Peru is a country of wonder for many. Its history dates back more than four millennia, making it one of the oldest civilizations on the planet. The Incas spanned the mid 15th and 16th centuries. They are a testament to pre-Columbian culture and any trip to Peru will enthrall you with its history. The Incas also dominated Ecuador, parts of Colombia, Argentina and Chile, as well as Bolivia and the Amazonian area. Join us on a journey through Incan civilization on an unforgettable trip to Peru.
A trip to Peru: Machu Picchu
The Lost City of the Incas is close to the city of Cusco and is about 7,000 meters above sea level. For many travellers on a trip to Peru Machu Picchu will be the highlight of the journey. In fact, it frequently tops lists of must-see places. There is enough to see here to take up your entire day. The first stop should be the Historical Sanctuary. This is the main archaeological site in Machu Picchu. Due to this, it can often be crowded with visitors and entrance is restricted. It is essential to book your tickets in advance.
As you enter the ruins, you will see the Inca trail and Intipunku, which is the gate to Machu Picchu. The gate itself is about an hour´s walk from the ruins. When you plan your trip to Peru, take into account that you may want to spend more than one day at the site.
From the main site, you can also access Intihuatana. This is large pillar, often referred to as a sun-dial. Incans were able to predict solstices using the pillar, but its exact use is still a mystery. This tower is one of the icons of Machu Pivchu and should not be missed.
If you are staying longer in Machu Picchu, a recommendation for camping is at Phuyupatamarka. This translates as Town Above the Clouds, and at 11,000 feet, it really is. The ruins encompass ceremonial baths that have running water. No trip to Peru is complete without watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu and here is the perfect starting point. Many tourists use this landmark as the starting block to race to the Sun Gate. However, it is beautiful in its own right and deserves to be seen.
Other top sights at Machu Picchu include the Sacred Plaza, Sacristy and the Museo de Sitio Manuel Chávez Ballón. To really see Machu Picchu in all its splendour, it may be necessary to plan your trip to Peru around the site. However, there are also many other Incan ruins that are worth visiting.
A trip to Peru: in and around Cusco
Close to Cusco is another remarkable Incan ruin. The village of Pisac is an example of Incan irrigation and agriculture. It also has one of Peru´s only intihuatanas. These were carved rocks used to observe the astronomy of the area. The village has a breathtaking view over the Sacred Valley, which no trip to Peru is complete without visiting.
The Sacred Valley also houses concentric terraces, most notably in Moray. Again, the exact use is unclear but many historians believe that the terraces are related to agriculture. Indeed, a trip to Peru is one of mystery and of intrigue.
If you have time to travel further afield on your trip to Peru, visit the town of Ollaytantambo. It still has the original Inca walls and street plan. It is, in fact, one of the only towns in Peru that has kept its original form. The ruins above the town are also a perfect stop-off on your trip to Peru. The village was the battleground of the Inca´s greatest military victory over the Spanish army. It is a wondrous testament to the might of the Incas and their civilization. This visit, like any trip to Peru, is laden with history, of a people and of an entire culture.
If you are staying in Cusco, it is also worth visiting the town of Sacsayhuaman. This is a fortress, retaining the original Incan walls that overlook the city of Cusco. The town is actually connected to Cusco with underground passages. The walls themselves are the greatest delight. They are an astounding example of Incan architecture. To stay standing for so many years without collapse is a feat of engineering we can only imagine these days.
Indeed, there are many sights to see on the Inca trail in Peru. A trip to Peru is one of history, culture, mystery and of course, marvel. To be able to touch such remnants of the past is an eye-opener and will stay with you for a lifetime. By discovering the ancient world, we truly discover ourselves. For information on exotic journeys around the world, visit Exoticca for advice and packages.