Bienvenidos a Lima! – Connecting flight from Madrid to Lima
Shortly after midnight the flight with LATAM Airlines non-stop to Lima Peru. After 12 hours flight we arrived in Lima early in the morning at 5:30 am.
After picking up our suitcases Christine (Marco Polo Scout) welcomed us and the whole group at the exit of the arrival terminals. Christine accompanied us during our stay in Lima.
The travel group consisted of eleven people. Let us call them Lothar, Swantje, Wolfgang, Ulla, Ulli, Ulrike, Rosi, Christine, Monika as well as Inge and Hans. It was a very pleasant and balanced travel group. The number of participants was optimal.
With a bus from Movel we were driven to the hotel, first impressions of Lima included. The check-in at the hotel Casa Andina San Antonia was already at 9:15 am. The hotel is located in the district of Miraflores, one of the higher districts in Lima.
Suitcase to room and immediately Monika and I went to the beach to the department store Larco Mare. Our hotel was located in the street 28 De Julio. We walked this road to the north and then via Av Jose Larco to the department store Larco Mare.
What we saw was a lot of mist and fog. After a short stay and a photo session from the restaurant Papacho*s we immediately went back to the hotel, as we already had a visit of the Altsatdt with Christine at 11:00 am.
Visit of the old town of Lima
At 11:00 am our Movel Bus started for the city tour.
The first stop was the Plaza San Martin, then we went on to the Basilica de San Francisco in the district Cercadeo de Lima. Here we visited the
Museo del Convento de San Francisco.
We descended into the catacombs and could marvel at bones and skulls. Not everyone’s cup of tea,
Afterwards we walked further past the Casa de la Literatura Peruana to the Plaza de Major. This is the name of the square only in the capital of a country. In other places, also in the capital, the main plaza is called Plaza de Armes. At the Plaza de Major there is the very well guarded presidential palace and the city hall.
According to Christine, one should avoid the area at nights. There are so-called piranhas on the way. Children’s gangs, which are aiming at unsuspecting tourists. Well, the contrasts between rich and poor are quite big in Peru, especially in Lima.
Afterwards we went on with the Movel Bus to the museum Larco Herrera. We could admire the collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. Art objects made of ceramics, textiles, metal, especially gold and silver could be admired.
The drive back to the hotel led us along the staring point of Lima. Monika and we preferred to stop at the pier La Rosa Náutica. We strolled past the surfers and via the Tsunami escape route we went up to the department store Lacomare. On the way we met Ulli and Ulrike. Together we enjoyed the sunset and had dinner together at the restaurant San Antonio Reducto Con 28. Afterwards we went back to the hotel at 20:00 o’clock.
Arequipa – World of Volcanoes
Arequipa, world of volcanoes – From Lima to Arequipa
Lima: After breakfast in the hotel we went for a walk to the Municipalidad de Miraflores with Ulli and Ulrike at 9:30 am. We strolled the Av Jose Marco to the Parque Central de Miraflores. We took a walk around the town hall and via side streets we went back to the hotel.
After checking out of the hotel at 11:00 am we were transferred to the airport of Lima. After one hour with the Movel Bus we reached the International Airport. Our new destination Aerquipa – World of Volcanoes.
Arequipa: Our flight with LATAM Airlines took off at 14:40. Irritating was the constant gate change. Originally the boarding was supposed to take place at Gate 1, then Gate 12, then Gate 6 and finally the boarding was carried out via Gate 3.
After a short flight we landed in Arequipa (Altitude 2300m, 850.000 inhabitants) and at 5 p.m., despite of the drive during the rush hour, we were already in the Hotel Casa Andina Standard Arequipa in the Calle Jerusalén. The tour guide already reserved seats for 9 persons in the restaurant ZigZag during the journey to the hotel.
It went briskly across the Parque San Francisco to the Plaza de Armas Arequipa. The Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa in the northeast of the Plaza shone very beautifully and after a round we went on to the Museo Santuarios Andinos. In the museum the mummy Juanita is exhibited (“Ötzin of Peru”). Juanita was sacrificed about 500 years ago by the Incas. After one of the last volcanic eruptions, the ice had largely melted, she was found and now found her final resting place in the museum under climatically optimal conditions. An introductory film shows background information and the expedition to find Juanita. Impressive, although the rest of the museum seems very compact.
We continued to the Santa Catalina monastery. Although the visiting time was over, we could see the monastery after 18:00 o’clock thanks to our tour guide. The complex is very spacious. Impressive are the alleyways and the red colour of the walls, which is impressively shown to advantage in the dark by the artificial lighting.
Detailed information can be read in Wikipedia.
Around 19:15 we made it over the Plaza de Armes to the restaurant ZigZag. The restaurant was a good recommendation. Afterwards we went straight to the hotel, the next day we had a long bus trip to Puno at Lake Titicaca.
Aguada Blanc – Lake Titicaca – Lampa
llamas, alpacas, vicuñas – Aguada Blanc National Park, Lake Titicaca, lampa
We had to get up early. At 7:00 am the bus started with the destination Puno at Lake Titicaca via Lampa.
The trip led past the airport of Arequipa through the Cayma District and the National Park Aguada Blanc. During a first stopover we could enjoy the wonderful view of the 5822m high volcano Misti (last eruption 1985) and over the valley to Arequipa. A little further away we could see the 6075m high Nevado Chachani and the Pichu Picchu, and the next stop was near the cement factory near Yura.
At another stop we could observe the eruption of the volcano Sabancaya. The volcano ejects ash clouds every 32min for 5min, 45 eruptions per day.
Near the volcano at the Ampato summit, the mummy Juanita was found in 1995 during an expedition led by Johan Reinhard at an altitude of 5000m. A short sandwich stop in Caylloma Province on road 34J to Cusco served as refreshment and the usual toilet visit. A tea with Coca and Muna leaves helped to strengthen the body. The trip continued on impressive mountain roads to the next stop at the Crucero Alto Pass at 4528m altitude! Galera is with 4781m the highest station on the route from Lima to Huancayo and at the next stop on the Carretera Interoceanica above the Laguna Lagunillas at 4444m there was a longer break. Toilets and sales stands completed the grandiose view of the Laguna Lagunillas.the continuation of the journey to Lampa led us by the 220,000 inhabitants counting and on 3825m height situated city Juliaca – Incredible – a city which apparently only consists of half-finished buildings, side streets which shone by dirt and puddles. Remarkably many SUVs testify nevertheless of some prosperity. Apparently many inhabitants live from smuggling. Well, the border to Bolivia is not far away. The illegal mining in gold mines probably also contributes to the prosperity. 3/4 goes to the mine owner, 1/4 to the miners. Soon we reached Lampa, walking to the Iglesia De La Inmaculada Concepcion Lampa included. After the church visit among other things two replicas of the Pietà of Michelangelo were to be seen, we descended into the catacombs. There, we could gaze at countless bones and skulls.
After one kilometre on foot we reached the bus. Again we drove through the dirty city of Juliaca to Puno to our hotel Hacienda Plaza De Armas. After checking in, the whole group with one exception had dinner at the Mojsa Restaurant. The food tasted delicious. The restaurant was a recommendation of the tour guide. Seats were reserved during the bus trip.
Around 21:30 p.m. it was over, you wouldn’t believe it: The bus and the tour guide drove the 320km back to Arequipa after we had checked in at the hotel. Late in the evening until the middle of the night 6-7 hours on this challenging route.
This is also Peru.
With us unthinkable. A bus driver is 18-20 hours with few interruptions.
From Puno to Urubamba – La Raya Pass
From Puno to Urubamba – La Raya Pass – On the way by bus
At 7 o’clock we left in front of the hotel. Today we will drive 420 km from Puno to Urambamba. The valley of the same name is the sacred valley of the Inca. This time even 2 drivers are on board of our bus.
Again it went through the strange place Juliaca. The route leads us further through the plateau of the Andes. We are at about 4000m altitude. Our bus driver chews coca leaves. Well, somehow you have to keep fit for the long distance at this altitude – that’s Peru, too.
We stopped at the Abra La Raya Pass at 4335m.
Here we met two cyclists from Canada! The couple started in Canada and has Chile as their destination. Just the kicking up to 4000m is an achievement and then also the huge distance from North to South America – Incredible!
Next stop at the Raqchi Temple. The bus parked near the Iglesia de Raqchi.
After visiting the site, we had lunch with a Peruvian family near Cusipata. The food tasted delicious. Afterwards we were allowed to watch a ceramic demonstration of the “Hauscheffin”.
Then we went on to the Iglesia de Andahuaylillas – impressive!
Sometime late in the evening we reached our hotel San Agustin Urubamba Spa. Urubamba is located about 40km northwest of Cusco. The city has the advantage that it belongs to the Estación Ollantaytambo
are only a few kilimeters. Here the train to Estación de Machu Picchu starts.
In the opposite supermarket we supplied ourselves with water. After a caipiranha and a local beer we went to bed early. Be there tomorrow, if not the highlight of the trip.
Urubamba – Machu Picchu
The mystery of Machu Picchu – From Urubamba to Machu Picchu
You had to get up early. At 6:40 the bus took us to Ollantaytambo. The access through the narrow streets into the city is a challenge for every bus driver. With enough time reserves we reached Estación Ollantaytambo.
Get on, take the reserved seats and punctually at 7:45 am the train, painted in beautiful blue, started from Peru Rail to the Estación de Machu Picchu in Aguas Calientes.
Unfortunately Ulrike could not come along due to an upset stomach. You fly halfway around the world. And then something like that! What a bummer! Arrival at 9:30 am. With a minibus we went on to Machu Picchu. The journey on the Carenterra Hiram Bingham, a bumpy serpentine road to the gate of Machu Picchu, took 30 minutes.
Machu Picchu – Prices
The trip with Peru Rail cost $100 there and back. The trip with the minibus cost 48$ bidirectionally. The entrance fee for the highlight Machu Picchu is 50$. In total, this is a cost of 198$ per person. With 3000 to 6000 visitors per day this is a respectable source of income for Peru.
Allegedly the income is used to support cultural projects in the north of Peru.
For Peruvian people there are special days. Travel and entrance fee at half price.
Machu Picchu – The Highlight
Finally at 10:30 we passed the gate to Machu Picchu.
Four hours time to visit and photograph the site. 2 1/2 hours guided and the tour guide through the plant. The remaining time was at our free disposal.
First we went steeply up. Circle 1 was announced. Some of the group had problems with breathing.
And then in wonderful sunshine:
What a great view to the ruins of Machu Picchu – Incredible!
The two photographers Ulli and Hans had to be introduced to the group again and again. Twice there was an extra session for the two.
After 3 hours we reached the exit. After a short toilet break we went through the gate again. Now we photographed ourselves through Circle 2.
Just in time back we stood at the end of a 300m long queue for the departure with one of the minibuses.
After 20min it was our turn.
20 min later we were already back in the valley. On the way we saw Monika, who dared the way into the valley on foot, on foot it takes about 1 hour to the station. After a short round through the city – look and feel like a Swiss ski resort – for real! – n the market we walked towards the train station.
The departure of the train was scheduled for 16:20. At 15:45 we wanted to meet at the station. Since the tour guide and a part of the group was not there on time, we asked the service staff of the railway to print out our train tickets. We only had to show our passport.
Oops and suddenly there it was, the tour guide. Not very amused about our ticket printout action-
Get on board, take your seats and on time we set off for Ollantaytambo.
On the way we had a stay of 1 hour. What had happened. The train in front of us had a technical breakdown. Since the line is single track, the following trains had no other choice than to wait until the breakdown was fixed. We were still lucky: There were breakdowns, so the following trains and passengers had to wait until the next morning to continue. Well, at least there are toilets in the trains.
Nice to know that not only the german railroad has problems –
At 19:00 o’clock we were finally at the destination station.
At 20:00 we reached our hotel.
We got mineral water and again in the supermarket.
Finally we could have dinner at the hotel including a local beer.
From Urubamba to Cusco
Urubamba, Ollantaytambo Salineras de Maras – Urubamba – Sacred Valley
Getting up early was the order of the day again. Departure was at 8 o’clock
We went to the Inca city of Ollantaytambo. After the city tour we visited the fortress – 1,5 hours time was allowed by the tour guide – actually much too short – but still the fortress was impressive.
In between a stop at El Dascanso. Coin toss game, what a challenge. Demonstration of the preparation of a fresh fruit juice in Peruvian style.
A short photo stop at the Via a Salineras with impressive landscape over mountains up to 5800m high.
The approach to the Salineras de Maras was a great challenge for the buses. Very narrow gravel road, steep abysses without safety devices. Phew. Visit of the Salinas – great view – once again under time pressure the journey continued for lunch.
At 13:30 lunch we reached Chinchero. A large converted living room served for us as a room to eat. On foot we went on to the TUPAY Andean Textile Center. In the textile workshop we were allowed to watch the weaving.
Afterwards we visited the Mercado Chinchero. Here many textiles were offered for sale. Even a trickot of the FC Bayern Munich could be purchased.
The onward journey to Cusco led us to a great entrance over Serpentien to Cusco. Wow!
At 16 o’clock we arrived at the Hotel Taypikala Cuzco. The road was too narrow for the bus that we had to transport our suitcases 200m uphill on foot. 16:30 we started our private city tour. After a detour via Park Parque Orellana Pumaqchup we reached the Plaza de Armas.Food was served at the Tunupa Restaurant – the seven of us sat in a row with a view of the Plaza de Armas.
At 8 pm we went back to the hotel. Fini.
Inca Center Cusco
Cusco, Cathedral, Mercado San Pedro – City tour Cusco – Open Air Museum
We got a good night’s sleep today. At 9 o’clock we started a city tour through Cusco.
First we visited the Convento de Santo Domingo. Inside there are remains of the most important Inke temple Coricancha.
Afterwards we visited the Iglesia De Santo Domingo which is located next door.
Further we went to the Cathedral of Cusco – Catedral del Cuzco or Catedral Basílica de la Virgen de la Asuncion.
Afterwards, it went alongside the Calle Marquez, Calle de Santa Clara to the Artesanias Cesar or also called Mercado San Pedro.
Great market. But there were many building pits. One of them was Wolfgang’s fate. He fell nevertheless smoothly into one of the pits. Half of the market helped him back on his feet. Fortunately he had only minor bruises. Around noon the tour ended at the Plaza de Armes.Monika and we went back to the Mercado San Pedro.
There we enjoyed a freshly squeezed juice. As ingredients we had banana, mango, orange and papaya. Tasted really delicious.
For 10 Sol (about 30 € 30c) we could enjoy two glasses freshly pressed. Sol, yes, that is the name of the currency of Peru. The iso-code is PEN (Peruian Nuevo Sol) and we went back to the Plaze de Armas via the Siete Cuartones.
We enjoyed our cappucino together with Monika and enjoyed the wonderful view out of the windows to the Plaza de Armes of the Bagdad Café.
We enjoyed the wonderful weather on a park bench of the main square. We marched on past the Templo De San Blas to the artists’ quarter of Cusco.
The next destination was the Mercado San Blas. A small market, but it was about to close.
Via the Pumapampa, Collacalle and the traffic junction Limacpampa we went on to the Estdio Universitario. The ticket office was occupied and some girls and boys were playing football on the grounds. Well, it was called a stadium.
After our visit to the stadium we went back to our hotel and met two Brazilians from Sao Paulo in the hotel lobby. They told us how big Brazil is and how insignificantly small Germany seems. When we mentioned the 7:1 – 2014, Belo Horizonte – it was over with their self-confidence. Oh pity, they only looked sad.
For dinner we were invited by the tour guide to a restaurant near the hotel. Noble and delicious!
At 8 pm the day ended.
Tomorrow we will continue to Iguazu, Brazil.
Always worth a trip. Grandiose breathtaking Andean highlands. Fascinating history of the Incas.
Lima an impressive steep coast at the Pacific, busy, pulsating. Well, nice to have been there
Arequipa shines through a beautiful Plaza de Armas with a cathedral and an impressive monastery.
Puno is characterized by its beautiful location at the Titicaca Lake.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake. The floating Uros Islands are fascinating.
Urubamba: Impressive was the trip over the plateau up to 4500m.
Machu Picchu makes you speechless. Eventful trip to Machu Picchu. Insane the situation.
Cusco: Great is already the serpentine drive to Cusco. Very beautiful is the Plaza de Armas and the old town. A cathedral which looks for his equals.