The winner of _Living in Peru_’s contest along with Inca Rail and Sol y Luna, shares her memorable experience. For many years I had wanted to visit *Cusco*, especially to enjoy Machu Picchu, so when I saw the _Living in Peru_, Inca Rail and Sol & Luna Lodge Spa contest I decided to participate I didn’t want to get my hopes up with the idea of winning because I thought that the likelihood was slim to none, but some time after entering the contest I received an email announcing that I was the winner. I was elated. I immediately called my mom to tell her that she would accompany me on the trip.
Finally, last week, we went to Cusco. We were surprised however when we arrived and were met with a regional strike Although many roads were blocked, that didn’t stop us from reaching our destination – the *Sacred Valley*. It was an adventure, but we arrived safe and sound.
_(Photo: Alison Velazco)_
We shared a taxi with a nice Dutch couple, then walked in the rain and hopped on a friendly moto taxi where the gentleman helped us arrive to paradise: *Sol & Luna Lodge Spa*. We spent a very nice couple of days in the deluxe cottage, surrounded by flowers and a spectacular view of the Sacred Valley. We were greeted with a tray of delicious sweets and that afternoon we were lucky to view a presentation of the *Peruvian Paso horses* accompanied by marinara music. At night we enjoyed a circus show at the hotel’s restaurant, *Wayra*.
Each cottage is a world full of detail and creativity. Art and nature are present in every corner: from the sculptures, paintings, the architecture – it’s even reflected in the selection of iPod music that played near the fireplace. Sol & Luna Lodge Spa is an amazing hotel and the stay was very pleasant.
_(Photo: Alison Velazco)_
On Saturday, October 24, we arrived at the *Ollantaytambo* station where another adventure awaited us: the Inca Rail train journey to *Aguas Calientes*. Nothing less than first class in the Manco Capac car, of course. The train was beautiful and elegant, the seats were comfy and spacious with a spectacular scenic view, thanks to the design of the car. Large side windows and even sun-roof style lookouts allowed us to enjoy the landscape at different angles. During the trip we could appreciate the beauty of the mountains and glaciers, the *Vilcanota River*. With time we learned that the changes in the vegetation of the landscape indicated that we were approaching Aguas Calientes.
Happy passengers aboard the *Manco Capac car* were treated to Pisco Sours and then spoiled with exquisite culinary surprises and other delicious drinks, on both the departing and returning rides. The service was excellent and the staff were very gentle and professional. You could feel a happy environment and hear the excitement of the tourists over the soft music. We were all satisfied.
*Traveling by train* has a special charm and above all it’s very exciting to know that the ultimate goal is the Inca citadel, Machu Picchu.
I felt very fortunate to have been able to enjoy an experience like this and to have shared this trip to Cusco with my mother. Many thanks!
_This article was brought to you by_ Inca Rail _a transport company dedicated to sustainability and comfort._