Peru - The Inca trail to Machu Picchu

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Peru - November 2016

Peru is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean.

Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Lima

Lima is the capital, where we started our 2 week tour.

Cycling around the beautiful districts of Miraflores & Barranco was a great way to see the coastal scenery, flower parks and ancient history of the city.

Later we took a half hour bus ride into Central Lima to see the Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor), the Government Palace, the Convent of San Francisco and various colonial mansions, all of which form part of the “Historic Center of Lima”.

In the evening a trip to Parque de la Reserva to see the magic water fountain show is highly recommended, an truly amazing night out.

Cusco

The flight to Cusco takes about 1hour 20 minutes.
Cusco, a city in the Peruvian Andes, was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Plaza de Armas is the central square in the old city, with arcades, carved wooden balconies and Incan wall ruins.

Cusco is around 3400 meters above sea level, which causes noticeable breathing problems. Especially when you hike another 300 metres up the mountain to the Saksaywaman ruins and the Christ that overlooks the city with amazing views.
Horse riding is also a great way to explore the area and historic sites of Cusco.

Ollantaytambo

A 2 hour drive took us to Ollantaytambo. This small village in the Sacred Valley is set on the Urubamba River amid towering mountains. It's known for the Ollantaytambo ruins, a massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces on a hillside, topped with a Sun Temple. The village's old town is an Inca-era grid of cobblestoned streets and adobe buildings.

We begin two days of mountain biking through the Sacred Valley, in the Maras, Moray, and Pisac areas. Visiting some mysterious agricultural terraces, inca ruins and a salt mine. All this while riding some amazing adrenaline downhill biking tracks.

It was also nice to stop at a weaving co-op where we we able to see the full process from animal to clothing. And meeting some very cute alpacas and llamas.

Another great activity in Ollantaytambo was the Sacred Valley Rock Climbing. 400 meters of vertical cliff with amazing views. Then descend the mountain on zipwires.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Now for the main event, the was the thing we’d all been looking forwards too. It was a hard 4 day trek through the mountains, passing many ancient inca ruins, finally arriving at the lost city of Machu Picchu.

On the way the trek got progressively spectacular and steeper. The highest point of the trek was Dead Woman’s Pass at 4,200m. The terrain was rough and we faced the full force of the Andean weather with blazing sun, cold winds, rain and fog. A true adventure.

On the final day we woke early and headed to the famous Sun Gate to catch the first distant views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu. We had an interesting guided tour of the site and plenty of free time to explore further including the religious temples, sundial and Inca Bridge. It was built by the Inca civilization around 1450, but abandoned it and blocked the trails a century later during the Spanish invasion. It was forgotten about for 450 years. It's now one of the seven wonders of the world.

Puno & Lake Titicaca

The final part of our tour took us back to Cusco where we travelled 6 hours by bus to the city of Puno.

Puno is located on Lake Titicaca, one of South America's largest lakes and the world's highest navigable body of water. It has a very pretty main square with cathedral and lots of busy markets to explore. Its an important trading hub, much of the city economy relies on the black market, fueled by cheap goods smuggled in from Bolivia.

From Puno we started a 2 day boat and kayaking excursion on Lake Titicaca, visiting Uros, Taquile, and Amantaní islands, including a homestay with the island local farmers. We got to dress up in local clothes, the alpaca wool is very warm, and gain insight on there very simple way of living.

Finally we were educated about the unique Uros people and there floating islands. The buoyant totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake are used to make everything from their homes and boats, to the actual island itself. As the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top.

 


Filming Date: November 2016
Video Music: DJ.Beatport.com/Pagano
Special thanks to our guide Deybi Caceres: www.GAdventures.com

 

 

ChrisGeary.com