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Archives for April 2013

Lima, Peru: City Tour

The amazing sites and awe of Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu sadly has to come to an end. To wrap up this trip in Peru, we took a plane from Cusco back to Lima… back to “normal” altitude and we went on a city tour.


Here is the Palace of Justice (Palacio de Justicia), the seat of the Supreme Court of Peru.


The next few images show the main square of Lima, aka Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas of Lima. This is considered to be the historic center of Lima because of the buildings surrounding it. In photo order, there is the Government Palace, the Municipial Palace of Lima, and the Cathedral of Lima.




We got to walk through the Cathedral. It was really pretty.



Another church we walked past was El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. There was a fire in the building on the left, so they are in the process of restoring it. Walking through it, you still could still the char in the ceilings and evening a few burn holes. You can still see the damage on the side of the church too.



With Semana Santa (Holy Week) only a few weeks away (at the time of when we visited), there was a long line of people waiting to do reconciliation.


Walking a few blocks over, we found ourselves with this view. The homes on the mountain in the background is San Cristobal (Cerro San Cristobal). The cross that sits on top is a pilgrimage site especially during Semana Santa.


The colorful buildings that are scaling its way up the mountain are homes. People that live there are in poverty, so they do what they can. From this distance, it looks like the homes are stacked up on top of each other.


This was the last stop on the tour before having to head back. So here are some additional shots I took on the way to the airport and time to head home. What a trip! Happy travels friends!




Peru: Wayna Picchu – On Top of the World (almost)

Day 2 at the Machu Picchu site begins with boarding the bus, which was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel and rode up to the site.

Today is a new adventure! We get to hike up Wayna Picchu! =D The tall mountain in the back of the photo – YAY!


The walk begins to the check in point to Wayna Picchu, or how it’s written here – Huayna Picchu, where there is a limited entry. Only 400 people total are allowed to visit split into 2 different entry times.


These 2 people were logging in the time people would enter Wayna Picchu and also when people would return back from the hike. It makes sense especially since there is a limited entry of people. Then, they would know who to look for in case someone does get lost.


On the map, it shows a few different routes or paths you can take and what to expect.


Here are the first views upon entering Wayna Picchu. The zig zag line is the bus route to get up to Machu Picchu.


So, for most of the time I was hiking by myself and then waiting on different ‘landings’ for my parents to catch up. It was a time of peace, meditation, and the occasional “holy moly, what have I gotten myself into?!”.


The staircases… if you can call them that, were very steep and sometimes slippery. Every once in a while, there were ropes on the side (see left picture) that you could hold on to.

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In the distance is Machu Picchu. We’re a ways away from there at this point!


It’s pretty amazing to soak everything in once you reach the top. It’s unbelievable.


Pictures truly do not do enough justice here. It was so breathtaking and amazing to be there at that point. We’re on top of the world!! (almost)


The sad part about reaching the top and admiring it all? Having to hike back down. I mentioned earlier in the post that you log when you enter and leave Wayna Picchu. It took us 3 hours total. 2 hours walking up and then 1 hour coming back down. Gravity helps!


So proud. That’s where we climbed up to!


And our adventure has come to an end. Not before one last picture of Machu Picchu!



Be bold and adventurous. Cross off the items in your bucket list. Happy travels friends!

Cusco, Peru: Machu Picchu

Sunrise has not even happened yet and we are already boarding the buses along with probably 150 other people that would bring us to Ollantaytambo. When we got to this town, we walked down the road to the train station that would bring us to Aguas Calientes. From there, it is a 10 minute bus ride to get to the Machu Picchu site.

For the time of the year we were there, the option of taking a train all the way to Machu Picchu wasn’t possible. There are areas on that track that are flooded, and so this option of taking the bus was the safest and best bet for us.

While you are waiting for your train, these ladies find it to be an opportune time to sell you items for your hike on Machu Picchu as well as Peruvian souvenirs and anything else they can carry. Impressive.


There are 3 types of trains to get to Aguas Calientes: Expedition (cheap, bare-minimum), Vistadome (mid-range and comfortable) and Hiram Bingham (ritzy and fancy-schmancy). We rode on the Vistadome on over to Aguas Calientes. We had some great views on the way over with the windows on the side and above us.



Voila! We made it to Aguas Calientes!



Our bags were put onto a dolly and tagged to be brought to our hotel and we hopped on the bus to bring us to Machu Picchu =)




As we started going through, our guide was explaining to us that you could tell the different times of building. You had the “rigid-look” where it’s all mish-mashed together and then the “clean-look”.


We reached a landing and we were at the highest point of this mountain. That deserves a photo, wouldn’t you say?


There were surrounded by temples at this point too.


Our guide was explained to us that there are people who believe in energies and that Machu Picchu has certain areas with really high points of energy (energy vortex). So groups come to Machu Picchu for spiritual retreats and pilgrimages. Right here is one of the spots where the guide’s hand is. Putting your forehead on the spot (like my dad’s demonstrating in the other photo), you meditate and are cleansed and realigned.

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Another point on the area is this rock. It’s actually a compass. Each 4 points is either N, S, E, or W. Our guide showed us with a compass she pulled out of her pocket. The Peruvian people were smart back in the day. Notice the 3 people in the back in their spiritual meditation.


On our descent, we came across some homes and this:


These are clocks people. Perhaps it should be called a water-dial instead of a sun dial? Hah. But, depending on where the sun is reflecting on the water in the circle, that’s the time it is. I took this picture upside down, but yes – it was about 11AM. Pretty cool huh…


Remember in my past post, I wrote about how they value the condor, puma and serpent as important animals. This is/was the image of the condor. The two high jagged parts are the wings and the low part of the ‘V’ is the head. Pretty cool.


The tour was done a tidbit after this, so my fam and I were off on our own. We even got to see these llamas up close… no zoom on the camera required. There was something inside of me that wanted to do this. Haha:


We walked up a different trail to get the entire view of Machu Picchu. AMAZING!



Happy travels friends!