Peru is a South American country that houses diverse cultural and physical attractive features. This country is home to Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan city that is situated in the Andes Mountains. The country also boasts of numerous physical features like Amazon rainforest, Sacred Valley, Cusco city that houses Domingo covenant and Inca ruins, Lima that is situated on the Pacific coast of the country and its capital city that is home to colonial architecture and Museo Larco art. On the southern side of the country lives an enormous lake Titicaca, which is shared with Bolivia. This lake offers sapphire waters, folkloric festivals and diverse wildlife.

With the above tourist sites, many visitors tour the country hence leading to numerous luxury hotels set up in the area. While visiting the country, you can consider one of these luxurious hotels.

1- Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the most visited location in Peru. The area is popularly known for its mysterious archaeological site, Inca ruins. Besides Inca ruins, the city is also known for its incredible biodiversity that surrounds the ruins.

Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

The most luxurious and most preferred hotel in the area is Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. This hotel is a favourite of many due to various reasons among them being its locations and high-quality services. The hotel is located directly at the entrance of the New World Wonder. Most hotels around the area are located in Aguas Calientes, a 30 minutes ride to Machu Picchu. Besides its location, the hotel has a great hot tub that provides a wonderful Machu Picchu view. This hotel also runs a luxurious train that operates from Aguas Calientes to Cusco.

 

Around the hotel is the temple of the condor which is 8 minutes walk away, Huayna Picchu 16 minute walk, Winaywayna which is approximately 0.5 KM away, and the Manuel Chavez Ballon site Museum which is 6.4 Km away.

2- Palacio Nazarenas

Palacio Nazarenas

This hotel is located in an ancient convent in Cusco. It is an incredibly stunning hotel and one of the best in entire South America. It is situated behind the Cusco main square, from Cusco Cathedral. The hotel is located in an 8-minute walk from Qurikancha temple Inca ruins. This hotel was opened in the year 2012, so most of its items and the overall conditions still look new. The hotel’s amenities include a heated outdoor pool which runs 3.850 meters deep, a spa, room and laundry services, an Andean restaurant, a bar. They also offer freebies in salsa and yoga lessons and breakfast buffet. It provides very private settings with just 55 suites. In your room, you get to enjoy mini-bar and all-time butler service. The hotel rooms are equipped with extra oxygen making the rooms ideal for people who always suffer from altitude sickness.

3- Tambo del Inka Hotel Luxury

Tambo del Inka

This hotel is based at the foot of Ch’iquin Mountain, a distance of approximately 2 kilometres from Sacred Valley Ruins. It is a 5-minute walk from Plaza de Armas square. The hotel has vibrant and posh rooms with marble bathrooms and elegant balconies. The rooms are equipped with iPod docks, min-bar, flat screen TV, and WI-FI access. Availability of suites, butler services and all-time room services are part of the luxuries offered in this hotel. The hotel also offers a beauty spa, outdoor and indoor pool, a game room fitted with a pool table, and an Andean restaurant among others.

4- Titilaka Lodge

At the shores of Lake Titicaca, lies the famous luxurious Titilaka lodge. This lodge is an all-inclusive hotel and is located approximately 94 kilometres from Inca Manco Capac International Airport.

Titilaka Lodge

Lake Titicaca is a commercially navigable lake that is prominent for its floating reed island and the surrounding community, the Uros people, a society that comprises of male knitters on the Taquile Island.

This hotel offers lake views, heated floors and window seats that are suited with iPod docks, mini-bars and free WI-FI. Although TVs are not offered in the rooms, the lodge offers breathtaking outdoors activities such as bird watching, cycling, and kayaking. Other amenities provided by this hotel include private beaches whose roof is grass thatched, media rooms, bar, restaurant, etc.

5- JW Marriot Hotel Lima

JW Marriot

In the heart of Miraflores, lies the luxurious 5-star JW Marriot hotel. Miraflores is located in Lima, the capital of Peru. Lima city boast of its young art scene, beautiful restaurants and a fantastic culture.

JW Marriot Hotel is a 25 glass storey building that is located directly at the front of Larcomar shopping centre. At the hotel, you will get to enjoy superb views of Lima beaches and the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.

Amenities present in this luxurious hotel include a fitness centre, beauty spa, swimming pool, casino, Sauna. Other activities offered by JW Marriot are child and babysitting services, meeting rooms, tour desks, and dry cleaning services.

The world is truly an interesting place, and we truly never realize that until we actually travel. The internet might have exposed people to what is really out there away from our motherlands and nativity, but it is traveling that offers the most intimate experiences. And when you finally ever take that hallmark trip to the South America’s you will need some background information on the difference between llama and alpaca. Even more importantly, you will put Llama jokes intro real retrospect, and your life will suddenly and ever be a lot more blissful afterward. First of all, understand that alpacas are widely associated with the mountainous and scenic Andes of Peru, and llamas are widely associated with Machu Picchu. But before you have to learn the differences that set apart these two natural cousins, lets us first explore some of their family attributes.

Llamas and alpacas are camelids. That means that they are part of the large family in which they are cousins to camels, each other camelids like vicuna and guanaco. Unlike camels, these two camelids have lived in water-favorable climates and are not desert-adapted. Therefore, they have some distinct facial and body structure differences from the get-go. Despite the differences, they all display very strong genetic resemblance and their relations are phenotypically apparent. Even more peculiarly, the four different species of cousins can reproduce and yield fertile offsprings. Some theories advanced out there insinuate that they are just different races of a particular camelid species.

Local Comedian: Why did the Alpaca Spit?

Crowd: Because the llama spit first and that threatened its character.

Tourist: And why did the llama spit?

Local Comedian: (laughing with the funny tourist) You called her a camel

Tourist: Aren’t they cousins?

Crowd: Llamas are divas and they don’t like Carmel looks

 

  1. The Ears

Llamas have characteristically different ears from their look-alike cousins, the alpacas. Their ears have a more fluffy character which feature extra length, extra curves and a banana shape. The alpacas have short and pointy ears which don’t have any curves.

  1. Body size and weight

Let us first say that alpacas have the short-man syndrome. Llamas are generously sized and aestheticized creatures which are beautiful and robust. They average at 90 kgs but the really big llamas can grow to sizes holding over 181 Kgs. Alpacas are always just half the size of their bigger cousins. They weigh an average of 45 Kgs, and they are also much shorter.

  1. Face and Hair

Llamas are popular for their faces, and alpacas are known to contrast that description by having a much blunter face. The alpaca’s blunt face is also fuller of hair and that gives it a very cute appearance which makes it very photogenic and attractive, especially to tourists. Alpacas are also very fluffy because their hair is very soft.

  1. Use

Alpacas and llamas are slaughtered and eaten. However, alpacas are more popularly bred for their fur which is of much better quality than llamas. Llamas, on the other hand, are much bigger than alpacas, and they are widely feared for their meat. Llamas are also capable of carrying 25 percent of their total body weight, and they weigh close to 100 Kgs. For that reason, the animals are widely used to carry loads, especially out there in the wild terrains.

  1. Character

Alpacas are very defensive, and they are more prone to spitting in threatening situations. They are very valuable for guard functions. They can fend away unwanted attention and intrusion, alert their owners of the same.

 

It is very interesting just how easy it is to make llama jokes. All you need to do is just learn about their character, looks, uses and hangouts. Peru is very popular for llamas which are widely symbolic of Peruvian heritage, and llamas heavily feature in postage stamps, postcards and cultural events. Tourists who visit Peru always end up with very many photographs of them with photogenic llamas and alpacas in the background. That suggests that the animals are very domestic, friendly and cute. The fact that it is their wild and dashingly handsome species of cousins, the Vicuna, that are the national Camelid which actually appears in the Peruvian national coat of arms suggests that these camelids are actually very valuable to the Peruvian populace. So, what about their disposition makes them such an asset?

Exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins, the stop between Cusco and Machu Picchu

The religious, military and agricultural center of Tahuantinsuyo, and later the Fortress of the Incas Rebels, the city of Ollantaytambo, preserves in its structures one of the clearest examples of how it was lived during the empire’s time.

Ollantaytambo is one of Peru’s unique and surprising archaeological parks. Because of the variety of architectural types and the uniqueness of each one of them: we have not fully understood the techniques used to build huge walls, with megalithic parts that match irregular polyhedra in shape and are excellent in their finish.
Each worked stone is a work of art that is independent of the others, with different sides, angles and volumes.

Ollantaytambo main ruins

How to get from Cusco to Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is located at the western end of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. To get there, take the paved road that leads to Quillabamba. The village is in km. 78. The train to Machu Picchu also stops in the village.
It is located in the same district in the province of Urubamba in the department of Cusco. About 60 km. in a straight line in the northwest of the city of Cusco.

Ollantaytambo Train Station

By train the Ollantaytambo Station is km. 68th
By car via Chinchero-Urubamba the distance is 75 km. On the road that goes through Pisaq, the distance is 93 km.
The mantle’s tambos were many, each singularized by a name before the word Tambo; for example Ollantaytambo, which means Tambo de Ollanta.

What to see in Ollantaytambo

  • Templo del Sol
  • Inkapintay
  • El fuerte de Choqekillka
  • Punku Punku o Llajta Punku
  • La Avenida de las Cien Hornacinas
  • La plaza Mañay Raqay (Kuychipunku)

Six Monoliths templo del sol ollantaytambo peru

In the Sun Temple: gigantic blocks of red porphyry, crafted with masterful surfaces as if it were a soft and malleable material. In which the sides of the pieces had to be joined, moldings or protrusions appeared which could fit in the furrows of the pieces with which they were assembled.
Inkapintay: It’s the whole place, including the strong took the name east, hybrid word probably assigned to the last century, the old highway forward in Choqana, which breaks the front and the last part of the orogenic spur.
Choqekillka Fort: It was another pukura or barracks of characters similar to Choqana, it is formed by districts, incomplete aqueduct, paths and short platforms.
PunkuPunku or LlajyaPunku: located at the eastern end of the town of Ollantaytambo, where the road takes the final turn. PunkuPunku means door of the doors and LlajtaPunku the door of the people.
The Avenue of the 100 Hornacinas: They call this road the current street where pedestrians and vehicles enter after passing the LlajtaPunku bend.

Remains of the long wall with many niches or cabinets, walls show no inclination towards the street, but solidify inside for support in the transverse walls building, lockers were located on the front sides of the walls and not on the street, today commented the wall to the Road and cabinets, the quality of flagstones and clay mortar.

Ollantaytambo town Peru

The place MañayRaqay also called Kuychipunku; Mañay means request, raqay request, is interpreted as the Plaza de las Peticiones. This square is located on the right side of the river Patakancha, corresponding to Araqama Ayllu, a rectangular shape. The walls that bound it have many doors. On the eastern side of the square runs a small creek Patakancha arm at the center of the west wall is the large gate that allows passage into the castle.

Ollantaytambo map

Ollantaytambo Map

Ollantaytambo things to do

The lively city of Inca (Ollantaytambo) is becoming a strategic place for various activities, of which we can mention:
– Outdoors: hikes through the valley, mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding, canoeing through the Vilcanota and off-road.
– Cultural experiences. Demonstration of the Andean weaving, pottery workshop, theater, dance, music, stories, Chacras routes, Peruvian cuisine, etc.

Ollantaytambo Hotels

  • Pakaritampu / Av. Ferrocarril s/n / Reservas Lima: 445-2803 / [email protected]
  • Hostal El Sauce / Ventidero 248 / T. (084) 20-4044 / [email protected]
  • El Albergue / Al lado de la estación del tren / T. (084) 20-4014
  • Ollantaytambo Lodge / Quinta Cruz Esquina s/n / T. (084)20-4141 / [email protected]

Ollantaytambo Restaurants

Killawasi, the restaurant owned by the hotel Sol y Luna offers a real proposal of local cuisine using fresh organic ingredients from farms in the area and the garden of the hostel. The menu was designed by the renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and Nacho Solís, who try on their plates to reflect the value of the products of the Sacred Valley.

How can I buy the tourist ticket to enter Ollantaytambo?

The tourist ticket of Cusco can be found in tourist offices in Av. El Sol or on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. You can buy the full or partial ticket by selecting a specific group of places you want to visit.

Hours of operation: From 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., every day of the week.
Entry fees:
Tourist Ticket of Cusco:
General: S / 130 soles (36 EUR or 47 USD) / Reduced: S / 70 soles (19 EUR, 25 USD)
Promotional ticket for Domestic Tourism:
General Admission: S /. 70 soles (19 EUR, 25 USD)
Reduced Rate: S /. 40 soles (11 EUR, 15 USD)

Note that purchasing tickets separately for each site is a higher expense.

Ollantaytambo History (brief review)

Manco Inca Yupanqui, also known as Manco Cápac II, was one of over 500 children of the HuaynaCápac and the first of the four Inca rebels of Vilcabamba. When he fled from the armies of Atahualpa to Cusco, he worked with the Spanish conquistadors and believed to get rid of the atahualpistischen troops in this way. Although the Spaniards crowned him the Inca emperor, he did not have many privileges and was also the victim of a series of abuses and humiliations. On April 18, 1536 Hernando Pizarro dismissed him on the condition that he did not leave Cusco. Manco Inca gave him golden objects, silver bars and offered him a royal gold statue of Huayna Capac. Pizarro, who believed it, released him, but Manco Inca immediately invaded the city of Calca, where his captains were already waiting for him.

From the fortress of Ollantaytambo in 1536, the Inca rebel was only one step away from liberating Cusco from Spanish rule. It is this citadel that Manco has managed to fend off the Pizarristas’ attack and to attack the Spanish troops. Manco Inca, however, had to flee to Vilcabamba when he had to leave his troops due to the excessive wartime. He was eventually killed in 1544 when he was cheated by an almagist group.

This is a guide to the Ollantaytambo ruins in Peru, the stop between Cusco and Machu Picchu. If you have question ask them in the comments below. And don’t forget to pin this article!

 

Pinterest Ollantaytambo ruins Peru

Things to do in Lima

Lima is the capital of Peru and while it has a few quirks that are not that great, the entire city can be fascinating and enlightening if a person knows where to go.  No one will find luxurious or lavish things in this city, but that is never supposed to be a person’s goal when traveling.  Instead, people are supposed to immerse themselves into the local culture and traditions, to learn more about the area and the people.

Here are 20 wonderful things to see and do while visiting Lima, Peru:

1.    Plaza de Armas

A person should go straight to the Plaza de Armas when they arrive in Lima.  This is where the Archbishop Palace is located as well as the Presidential Palace.  The streets around the plaza are filled with numerous shops and restaurants that everyone will love.

2.    Iglesia y convent de San Francisco

This convent dates back quite a few years to the Spanish Conquest, so both the inside and out are considered ancient.  While the famous art work and ancient library are good places to start, no one will want to leave before they see the catacombs.  At the catacombs, some people may feel a little bit out of sorts as they see a lot of human skulls, but the experience is worth the discomfort.

3.    Museo Larco

The Museo Larco is considered one of the best museums in all South America.  The exhibits show a brilliant display of Pre-Columbian art work that shares the Inca culture.  Everyone should take some time to sit out in the courtyard as they enjoy a cup of coffee and a bite to eat from the excellent restaurant inside the museum.

4.    Parque de le Reserva

This huge park can be found in the middle of the city and no one will miss it, because it is filled with hundreds of water fountains.  The park has been around since 1929 and while there is no bad time to visit, everyone will want to go there at night when there are laser shows that illuminate the entire park.

5.    Walk around Miraflores

The tall cliffs are the highlight of Miraflores and people are encouraged to explore them all in depth.  There are also numerous parks in this area, but the most popular one would be the Parque del Armor.  At the end of all the cliffs, people will spot a little lighthouse.  When visitors are finished exploring, they will want to stop in one of the many restaurants or bars for some delicious food and a drink.

6.    Huaca Pucllana

Huaca Pucllana is a humongous pyramid that was constructed from adobe and clay in the middle of the Miraflores area.  While viewing the pyramid might seem amazing enough, the whole truth that it survived over 2,000 years without becoming damaged makes it magnificent.  The reason for that is that one large rainstorm could have washed it away over the years, but since it is so dry in Lima, it hasn’t been a major concern.

7.    Take a Tour of the Centro Historico de Lima

The entire historic center of Lima was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1988.  This area is where visitors will see quite a few ancient houses with spectacular balconies.

8.    Museo Oro del Peru

This museum is beginning to show its age, but that doesn’t mean that the exhibits are not worth a visit.  Some of the best items to see include ceremonial knives, burial masques, and an entire collection of Pre-Columbian works made from gold.

9.    Pachacamac

Pachacamac is a large archeological site that is located to the Southeast of Lima.  The site was used until the Spanish Invasion, but the oldest buildings have been there since 200 A.D.  This area is one of the best places to see and learn about the real heritage of this country.

10.    Go Windsurfing or Surfing

The water in the Pacific is not that great in terms of calmness or warmth, but it is perfect for those who want to go windsurfing or just surfing.  The strong winds allow the waves to be perfect for these two sports, which is wonderful for those water sports enthusiasts.

11.    Museo de la Nacion

The Museo de la Nacion is the largest museum in the city that is run by the government.  The best exhibits in the museum include the items in their archeological collection.  While they do have permanent exhibits, they also have rotating temporary exhibits, so there is always something new to see when a person visits.

12.    Go to a Fiesta

There are numerous religious festivals in Lima, especially during the months of May and June.  Each one is filled with music and people in colorful costumes.

13.    Visit Lima at Night

There are so many areas of Lima that are perfect for exploring at night, at least near the main roads.  The four best places include the Parque de le Reserva, Huacca Pucllana, Miraflores, and the historical center.

14.    Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Peru

This museum can be found in the center of the city and the entire inside includes collections that relate to money and the history of money.  Visitors will see a lot of coins in different shapes as well as different metals that are used.

15.    Go Paragliding

Paragliding is something that everyone should attempt from the cliffs in Miraflores, because the views from above are amazing.  People can choose to paraglide on their own or they can go on a tandem one with an experienced paraglider.

16.    Casa di Aliaga

The Casa di Aliaga is a mansion that was constructed back in the 16th century and it is believed to be the oldest house in South America.  People will be amazed as they see this building that has survived many earthquakes, fires, and other disastrous events in the city and country.

17.    Eat Ceviche

Ceviche is Lima’s famous seafood dish that contains fresh raw fish that is cured in lemon or lime juice and then spiced up with either aji or chili peppers.  Some people will also add salt, chopped onions, and cilantro to this dish.  The ceviche is then served with dishes like sweet potatoes, lettuce, corn, avocado, or plantains.

18.    Shop at Gamarra

The shopping center at Gamarra has twenty thousand textile shops, outlets, and other stores.  Shoppers can find everything from famous designer brands to cheap knock-off items.  However, the best purchases will be the local fashion options that are available.

19.    Watch a Bullfight at the Plaza de Acho

The bullring at the Plaza de Acho is the best and it is actually considered a national historical monument.  This bullring opened in 1766 and it is the second oldest one in the entire world.  The bullfights are only held during certain festivals, so people should plan their visit accordingly if they wish to see one.

20.    Drink a Delicious Pisco Sour

The Pisco Sour is the most popular drink in Peru and it is made from Pisco liquor, lemon juice, egg white, and syrup mixed together.  They can be found anywhere, but the best places to enjoy one include salsa bars or a rooftop bar in Miraflores.

Everyone will enjoy the fact that is hardly ever rains in Lima, but they will also have to get over the fact that the sun is not out too much and clouds fill the skies on a daily basis.  However, despite all that, this capital city is a great place to visit.  There are so many fun and unique things to do and on top of that, everyone can sit and relax while they enjoy their ceviche and pisco sour.

The site is located just outside of Cuzco/Cusco, at a height of 3.555 meters above the sea level, higher than Machu Picchu. The ruins are located where the districts San Cristobál and Cuzco meet (both of them parts of the Cuzco province and department).

Sacsayhuamán used to be an Inca fortress, battles between the locals and the Spaniards took place here.

The immense fortress was put together with huge stone blocks, but nobody knows how these components were cut, moved and put into place. Sacsayhuamán’s architecture reflects great skills, knowledge. From the point of view of construction, it is more impressive and mysterious than Machu Picchu (which is rather admired for its beautiful location, remoteness and little known past).

Many travelers who travel to Machu Picchu also take the time to visit this wonder of the Incas. It is so close to Cuzco that you can go visit on foot.

Visiting this marvel of the Incas can be a unique experience, if you’re in Cuzco, then this is a “must see” attraction.

Interestingly, the Incas have built Cuzco in the shape of a Puma, which was a holy animal in the belief of the ancient Incas. While Cuzco was the belly of the Puma, this fortress was its head.

Muyucmarca, the remains of a tower at Sacsayhuamán

Often mentioned as Muyuq Marka (most correct in Quechuan), Muyuqmarca or Muyucmarka, Moyoc Marca is a small Inca ruin consisting of 3 concentric circular walls, all connected with radial walls. It is located within the Sacsayhuamán archaeological site.

3 water channels were constructed which were probably used to fill a reservoir in the centre of the site. Not much is known about Muyucmarca, there are a multitude of theories, speculations around what its purpose might have been.

Chronicle writer Garcilaso de la Vega wrote that there were 3 towers at Muyucmarca, at the top of the walls. The towers were constructed at equal distances from each other, forming a triangle. The main tower was erected in the centre and it was a cylindrical-shaped one, this was called Muyuq Marca/Muyuqmarca (or the other variations of the name, as you wish), the other 2 were: Paucar Marca and Sallaq Marca or Sallacmarca/Sallaqmarca, these were both rectangular shape.

Why was the main tower round and the other 2 rectangular remain unknown. Round towers are less stable, allowing lower maximum heights. If one wants to construct high structures, then rectangular shapes are ideal, because they offer more stability.

The mysteries around the construction of Sacsayhuamán

Sacsayhuamán used to be a huge fortress of the Incas, which was said to have has high towers and could hold over 5.000 people. Today the structure is in ruins, but still impresses with its size and architectural mysteries. Some of the stone blocks that were used to construct it are as large as a medium-sized truck and are still in place today.

Without any sort of mortar, these immense blocks, some weighing over 50 tons, are still tightly stuck together like puzzles.

The biggest stone block of the fortress weights around 120 tons. For comparison: this is twice the weight of an M1 Abrams tank. Imagine, how did the Incas move such an immense piece of rock with precision? No to mention, how did they cut these blocks so that they perfectly fit together.

Sacsayhuamán, called the “House of the Sun” during Inca times was overrun by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro’s army and much of it destroyed.

Francisco Pizarro’s younger brother, Juán Pizarro was seriously wounded in a battle here and died the next day.

Sacsayhuamán is one of the most impressive structures that you’ll ever find in Peru. The Spaniards were shocked to discover how the Incas have constructed such an immense fortress. In military technology the Spaniards were far superior to the Incas, a culture which the invaders considered inferior to theirs (of course, the Incas didn’t deserve to be degraded in such a way). Some Spanish priests and chronicle-writers, among which Cieza de León, Garcilaso de la Vega, Bernabe Cobo, Sarmiento de Gamboa, Pedro Pizarro have labeled the fortress as one “built by demons, evil spirits”.

Garcilaso de la Vega wrote about Sacsayhuamán:

“This fortress surpasses the constructions known as the seven wonders of the world. For in the case of a long broad wall like that of Babylon, or the colossus of Rhodes, or the pyramids of Egypt, or the other monuments, one can see clearly how they were executed. They did it by summoning an immense body of workers and accumulating more and more material day by day and year by year. They overcame all difficulties by employing human effort over a long period. But it is indeed beyond the power of imagination to understand now these Indians, unacquainted with devices, engines, and implements, could have cut, dressed, raised, and lowered great rocks, more like lumps of hills than building stones, and set them so exactly in their places. For this reason, and because the Indians were so familiar with demons, the work is attributed to enchantment.”

Some people believe, even today, that the structure was not constructed by the Incas, the ancestors of today’s Quechuans. Their fantasies revolve around extraterrestrials that could have arrived to our planet and either build the huge fortress or have taught the Incas how to do it. Writers like Erich Von Däniken have a multitude of theories around such places (like the Nazca lines in Peru and Tiahuanaco in Bolivia).

A simple analysis of the style of the construction, the materials used are considered to be proof enough by specialists that indeed, Sacsayhuamán was erected by the Incas.

Specialists argue about what the builders of this marvel had to do in order to cut , move and lift the stones in order to put them into the right places.

Some estimate the necessary working force for building Sacsayhuamán at around 20.000-30.000 thousand men. the necessary period to complete the work should have been around 60 years.

Specialists put the probable year of completion of Sacsayhuamán at 1508. Which means it was not finished long before Pizarro first reached Inca land (which happened in 1526, but did not implicate any conflicts between the Spaniards and the locals).

Interestingly, the initial structure (not the ruins we see today) was described by the Spaniards as having high “towers”.

Specialists say that Sacsayhuamán was more than 3 m higher that it is today. Above the large stone blocks lay smaller stones, probably the size for those that were used to build Machu Picchu, for example. The upper layer comprised of these smaller pieces of stone was demolished by the Spaniards who used those stones to build themselves homes and Catholic churches.

At the time the Spanish forces arrive to this part of the Tahuantinsuyo, none of the Incas seemed to know how the structure was built.

Some specialists conclude that the theoretical year of completion of 1508 was in fact the year when the Incas placed the smaller stone layer on top of the bigger blocks. This is why some doubt that the Incas placed the big stones.

The Incas didn’t use wheeled vehicles (such as chariots) and to the Spaniards they seemed technically behind.

Visiting Sacsayhuamán

You can get to Sacsayhuamán by one of the 2 roads that lead there: one starts from the old neighbourhood of San Cristobál and the other one from Avenida Collasuyo.

The San Cristobál has 1,5 kms, while the Avenida Collasuyo one 4 km.

Other, less frequented paths can get you there on foot, these are the Sapantiana (which starts at the Choquechaca street), has a length of 1 km, there another one from the San Blas district, which reaches the Kusilluyog temple, through an old Inca road (which connects with Collasuyo).

You can walk to Sacsayhuamán or rent a bicycle, it’s not so far.

Things to do in Peru

The country of Peru is quite diverse and visitors will find themselves amongst mountains in one area and on the shore of the ocean in another.  The one thing that will not change throughout the country is the amount of activities that are available for everyone.

Here are 20 phenomenal things to do while visiting Peru:

1.    Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the seven wonders of the world and everyone will want to have this attraction on their must-see list for their visit.  This Inca city was lost and unknown for many years before being rediscovered back in 1911.  The climb to the ruins can be a little difficult as the pathways are narrow, but the first glimpse of the ruins makes that climb worthwhile.

2.    Cusco

Cusco is the heart of the country, just like it was at the center of the Inca Empire.  There are a few museums, amazing architecture, and multiple ruins to see everywhere.  One destination that everyone must go to is the Cusco Market, because there is so much available in this humongous space.

3.    Lima

Lima is the capital of Peru and there is a long list of amazing sights that everyone must see.  However, the best part of this city is the nightlife and the Parque de la Reserve, which is a water fountain park that is illuminated with laser shows at night.

4.    Ollantaytambo

This is another Inca ruin that people must see while they are in Peru.  This one is quite close to Machu Picchu, so it is possible to combine them into one trip.  These ruins are in the place where the Incas had their biggest stronghold after the Spanish invasion and it still looks just as strong.

5.    Colca Canyon

This is South America’s version of the Grand Canyon and it is within the top three tourist destinations in the country.  The depth of this canyon reaches down 3,270 meters and people will once again be able to see the infamous Andean condor when they visit, thanks to all the preservation efforts that have taken place over the years.

6.    Pisac

Pisac is in the Sacred Valley and many people begin their day exploring the Inca ruins throughout the town.  After that, everyone heads to the large market to shop for both food and souvenirs.

7.    Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert.  They can be difficult to see unless a person is up in a plane, however, some of them can be seen when standing on the surrounding foothills.

8.    Huacachina Oasis

This oasis may be small, but most people feel like they are in the Sahara when they are visiting there.  The oasis is the perfect destination for people who want to attempt to go sandboarding or dune buggy riding.

9.    Inca Trail

The Inca Trail follows the same path that the Inca used when they traveled to enter the citadel.  It takes approximately four days to walk the trail completely, plus everyone needs to have a ticket and be with a tour company to do it.  Many of the people that trek along this path are headed to Machu Picchu.

10.    Tipon

A ritual water garden is the best description for this beautiful and amazing sight in Peru.  The twelve terraces are below a water temple that then channels the water down and through the terraces.  Tipon might not be a well-known Inca site, but people should take advantage of that fact as they are visiting.  The tranquility and serenity of the flowing water can be a wonderful and meditating experience for many.

11.    Floating Islands of Lake Titcaca

Lake Titicaca is one of the most navigable lakes in the world at 3,812 meters above sea level.  It is also where the indigenous Uros people live on artificial islands that they built out of local reeds.

12.    Taquile Island

This island is another one that can be found on Lake Titicaca and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Male knitters live on this island with none of the comforts of home like electricity or running water.  They live traditionally like the Aymaras did and anyone who visits will feel as if they stepped back in time.  Another unique feature on this island is that no cars are allowed.

13.    Amazon Rainforest

The entire Amazon Rainforest is not in Peru, but the upper regions are.  Everyone should take some time to explore the Amazon River to see if they can catch a glimpse of the pink dolphins or the elusive tapirs that call that region their home.

14.    Maras Salt Mines

The Maras Salt Mines have been around just as long as the Inca people and they are quite the sight to see.  Salt has been taken from the salt evaporation ponds for thousands of years, which means that these mines have been around longer than even Machu Picchu.

15.    Moray

The ancient Inca site of Moray is not too far from the Maras Salt Mines.  The circular ruins have multiple levels and each one has a different micro-climate from the others.  Archeologists that have worked in the area believe that these ruins were used for a ritual garden or agricultural laboratory in the past.

16.    Andean Explorer

The Andean Explorer takes passengers from Cusco to Puno in approximately ten hours.  It is one of the ten amazing train journeys that are available in Peru and those journeys are the best way to see and capture the breathtaking beauty of the countryside.

17.    Visit the Beach

Remember, there is more than mountains and valleys in the country of Peru.  The shoreline has amazing beaches where visitors can sit down on the sand and relax, before catching some waves and surfing.  One of the best beaches in the country is Mancora Beach.

18.    Explore Chan Chan

Chan Chan is the largest pre-Columbian city in South America and it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1986.  Chan Chan encompasses approximately twenty kilometers of space in one of the most arid sections of the country.

19.    Visit Kuelap

This ancient city in Northern Peru dates back to the 6th century.  The four hundred buildings are surrounded by a large stone wall that climbs nineteen meters in the air.  Visitors can learn a lot about the Chachapoyas culture, as they are the people who lived in the area when this was built.

20.    Hike up Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain sounds like such a beautiful destination and people will find it nestled in the mountains of Ausangate.  Anyone who hikes this mountain will find themselves rewarded with views from the summit as well as sightings of the abundant alpine wildlife.

Visitors could easily spend a month or more exploring the country of Peru.  After all, Peru is filled with history, ruins, nature, and much more, so no one will ever be able to say that they are bored when they are there.  Instead, people will become intrigued with what they are seeing and experiencing, which will encourage them to delve deeper into what is available in this magnificent country.

 

Things to do in Cusco

Cusco – This amazing city was once the ancient city of the Inca Empire and is now considered the Archeological Capital of the American and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The elevation of the city is quite high at 3,400 meters, but that does not discourage the more than two million people who visit every year.  Of course, those two million plus people need something to do while in Cusco, and they are all amazed at how much there really is to see in this spectacular area of the world.

Here are 20 of the most fabulous things to see and do while visiting Cusco, Peru:

1.    Plaza de Armas

This plaza is in the center of this historical town and it is the most recommended place for every visitor to begin their Cusco experiences.  There is not a lot to do in the square, but the views of the buildings are quite the sight and visitors will enjoy walking around.

2.    Cathedral of Santo Domingo

This was Cusco’s first cathedral and construction began on this building back in 1560.  The red granite blocks on the outside may be impressive, but the inside offers even more beauty with colonial gold.  Not too many visitors are aware of the fact that this cathedral, like many of the other buildings in the area, were designed and constructed to withstand the effects of mother nature’s earthquakes.

3.    Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus

This cathedral is right next to the Cathedral of Santo Domingo and was originally supposed to be more magnificent once it was completed.  However, the people in charge of the construction were forbidden to even try to make it better than the Santo Domingo.

4.    Qurikancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo

This was once the most important temple of the Inca Empire and was called the House of the Sun.  The walls were covered in golf at one point in time and there were gold statues in both the niches and the courtyards.  All the gold is gone now, but the foundation has not been changed over the years, despite the fact that the church addition is quite new.

5.    Sacsayhuamán

The hike to this ancient military fortress is slightly difficult, but the views that visitors see during the walk are breathtaking.  This area was most likely phenomenal a long time ago, and while it is still nice to see, not much remains except a few foundation stones.  The best time to visit this area is when the Festival of the Sun takes place from sunrise to sunset during nine days around the winter solstice.

6.    Cristo Blanco

This statue was designed by a local artist named Francisco Olazo Allende and while many people think that they need to go to see the statue up close, that is not the case.  The statue is best viewed from a distance, but the best views of Cusco are from the statue’s platform.

7.    Barrio de San Blas

Many visitors stop in the San Blas quarter after their visit to Sacsayhuamán, because it is quite close by.  This area is full of craft shops where local artisans create authentic souvenirs and other items.  Anyone who doesn’t love to shop will still want to stop by, so that they can see the steep cobblestone roads.

8.    Iglesia de San Blas

While in the San Blas quarter, people should stop at the little church to see an amazing wooden pulpit that has an intricate baroque design.  Audio guides are available to visitors which explain the multiple myths of the construction of this pulpit.

9.    Museo de Arte Precolombino

This is one of the few museums in Cusco and it is the one that is most recommended.  The museum has many modern displays that are filled with high-quality pieces of art as well as a lot of gold.

10.    Archbishop Palace

The inside of this palace has numerous spaces, but none are as fascinating as the Golden Hall.  This room has been used as a reception area by the archbishop of Cusco.  The entire interior has a colonial feel and yet, the courtyard is charming and intimate.

11.    The Twelve Angled Stone

The Twelve Angled Stone can be found within the Palacio Arzobispal and this palace is a wonderful way to see how many of the old palaces looked back in ancient times.  While the Twelve Angled Stone is one of the sights that many people see, no one should discount any of the other areas of this palace, because they will miss a really spectacular setting.

12.    San Pedro: Cusco Market

This market is authentic and takes up an entire quarter of the city.  There is no item that is not available within this market and people will need to spend quite a bit of time exploring everything that is within the stalls and booths.

13.    Museo Inka

The exhibits within this museum are a little dated, but it is inside an old palace, which makes it worth the time.  Some of the ancient palace walls have survived over the years, so visitors can see authentic Inca construction firsthand.

14.    Day Trip to Machu Picchu

A day trip to Machu Picchu is possible for those who want to quickly see one of the seven wonders of the world, but no one will get the best experience that way.  However, it is a great way to see the lost Incan city when a person does not have much time in the area.

15.    Tipon

Tipon is a ritual water garden that is still unknown by many tourists, despite the fact that it is only a couple miles away from Cusco.  There are twelve terraces to explore before reaching a water temple at the top.  The water is channeled throughout the terraces and turns it into a sight of amazement.

16.    Maras Salt Evaporation Ponds

These salt ponds have been around since the Inca times and while they are not easy to reach, people can get to them through the Urubamba Valley.  Once a person arrives at the ponds, they will be greeted with spectacular views of the water that glitters in the sunlight.

17.    Other Inca Ruins

There are numerous Inca ruins in and around Cusco, and while seeing too many of them is not recommended, there are a few that people should consider.  Those ruins include Ollantaytambo, Tambomachay, Q’Enqo, and Piquillacta.  They are all different, which is a good thing, but most people will want to choose one or two and leave the others to the rest of the tourists.

18.    Planetarium Cusco

This planetarium offers tours where people can go and look for stars in the all-expansive sky.  The stars are fabulous in this area, because the ambient lighting in the city is low and the sky brightens the nighttime sky.

19.    Ride the Luxury Train

There are two luxury trains that depart from Cusco and while they are a little expensive, the views and the experience is worth the cost.  One of the trains goes to Machu Picchu and the other goes all the way to Puno and Lake Titicaca.

20.    Ausangate

Hikers will want to visit Ausangate to trek along the Willkanuta mountain range.  The views and the history of Incan mythology will only add to the experience.

This city is vibrant and busy, even on a rainy day, which is a good thing for every tourist.  Visitors will want to be ready to do a lot of walking while they are visiting Cusco, so that they do not miss out on any views or attractions that they have to see.

Physical Training for Machu Picchu Hiking

Some of the best things really do take time and efforts to accomplish. It applies to all aspects of life including tourism world. Take Machu Picchu for example; an Incan citadel set in the Andes Mountain in Peru. Located in probably the most spectacular site, the citadel is the best known archaeological site in the continent. During the Spanish colonial period, the site survived and was never found by the Spaniards, so they did not destroy or plunder it as they did to other sites. Machu Picchu stands at 2,430 meters above sea level in the middle of tropical mountain forest. If you feel like visiting, be ready for the physical training for it.

Trails

There are 9 known trails to reach Machu Picchu as follows:

TreksLengthLevel
Classic Inca Trail4 days 3 nightsDifficult
Short Inca Trail2 days 1 nightEasy
Salkantay / Inca Trail Combo6 days 5 nightsExperienced
Salkantay Trek5 days 4 nightsExperienced
Lares Trek4 days 3 nightsIntermediate
Choquequirao Trek4 days 3 nightsExperienced
Inca Jungle Trek4 days 3 nightsIntermediate
Vilcabamba Trek5 days 4 nightsProfessional
Huchuy Qosqo3 days 2 nightsIntermediate

While one of the trails is relatively friendly even for beginners, physical trainings are still required to acclimate to the elevation. Here is an easy breakdown of the physical trainings you need.

1.    Aerobic Fitness: assuming you are not already participating in aerobic training, the best time to start one is now. The level of fitness required for comfortable trekking adventure takes regular exercise of about 4 to 5 times a week. There is no need to do specific program because anything that elevates your heart rate will do for examples swimming, running, and step aerobics. Your heart and lungs need to be stronger to prepare for the thin oxygen as you climb higher.

2.    Leg and Core Strength: you may focus on your legs during the training (which is a good thing because the leg muscles do the hard works), but it also takes steady core strength to maintain form and balance. Many parts of the trail (any trail) are rocky and with uneven surfaces, so you need to focus not only on legs, but also core strength, arms, back, and shoulders. Train those muscles and you’ll be ready for the adventure.

3.    Weight Training: when you think of hiking, the first thing that comes to mind is standing at the top of mountain with sense of great relief. You are missing one big part of the picture: the hike itself. Training using weighted pack regularly as you will carry a huge load of things on your back when you trek the trails of Machu Picchu. Take your largest backpack, fill it up with sands, and climb up a small hill. Do this multiple times a week.

4.    Backcountry hiking: referring back to the table above, some trails can take up to 9 days to complete. You can always choose the easier ones, but you may not get the full excitement at the same time. The problem with multi-day hiking is the continuous strenuous physical exertion; combine that with the absence of computers, cell phones, or any kind of entertainment. Get used to the idea by doing a backcountry hiking many times before you head to Peru. It is best that you minimize the possibility of a shock to your system.

5.    Acclimatize to elevation: the only way to do this is to climb high-elevation locations. Symptoms of altitude sickness typically develop at between 8,000 feet to 12,000 feet above sea level. While Machu Picchu is “only” 7,970 feet, you still need to be ready for the worst. Before you go to Machu Picchu, get used to the elevation by climbing high altitude destinations as often as you can.

Conclusion

The construction and location of Machu Picchu is nearly impossible even by today’s standards. The good thing is that the Incas were probably all excellent architects that they also built roads that blazed through the Andes to reach the sacred citadel. Today Machu Picchu is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites that you can visit and experience. The only downside is that, you must climb unbelievably high through strenuous trails to get there.

Machu Picchu Tickets to Exploring Machu Picchu: The Land of the Incas

Are you stuck in a mid-life crisis and want to get away from the bitterness of the situation? Then trekking to the top of Machu Picchu might just be the right option for you!

Nestled atop the Urubamba Valley, Machu Picchu is a scenic tour site in Peru. It has been labelled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and is rightly one of the seven new wonders of the world. The plush terraced fields, the Temple of the Sun and the spectacular view overlooking the Sacred Valley, are sure to get you pumped up and to catch the next flight available to Peru!

If you have decided to take wing and land in Peru to explore Machu Picchu, the historical land of the mystic Inca Civilization, then it is highly likely that you will need to get your Machu Picchu mountain tickets well before you make the actual journey.

The most important and crucial part of planning the journey is to inquire about the Machu Picchu ticket availability, and after then, getting your hands on one!

Machu Picchu tickets cost

The entire process of availing tickets, combined with the change in official schedule of sight- seeing, might be enough for some people to lose interest in the journey. However, we have compiled together a brief guide on how to acquire Machu Picchu mountain tickets according to the new schedule of 2017!

 What is the New Schedule for Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets?

Machu Picchu tickets Huaynapicchu

The new official schedule will be put to action after the 1st of July. Trekkers who purchase a ticket after the 1st of July, will only be allowed a half day visit. Half a day of sight-seeing seems to be a bit of a turn off, but here’s the catch: You can also book for two consecutive tour shifts to experience Machu Picchu! Of course, you will need to pay for each shift, but it will be worth it!

You will be provided with a choice to choose from either of the two shifts:

  • You can either choose the morning shift from 6 am to 12 in the noon, or,
  • You can opt for the second shift that would run from 12 to 5.30pm in the evening.

Whichever shift works best for you, go ahead and get your Machu Picchu mountain tickets booked for it!

What Will be the New Costs for a Machu Picchu Mountain Ticket?

The Machu Picchu ticket costs from 1st July, 2017 have been increased to 152 Soles, which is equivalent to around $47 USD. Previously, the Machu Picchu ticket price was listed at 100 soles or $40 USD for a single adult. Children, students and locals can avail discounts by displaying the required documents while booking the tickets.

Where Can I Purchase These Tickets From?

The most important thing is to get your tickets, before you reach the Machu Picchu mountains. This is step is crucial because there is no office located at the mountain base to issue you the Machu Picchu mountain tickets!

However, you can arrange for the tickets by inquiring about Machu Picchu ticket availability, in either of the following four ways.

1.    Purchase tickets from the Peru Government Website:

You can connect to the internet and purchase Machu Picchu tickets online from the Peruvian governments website.

2.    Purchase tickets from Any city in Peru:

When you land in Lima, or any other city, you can make the payments for your online ticket, by paying at any local bank.

3.    Purchase tickets from Cuzco:

If you are a student, then you can purchase your Machu Picchu mountain ticket from Instituto Nacional de cultura during your stay at Cuzco, and avail student discount on it!

4.    Purchase tickets from a travel agency:

Contact a genuine travel agency in Peru and ask them to arrange Machu Picchu mountain tickets for you. Hand them the required information and leave it to them to arrange a smooth Machu Picchu tour for you!

Huayna Picchu Tickets

The tour timings and ticket costs have been hiked up to ensure that each tourist gets to experience the best of Machu Picchu, and also to protect the ruins of the ancient Inca Citadel.

Due the permit regulations that allow ONLY 500 persons entering to the Inca, it is therefore essential to make reservations well in advance as the system is on a first-come, first served basis. We do recommend book at least 4-5 months prior departure.

There are a limited number of tour operators authorized to operate the Inca Trail. Best Andes Travel is one of these and in just two years of Inca Trail operations has been recognized by the Government Tourism Office as one of the two BEST tour operators in the area, both in 2014 & 2015.

If you have any inconvenient please contact our 24 hours contact form or you can see online the Inca Trail avaylability 2017 here.