Monday, September 5, 2011

Viaje #2- CUZCO!

We have just returned from our second excursion through ISA to CUZCO!
The city of Cuzco was my favorite that we have visited so far in Peru---yes even topping Lima! Cuzco is much smaller than Lima and is tucked away in the Andes. The Inca history in Cuzco is rich to say the least, and the city is beautiful. We were able to explore Cuzco and also to visit the Cathedral and some ancient Incan ruins.

The following day, we were making our way towards MACHU PICCHU! We took off into the Sacred Valley, where we were able to visit more incredible ruins, visit Andean weavers, and go to a local Peruvian bar where we made chicha (traditional drink) and played "frog" (a typical bar game here which is a lot like our washers). After, we boarded a train for Aquas Calientes- the town outside of Macchu Picchu.

Waking up at 5am the next morning was not a problem, because I was more than excited to be visiting Machu Picchu that day (One of the 7 Wonders of the World!). We had a bus to take us up to the entrance of Machu Picchu and once inside, we were headed straight for Wayna Picchu (the tall mountain which overlooks the ancient city). Our first view of Machu Picchu was BREATHTAKING! I have been fascinated with Incan culture and especially Machu Picchu and it truly blew all of my expectations out of the water!!! Around 8am we began hiking up Wayna Picchu--and when I say hiking, I mean more like scaling and climbing the mountain. The trek up was difficult and long, usually takes 1-2 hours, but VERY WORTH IT! I would recommend to anyone to make this hike because once you are at the top of the mountain, looking down over Machu Picchu is unlinke anything else! We enjoyed resting at the top while taking in the view, and then it was back down to explore within the ruins. The trek down was just as difficult as climbing up, but again, a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Once we were back inside the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, we took a tour of the ruins and learned more about the daily life, the rich history, the religion and the Inca people. We were able to see temples, houses, the infamous sun dial, and various other things in Machu Picchu. After, we were left to explore on our own. I think I took nearly 200 pictures just within those few hours (and for me, that is A LOT!). The views were incredible and the experience was unlike anything I have ever done in my life. It was amazing to be there and see how this ancient city was constructed. Within the ruins, there are llamas and alpacas grazing freely as well, which definitely adds to the environment. I would have just spent the rest of my 5 months haning out in Machu Picchu if given the chance!

Machu Picchu was truly an unbelievable experience, and unlike anything I have experienced! The climb up Wayna Picchu with the view from the top was undescribable, just unlike anything in the world. And truly nothing compares to simply walking around the ancient ruins in Machu Picchu. This experience was INCREDIBLE!!!

The beautiful Cathedral in the central square in Cusco

Me at Machu Picchu

I made a new Peruvian friend!

Still not to the top of Wayna Picchu, but almost there! Overlooking Machu Picchu

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