The disappointing truth is that while Machu Picchu is undoubtedly an awesome archaeological spectacle, it's also everything you secretly fear it might be: crowded, noisy, underwhelming. A tourist trap.
While some will always protest America's involvement in foreign wars for various reasons, others believe that the country is morally obligated to liberate the oppressed and feed the hungry wherever they may be in the world. Is it time we swallowed our pride, cut our losses, and simply walked away?
I just returned from my first trip to Peru. I was most taken by how much the people and the culture are still influenced by the spirit of the Incas, and how relevant the messages of that heritage are for us today.
Although thousands of gringos attend the theatrical representation of Inti Raymi near Cusco, Peru, each year, this is different. This is the real deal: a venerable religious ceremony complete with animal sacrifices.