Peru is a country very dear to my heart. Through, the Peruvian people I met in Paris, I discovered their culture before even I had the opportunity to discover the land of Peru.
I remember at this time, I thought to myself that one day, I will visit this country. This time, I decided to visit Peru as a friend of mine was living there and she could not stop praising how amazing the experience was. One thing leading to another, somehow she decided to go back to France, so it was the last chance for me to experience this beautiful country with her.
I did not thought about it for too long, next thing, I immediately booked my ticket to Cuzco.
When I think of this experience, it is almost like life gave that little push to realize this dream…and I can tell you that I really did not know how much it would affect me at this stage.
It is silly to think that we can summarize the entirety of the experience in one article so I decided to share 4 amazing places with you today in part one… and to let it sink in!
No worries, I will definitely share the 4 other magic places with you in Part 2 🙂
Hopefully, as long as you read me, you will take the time to travel to these amazing places!
Located in the Southern Sierras, Cuzco is a fascinating city that was the capital of the Inca Empire. It is also an Unesco World Heritage Site and one of Peru’s most visited cities.
Considered the “navel” of the universe and was the capital of the Incas until it was taken over by the Spanish. By visiting Cuzco, you’ll experience the beautiful confluence of Inca and Spanish architecture, and that alone is worth the trip. This city high up, I could definitely feel that I was as landing in the Andes Mountains as it took few days to get adjusted to the altitude. It is not unusual to meet people chewing coca leafs or selling coca sweets, as the plant is known to help with the altitude. Freshly arrived, I decided to try the famous ceviche in a local restaurant, visit the local market and the city center to feel the vibe of the Inca’s land.
The Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is the site of an ancient Inca city, high in the Andes of Peru above the Urubamba River valley. Located at 2,430m (8,000 ft), this UNESCO World Heritage site is often referred to as “The Lost City of the Incas”. It’s one of the most familiar symbols of the Incan Empire and also one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world.
Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. These are located in what is known by archaeologists as the Sacred District of Machu Picchu. The Incas started building it around 1430AD, but it was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.
One thing that is clear is that it was a remarkably well hidden place, and well protected. Located far up in the mountains of Peru, visitors had to travel up long valleys littered with Inca check points and watch towers. Remarkably, the Spanish conquistadors missed the site.
When it comes to hiking in the site, please make sure to allow at least a full day especially if you are looking at doing the Inca trail and the Wayna Picchu.
Otherwise, you can opt for the low intensity trails that will still provide you a beautiful view of the site while enjoying the company of few llamas!
While in the region, I highly recommend to visit the Sacred Valley. Along with the nearby town of Cuzco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu, it formed the heart of the Inca Empire. Stretching roughly 60 kilometers, it’s an area of fertile farmland and Spanish colonial villages like Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Right in the Andean highlands, the site used to be home for Inca’s sacred burial ceremonies and other important moments of life. Absolutely, breathtaking.
On the way back, you will meet locals who sells traditional craft art which emphasize the beauty of the site!
For hike lovers, Vinicunca, also called Montaña de Siete Colores, Montaña de Colores or Rainbow Mountain is a must do! The mountain rise at an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level. The colors were formed by sedimentary mineral layers in the mountain that have been exposed by erosion. The Rainbow Mountain trailhead is located a 3-hour drive from Cuzco, You can easily explore and the mountain during a day trip.
Alright, these are the 4 places I wanted to invite you to travel with me!
Let me know if you’ve ever been or saw other site in the region. As for part 2, I will take you to a different part of the country, so stay tuned! xx