Coming back from Machu Picchu we stopped for another two more nights in Cuzco, the old Inca capital, to collect the luggage we had left behind in different places and refuel our energy by simply staying in one place. The only sight that was on our agenda was the Inca ruins at Saqsaywaman, a 40 minutes walk north of Cusco.
The next day, we gave in to the rare luxury of allowing a taxi driver to take us to Ollantaytambo, 20 km away for just 10 Soles (3 USD), whereas the public bus costs only 1 Soles per person. It was quite an experience since we were chauffeured by an obviously ultra-religious gentleman who made a cross sign each time we passed a church, a cross on the roadside or other religious symbols, which happened quite often. Continue Reading →
Two days after our trip to Pisac, we continued our travel to Urubamba, a smooth 2 hour ride from Cuzco in a collectivo for 3,5 Soles (1 USD), where we spent a day and a night to see the famous amphitheater-like terraces in Moray and the Salinas near Maras. Continue Reading →
After some considerations we decided to join the crowds and visit the famous Pisac Sunday market. Many organized tours include Pisac in their itinerary before continuing on to Machu Picchu. This small city is only an hour from Cusco and collectivos run the route constantly for 2 Soles, so we decided to do a day trip.
After another 9 hour overnight bus ride from Arequipa, we arrived in Cuzco. At 06:00 am, we found out that Cuzco was far more touristy than any other place we had been so far in Peru. Often, we were the only guests in a hostel. In Cuzco, the first two places we tried were booked out, including the famous and not so cheap Loki Backpacker, with more than 145 beds! Continue Reading →
At the Hostel Valle de Fuego, we booked a 3 days / 2 nights tour with a local guide. The person at the hostel convinced us to choose another route than the one we had planed, which is quiet easy to do because you could see the two places where you stay overnight, Tapay and Sangalle, from the Mirador in Cabanaconde. This is probably one of the more common routes, but since there are so few tourists trekking the Canyon, it really does not matter. Continue Reading →
The bus ride from Arequipa to Cabanaconde was our first experience with a “Servicio Economico”, that means the normal local buses, not the luxury ones for tourists. These buses cost 3 times less than the latter, but still offer an acceptable level of comfort, at least for a day trip. Actually Heidi liked them better because there is no air-conditioning, just windows. And people watching is so exciting, especially looking at the local women in there bulky, brightly-colored skirts and hats. All these women entering the bus carried a huge bundle on their back wrapped in a woven blanket. Male passengers would wear a slick, white sombrero, but they all wore modern clothes. Continue Reading →
Another night on a bus took us from Nasca to Arequipa. But this time we succeed in getting two seats on the first floor of the Cruzero bus from Cruz del Sur, which are normally booked out far in advance. The seats almost fully recline, are wide and extremely comfortable. So we could at least sleep a few hours and arrive not too tired in Arequipa. Continue Reading →
Flying in a tiny Cessna across the Nasca Lines is why people from all over the world come to this small city in the desert. The lines only were discovered once commercial airplanes started flying over the area in the 1930s, but tourism only started to pick up in the 80s, when flying became affordable. Continue Reading →
The 7 hour long bus trip from Lima to Nasca made us familiar with long distance bus travel in Peru. Most tourists choose to travel with the “Cruzero” service of Cruz del Sur, a company that runs more than 130 state-of-art busses. For those who still worry about security on Peruvian busses, read on … It is basically like travelling on a plane. You check in your luggage, receipt is attached to your ticket. You then go through a metal detector and when boarding the bus the passengers are videotaped. The busses are equipped with GPS and headquarters permanently control where the busses are and how fast they are driving. Continue Reading →