Machu Picchu is Peru’s most visited tourist attraction and I won’t lie – it was the reason we went to South America.
I knew a little bit about the Inca Trail, and from the little I knew, I thought it would be cool to do. But I deliberately didn’t learn too much about it.
I knew it was a four day / three night trek and ended at Machu Picchu, I knew that there would be porters and all we’d have to do is walk, but beyond that most of the details were a surprise. And oh, what a surprise. I was suprised both by how easy AND how difficult it was.
After Puno and Amantani Island, our next stop was Cusco. Cusco used to be the Inca capital, and after being developed by the Inca King Pachacutec, it became the most important city of the Empire. After the Spanish conquered the Incas, they constructed their churches and other buildings on top of Inca ruins. Remnants of the Inca civilisation can still be seen today in the big solid stones used as foundations in many buildings – see the difference in the stonework on the right? The bottom is Inca stonework. They are strong, straight and meticulously cut.
Lake Titicaca is located in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia and happens to be the highest navigable lake (by commercial watercraft) in the world at an altitude of 3,812m (12,507ft) above sea level. It’s also the largest lake in South America by volume of water and has a maximum depth of 281m. Basically, it’s massive. (more…)
I know when the love part happened. It was when we went to the Colca Canyon. From Arequipa, we boarded a mini bus that took us into the mountains. As we entered the mountain highlands, the scenery became more and more spectacular.
I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things since arriving home. I have lots of stories to tell and way too many photos to edit (editing photos makes me want to cry. wah wah guitar.)
I’ll start with this post on Arequipa: Peru’s second largest city, with a population of over 800,000 (incidentally, Lima is Peru’s biggest city with 9 million people – big difference, hey?). Arequipa is quite pretty – it’s located in the Andes mountains and is overlooked by three volcanoes – and it has many colonial-era Spanish buildings that are built from a white volcanic rock.
While there, we did one of my favourite things – visit a market. Yay! (more…)