My Brazil and Peru Trip

A successful weird little venture which started off in Brazil over to Peru and then ended in Brazil in a quick 10 day holiday. Ive made a compilation of my whole journey.
(please click the city for more about the trip)

1st stop: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Straight from London and my first stop. This part of the trip was and insight to one of Latin Americas richest metropolis.

2nd stop: Lima, Peru

After a glimpse of life in one of South Americas most developed and rich citiy I go to one of its most undeveloped capitals (In my opinion). Nonetheless the experience was a valuable learning curb. In this Leg I visited Central Lima and the Larco Museum to build the flavour of my trip ahead.

3rd stop: Cusco, Peru

And now it was time to acclimatise and get ready for our main purpose (Machu Picchu). A quick roam around the city, into their market and main points of interest. Getting a feel of rural Peru.

4th stop: Ollantaytambo, Peru

Basing at Ollantaytambo the night before Machu Picchu, so we could get an easier transit to the mountain attraction. However I just fell in love with the village and wished I could have stayed longer. The scenery was just amazing.

5th stop: Aguas Calientes, Peru

Again this village was amazing, it felt like a movie set. A quick snack before and after our trip up Machu Picchu. Very touristic but still a pleasure.

*** Machu Picchu***
Preparing to travel
Travelling to Machu Pichu

A spectacle to see, the most amazing place I’ve been to. Hiking up Wayna Picchu was also something I’m glad i did, the challenge of those slippery un-barricaded steps was a worry but seeing the famous Machu Picchu from another height and view, it was all worth it.

6th stop : Back to Cusco, Peru

After an adventurous time across Peru’s smaller rural villages it was time to head back to Cusco and roam the city a bit more. Excursing outside the city with the ATV tours showing us Moray, Salt Mines and more.

7th stop: Back to Lima, Peru

Finishing Peru its another round of Lima but this time it was the wealthier Mira Flores, here we did shopping in Larcomar and the Indian markets.

Finale: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Although the bad reputation, I needed to see the paradise destination for myself. In my opinion well worth the visit and what a way to end the trip.

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Its been great Sao Paulo… Next up its Lima, Peru…

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CUSCO

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The Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu Experience

Brief

Machu Picchu is the Incan citadel on top of the Andes mountains, located in Urubamba province within the Cusco region in Peru. The famous mountain attraction is 2nd in Lonely Planet’s must go to places in the world. Furthermore the Incan citadel is about 2,500 metres high, said to be made for the emperor Pachacuti but was later abandoned at the time of the Spanish conquest.

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The Experience

 Entering Machu Picchu you will require your paper ticket and your passport, in what is like an airport style entry.  At times there is a long line but when I was there it was just a walk through. Take note there is only one toilet at the entrance of the site so emptying your bladder before proceeding would be sensible. If you do go back out to go to the toilet you will need your ticket and passport again and may need to line up.

Entering Machu Pichu there will be some people presenting themselves as tour guides (for a price) I believe they are legitimate guides but I don’t really know how much they were as I didn’t take one which I do regret, as the site itself had no descriptions and without the guide you would just be walking around the Incan ruin without any explanations.

Machu Picchu has various different routes, I think 5 in total which all circuit to the exit. It is possible to take all the routes but it can be tiring and time consuming. Attendants are ever present on the site as they look after the ruins and protect people from dangerous areas, however the site itself was relatively safe and controlled with plenty of resting areas. All ages and abilities can visit the site as there is nothing too difficult, I even saw a woman on a wheelchair so I believe it has disabled access routes.

The ruins itself were amazing with the huge boulders and stone walls still fully standing. The most Iconic building for me was the Guardhouse Watch Tower which had the best views of the whole citadel. Everything about Machu Picchu was great with uncountable scenic areas and magnificent ancient structures. I did however miss out on seeing the Alpacas and Llamas, which would have been one of the highlight pictures of the visit, nonetheless the experience was one of kind. Visiting Machu Picchu also requires a lot of luck, some days you can have very clear skies whereas others may get rain and worst clouds where you cant see anything. However the walks were too easy and I was definitely looking forward to the higher more challenging mountain ahead with Huayna Picchu.

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If you have bought the ticket to Huayna Picchu, the entrance to the mountain is at the back of the site. you will see a little hut with the map of Huayna Picchu, it has two gates one for exit and the other for entrance. It is advisable that you arrive 15 minutes before your allotted time as there can be an instant rush when the gates open, but I believe you can enter at anytime within your allotted time. Again your passport is required for this as they carefully monitor whose gone in and whose gone out.

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Huayna Picchu itself has one huge circular route but a few detours to turn back. I can only say that the higher you go the more difficult the climb is as stairs get steeper and thinner with not much to hold onto and there are points (higher up) where if you proceed there is no return and you will need to follow the route ahead. In my experience all climbers help and encourage each other where possible and no one was selfish, if someone looked like they needed help nobody would just walk pass that person. There is plenty of resting points on the mountain many with great views, but some areas are so tight you couldn’t stop as people behind would like to keep moving. To climb Huayna Picchu you will need to be a little fit but I did see 8th graders and seniors so i don’t think you need to be highly a20180319_113358thletic. Best advice is to take your time, do your own pace and bring lots of water. If for any reason you cant handle the climb don’t be ashamed to turn back or ask for help. As you climb up there will be plenty of different panoramic views of the scenery around but the best place is the view of Machu Pichu itself (if its not cloudy). Furthermore at the top you may take a picture of the Huayna Pichu sign which many mountains have at their peak (this area is a good resting point). The experience at Huayna Picchu was one of a kind, there was fear, adrenaline and also excitement. I have to admit the site was somewhat dangerous as there were little to no barriers, marshals and places to hold onto, which for me was the beauty of it all.

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Conclusion

My Peru, Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu experience has been extraordinary, it has been a trip full of education and challenges with every scenery as extravagant as you would see in magazines. Machu Picchu could prove to be very expensive but I can honestly say it is every penny well spent. It is one of those destination that even the best blogs cannot portray and you have to go and see it for yourself to be able to appreciate the scale of this mountain.

If you are yet to go, it is important to know that the Machu Picchu experience starts as you land in Peru, the journey to the site is as exciting as the mountain attraction itself so enjoy every bit of it.

Reference:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machu_Picchu

Aguas Calientes

5th leg of my Brazil/Peru trip

Type : Rural Mountainous
Best Date : Apr – Oct
Expense : Medium
Things to do :Hiking
Points of Interest: Machu Pichu, Huayna Pichu, Putucusi, Inca Bridge, Temple of the moon, ect
The Good: Excellent scenery
The Bad: Very small village

Brief

Aguas Calientes is the village nearest to the famous Incan ruin of Machu Pichu, also in the Urabamba province within the Cusco region. The village has an altitude of 2,040m and is only 6km away from the Machu Pichu site.

The Place

Like Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes is a small rural village which has its own unique charm. Although its attractions nearby are the main reason for the influx of tourists, the architecture and scenery is just something out of the ordinary. People who stay in this village may only be staying to acclimatize to the altitude or maybe to get some rest before or after their visit to Machu Picchu. In my opinion this small village is a great place and to stay here for one or 2 nights is a privilege.

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Aguas Calientes has a handful of magical attractions to visit, most notable is ‘Machu Picchu’ the Incan citadel on top of the Andes Mountain. In order to reach this attraction from Aguas Calientes you would either need to hike 1.5 hour up the mountain or take a shuttle ride up. Although very expensive I do advise to take the shuttle ride up as Machu Pichu itself has plenty of long walks. Once in Machu Picchu there will be a couple of private tour guides if you want to take them (for a price), I definitely do regret not taking one of them as I learnt very little about the site itself. Once entering, there is plenty of different routes within Machu Picchu itself, all showing the different angles of the Incan ruin. I didn’t plan a specific route but me and my brother opted to just go higher and higher. Once committing to a route its a little hard to go back or do another route as there are plenty of ups and downs.

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Behind Machu Pichu is ‘Huayna Picchu’ or ‘Wayna Picchu’ which is the higher mountain that the more adventurous travellers hike up for a better view and a higher adrenaline rush. The lower levels of the mountain is easy however as you go higher the ancient steps get steeper and much narrower with not much to hold onto. I would like to stress that the mountain is a little dangerous with full view of the heights above and the drop below, there is also very little barriers and although marshals are said to roam the mountain I did only see one. Only a total of 400 people are allowed up this mountain a day, 200 on the morning (07:00 – 10:00) and another 200 in the afternoon (11:00-14:00) because of its popularity I highly advise to book in advance.

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Puntucusi is another mountain opposite Machu Picchu on the other side of the vilcanota river, which is free to hike with a challenge. The good thing about this mountain is that it is relatively unknown to the masses of tourists. However this is ungoverned and there are no wardens so care is required.

One way to relax in Aguas Calientes is their hot spring baths which is a nice way to relax if you have done the 4 day trail. This hot spring have strict rules and require full swimming attire, towels and sandals. It is complete with showers, changing rooms and a snack bar.

There are other attractions such as the ‘Temple of the moon’, ‘Sayacmara’, ‘Puyutamarca’ and many more which makes Aguas Calientes very attractive as a place to stay for a little longer than people plan.

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Overall Aguas Calientes for me was a marvellous place to be in, the rail tracks and old rustic structures were a pleasure although many aspects such as food and drinks in the village were expensive as it would be more profitable from tourists. The traditional markets also have nice souvenirs which are again pricey at first but easy to haggle for a good and cheap price. Finally again the same as Ollantaytambo the scenery is majestic a wonderful panoramic place to be around, if I had the chance I would have stayed longer.