After a long drive through the mountains of Colca Canyon, we arrived at Puno on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca spans from Peru to Boliva and is the highest navigable lake in the world at 3,812 meters. Another hour’s drive from Puno, we arrive at our home for the next few days: Titilaka … Continue reading Lake Titicaca (Peruvian side) Feb 2016
From Arequipa in Peru, we ventured onto Colca Canyon about 160 km to the northwest. Colca Canyon is said to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is a good place to spot the Andean Condor which is in danger of extinction and is also the symbol of the Andes Mountains. We chose … Continue reading Colca Canyon Feb 2016
Arequipa is a city in the southern coast of Peru surrounded by 3 volcanoes at an altitude of 2,380 meters. It is a short flight away from Lima, the capital. The architecture here is heavily influenced by the Spanish and there are no Inca artifacts in the city. We stayed at the Casa Andina Private … Continue reading Arequipa, Peru Feb 2016
There are two seasons at the Amazon River in Peru: high water season from December to May and low water season from June to November. Even though we went during the low water season, there was still some rain. The main difference in visiting during the different seasons is the ability to access the jungle trails that get flooded during the high water season. But having said that, you can get closer to the animals by boat and see the rainforest at its lushest during the high water season.
Moray, about 50km northeast of Cusco, is an ancient agricultural research center made of several enormous circular terraces. I thought this was one of the more interesting Inca sites I visited. The location and design of this place creates a temperature difference of 15 degrees Celsius between the lowest and highest terrace.
Machu Picchu in Peru has always been on my bucket list. Since the Inca had no written language, there is no record of why this complex was ever built. It may forever remain a mystery as to why such efforts were made to build a city that could only support a few thousand people especially when the Inca did not have metal or wheels some 500 years ago. As the Spanish Conquest progressed, it was widely believed that the indigenous people were continuously driven to higher altitudes (difficult for their enemies to acclimatize) or into the Amazon (also difficult for their enemies to navigate and adjust to the high humidity).
We based ourselves in Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire in southeastern Peru, in order to explore the nearby Sacred Valley of the Incas as well as Machu Picchu. Cusco is at an elevation of around 3,400m. Flying directly in from Lima which is at sea level doesn’t allow for the body to slowly acclimatize.