Blogs from Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru, South America


South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley December 21st 2023

Reflecting on our Travel Adventures in South America Our travels in South America in many ways have indisputably taken us to a whole new level of adventure. It already feels surreal to think that we condensed so many new experiences - navigating around Buenos Aires, a city of twenty million in a second language; taking on a four day, 48 kilometre hike at 14,000 feet altitude to Machu Picchu; hiking the 16,000 foot Polccoya Mountain; and experiencing a week of boat riding, trekking adventures in the Amazon jungle - all in less than six weeks. Looking back, I am not proud to admit that one reason we waited so long to travel to South America was because we believed it would be too dangerous for us. That we could not be as carefree as we are, ... read more
Solitary Man Stan, Polccoya Mountain, Peru
Above the Clouds Surrealism
Inka Trails We Walked

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley December 19th 2023

Family Reunion in Peru During our month in Peru, we were fortunate to travel to all three of Peru’s geographical regions: the Peruvian highlands, the Amazonian jungle, and the coastal region. The first two regions were explored with family, as they were the sites selected for our pre-arranged family reunion. I have compiled all three into one entry, so this post is far too long. My apologies, but I simply did not have time to write a short one. I would suggest just passing on this post, unless you have a lot of patience and interest in Peru, as this is primarily an information based blog. The philosopher returns for the next entry. :) The Peruvian Highlands Our first and most extensive explorations took place during the two weeks we spent around Cusco, Peru, during which ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley June 7th 2019

6th June – Free day Hallelujah! We finally had a better night’s sleep. Hopefully, we must be gradually acclimatising. The itinerary has had to be shuffled around today. We should have been going to the Sacred Valley but there is a one-day general strike today so, we have another free day and tomorrow, which should have been ‘at leisure’, we will visit the Sacred Valley instead. I asked the hotel concierge what was the strike regarding? He just simply answered ‘Everything!!’ It’s nice to know that the electorate, the world over, have the same level of respect for their politicians!!! (this blog even has satire!!) At breakfast, a man who we had never seen before passed me as he was leaving the dining area. He was probably in his mid to late 60s and wore a ... read more
Heading towards the Plaza Mayor, Cusco
One of th main streets of Cusco
Cusco mural depicting Inca battles

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley January 14th 2019

We were up at 5, suitcases out the door by 5:30, and on the bus to the airport by 6:45 to be on time for the plane to Cuzco that that was then cancelled. Not to fear Raul got us on the next flight and we were in Cuzco before noon. It's all so organized it's impressive. Luggage got loaded on a bus that had our bag lunches and we were on our way to Pisac, a amazing Inca site. Despite drinking Coco tea and lots of water, I felt the altitude as soon as we started walking. Everyone on the trip seemed to experience it differently. I had some shortness of breath and got tired really quickly. But despite that and the rainy weather we got pretty far exploring these ruins, slot of uphill climbing ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley October 14th 2018

For breakfast we went back to the rooftop restaurant at our hotel and had the somewhat meager Hotel Polo breakfast buffet (no eggs and no avocado!). I had heard about the good avocados in Peru and the bountiful breakfasts where the rest of our traveling troupe stayed, but sadly had not had the pleasure yet. But we did drink cupfuls of coca tea to stabilize our rocky stomachs. Safe water is dear in Peru, especially when tourists can’t drink from the tap, so an early morning hike for bottled water was in order. Larry joined me in search of water while Dave and Celia went up to get ready to leave. Morning traffic in Cusco seems to be one dangerous bottleneck after the other which doesn’t impact pedestrians unless you want to cross the street. Then ... read more
Dave being served tea at Andean Colors
The beautifully colored bowl shaped hat worn by a woman at Andean Colors, a weaving cooperative
Gorgeous colors of alpaca yarns at Andean Colors

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley September 15th 2018

The restaurant in Ollantaytambo was gorgeous, - tastefully decorated patio overlooking the beautiful garden by the side of the Vilcanota River. Perfect for a relaxing lunch break! A Mexican couple joined our table and we hit instantly. The gentleman works in New Jersey in the U.S. and commute from Mexico City every weekend. “You fly every week from the Mexico City to New Jersey? No way Man,” I was shaking my head in disbelief! I recall the fiasco we saw in the Mexico City Arrival terminal! Boy oh Boy! I simply said “Wow! You have the mojo”. Flying every week more than 4-5 hours each way and battling the immigration is no joke! We settled in a corner table in the patio and quickly became friends. “Tell me, how the hell do you manage traveling every ... read more
Urubamba from the top
Irrigation system by Incas - Urubamba Valley

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley September 15th 2018

Linda and I have packed our duffel bags that the packhorses will carry and our own backpacks and are picked up at 5:40am to begin our 32km three day trek on the Quarry Trail. It is fair to say I am a bit apprehensive. I have heard plenty of stories but I have not been affected very much but altitude so far - a few tingly fingers and toes and that is all. After a short bus trip up a road under construction we get underway. The first day will be about 6km and will rise from about 2,800m to 3750m. Linda and I are joined by 5 others from a Gecko tour which follows the same itinerary but is for 18-29 year olds! We walk up a valley on a dirt track which is wide ... read more
Quarry Trail -so far, so good
Quarry Trail - Perolniyoc Cascade
Keep to the mountain side when passing!

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley September 8th 2018

We finished our breakfast and spent some time in the hotel lobby chatting with some local folks who set up their small display of merchandise for sale. I suppose, it is part of the hotel ritual to create the ambience that promotes the Inca culture. In my view, that is great…a multicultural mosaic! We spent some time with the folks. The bus came on time to pick us up from the hotel. It would be a day trip to visit the close by interests; Sacsayhuaman and of course, Pisac and the Sacred Valley in Ollantaytambo. It’s a double deck bus with open top. The day was nice and warm and we chose to sit on the open deck for a 360 view of the beautiful landscape around us. Of course I have another interest to grab ... read more
Cusco town

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley January 24th 2016

Spent the day touring with Eduardo our guide for the day. Our first stop was to see the Alpacas and learn about the culture and agriculture. We learned about the crops that are essential to the area including the potatoes, the corn, and quinoa. Next we went to Pisac Ruins. The Inca were masters of the terraces for agriculture. Their purpose was to manage irrigation and erosion. Crops were grown at different levels of elevation based on the crop to maximize yield. It was a long hike to the top. Eduardo was very informative. Next we went to Ollantaytambo. There we saw the Temple del Sol. The rock used was brought over 6 miles down from cliffs opposite to the build. The rock was brought across the river to the build area. The stone work was ... read more
Sacred Valley -corn varieties
Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley -Pedro and Lori at Pisac

South America » Peru » Cusco » Sacred Valley June 23rd 2015

Along with Dave and Claire we caught a collectivo ( mini bus) to the start of a walk down in the sacred valley. The day started off cool but by the time we were walking the sun was out and the temperature rising. We started off along a fairly flat path winding through the homes of the local people and then the climb began. The scenery was spectacular as we got ever higher. Eventually we came to some salt ponds where the local people extract salt from the ground. We were able to walk amongst them, it was fascinating but looked hard back breaking work. After a quick lunch stop we carried on walking to Maras to get the collectivo back to Cusco. Maras was a sleepy little town away from tourism so quite refreshing. Had ... read more
Start of the walk
With Dave
Tiptoeing thru the salt pools

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