Tag-Archive for ◊ Machu Picchu ◊

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 21 Ene So the Inca Trail Trek is Sold Out… Now What?
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If you want to do the famous inca Trail in Peru, you need to know you have to book this between 2 – 4 month before arrival, according to the time of year. If you don’t, you are likely to discover that the Inca Trail Trek is completely sold out by the time you want to arrange the trek. Do NOT panic! Even though you cannot trek the Classic Inca Trail, there are still plenty of scenic and adventurous options for visiting Machu Picchu and doing some trekking. Here are the most popular alternatives to the Inca Trail Trek:

One option is to take the train to Machu Picchu! There are three different train services that run to Machu Picchu: the Backpacker Train, the Vistadome Train, and the Hiram Bingham Train. Each train service is priced differently to fit the budgets of different travelers. Train tours to Machu Picchu are usually one day tours, but can be combined with an extra night in Aguas Calientes if you want to spend more time visiting the ruins.

The Backpacker Train
This is the cheapest service but still a comfortable mode of travel to Machu Picchu.

The Vistadome Train
This is a faster and more comfortable way of getting to Machu Picchu. Each train carriage has enlarged side, front, and overhead windows providing panoramic views of the mountain terrain on all sides. This is also a more scenic way of getting to Machu Picchu.

So the Inca Trail Trek is Sold Out… Now What?

The Hiram Bingham Train
This is a luxury train ride and is for those travelers who want to make the most out of their excursion to Machu Picchu.  Breakfast, snacks, cocktails, and a lovely dinner with live music are served onboard this exquisite train.  Enjoy an afternoon tea at the famous Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, located at the entrance to the ruins.  A professional guide will be with you during the whole trip, including the train journey. This is a luxurious, yet pricey way of getting to Machu Picchu.

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Views 19 Ene How to Book the Inca Trail in Peru: Our Five Step Stress-Free Guide
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The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks of Latin America and takes you in 4 breathtaking days to the amazing Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, in Peru.
Unfortunately many people who visit Peru miss the opportunity to do this trek, because the booking rules are a bit complicated.
Not anymore for you with our Five Step Stress-Free guide.

Step 1: Decide which Inca Trail Trek is right for you. The Classic Inca Trail Trek lasts 4 days and 3 nights and the Short Inca Trail Trek lasts 2 days and 1 night. It is also important to note that this trek involves a lot less trekking and camping. Which trek do you have time for and how much trekking do you really feel like doing? For more alternative options read our article So the Inca Trail Trek is Sold Out… Now What?

How to Book the Inca Trail in Peru: Our Five Step Stress-Free Guide

Step 2: Check for availability. We recommend booking your Inca Trail Trek approximately three months in advance, especially for the high season (from June through August). This is also the dry season so the weather is nicer for trekking! The Inca Trail is closed during February for maintenance every year. You can only book the trek “ last minute” (this is about 6 weeks in advance), if you are booking for the very low season, which lasts from November through January. The Peruvian government limits the number of people, including trekkers, guides, porters, etc., that are allowed on the trail to 500 per day. To check the number of spaces available on any given day, visit the official Peruvian Ministry of Culture website: www.machupicchu.gob.pe or send an e-mail to us at info@dosmanosperu.com.  Inmportant: if the trail is sold out at one travel agency it is really sold out everywhere and there is no chance of booking with a different travel agency. Don’t waste your time contacting every travel agency in Cusco! It is also not possible to book your trek after another trekker has cancelled because individual passport numbers are used to book spaces on the trail.

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Views 18 Ene What to do in Cusco before or after a visit to Machu Picchu (1)
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Although Machu Picchu is the main attraction of Cusco and probably, of Peru, there are so many other interesting historical and cultural sights to see! In this blog a short list of some other things to do in Cusco before or after your visit to Machu Picchu.

What to do in Cusco before or after a visit to Machu Picchu

The Cusco City Tour is a must for travelers with some time to spend in Cusco! This five hour tour starts in the center of Cusco at the impressive Colonial Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas that contains over 400 paintings from the Cusquenan School. After that the tour visits the Qoricancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun, which was a religious center for the Incas dedicated to the Sun. According to history, the walls of this temple were entirely covered with gold at one point. From here the tour travels by bus to visit the four ruins located less than 8 km from Cusco, including Sacsayhuamán, famous for its enormous carved rocks, Q´enqo, and Tambomachay.

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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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Views 20 Jun Choquequirao… Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister (part II)
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The Choquequirao Trek is one of the most exciting alternatives to the Inca Trail. Getting well off the beaten track, trekkers journey toward the mystical allure of the ruins of Choquequirao.
Here follows the second instalment of our latest account of the unique adventure that is the Choquequirao Trek…

Day Three
Another early start and we headed off to the mysterious ruins of Choquequirao. After an hour and a half of walking we arrived at the “Cradle of Gold”.

Choquequirao - Cusco Peru
Although the early Spaniards were aware of its existence, Choquequirao was protected by its remoteness. Some speculate that the Incan Emperor Topa had it built as a personal spiritual retreat to rival his father Pachacuti’s magnificent estate at Machu Picchu.

Whoever built this place, it was undoubtedly an elite settlement, built for ceremonial purposes and occupied by Inca nobility.
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Views 15 Jun Choquequirao… Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister (part I)
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The Choquequirao Trek in the Cusco area in Peru is one of the most exciting alternatives to the famous Inca Trail to the old Inca town Machu Picchu. Getting well off the beaten track, trekkers journey toward the mystical allure of the ruins of Choquequirao.

Experiencing Incan history in all its authenticity, this spectacular yet challenging hike crosses the Canyon of the Apurimac River and takes you to Choquequirao´s incredibly located ruins – perched high on a ledge above one of the deepest canyons in the world.

Choquequirao - Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sister

If the opportunity to partake in this trek presents itself to you it would be a crime not to take it. A truly unforgettable experience.

Day One
After a very early awakening I left Cusco to travel to Cachora, the village from which we would begin our Choquequirao adventure. The bus journey was an experience in itself, careering around sharp curves at a pace that did not do my stomach any favours… an entertaining escapade

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Views 21 Feb The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu (day 3 and 4)
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Day 3: Jungle – Playa – Santa Teresa

Today is the third day of the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. This trek is known as the more alternative trek, another option for the famous Inca Trail. It is actually a very good alternative for people that want to do something different, or, for those who cannot get a spot on the Inca Trail. You will cross one of the most astonishing Andean landscapes and see the most beautiful panoramic views of mountain chains. Furthermore, you will pass through a big variety of habitats and environments, you will see snow peaked mountains and will be in the vicinity of the tropical rainforest.

On this third day, we walk along the river to a little village called La Playa. We visit the waterfalls of Pacche – there are 11 different waterfalls, each with a height of approximately 50 meters! We see lots of butterflies, banana trees, coffee plants, avocado trees, and so much more. We even spotted an eagle. It’s warm and as we descend it gets even hotter! The climate is warm in this area and a difference with other warm areas is that in this place the typical agricultural production consists of pomegranate trees.

The Salkantay Trail – an alternative trek to Machu Picchu  (day 3 and 4)
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Views 26 Ene Machu Picchu celebrates 100 years
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In 2011 the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru celebrate their 100th anniversary. Or at least; the ruins were discovered one hundred years ago. The village of Machu Picchu was accidentally discovered on July 24th,1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. A group of Quechuan people led the explorer up the mountains to the peak they called Machu Picchu (meaning old mountain). To his surprise there were still people living in the village. Machu Picchu was built in 1450 and abandoned a century later with the arrival of the Conquistadores.

Machu Picchu celebrates 100 years
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Views 10 Dic Christmas in Peru
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The rural context of the arrival of the infant Christ allowed early Peruvians to identify immediately with the festivity, highlighted by artisan creativity, a sense of aesthetics and the religious devotion of Andean settlers. Andean Christmas began taking on characteristics of its own by adding elements from each region. These elements stand out for the extreme care with which highlanders put together Nativity scenes in churches and homes, perform dances and plays, cook typical dishes and produce a wide range of handicrafts such as Nativity scenes in Huamanga stone, retablos featuring images related to Christmas and pottery or carved gourds called “mates burilados” decorated with Yuletide scenes. In most Andean communities, the festival continues until la Bajada de los Reyes (the arrival of the three wise men), January 6, when traditionally people exchange gifts.

Christmas in Peru
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