Walking Holidays in Machu Picchu and Beyond
Because of its’ range of history, culture and natural beauty, the best way of seeing Peru is on a walking holiday. Whether you are a nature lover, spiritualist, history buff, or just enjoy experiencing new and fascinating sights, Peru has something for you.
Several of the historic sites of Peru are protected, so tourists often require a permit to visit them. Also, you will need the services of a licensed tour leader, who can offer you important information about the sites, and keep you on track throughout your guided walks. Below, we have listed the best attractions to see on a Peru walking holiday. Visit these areas, and you will literally have the country at your feet:
Often referred to as Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas spans 170 km from Ollantaytambo in the west to Pisac in the east, and it is flanked by the Vilcanoca and Urubamba Rivers. The Inca ruins in Pisac are well worth seeing. However, the highlight of the area is the Sunday market, which offers a wide selection of local handicrafts and souvenirs, along with a glimpse into Andean life.
At the valley’s opposite end, Ollantaytambo allows you to see life as it was for the ancient Incas, with its’ Inca fortress and village. The Sacred Valley is near to both Machu Picchu and Cusco (see below).
Nicknamed “the navel of the planet”, Cusco was the Inca empire’s capital city. The city still has several Inca fortresses and structures, along with numerous pre Columbian buildings. Inca Roca, the 6th great Inca and 1st Inca of the 2nd Dynasty, lived in Calle Hatun Rumiyuq (translated as “Street of the Old Rock”). Furthermore, the Armas Plaza (or “Warrior’s Square”) has been the location of several notable moments in the city’s history. To recognise its’ cultural significance and antiquity, Cusco was pronounced a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. This video shows the colourful San Pedro Market of the city:
Undoubtedly, Machu Picchu is among the best attractions of Peru, and it always tops everyone’s list of places to see on their walking holiday. Like Cusco, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 700,000 tourists make the journey to this historic Inca region each year, which is regarded by many as a sacred area of power and tranquillity.
If you follow the standard Inca Trail, it can become a little crowded, however it is still well worth the effort. On this trail, you travel through the Sun Gate, which is a pass roughly 2 miles over Machu Picchu, where you will enjoy your 1st glimpse of the ancient citadel. If you do not wish to use the standard route, then ask your tour leader to guide you through some different trails off the beaten track.
Peru offers unrivalled natural attractions for holidaymakers. If you have any liking for adventure, and you have the means to travel to Peru, then you should definitely do so. This diverse land will provide you with the most exciting holiday you are ever likely to take: plentiful wildlife, splendid scenery, a rich culture with historical roots and many memorable moments.
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