Epic Adventure to Machu Picchu

(10 Reviews)

Julia Starling

Palm Coast, FL
My Love of All Things Travel

I have always dreamed of traveling to far away places, exploring new cultures and experiencing new things. At an early age I would sit in my grandfather's living room surrounded by National Geographic magazines, secretly planning all kinds of amaz...

The world is filled with many natural wonders and beautiful places.  Some encourage us to ponder life and creation, while others touch us both emotionally and spiritually. On my recent trip to Peru and Machu Picchu, both criteria were met and then some. Peru boasts 77 national parks and is a mecca for naturalists and adventure travelers. There are multiple trails to explore depending on activity and physical level that can be taken to the ancient city of Machu Picchu!  


My journey began in Lima where I staying in the Miraflores district of the city. There are 39 districts with their own unique flavor and experience. I learned a lot about the land, agriculture, and people. I had my first serving of Ceviche:  a popular appetizer made from marinated raw trout with garlic, lemon, and cilantro. Yum!! Our journey then continued to Cuzco, the capital of the Incas. There we learned the history of the Incas: their religion, culture, agriculture, and influence of other cultures.  The elevation of Cuzco is about 11,000 ft above sea level and can cause lightheadedness...try some Coca Tea, it helps with altitude sickness!!


From there we traveled to the Sacred Valley, the land of the Incas! This area is very fertile which enables the locals to grow over 200 varieties of corn, several varieties of quinoa, and sweet potato. There is also a deep spring in the valley which feeds the Maras Salt Flats. These flats are harvested by about 300 local families. The locals are both warm and friendly and displayed wonderful hospitality. Also in the area are the Ollantaytambo Ruins. This ancient fortress was built around the 15th century and is well preserved. The hill was built in the shape of a Llama! This valley region also home to many properties that have spas and wellness facilities. The area encourages mindfulness and peace and is perfect for those wanting rest and relaxation. 


Our travels finally take us to mystical Machu Picchu! From Ollantaytambo we boarded a train to the town of Aguas Calientas! This town is located at the base of Machu Picchu and mysterious in it's own way. The town offers many accomodation options for both the budget traveler and beyond. The Urumbamba River runs through the town and gives the town a mystical, remote feel. There is a large market there where you can shop for scarves, gloves, backpacks and other souvenirs. Shopping tip: baby Alpaca fiber make the softest high quality products. The colors truest to the animal (browns, white, and black) are the purest and most valued. Most of the products with multiple colors are a blend of Alpaca and Llama. The vendors are very willing to bargain so bring cash! Both the U.S. dollar and Sole are accepted.


The journey to Machu Picchu starts with a 30 minute bus ride to the top of the mountain. The single lane road to the top is not for the faint of heart, especially when your bus is sharing the path with pedestrians! Once at the top we toured the city with our guide who provided the best detail on each of the areas and their significance. This portion made for a very active day with over 3,000 steps in the park alone!! The views were magnificent no matter your vantage point. If you want to know more about my adventure to Peru and Machu Picchu, contact me for the details!!


 


 

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Biltmore Estates
Norwegian Escape
The Grotto, a relaxing oasis located in Spice H2O
Peru and Machu Picchu
Llama
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