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     A Peru Travelogue
 
 









 

 

Travelogue: Journey to Machu Picchu,Peru

Preparation:
The trip planning kicked off as I got my Air tickets for Lima from side step. I used Lonely Planet guide book as a reference to book my accommodation and day trips in Lima and Cuzco. The Alberque Juvenil Internacional Hostel in Lima is a good location to stay. They had nice renovated rooms with friendly staff to book your air tickets for Cuzco and also organize day trips in Lima and Nazca. I used Inca Explorers for my Machu Picchu trip and also the other day trips in Cuzco region. My accommodation in Cuzco was at Los Alticos Pardo. This was a reasonably priced and a great place to stay.
 Day 01 (Wed May 26 2004)

Had a slow start today. My flight to Lima left Tucson at 10.30am. After a short break of 1hr in Houston. I was on the Continental flight to Lima, Peru. The flight was pretty smooth. The flight landed on time in Lima after 6hrs. There were no Aero-bridge in Lima airport so the passengers have to take a shuttle bus up to the terminal. The immigration was swift. I got my baggage and I was out of the custom area. I used the Urbanito shuttle bus ($6.00) to get to Albergue Juvenil Internacional Hostel in Miraflores.

 
The Hostel is very clean and friendly place in a safe neighborhood. It is also close to shopping malls in Miraflores. You can also buy air tickets to Cuzco from them at a good price. I had my day trip to Nazca Lines done through them.

Day 02 (Thrusday May 27 2004)

The day started very early. I was picked up at 5.30am for my Nazca lines day trip. I used the Royal coach to Ica. It takes about 4hrs to reach Las Dunas Hotel in Ica. My tour guide picked me up at Ica and it was another 2hrs drive to Nazca. The drive was very scenic along the towering sand dunes. At Nazca I took a single engine aircraft to see the world famous "Nazca lines". You will get to see 14 different signs from the air. The most famous signs being Humming bird, Condor and the Astronaut on the hill.The flight takes about 30 minutes.



 

After the stomach crunching flight. I got to have a wonderful lunch at Nazca. I tried some local dishes with a soup. On the way back to Ica I stopped at Maria Reiche museum. On the way back to Lima I used Peru Bus (local bus).It was surprisingly good for the price.In Lima I was dropped off at the Hostel by the Tour agent.

Day 03 (Friday May 28 2004)

I took a Pre-paid Taxi from the Hostel ($10)to the domestic terminal. The Tans Peru flight to Lima was at 9.00am. The flight was delayed by more than a hour due to landing gear problems. I was finally at Cuzco by 11.30am.I had a free pick up from the Airport offered by Los Alticos Pardo. I had already booked all the tour in Cuzco from Inca Explorer through the Internet. My Cuzco city tour started in the afternoon. The main sites they touch on are the Cathedral, Coricancha (the famous Inca temple)and the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambo Machay. The Inca fortress at Sacsayhuaman is indeed impressive.
             
Had a great dinner at Andean Grill in Plaza de Armas. It was a good place to try llama meat. The Cuzco beer is some thing not to be missed. There are a lot of Pubs around Plaza de Armas. They are safe and a great place to hang around. The most famous ones being Cross keys, Los Perros and Mama Africa.
Day 04 (Saturday May 29 2004)

The visit to the Lost City of the Inca's - Machu Picchu started early at 5.30am. I used the Vista Dome service from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes. The scenery during the train journey is breathtaking. The high snow capped Andean peak and lush greenery. The train also offers breakfast service. After about 4hrs you reach the last station of Aguas Calientes. A short bus ride for 30 minutes takes you to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

 
 
I had pretty detail tour of the site for 4 hrs. Don't forget to hike up to the Hut of the caretaker of the Funerary Rock. This is were you get the classic shot of Machu Picchu. The Vista dome train leaves back to Cuzco at 3.30pm. I cooled off the hectic day at a elegant Peruvian Restaurant El Paititi.
Day 05 (Sunday May 30 2004)

I took a full day excursion through the Urubamba Valley. The first stop was at the colorful market of Pisac. This was a great place to pick up souvenirs, T-shirt and even good baby Alpaca sweaters ($40-$60).

The hill top Inca citadel in Pisac is truly spectacular site. It was a good hike up with relatively few tourist. After a brief stop for lunch at Urubamba we were off to the massive Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. It has beautiful steep Inca terraces. This is one of the few places where Spanish Conquistadors lost a major battle.

                  
 
On the way back we stopped at Chinchero. This small Andean village has a colonial Church and a colorful Sunday market. Its good to see local people dressed in the traditional garb.
For a change I had dinner at a Peruvian Chinese Restaurant " Chifa" at the Plaza. It was pretty good.
Day 06 (Monday May 31 2004)

Checked out from Los Alticos Pardo.
I had a early morning flight back to Lima. I took the Urbanito bus to the International Youth Hostel in Miraflores. Spend the day lazing at the beach in Parque Salazar. Its a huge mall next to beach.

There are a lot fine shopping centrea and department store close to the Alberque Juvenil Internacional.

Checked out of the hostel at 8.00pm.
I used the taxi service from the Hostel to get back to the International airport in Lima. My flight to Houston left at 11.55pm. What a great trip it was.

                  
 
A have thrown in more detail information in my Travelogue. To see more picture from my trip check out my Photo Gallery.

2004 Raman Srinivasan. All rights reserved