific weaving patterns of dress indicate hometown, marital status, current mood (hat flipped right = happy; hat flipped left = sad), and rank.

Elise Bronzo ’10 resides in Manhattan, where she works for a luxury, boutique travel agency and website, Indagare Travel, as its membership director. In order to plan the best possible trips for members, Elise scouts top destinations worldwide to uncover the most authentic experiences. She is most recently back from Peru, where she insists “everyone must go.” Here are some of her highlights.

Ceviche, corn nuts, and cerveza… Although it’s tempting to travel directly to Peru’s World Wonder, Machu Picchu, it’s important to budget time (and a few extra belt notches) for Lima, Peru’s culinary capital. This Pacific coastal city boasts some of the best dive-bar ceviche and fine dining experiences in the world: family style dining at La Picanteria, the elevations tasting menu at Central, and traditional dishes of Fiesta are highlights.

Drink your coca tea… Altitude sickness strikes violently at random and can ruin this trip of a lifetime. Fortunately, there is a homeopathic recipe for success. If you’re going to Cusco (elevation 11,000 feet), for example, eat very light meals throughout the day, drink coca tea before 3 p.m. and muña tea in the evenings, sip water constantly (don’t gulp), and expect to be short of breath.

Mountain bike through the Andes… If you are athletically inclined, outdoor adventure in the Sacred Valley is a must. The snowcapped peaks of the Andes serve as your backdrop as you cycle or hike past Incan agricultural ruins to the soundtrack of rustling corn and quinoa fields. The landscape is magnificent!

Raft through the reeds… Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world and the crater of the Incan civilization. Stay at the Titilaka Lodge to experience the crystal-clear stargazing, water sports, and visits to the UNESCO-protected Uros Floating Islands, made entirely of reeds and inhabited by the Uros people, one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

Indagare Travel… If you want to read more about my trip and where I’m headed next, visit www.indagare.com or email me at elise@indagare.com.

Have tips for people who might be maroon’d in your town? Write us at scene@colgate.edu and put Maroon’d in the subject line.

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