On my most recent trip, I ventured out into South America for the first time. I spent nine incredible days in Peru that I will never forget and I brought back a little treasure (and a
few lot of other souvenirs).
I was looking for a gift for my little sister’s high school graduation, and my cousin recommended a jewelry company called Illaria. They specialize in silver and everything is handmade in Peru. After a day filled with scouring the markets and eating guinea pig (yes, I ate that — they call it “cuy”), I visited an Illaria boutique on my last night in Cusco.
The store gleamed, reflecting light as if everything in there was made of silver. It didn’t take very long to spy the perfect necklace for my sister, tucked away in the last display at the back of the store. It was now time to find something for me. Somewhere along the way I’d spied these green stones in numerous different pieces. Little did I know they were Peruvian turquoise. Now for those who don’t know, I have a borderline problematic obsession with turquoise. Peruvian turquoise is different, darker and somehow richer. I had to have it. I tried on earring after earring, looking for the perfect pair. The sales associate pulled out the tray of additional items that weren’t on display, and there they were. I’d found myself little Peruvian treasures.
P.S. Cuy tastes like a cross between chicken and pork, it was seasoned beautifully, it was a little hard to get the meat off, but I enjoyed it immensely.