Last month, my best friend, Stacey, and I went to Peru together. Stacey is always the friend that I call when I am craving a new adventure. However, Stacey actually asked me to go to Peru with her, and I definitely jumped on the offer! We had an amazing time, hiked the Inca Trail, drank coca tea and I’m really excited about sharing all about it in this blog series! So, read along for the next few weeks to find out all about our trip to Peru!
When I woke up in Cusco I was filled with excitement, I knew that we were starting to make our way toward the start of the Inca Trail. However, when I got out of the shower, I wasn’t quite as excited. I opened the door to find Stacey vomiting into the trash can… She unfortunately was afflicted with altitude sickness. However, this is my moment of bragging on Stacey – she was such a trooper. She made it through all the archaeological sites and only slowed down when she had to stop to throw up! But loads of water and a couple of sups of coca tea later, she was so much better by that afternoon.
Going into the Sacred Valley
We started off our time in the Sacred Valley with a visit to Planeterra. A women’s weaving project sponsored by G Adventures in a local village. They give demonstrations on how they weave the textiles and the stops that they take to spin, clean and dye the llama and alpaca wool! (You can read more about this here.)
These little cuties were selling necklaces on the side of the road on the way to Pisaq. They were so sweet!
After that stop, we made our first real visit to an archaeological site- Pisaq. This site is nestled in the Andes, down in the Sacred Valley. We drove up to the top, and walked through the buildings and the granaries that overlook the terraces. This was my first view of of the incredible and innovative terraces built by the Incas to grow their crops. They also had intricate irrigation systems to make sure that their crops flourished.
A view of Pisaq from across the valley
All of the holes in this cliff were tombs. Inca mummies were found in here along with jars and idols, but many of these were raided. These holes covered the cliffs behind the site.
On our way up to the citadel looking down at the terraces.
After some time at this site, we had lunch at this beautiful village for an absolutely amazing indigenous lunch!
Stacey and I also got some coca leaves to try to fight/prevent altitude sickness… I wasn’t a huge fan of just chewing on the coca leaves.
Ollantaytambo was our last stop for the day, which started out getting our rooms in our super cozy hostel. After checking in, we walked through town to get to the massive archaeological site.
When you’re on the stairs and turn around, you can see this beautiful site across the way. The fortress looks more like a castle than the other Inca sites we saw. If I return to Ollantaytambo, I would love to hike up here. Another thing we learned about was the face to the left of the fortress. It took us a minute to see it, but now that it’s there, I can’t not see it.
There is a beautiful temple up at the top of a lot of stairs (a bit of a test run for the Inca Trail).
Once we made it to the temple at the top of the stairs, we explored more of the buildings with some new friends. Our favorite spot was this narrow passage. Right before I stepped up, to this level, I was basically wedged into this passageway.
In the town Stacey and I made a stop at the Chocolate Museum. Realistically, if chocolate is involved, Stacey and I are there. We tasted lots of different chocolates and chocolate tea. Yum!
We enjoyed an evening walk through the square, looking at the sunset over the mountains, eating some pizza and have a great, relaxing night before the Inca Trail.
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