A Family’s Journey to Peru
Exploring Villages, Ruins and Rivers
This past summer, Michelle Carlborg and her husband decided to tackle one of the items on their family ’s bucket list before their kids (all four of them!) were grown and gone. They headed out on O.A.R.S.’ Machu Picchu Family Adventure. Afterward, we talked to her about her family’s experience and here’s what she had to say…
How did you decide on Peru?
It was pretty spontaneous. The family vacations are getting a little more challenging to plan as the kids get older with their schedules. It was one of the things on our bucket list, so we decided we needed to do it.
What were some of the highlights of your family vacation?
Definitely the highlight for all of us was the day that we spent in the local village volunteering at a school. We went and shopped at a local market beforehand and that was quite an eye-opener. We bought food for the school children, took it to the school, served them breakfast and played with them. My husband and older son played soccer and we pushed the kids on the swings and just hung out with them most of the morning. That was definitely getting a true taste for the culture there.
What was it about going to the school that touched your family so much?
It was a huge deal that we were bringing them fresh fruit. The kids were just so appreciative. Once they got comfortable they connected with us. And the good-byes. There were huge hugs from every single kid. It took 15 minutes before we left.
Besides going into the village of Cachiccata, what other aspect of the trip did your family enjoy most?
Machu Picchu. To see that was amazing. That was the last part of the trip, and they definitely saved the best for last. It’s somewhere we’ve always wanted to go. When you get there, it’s just jaw-dropping. I asked the kids what else they liked and they loved the zip lining. That was a huge favorite. But I did not want to watch my children. They were going upside down, and 40 mph on one of them. Of course the kids loved that. And the whitewater rafting. We’re attracted to more active vacations, so having active things to do every day was very appealing. You do some volunteer work, zip line, whitewater raft, hike, see the ruins. You’re in a village, then in a city, then you camp. There was lots of variety.
What kind of lasting memories did you bring back from the experience?
We’ve looked at pictures of Machu Picchu for years. Just to be able to go and experience it was amazing. It’s really hard to put into words what it’s like to see that. It’s mind-boggling. After we finished going through it with the guides, we stayed until it closed. We just sat there. It’s really one of the most amazing places we’ve ever been. You’re left speechless by the beauty of it.