December 14th (Advent 2016)

healthy-fruits

The majority of people know that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is very important.

 

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Around Cuzco

Cuzco itself has many attractions but the surrounding are fabulous as well and you really should try to explore them.

First of all you have to be ready, that means you are not overtired and had rested at least one day in Cuzco. The altitude of some places (as the sacred valley) as lower than in Cusco, but you will have to get there you will reach the altitude of 3700 in Chinchero.

Depending from how many day you may spend in this area, your will make your selections.

Tours:

For simplifying the excursion I would divide this into 3 excursions:

Near Cuzco (also called City Tour):

A half day tour with the archeological places of Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun),  Sacsayhuamán (the closest and largest of these ruins is the amazing Inca), Tambomachay (a water temple conveying Inca principles of duality and displaying their mastery of hydraulics), Puca Pucara, Q’enqo (a temple dedicated to sacrifices).

Sacred Valley:

Try to take a tour that starts early I the morning.  You will have the change to see Pisac market and the ruins, after a lunch in Urubamba you will visit the archeological site of Ollantaytambo. (Some people stop here in order to continue their trip to Agua Calientes  and Macchu Picchu). Traveling back to Cuzco depending on the time you will stop in Chinchero (archeological site).

Maras Moray:

Both Moray (agricultural laboratory of the Incas) and Maras (salt mines) are located in the mountains on the way to the Sacred Valley. You want to explore this places without a tour you may take a bus to reach the junction and negotiate a price for the tour of both places. This was our morning and early afternoon program. For the lunch we took a minibus to Urubamba we visited the marked and finally a bus brought us back to Cuzco.

Links:

Taxi fares:

http://www.numbeo.com/taxi-fare/city_result.jsp?country=Peru&city=Cusco

http://www.machupicchu.biz/city-tour-cusco

http://theonlyperuguide.com/2012/11/peru-vacation-tips-how-much-is-a-taxi-to-the-sacred-valley/

Near Cuzco:

http://www.lokihostel.com/en/travel/tour/cusco-city-tour-cusco-1-day

http://www.ancient.eu/Coricancha/

http://www.world-mysteries.com/mpl_9.htm

http://www.cosituc.gob.pe/tambomachay.php

http://www.mygola.com/ruins-of-quenco-p36186/

Sacred Valley:

http://www.lokihostel.com/en/travel/tour/sacred-valley-tour-cusco-1-day

http://galleryhip.com/sacred-valley-map.html (MAPS)

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/peru/cuzco-and-the-sacred-valley/the-sacred-valley

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/sacred-valley/621002

Maras and Moray:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im73352Td7U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07nZCMTINkg

http://www.annees-de-pelerinage.com/maras-salt-mines-ponds-peru/

 

Cusco- Peru 2015

cusco8

Finally after a few month I’m coming back reviewing my photos and selecting a few of them for a new post.

In Cusco we spent a few days from where we had the possibility to make excursions and discover the surroundings.

I imagined Cusco much smaller with a center more or less similar to nice village. I was surprised to find a beautiful colonial town with a center like jewel, with a golden shine during nighttime especially in the wet season.

As we booked the trip we knew that we would find rain and we were prepared to accept eventually heavy rains. In some way we were more than lucky and we did not hot have lot of rains and the sun appeared every day.

We visited the town mostly walking, we enjoyed our lunches usually in very small restaurants with fixed menus and the dinner in “normal” restaurants. We slept not in the historical center but at walking distance from there, we were really lucky.

Tips:

  • Buy tourist ticket: Usually in addition to the tour price, you must purchase a tourist ticket. A full tourist ticket costs s/130 or s/70 for students with a valid ISIC card. The full tourist ticket is valid for 10 days and allows entry to the majority of the Inca sites around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. This is a better option if you plan on also combining the city tour, or visiting any of the archaeological sites outside the Sacred Valley in Cusco. An alternative option is to buy a partial tourist ticket which is s/70 and is valid for 1 day. Please Note, Tourist Tickets Do Not Include Entry To Koricancha Or The Cathedral. Entrance To Koricancha Is S/10 Or S/5 For Students. Entrance To The Cathedral Is S/25 Or S/12.50 For Students With A Valid ISIC Card.
  • As for Lima: protective cream, sunglasses, good shoes, coffee breaks and umbrella/coat during raining season are indispensable.
  • Safety: as for Lima
  • If you speak Spanish or at least if you know enough Spanish to understand a guide, book a tour in Spanish, your will enjoy your tour much more.
  • Horse riding and bicycle tours are available!
  • Try local food, including Guinea pigs (in Spanish: cuy)
  • To do on first day: take a free walking tour
  • To do: don’t miss the Cathedral and enjoy a tour, we did it during the city tour.
  • To do: City tour includes Cristobal main square, San Pedro market, Korikancha (Temple of the Sun)
  • To do: Day tour four main ruins on the outskirts of Cusco: Sacsayhuaman, Q’enqo, Tambomachay and Puka Pukara
  • To do: Day tour to Sacrad Valley
  • To do: Day tour to Maras and Moray (archeological site and salt mines)
  • To do: use your tourist ticket to check what you would like to see. Don’t miss the dances show.
  • To do: Visit Macchu Picchu (at least 2 days tour!)
  • To do: trekking, many different possibilities.

cusco45

Links collection:

Inka Architecture:

http://bayimages.net/blog/inca-construction-and-earthquake-resistance/

http://www.arcanafactor.org/our-projects/sacsayhuaman/75-sacsayhuaman-mysteries

http://www.ancient.eu/Inca_Architecture/

http://www.rutahsa.com/incaarch.html

Maps:

http://theonlyperuguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Sacred-Valley-Map-large.png

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/destinations/cusco/cusco-city-map.gif

http://galleryhip.com/sacred-valley-map.html (MAPS)

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/destinations/cusco/cusco-maps.html

http://www.phfawcettsweb.org/uruvalley.jpg

http://moon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/peru_01_Machu-Picchu.jpg

Tours:

http://fwtperu.com/fwt-cusco.html

http://www.lokihostel.com/en/travel

http://lokihostel.com/en/travel/tour/loki-walking-tour-cusco-1-day

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Guide-g294314-i55651-Cusco_Cusco_Region.html

http://ryangoesabroad.com/13-tips-for-handling-cusco-and-machu-picchu/

Have a look to:

http://www.tripadvisor.de/Attraction_Review-g294314-d2272692-Reviews-Mercado_Central_de_San_Pedro-Cusco_Cusco_Region.html

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/cusco/620997#sthash.cK5PpImr.dpbs

http://www.frommers.com/destinations/cusco/621000#sthash.sIh3xKVg.dpbs

http://wikitravel.org/en/Cuzco#Do

Macchu Piccchu tickets and tourist tickets:

http://www.elproximoviaje.com/2012/02/29/consejos-para-organizar-un-viaje-a-cusco-y-machu-picchu-i/

http://www.cusco-peru.info/cusco_boleto_turismo.htm

http://www.machupicchu.gob.pe/ (tickets online, here no students tickets available)

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294318-c165226/Machu-Picchu:Peru:Getting.Tickets.html

 

cusco2

Lima – Peru 2015

Lima 0

The first day after the long intercontinental flight we headed directly to the center of Lima by bus and stopped at the Santa Rosa de Lima church for our self-guided walking tour.

The preparation of several months, reading books and consulting the internet for the preparation were really worst and I had fun. So we are, the first day, a Sunday morning.

Today’s fun was the slow-down (Gran Bicicleteada) Sunday in occasion of the 480th anniversary of Lima with many bicycles around the Plaza de Armas.

Enjoying this wonderful summer days we walked around the town, saw the “cambio de guardia”, listened to the music during a Catholic celebration and cooled down with an ice cream.

Back home I was surprised how many photos we collected during three weeks of travelling in this wonderful Country and a selecting the photos, looking at the imagines I went back with my mind to South America discovering more and more details.

I made my section “by feeling”, without thinking too much and without pretending to give a specific name to every photo, building, place and so on. It’s something like wondering around again and bringing some of my impressions here to share with my friends.

These posts will not be like a travelling guide, but I will give you a few tip that might help you if you will have the opportunity to travel as we did.

Tips:

  • If it’s a sunny day you have to use protective cream and sunglasses!
  • Good shoes, you will walk a lot (as overall in Peru)!
  • Some churches opens and are free to visit only during celebrations.
  • Make a break in a coffee shop from time to time and enjoy the life around you.
  • Take always a map with you and if possible a copy of the map with the legend of your guide-book.
  • Keep you money safe (on your body) but be sure you have little money including coins in an accessible place in your bag for example for bus tickets, for the small purchases and meals.
  • To do: Watch at the cambio de guardia by Government Palace and Plaza de Armas
  • To do: Visit church of San Francisco, its museum and catacambs
  • To do: have a walk at Larcomar
  • To do: Try ceviche and Pisco sour
  • Busses and Taxis are OK, but if it is possible choose a hotel/guesthouse about a few blocks (4 blocks was fine for us) in Miraflor not too far from the “METROPOLITANA” connection. (Linea C, Stop for Lima City: Jirón de la Unión; Stop for Miraflor for example: 28 de Julio)

Links: