After nearly two years of staying close to home, our travelers are once again exploring amazing places during our trips. Recently, one of our staff joined our Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu adventure and came back with wonderful photos and stories about Peru’s varied landscapes and fascinating history.
I have always been drawn to the mystery and beauty of Peru and decided it was time to explore the Sacred Valley on WT’s Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu adventure.
My journey was led by our longtime WT guide Peter Boehm, the unofficial Mayor of the Sacred Valley. The charming people, incredible food, and formidable history of Peru shone through in this itinerary and completely surpassed my expectations.
I arrived in Cusco early to allow enough time to acclimate to the altitude, try a few pisco sours, and explore the streets that were once the heart of the Inca Empire. Our first awe-inspiring visit was Saqsayhuaman, the Inca fortress overlooking Cusco. The following day we made our way into the Sacred Valley and studied the incredible stonework and engineering of Pisac.
As we moved through the valley, we visited the mysterious terraces of Moray, ancient salt mines of Maras, and the charming village of Chinchero, known for its production of superb textiles and an impressive colonial church built upon Inca ruins.
We spent an early and quiet morning at the Ollyantaytambo ruins and terraces before exploring the village’s cobblestone streets and adobe buildings. From Ollyantaytambo a scenic train ride brought us to Aguas Calientes just below the place I’ve always dreamed of…
We spent two days exploring the Machu Picchu ruins and soaking in the beautiful landscape surrounding the ruins. We were fortunate to experience an array of weather: sunny warm mornings turned into cool afternoons with light rains, which gave way to rainbows and spectacular clouds. The highlight of my visit was climbing Huayna Picchu and the extraordinary views of the citadel from the top.
After returning to Cusco, I extended my journey and took a long scenic drive across Peru’s famed Altiplano to Puno, where I extended my journey at the Titlaka Lodge located on the shores of stunning Lake Titicaca.
A few days of kayaking, visiting the Uros “floating” islands, and taking in the breathtaking sunsets from the lodge was a perfect end to my Peru adventure.
—Text and photos by Denise Santos, Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu.