Tag-Archive for ◊ Cusco ◊

Views 05 Sep Get off the beaten track with these Cusco excursions!
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We all know that Cusco is famous for its Inca and colonial history as well as being the departure point for Machu Picchu excursions. Once you have seen these architectural wonders and want to hang around a little longer then we really suggest exploring some of the less visited regions around Cusco.

Here we provide you with 3 suggestions that are a guaranteed lust for the traveling soul and will get you right off the beaten tourism path:

Valle Del Sur
The first route is located in the South Valley of Cusco. This region is mostly known for the Inca settlement of Tipon, however a little further up the road you can find the archeological remains of a much older culture: the Wari. At about 30 km’s from Cusco, they build the Pikillaqta site, which in its aftermath consisted of more than 700 structures. Belonging to the archaeological park is the Huacarpay wetland which offers splendid views and an aura of tranquility (if you don’t mind the enormous variety of wildlife going about their business). It is possible to visit all these locations in a half a day, stopping by the lustrous ‘Sistine Chapel of America’ in the town of Andahuaylillas. However, we suggest continuing your day-out to the humble town of Lucre, a couple of minutes away from Huacarpay. Here you will be pleasantly surprised with an exquisite lunch prepared with duck and a fantastic pastry shop. The locale easily recognized by the hundreds of cow ornaments serves a delicious sauco cheesecake and lucuma pie.

Get off the beaten track with these Cusco excursions!
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Views 14 Jun Tipon: the perfect daytrip from Cusco
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I have now been in Cusco for almost a year and I am never lost for things to do. This particular weekend I was accommodating some friends that came to town to tackle the famous Inca Trail.

However, before they headed off on their big adventure I felt it would be appropriate to go for a small acclimatization walk. I decided that Tipon would be just the place.

At first glance we could not help but be impressed by the sheer size of the complex and the intricate jigsaw piecing of the enormous stones placed in such a form to achieve perfectly flat and symmetrical surfaces.  The calculations that would have been made in order to accomplish this perfection included factors such as the gradient of the waterways and the angles of the channels that were constructed in order to slow the speed of the water.

Tipon: the perfect daytrip from Cusco!
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Views 11 Jun Festivals in Peru with Dos Manos!
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The month of June is all about festivals in Peru. It kicks off with Qoyllority , one of the most intriguing festivals in the Andes, and the celebrations continue with the religious festival of Corpus Christi in Cusco, when the streets and plaza of the ancient capital of the Incas are packed with colorful dancers and musicians accompanying the folkloric processions.

Only days later you can join Dos Manos to visit the rebuilding ceremony of the Q’eswachaka Inca Hanging Bridge, located in the province of Canas about 160 km. south of Cusco.

"Q’eswachaka" is a native name formed by two Quechua words, ‘Q’eswa’ which means to braid and ‘Chaka’ which means bridge. A very special bridge, because it is made from woven grass (q’oya). The original Inca material and construction techniques have been passed down from generation to generation since the first bridge was built in the 15th century.

Festivals in Peru with Dos Manos!
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Views 01 Jun The Traditional Festival of Corpus Christi in Cusco, Peru
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The festival of Corpus Christi in Cusco is an annual celebration which has continued tradition since Colonial times. This festival is one of the most important religious festivals in Peru.

The procession starts in the Plaza de Armas of Cusco on the 60th day after Easter Sunday with a parade of Saints and Virgins, which is this year on the 7th of June. Eight days later, they are paraded back to their corresponding places of worship where they will remain for the rest of the year.

The Traditional Festival of Corpus Christi in Cusco, Peru

This particular event brings throngs of crowds to the streets of Cusco to appreciate the effigies of Christ and the Virgin Mary. It is a festival which is treated with great respect and admiration from the Catholic community; during the processions it is common to see armed guards escorting the Virgin to the front of the Cathedral.

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Views 22 May My Top 5 South America Travel Destinations
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Ingmar Griffioen, a.k.a. El Grifo, spent nine weeks travelling the continent and to study Spanish in Buenos Aires and in Cusco. We, at Dos Manos Travel Agency asked him what he enjoyed the most. In his response, he said he would have loved to stay longer and enjoy the many new friendships with his fellow students at the AMAUTA Spanish School, as well as visit more places. Even so, he provided us with a Top 5 of his most beautiful and impressive travel experiences in South America:

  1. Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu

    My Top 5 South America Travel Destinations One of the seven recent world wonders and the place on your ‘to-see’ list in Latin America. Due to its superb setting, which makes the ‘lost city’ invisible from the valley below, the Spanish conquistadores were, thankfully, oblivious to its existence. The impressive Inca ruins have only been discovered about 100 years ago, but the proximity to the fascinating old capital of the Incas, Cusco, and the unbelievable experience of hiking the Wayna Picchu mountain offering its majestic views over the remains of Machu Picchu as well as the green Urubamba river valley flanked by the peaks of the mighty Andes mountains, make this a true number 1.

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Views 04 Abr An expat’s guide to Cusco, Peru: an interview with Richard Nisbet.
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Cusco is often called the “Navel of the World”; at least it was to the Inca’s, who made it their capital from where the four regions of their empire stretched for 1000 of miles. Richard Nisbet, an expat, author and Cusco connoisseur also calls it his home. Ever since he first visited Cusco back in 1975 he has been in an ongoing love affair with this extraordinary city. Nowadays, he only returns to the United States to visit family and friends from time to time.

Recently he wrote a book, ‘Cusco Tales’, which narrates his life story and adventures in this magical city that never seems to stop surprising you. You can purchase his book online on Amazon.com or over the counter at Paddy’s Pub, Jack’s Café, the Santa Catalina bookshop or the South American Explorers’ Club, all located in Cusco.

An expat’s guide to Cusco, Peru: an interview with Richard Nisbet

I started the interview by asking Richard about his Cusco favorites, and he didn’t hesitate enthusiastically share his recommendations. His new favorite restaurant is Limo, with some outstanding if unusual Peruvian – Japanese fusion meals overlooking the main Plaza de Armas. His favorite bar is Paddy’s Pub (good chance you will find him there if you like to have a chat). As for pizzerias, his pick is Mayupata in the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo, which is also his favorite nearby city escape. Another destination he likes is Tipon, home to an archeological site where the Inca’s worshipped the water abundant in this National Park.

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Views 17 Ene What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways?

In Quechua, the local language of the Andean people, this name means Young Peak. The peak of Huayna Picchu, or Wayna Picchu, rises approximately 360 meters higher than that of Machu Picchu (Cusco, Peru), known as the lost city of the Incas, and takes approximately an hour to climb.

During the time of the Incas, there was a trail leading to the peak where there were temples and terraces. This is where the high priest and the virgins lived. This high priest would climb down Huayna Picchu every morning before sunrise in order to reach Machu Picchu in time to welcome the new day.

What the Heck is Huayna Picchu Anyways?

You can really feel the magic of the ancient Inca civilization that fills this space when you finally reach the top of Huayna Picchu and gaze down over the Machu Picchu ruins.

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Views 16 Ene What to Pack for Your Inca Trail: Our Eleven Essential Items
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If you have booked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, chances are you have been preparing somehow for your trip to Peru.  Travel takes some preparation and we want you to be perfectly prepared for your Inca Trail trek!

Here are our eleven essential items to pack for the Inca Trail:

  1. Backpack: This might seem obvious, but it is so important to have a good backpack for this trek. You want something that is small, but big enough to fit everything you need. It should also be comfortable and fit your body correctly. If you do not have a backpack already there are plenty of shops selling them and other trekking gear right here in Cusco!
  2. Passport: You will need this to get into the ruins when you finally reach Machu Picchu. You also need to bring your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) if you have one for the student discount. Make sure to bring the originals of these documents because copies are not accepted and you DO NOT want to miss out on Machu Picchu after trekking all that way.
  3. Hiking Shoes and Clothes: You definitely want to pack some sturdy hiking shoes. We recommend boots. You also want a variety of clothes, but especially warm ones because it can get very cold camping in the mountains at night. We recommend packing a sweater, fleece, and jacket and extra socks are a must!  Always dress in layers because the weather is constantly changing.
  4. What to Pack for Your Inca Trail: Our Eleven Essential Items
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Views 20 Sep Insight into the Incas
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Peru is a country rich with fascinating history. Tales of the Incas continue to capture the imaginations of thousands, as hordes upon hordes of people travel from far and wide to explore the countless ruins of this ancient empire.

Peruvians are extremely proud of their ancestors, and you will undoubtedly learn a lot of intriguing information about Incan history during your time in Peru. Here are a few interesting facts to get you started…
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Views 25 Jun 100 Years of Machu Picchu
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This year is an important milestone for the nation of Peru as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of the mysterious Lost City of the Incas – Machu Picchu.

In typical Peruvian style, festivities will be on a grand scale. There are a multitude of events planned to honor this momentous occasion.
There are many ongoing events taking place in honor of the anniversary, including music festivals, school contests and more.

100 Years of Machu Picchu
On July 3rd Cusco will see the Machu Picchu Centennial Parade through the city.
The main event will begin on July 7th at the ruins themselves. In the morning the traditional Tinkay ceremony will begin, along with the Salute to the Four Corners of the empire.  The Andean group Jaivas will perform “Heights of Machu Picchu”.
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