Journey to Machu Picchu
From Cusco there are multiple ways to get to Machu Picchu. The most popular way is by taking the train from nearby Cusco. The train takes four hours and travels through stunning scenery. This is a great option for travelers who want to see the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, but don’t have the time or energy to hike via the Inca Trail.
A shorter train journey to Machu Picchu is from the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo. You can leave from this ancient town in order to spend more time in the Sacred Valley and visit their impressive ruins as well.
However, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can walk the Inca Trail and have the experience of a lifetime. This 28-mile hike takes you past villages, forests, valleys, and mountains, and is an excellent way to enjoy the culture of Peru. The trail takes about 4 days but they will be days you will never forget. While I have not yet done this hike, I can tell you that I could see it being one of the most rewarding experiences.
I took the Hiram Bingham train that leaves at 10 am every morning. The train is named after a Yale professor, Hiram Bingham who came to Peru in 1911 looking for the lost city of the Incas. Walking through rainforest with machetes, Bingham and his crew rediscovered the ruins. The train is a fabulous luxurious ride to the site. Not only can you listen to Peruvian live music, but you can enjoy stunning scenery, wonderful dining and drink pisco sours the entire ride at the open bar. It is a great time!
Once the train arrives, everyone rides a bus up a winding road to the top and you are there! Never have I seen such a fabulous sight as I did at Machu Picchu. It is so stunning that you will have to take a deep breath as soon as your eyes catch glimpse. The elaborate system of ruins, terraces used for farming and intricate aqueduct system make Machu Picchu a true wonder of the world. There is a lot to learn as you explore the ruins and try to fathom how something like this could have been built so many years ago. Spend some time just sitting and looking over the beauty. My best advice is to come early or come late- there were a few times that I felt like I was the only person there. It truly gives a spiritual feeling as you sit on the stones that were placed in such specific locations by the Incas. Also, the site is eroding and before we know it the site could be closed for tourists or limited even more than it already is. So take it off your bucket list and go now! Visiting Machu Picchu is definitely an exceptional tourist destination that is difficult to repeat.
My trip to Peru wasn’t over yet though! From the Incan ruins, I journeyed to the rainforest to experience life on the Amazon. Now if you like adventure, the Amazon is where you will find it. But before you even think about going, make sure you do your research, receive vaccinations and are prepared for the extreme heat and bugs. Don’t let me discourage you in any way, but the Amazon is far from luxury even in the most “luxurious” resorts. When its hot, its hot and there’s no way around it, so always have water with you and be prepared with the proper shoes, hats and pants (yes pants otherwise you will get eaten alive by bugs).
My first adventure was a canopy walk near Inkaterra Resort. The purpose of the walk is to watch for birds and keep an eye out for wildlife. We saw a ton of birds and my guide was able to point out a sloth. Other animals include lots of monkey noises, however it might take awhile for you to find them. The walk on the ground to the
Yes, piranha fishing – I said it! Not much meat on these vicious fish, but I will tell you that fishing has never been so exciting! Literally the moment we dropped the chunks of meat on a hook into the water, we got bites! In order to really be enough to eat, we caught about 10! Then, to make this story that much better, I will tell you that after we caught enough, I took a plunge into the water to swim with them. I came out with all fingers and toes. I was more afraid of seeing an anaconda!
Paragliding in Lima
When I was in Lima, the wind was perfect to fly over the sea, so that is exactly what I did. The coastline is spectacular and within the fog layers you can fly with an expert over the capital city’s skyline as well as over the turquoise sea. Keep an eye out for surfers too, because Lima is really making its mark as a surfing destination.