Cusco, the Inkan Trail

Cusco, the Inkan Trail

Making the journey out to Cusco is necessary in order to visit Machu Picchu. When I first planned this part of the trip, I had this image of Cusco in my head: an ancient city that was small and had winding roads like an Italian village. I had no idea how modern and idyllic the city would be. I decided to use points and stay at the JW Marriott. This was an excellent idea. This part of the trip would truly be a Planes, Trains, and Automobiles experience.

I decided to use Kantu Tours for my excursions. They helped me plan a four day adventure through the Sacred Valley and Inka Trails and up Machu Picchu. I strongly recommend them. The last day was a let down, but the other three were home runs. If you do end up going, I would recommend Pisac, Machu Picchu, Cusco City Tour, then either do a trip to Rainbow Mountain or do an Ayahuasca retreat. Moray and the salt mine ended up being disappointing and the tour was all in Spanish.

Okay enough with the negative. Kantu did some awesome planning and took care of me. It is difficult to go through and describe everything. I will probably do a later post to further these pieces, but for now, I want to get the pictures out there


Day One: City Tour (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, y Tambomachay)

I was picked up from my hotel and taken on a city tour. I got to see some sights around the village. This was a good way to get acclimated to the new city. I had a Small World moment, when I was talking to the father and daughter in front of me and learned that they are from Memphis. That night I had beers at Nuevo Mundo then I hit up the Museo de Pisco for a couple pisco concoctions and some live music.

The view from my window
Thankfully there was a solid supply of Coca Tea in the lobby. That Altitude Sickness isn’t something to play with
Main square in Cusco
The highest Irish Pub in the world. Sadly they didn’t even have Guinness on draft
Waiting for my tour to start
Local woman and her alpaca.
I love the colours and her hat. AND THE ALPACA
Almost caught the sun
Shot over the city
Beautiful building

Jennifer and I hanging with the alpaca
Jennifer working on that perfect picture
Hey look over here
I love the wild animals
Cusco at night
Catching some Local Beers at Nuevo Mundo

Day Two: Sacred Valley (Pisac, Urubamba, Ollyatambo, y Chinchero)

The second day, we drove deeper into the valley and got to learn about the Inkan (Quechua) people. I lucked out again and met an amazing couple on the bus. We spent the day adventuring.

Scenery
Wearing my new “alpaca” hat
Sacred Valley village
If loving baby animals is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
Welcome Post
The terraces
Sarah prepping her lens. Zach getting that selfie game on
The bridge to nowhere?
So Much Hiking!!
#ZachAndSarah
hanging with our tour guide
More amazing views
I love the colours in this country
Stairs with a built in drainage system
Church on an Inkan religious sight
cool shot out from the church
More of the church
Secret garden?
breath taking

Day Three: Machu Picchu y Aguas Calientes

This was the big show. I took a ride to Ollyatambo, then a train to Aguas Calientes, then a bus to the mountain, then a hike to the ruins. It was outstanding. It was unbelievable. It was beautiful. You have to visit this in your lifetime. Trust me. As I waited for the train, I was even able to have some craft beers at Incontri del Pueblo Viejo.

Taking this train like a champ
Welcome
getting closer
My first view of the village. ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT
Here it is, ladies and gentlemen.
Okay, I will just pose here. I know this is what you want
Another viewpoint
I’ll go anywhere, with you. Jefe, I miss you and love you more than words
Mroe terraces
Another angle
Housing units
The ruins
I found a picuna!
And I found a llama
More ruins
Christmas tree in Aguas Calientes

Day Four: Maras Moray Salineras

The actual scenery at these sights is pretty wonderful. The tour just frustrated me. I was promised a small group, English tour. I got a medium-sized, Spanish tour. Kantu took care of me in the end. But I am just sad I missed some other cool stuff. When I got back to Cusco, I had a meal at Chicha. Then I had some more beers at Nuevo Mundo. Then I finished the night at La Bodega.

another Monastery
the locals telling us about textiles
amazing colours
Salinas de Maras.
ya like my hat?
The concentric terraces of Moray allow for multiple ecosystems at each level
so beautiful
more terraces
I am for realz, guys… these babies are so cute
99 cervejas on the wall. Drinking at La Bodega. Amazing place
Pretty fountain on the way out the city

Overall

I can’t believe I waited this long to visit Machu Picchu. It is life-changing experience. I cannot recommend it enough. My life is better now that I have visited.

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