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Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Cuzco is the gateway to Machu Picchu and therefore a huge number of travelers pass through there. The central plaza is full of backpackers and touts pushing restaurants, tours, shoe shines, even finger puppets.

gringolandia

There are some interesting museums there, including the regional history museum. Here’s a victim of overexposure to touts.

too many touts

Outside of Cuzco is the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There are many Inca ruins here, including those of Pisac. Here’s our Aussie travel companion of 10 days, Christos, and me exploring. We found Christos in Huancavelica, actually he found us. We returned to our hotel after a hard day of looking around and eating when the front desk clerk gave us a note. It asked if we were heading out of town and had transport. Christos found his way to Huancavelica in an uncomfortable train and was looking for a way out.

g'day mate

In the town of Pisac there is a bustling Sunday market. This lady brought her kids and her kid goat.

an extra kid

From Pisac we drove to Ollantaytambo, where we left the car and took the train to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu pueblo. (It’s the town at the foot of the mountain on top of which Machu Picchu sits.) We stayed overnight there and in the morning set off on foot for the famed lost city of the Incas. It was a steep climb, mostly involving uneven rock stairs. It took an hour and ten minutes to ascend. Here’s what we saw.

lost city of Machu Picchu

We met these guys up there.

Machu Picchu llamas

Those of you who have been there are probably wondering why we didn’t hike the 4-day Inca Trail. Well, that was our original plan, but it turns out that this is the rainy season. The trail is muddy and slippery, and it rained a lot on the days surrounding our visit. We were lucky to have sun on the morning of our ascent. We talked to some people who did hike the Inca trail, and they confirmed that it was wet and miserable. When they reached Machu Picchu, it was fogged over so they couldn’t even see it. We feel lucky.



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No Responses to “Cuzco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas”

  1. Damon Says:

    Wow, there were a lot more tourists there in 2000.

  2. Posted from United States United States
  3. admin Says:

    Yeah, I put a ┬┤closed for repairs┬┤sign out front and fooled them all, bwuuwwahhhaaah.

  4. Posted from Bolivia Bolivia