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A Machu Picchu Marriage

Llama Expeditions’ Diane Valenti Suggests Popping the Question In Peru’s Mist-Shrouded Ruins

A Machu Picchu marriage? Andean trekking specialist Llama Expeditions suggests that the mist-shrouded ruins of Peru’s mysterious past create romantic settings for popping the age-old question, “will you marry me?”

Voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide Internet poll, Machu Picchu National Park sets the most romantic stage for lovers looking to pop the question in Peru. Following are Valenti’s tips on how and where to create that dramatic moment with the right partner.

“Wait till late afternoon. The park is filled with people in the morning either entering from the Inca Trail or coming up from the train station in Aguas Calientes. The park closes at 5:30 p.m. and the last bus leaves then. I would propose around four o’clock when people are starting to head back,” Valenti says. “I personally would do it at the Sun Gate. The view of Machu Picchu from this vantage point is incredible. You can pretty much look out over the entire lost city.”

Because spirits are prohibited in the park, she suggests tapping into the region’s pervasive mystical energy instead of champagne, for example near the Intihuatana, (or the ‘Hitching Post of the Sun’ in ancient Quechua), a carved rock pillar which stands at the top of the Intihuatana hill.

Another option is to book a room at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel directly adjacent to the ruins.

“The deluxe rooms with mountain views have terraces – perfect for proposing,” she says, noting that this establishment also conducts wedding ceremonies.

“I looked into local jewelry stores,” she says. “It’s probably better to come with the ring.”

Upon request, Llama Expeditions will customize its Machu Picchu Tour by Train tour to raise the romance decibel level. For example, the train could be upgraded to the Hiram Bingham Class. Prior to or after a Machu Picchu visit, guests can be accommodated in high luxury at the El Mercado, a new Boutique hotel in the heart of Cusco opening June 1, 2013.

About Llama Expeditions
Entrepreneur and outdoorswoman Diane Valenti hatched the idea for her company in 2008 over a home-cooked chicken dinner at close to 14,000 feet in the Peruvian Andes. She has been able to apply her over 20 years as a business consultant working with clients such as Genentech, Nike, and Starbucks Coffee Company to her enterprise that goes beyond just ordinary tourism.

Llama Expeditions tours offer full cultural immersion giving guests the opportunity to see how Peruvians live—to talk with them about their dreams and accomplishments and to learn about the challenges they face. Interactions with nonprofit and grassroots organizations are also woven into the itinerary when possible giving participants the chance to experience the difference gifts of healthy food, school supplies, clothing, or sunglasses can make in the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

Llama Expeditions is a member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association and the International Ecotourism Society. For more information email or call (415) 553-7731.