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?

Bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a curious tourist destination in the Andes of Peru, South America. It is often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas.” This famous ruin representing the Incas Empire and is listed under UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is a must-see site. The inspiring archeological site is often populated with visitors from all over the world who come to witness its scenic view.

To access Machu Picchu, you will have to go through Cusco, which can be accessed via air or road. At Cusco, you can buy bus tickets to Machu Picchu at the Cusco office. Another office is located at Agua Calientes where you can similarly buy tickets.

Buses to Machu Picchu

At the Aguas Calientes terminal, located just 5 minutes away from the train station and adjacent to the Vilcanote River, buses leave for Machu Picchu from as early as 5.30AM up to 4.00PM. They are the only official public means of transport that cruise the meandering highway leading to the site. If you want to be on the first trip, get to the station at least 30 minutes earlier to the departure time. The site opens at exactly 6.00AM and you will be there just in time. In between the hours of operation, the buses leave within 5-10 minutes intervals from either side. This will, of course, depend on the season, high or low and the number of visitors.

It takes an average of 20 minutes in these Machu Picchu bus trips on the winding road with steep side views. The view along the way is captivating and you can vividly note the climb with the Vilcanote River appearing down in the distance.

As a summary of your preparation for this trip, it is important to note these:

-The Machu Picchu site opens at 6.00AM.

-You are served on a first come first serve basis at the bus terminal.

-Buses from the Aguas Calientes terminal operate between 5.30AM to 4.00PM.

-An average one-way trip takes only 20 minutes.

-One-way and round-trip costs for adults are $12 and $24 respectively.

– One-way and round-trip costs for children are $7 and $12 respectively.

To get in touch with the offices, see the details below:

Aguas Calientes office:

Avenida Hermanos Ayar S/N

Aguas Calientes Bus Terminal

Tel: 084 211 134

Open: Daily 5.00AM-9.30PM

Cusco Office:

Avenida Infancia 433, Wanchaq,Cusco (Consettur)

Tel: 084 222 125

Open: Daily 8.00AM-1.00PM, 3.00PM-5.30PM

Machu Picchu has been a great tourist destination for a long time now. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, it features a lot of attraction sites for people from all walks of life. Machu Picchu is the only intact surviving city of Inca in Peru. Being situated at 2360 meters above the sea level, it surely takes you closer to the beauty of nature. We all would naturally want to be in such a place but the question that begs for answers is how to get there. There is no road between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The road exists only up to a point between the two places and that is Ollantaytambo, it is somewhat midpoint and after this, the train is the only mode of transport between the two places.

There are two train companies that provide the train service between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The first one is PeruRail and the second one is Inca Rail. There once existed the third rail company that got merged with the Inca rails, the Machu Picchu Trains. These two companies provide a wide variety of options to choose from for those traveling to Machu Picchu:

PeruRail Trains To Machu Picchu:

Thes trains provide the customers with three departure points – Cusco, at Urubamba, and at Ollantaytambo. And, all have different travel time before you can reach Machu Picchu station in AguasCalientes.

In Cusco, it’s basically Poroy station from where you get the train and the travel time is 3-4 hours. From Urubamba, the time is 3 hours and from Ollantaytambo, it is 1.5 hours. There are three trains classes that are available these are

  1. Expedition.
  2. Vistadome.
  3. Hiram Bingham.

The Expedition is the most economic train and has various facilities like AC and heating in the cabin, large panoramic windows for a clear view of outside scenes, as well as a highly spacious and a separate luggage area. It costs you around $65 one way and has 6.50 as departure time from Cusco and 10.51 arrival time. From Ollantaytambo, it has various departure times starting from 5.37 to 20.35 and arrival time from 7.44 till 22.58.

The Vistadome is the upgraded version of The Expedition and is a little costlier than it. It costs you around $100 one way, but with this huge amount, you get to enjoy lots of services such as comfortable, air-conditioned, plush leather seats, fitted with panoramic windows, and most importantly it has a wide variety of snacks and beverages (Non-Alcoholic) and all this included in your ticket price. From Cusco, its departure time is 6.05 and arrival time is 9.52. From Ollantaytambo it has different departure and arrival time, 6.40 -16.03 being the departure time and 8.01 – 17.42 the arrival time.

PeruRail_Trains to Machu Picchu

Hiram Bingham, being the most luxurious among all the three trains of PeruRail, it costs you around $400 and only runs from Poroy station with the departure time being 9.00 and arrival being 12.25. It has a very well furnished interior and also has an in-house bar and kitchen. Hiram Bingham is named after the man who gave Machu Picchu the real recognition. It has services like a Welcome cocktail as well as an onboard gourmet lunch, and a spectacular observatory car, which makes it different from all. It is indeed one of the best trains from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

Train to Machu Picchu Hiram-Bingham

Inca Rail trains to Machu Picchu:

Inca rail provides you with 3 class of travel: Machu Picchu train class; executive class; the first-class; and the presidential service. The trains of Inca rail operate from Ollantaytambo three times a day in high season (April through October). The Machu Picchu class is also known as the tourist class.

Inca Rail train to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu train class/ tourist class are like the economy class among all the four. It is quite cheap in comparison to the other three. It will cost you around $75 per person one way and has a very comfortable structure and seating arrangement. Snacks and refreshment will be served on board.

They operate from Ollantaytambo station. With different time slot of travel:

  1. 06. 40 departure – 8.01 arrival
  2. 11.15 departure – 12.45 arrival
  3. 16.36 departure – 18.09 arrival
  4. 11.30 departure – 13.06 arrival
  5. 19.27 departure – 21.09 arrival

The first class is the luxury train. It has plus-sized seats for extra comfort and costs you around $200 per person one way. But if you are paying $200, it is worth it because they provide you with so many onboard facilities like expansive panoramic windows for a better view and thirst quenching welcome cocktail. Also, you can choose between gourmet lunch or dinner as well as background music and much more. The departure time is 19.00 and the arrival time is 20.41.

The Executive is the lower version of the tourist class which costs you only $60 per person one way but it is not as spacious as the other trains. It is a quick and economical option to choose. They provide you with onboard snacks and drinks with music in the background. This option has different departure and arrival time. The first set being the departure at 10.32 and arrival at 12.12 and the other being the departure at 16.12 and arrival at 17.50.

The Presidential-class is the Inca Rail’s high-end option being the most expensive and the luxurious option. The cost of booking is $5000 and you’ll have to make a prior booking for the entire car. The train is well decorated with wood interior which gives it a luxury touch. Also,the food that they provide you is prepared by the best chefs of the region and after the meal, they provide wine or cocktail which is also the best in the region. It has an onboard stocked open bar with a variety of drinks.

The presidential class has three slots of travel:

  1. 6.40 departure – 8.01 arrival
  2. 11.15 departure – 12.45 arrival
  3. 16.36 departure- 18.09 arrival

Other than these train networks, there are different trail and trek routes to travel Machu Picchu.

Some of the options are:

  1. Inca trail is an alternate route; time taken to reach Machu Picchu is 4-5 days covering 82 kilometers.
  2. Salkantay trek is another alternative. It is a 7-day long trek and then joins Inca trail in the end.
  3. Lares trek is the most popular trek route, which takes 2 to 3 day to complete the trek.

There are many more options available but the safest mode is train travel to reach Machu Picchu. If you want a better deal than others to travel to Machu Picchu come to us, we also provide exciting offers. Machu Picchu is the dream of a traveler and we make that dream true.

The question hanging over all tourists is Machu Picchu is going to be closed to the public?

The answer is NO.

Only the Inca Trail is closed every year for the month of February for rainy season, conservation work etc, sometimes people turned this from a rumour to Machu Picchu is closing!!!

Dont fear, Im sure it will there for many years to come!

 

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

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets online through internet

Is Machu Picchu on your bucket list for Peru? Do you want to know how to buy Machu Picchu tickets online & where to get them? Check this guide on all the different ways to buy your Machu Picchu entrance tickets as an independent traveller!

1. Go to the Ministry of Culture website

http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/

2. Select which sites you want to visit
Machu Picchu Museum
Huayna Picchu or Montaña Machu Picchu

3. Choose your date

4. Choose the # of tickets needed

5. Enter your information

6. Finalize your order

7. Pay for your tickets

8. Save & print your tickets

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Cusco

The Ministry of Culture of Cusco makes available 2 places to buy tickets to Machu Picchu

  1. Calle Garcilaso
  2. Calle Maruri

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Aguas Calientes

 

How to buy Machu Picchu tickets in Lima (or any city in Peru)

 

APRIL (HOLY WEEK)

Lord of the Tremors

Religious feast including pilgrimage of local, national and foreign religious people. The procession of “Taytacha” also called Lord of the Tremors stands out.

MAY

Labor Day

JUNE

Festivityof the Lord of Qoyllor Ritty: Ocongate – Quispicanchis

Religious feast also known as the feast of the Lord of the Ica. Pre-Hispanic rites fused with Christian rites can be seen during a celebration that last three days.

JUNE

Inty Raymi

The staging of an ancient rite that expresses the relation of men with the universe, representing the sun as the main Inca divinity. Offerings to the Sun God are made.

JULY

Our Lady of Carmen / Paucartambo

The fest of Our Lady of Carmen or “Mamacha Carmen”, a religious feast that is massively attended, is celebrated with typical dances.

Independence Day

AUGUST

An offering to the Earth

Andean rite performed throughout the region with offerings as “payments” to Mother Earth as a sign of compensation and reverence for the harvests.

Santa Rosa de Lima Festival

OCTOBER

Celebration of the Battle of Angamos

NOVEMBER

All Saints’ Day

DECEMBER

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Santuranticuy

It is an ancient celebration where Nativity scenes are built in every home. There is a great popular art fair in the City Square that is massively attended.

*The dates can vary according to the year.

 

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.

How to get to Cusco?

By air:   Domestic flights from Lima (1 hour) and from Arequipa (30 minutes) to Cusco.

By land: Lima – Arequipa – Cusco 1650 km (26 hours by car)

Lima – Nazca – Puquio – Abancay – Cusco: 1131 km (20 horas by car)

Puno – Cusco: 389 km (07 hours by car)

By train: Regular service Puno – Cusco: 384 km (10 hours).

Where to go at Cusco?

Cusco and its surrounding area breath itself history; there are many places that is worth visiting them, streets and Inca temples, through all over the city, It’s amazing how the stones insert themselves perfectly. With this architecture, one can walk for hours admiring the splendor of the city, you can also do it by bus or hiring a car or a motorcycle, the best option is to hire a professional guide. Inform yourself clicking in travel agencies at Cusco and you would find many offers for your trip:

Here, we present you a list of the places which can be visited not just at Cusco but in its surrounding area:

The main square with the amazing Cathedral, La Compañia de Jesus, some blocks form La Merced. You have to visit also San Blas Quarter, well known as the craftsman quarter, and where you will find a church with the same name, Santo Domingo Convent where Qoricancha is found (The Sun Temple in Inca times).

In the surrounding area, you can visit many Inca archeological remains such as: Saqsaywaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay (dedicated to the cult and to the agriculture), As well, the amazing places like Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo, Piquillacta, Tipon and Pisaq.

Suggestions:

  • · Eat light food, the first days. One has to be careful, to avoid breathing problems or discomfort because of the altitude.
  • · At the moment you arrive to the airport or to the bus station, we recommend you to have a clear idea about where you are going to stay. There taxi drivers who try to confuse the passengers taking them to other lodgements that are not like the tourist want and taxi driver take advantage of it.
  • · If you are an experienced traveler, before beginning your trip, buy your tourist ticket…

What to do?

Adventure sports

Cusco has geographical areas and appropriated climates to practice these kind of sports. Lakes, rivers, mountains, circuits and lands are much appropriated to practice rafting, parachute jumping, hang gliding, mountain bike, trekking and motocross and many others.

Purchases

Cusco has many shopping centers and handmade stores, as well as specialized stores. The tourist can buy souvenirs, fabrics, different kinds of vicuña and alpaca wool clothing.

Night Life

There are always going to find opened bars and discotheques all night      where you will enjoy the music, dancing with our pretty females and    taste the most exotic international and national drinks. Many of them         offer live shows with musical groups; national, regional or international groups.

Cuisine

You will find an assorted list of main dishes at the restaurants of Cusco (good meat, red trout or pejerrey of Titicaca Lake), delicious sauces, delicious dishes  cooked by the chef and Peruvian Creole food like the Seco de Cordero,  ceviche, lomo saltado, anticuchos or a Cusquenian cuy. You will also find  international dishes as Argentinean meats, Chicken Curry, red trout at the    florentina style.

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.