Once again Peru has been recognized for its beauty and impressive legacy, being named the number one gem by the famous CNN news channel, through its “Wonder List” of the month section, by Bill Weir. Capturing the essence of the widespread Inca Empire through its extensive heritage scattered around the country, the video showcases stunning bird’s-eye views of Lake Titicaca in Puno, and especially of the city of Cusco and its famous Inca vestiges, such as the Sacsayhuaman and Choquequirao fortresses and, of course, the most impressive Machu Picchu.
Watch the video here: http://edition.cnn.com/travel/wonder/peru
The mysterious Inca citadel of Machu Picchu
¡A truly timeless gem! Machu Picchu is at the top of many “travelholics” bucket-list for many good reasons. The astonishing Inca citadel blows every architect’s mind, built with enormous blocks of stone, without the use of steel or wheels. And, if the engineering of it is not your thing, then the views alone guarantee an awe-inspiring encounter, as you discover this huge stone city nestled in-between the imposing mountains of the Andes.
If you are planning to visit the sacred city of the Incas, you might want to seize the opportunity now that it is dry season. July and August are probably the best months to travel to Machu Picchu, avoiding heavy rain and dense fog. As it is peak season, you might want to stay overnight in Aguas Calientes (the close-by town) and explore the ruins when the day-tour groups have not arrived yet.
Weather, acclimation and other considerations
While you are mostly safe by visiting during the dry season, it is always a good idea to check weather conditions in advance and pack for every temperature. Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes have a sub-tropical climate, since they are closer to the rainforest and much lower than the city of Cusco. But it can also get a bit chilly at night and early in the morning. You will also go through Cusco or even stay there for a night or two at some point. The days can be pretty warm if you stand under the sun, but nights can also be really cold. So, our best tip is to pack as if you were your overprotective mother trying to be ready for EVERYTHING! Also consider wearing layers for your day excursions, as conditions can vary unpredictably. And, of course, you must bring your best hiking shoes to hit some of the many paths in and around Cusco.
If you are not used to the altitude, you might want to go straight to the Sacred Valley or Aguas Calientes as soon as you land in Cusco… and leave your city stay for your way back. This way you will start by getting used to the milder altitude of the valley, about 1,000 meters lower than the city. And, of course, take it easy at first, drink some coca or muña tea and stay very well hydrated. No, pisco sours don’t count as hydrating beverages, but still, make sure you try some at some point! 😉
Finally, bear in mind that recently introduced regulations require visitors to enter the Inca citadel of Machu Picchi with official tour operators or guides. Also, you will have to choose one of two time slots: from 6am to noon, or from noon to 5:30pm.
Contact us so we can advise on what is the best itinerary for you! ☺