Blogs from Urubamba, Cusco, Peru, South America

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South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba August 23rd 2019

We are in a lovely hotel in Urubamba, a small town in the Sacred Valley. The steep peaks of the Andes tower above us and make a sharp contrast with the Spanish-style style colourful gardens and mission architecture of Hotel Agustos. Today we left Cusco and entered the Sacred Valley, which is surrounded by rugged mountains. Parts of the foothills are striped with terraces, necessary for agriculture in this inhospitable terrain. It was interesting to see the same techniques used by the Inca and for contemporary farming which (apart from tourism) is the chief activity in the area. The focus of today was Pisac, a large archeological site which was a key Inca city and religious centre in the 14th Century before the construction of Machu Picchu. Surrounding massive terraces running down the mountain side, there ... read more

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba April 24th 2018

Today began a little on the rainy side. We are relatively high in the mountains so it was clod, foggy and a constant but light drizzle. Glad I brought my Walmart rain suit! I enjoyed a light breakfast of some fresh fruits, breads, coffee and, of course, cocoa tea. I learned to chew the leaves after you make the tea. They are much easier to make a proper mush and they taste far better when boiled, rather than stuffed dry in your mouth. Today we began with an optional tour of a local salt production collective that had been operating since the days of the Inca rulers. We drove high into the mountains and entered the salt mine area called Maras. We learned this was a collective with 400 families participating in the process. The process ... read more
Hand labor collecting the dalt
Meteor crater turned farm field
Ollantaytambo Fort

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba April 24th 2018

Today began a little on the rainy side. We are relatively high in the mountains so it was clod, foggy and a constant but light drizzle. Glad I brought my Walmart rain suit! I enjoyed a light breakfast of some fresh fruits, breads, coffee and, of course, cocoa tea. I learned to chew the leaves after you make the tea. They are much easier to make a proper mush and they taste far better when boiled, rather than stuffed dry in your mouth. Today we began with an optional tour of a local salt production collective that had been operating since the days of the Inca rulers. We drove high into the mountains and entered the salt mine area. We learned this was a collective with 400 families participating in the process. The process was labor ... read more
Preparing the salt
Meteor Crater Agriculture
Ollantaytambo Fort

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba April 22nd 2018

Today was a long day to say the least. Wake up was at 4:30 AM, breakfast at 5 AM and departure at 5:30 AM! We were headed to the Lima airport for a short hop over to Cusco our next port of call. Breakfast was a few bites of roll with some strawberry preserves and a cup of hot java. Not much for the stomach but it was really too early to eat any more. Shortly after breakfast we had our bags in hand and we headed down to the first floor and boarded the bus. Apparently Lima is busy on a Sunday morning, even at this ungodly hour.We dodged the morning commuters and arrived at the airport in plenty of time for our flight. A quick and painless check in and a breeze through security, ... read more
Cusco
Our weaving guide
Dying Process

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba March 19th 2017

Suzanne here... Not many people stay in Cusco, and Ollantaytambo, and Aguas Caliente and Urubamba. They're all close together so there is no real need to stay at them all. But we had a couple of spare days, and were keen to see as much of the Sacred Valley as we could. Plus we'd figured (wrongly as it turned out) that the accommodation in Olly and Aguas might be a bit shonky and we'd need a treat. In fact both hotels were fine, which left me feeling a bit guilty that I'd spent three times more than usual on a B&B in the middle of nowhere. The collectivo from Ollantaytambo dropped us off ten minutes walk from Lizzy Wasi. It was slightly early but we headed straight there on the off chance, and luckily they let ... read more
View from the balcony
Hotel rabbit called Pinky
Urubamba Plaza de Armas

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba November 11th 2015

Lima to Ayacucho We rolled out just after 8 this morning and made fairly short work of getting out of the huge metropolis that is Lima. The first part of the day was spent riding alongside of the coast with the Pacific Ocean on our right and sand dunes or desert on our left. There were lots of huts made of some type of woven thatching or brick dotted in the sand dunes. It seemed a strange place to put a home, miles from anything. Moving towards the mountains we came across several herds of goats and a herd of cows being mustered old school style along the highway. We rode from sea level to 4,746 masl by 2.50pm. I could certainly feel the effects of the altitude but didn't feel too bad really considering. Around ... read more
Huts st Huancavelica
In the mountains at Huancavelica
Ayacucho

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba June 27th 2015

Today we joined in with The South America Explorers group on a hike down through the Sacred Valley. Dave was leading the hike and assured us we wouldn't be the slowest in the group.We weren't so sure as our muscles were still recovering from the mammoth hike around Machu Picchu. The hike was expected to be around eleven kilometres but mostly downhill. Bright and early we met up at the clubhouse then all piled onto two collectivos to take us to the start of the walk neat Urubamba. I'm pleased to say as we walked our aching muscles began to feel better, possibly due to the amazing scenery as we walked taking our mind off them. Thankfully as Dave had said we had no problem keeping up and in fact near the front of the group ... read more
Setting Off
Spectacular Scenery
Spectacular Scenery

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba February 16th 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015 Today the fun starts. We are off to Cuzco to start our Machu Pichu trek. We woke up at 445 am, official wake up time was 500am, however we wanted to get up a little earlier. Our luggage needed to be outside our room by 530am. The bellman were picking up our luggage and delivering them to the lobby and keeping in one place until our departure. We ate breakfast, hot breakfast, one more time before departing our nice hotel, Novotel. Breakfast was at 530am sharp. As in the past couple of days, the breakfast was super good. Our tour group needed to meet in the lobby at 610am, departure to the airport is at 615am. We departed the hotel at 615am sharp and off to the airport. We left early enough ... read more
View of Cuzco from Saqsaywaman
Awanakancha Living Museum
Awanakancha Living Museum - Alpace Suri

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba November 18th 2014

8:00 AM Landed in Lima using LAN airlines with no issues. The sky is grey and it is about 65 degrees. The customs process was a bit complicated, however the airport personnel were very pleasant and happy to help. Once I got through customs, my smarTour guide met me right at the gate. I’m now waiting for the flight to Cusco. One thing that makes this trip very easy is the fact that the time zones are aligned, it is the same time here as it was when I departed from Miami. I also made sure to hit the ATM to get Sols for the trip. My bank doesn’t charge a fee for international withdrawals, so check your bank’s policies to see if you should get Sols prior to your trip. My carryon strategy worked perfectly ... read more
Sacsayhuaman Blessing Ceremony
Alpaca Farm
Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay Hotel

South America » Peru » Cusco » Urubamba August 6th 2014

Today, Wednesday, we woke early in Lima to take a taxi to the airport for a flight to Cusco in the southern part of Peru. This town is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and is the closest airport to Machu Picchu and therefore there are a ton of departures on offer for the short flight. Cusco is high in the Andes mountains (11,100ft or 3,330m) and apparently a lot of visitors suffer from altitude sickness which locals offer to treat with tea made with coca leaves....legal here in Peru but not at home. Our arrival in Cusco was complicated by the fact that the rental car office was miles from the airport and that somehow our reservation has been cancelled, and all their cars were booked! Thankfully we found another company who had just ... read more
Ben the horse




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