At long last: Peru. When trying to think of a way to describe this trip the only thought I could eventually come up with was: go experience it for yourself. In a country rich with history, beauty, tradition, and ever changing landscapes, it is a location that will always leave you a reason to go back. After spending two weeks in this amazing country I can truly say that I’ll one day return in hopes of revisiting the places I’ve already been; as well as seeing new sights and locations.
The first stop on my two week whirl wind tour of Peru: Cusco. As the former Inca capital, this ancient city and current tourist mecca serves as the staging point for those looking to head out on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. A city rich with culture and history, Cusco was a location that didn’t disappoint. From the Plaza de Armas, San Cristobal and the numerous other cathedrals, Saqsaywaman, and random celebrations, Cusco never ceased to have something to see or do.
The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu:
The highlight of my time in Peru and the reason I decided to do this trip, the Inca Trail would prove a huge test both mentally and physically.
Starting off at kilometer 82 and covering 45kms ending at the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail spans across the mountains and highlands of Peru. With altitude ranging anywhere from 8856 feet above sea level (2700 masl) to the high pass of Warmi Wañuska(13779 feet above sea level o r 4200 masl), the views are incredible, the oxygen is thin, and the trail is tough. Along the trail you’ll get views of the farming terraces of Llactapata, spectacular views of the Andes as seen at the highest point on the trail Warmi Wañuska (Dead Woman’s Pass), Paqaymayu, the ruins and pass of Runkuracay, the cloud fortress of Sayacmarca, cloud forests, ruins of Phuyupatamarca and Wiñayhuayna, and of course Machu Picchu.
The third and final stop on my tour of Peru: Iquitos and the Amazon. Located in the northern region of Peru near the borders of Colombia and Brazil, Iquitos is the worlds largest city not accessable by road. A location of interest due to it’s remote nature, Iquitos offered the unique experience of travelling into the Amazon jungle via boat or as we did it, a mototaxi ride into the small fishing village of Llanchama. A remote village located on the Nanay River, Llanchama allowed us to spend our days hiking through the jungle, swimming in the Nanay river, and taking in the sights that this remote location offered.