This original Inca
city, is located at an altitude of over 10,800 ft and home to
innumerable Inca monuments. It took us a while to
get ourselves acclimatized to the altitude of the ares. Once we got our bearings, we went on to visit the nearby Inca
ruins such as Pachacuti and Ollantaytambo. The market at Pisac
is a good place to shop for souvenirs though pretty touristy.
On the western edge
of the Andes, at the foot of the Misti volcano, Arequipa is a
beautiful city of mansions, temples and convents built out of 'sillar'
- a material of solidified volcanic rock. We spent a day there
enjoying the beauty of the town and the ethnic food cooked over
lava stones and utensils. We went on to visit Colca Canyon and
Crux del Condo, the home of the majestic Andean Condor.
Peru is country of astounding
natural diversity that fires the imagination like few other places - the parched
expanses of dusty desert in Huacachina, the cool sapphire-blue waters of Lake
Titicaca, the jaw-dropping glaciated pinnacles of the Andes in Arequipa and the
lush jungles of Amazon, replete with wildlife and hidden treasures of the Incas.
Add to all of this the most strikingly familiar image of South America – the
awesome, cloud topping Inca city of Machu Picchu, it simply takes your breath
We started our journey of this quintessential South American
country at Lima. We spent the first day exploring Caral,
described by its excavators as the oldest urban center in
the Americas dating back to 2600 BC. We spent a couple of
days later exploring Lima and enjoyed especially the
Peruvian cuisine which is a rich melting pot of several
immigrant cultures, including Spanish, Chinese, Basque,
Japanese and of course the influence of the Incas. No trip
is complete without trying the Inca Cola, though I doubt the
Incas had any influence over this drink!
And do not miss the Algarubena Pisco
We woke up before dawn and walked through the mist shrouded
mountains to catch a glimpse of this lost City of the
Incas. As the first rays of the sun broke through the clouds,
the mist engulfed and took us back over 600 years to the
Inca empire. The torrential downpour of rain did not deter or
distract our captivation with this mysterious and magical
peninsula is an unspoiled natural paradise where the desert
sands reveal treasures of ancient civilizations. We flew over
the Nazca Lines spread across the dry plains of the southern
coastal desert and drove to the Huacachina oases with its
mammoth sand dunes. We also sailed around the Ballestas Islands
inhabited by birds galore and marine animals.