!Hola amigos! Here are some highlights from our trip to Peru.
We began in Miraflores, a district in Lima, Peru's capital. It is a modern, clean, safe, developed coastline hub with great restaurants, views, paragliding, and surf.
We then flew to Cuzco, a city built on mountains 10,000ft above sea level! (hint: if traveling there, please take Diamox to prevent altitude sickness). This city has a cool mix of Inca, colonial, and contemporary culture.
While in Cuzco, we experienced Inti Raymi, the colorful, spiritual, annual Inca sun god festival. Cuzco, being the capital of the Inca empire, has people extremely prideful of their heritage, as you can see in their celebration!
On our way to Machu Picchu, we stopped in Ollantaytambo, a cute, small, cobblestone town where everything is walking distance. Danny and I visited the ruins here. Historically, it is significant because it was the only place where the Incas won a battle over the Spaniards.
After an early morning train ride, we arrived at Machu Picchu and it was breathtaking! No one knows for sure why this town was built on these mountain peaks. Most researchers agree that it might have been a retreat for the wealthy, royalty, scholars and important religious figures. For more pictures inside Machu Picchu, check out the side panel.
As Danny points out below, Wayna Picchu is the highest peak on Machu Picchu. Somehow, the Incas built stone structures on top of this hill. Hiking up the steep, narrow staircase that the Incas laid out, we were out of breath and impatiently asked people who were on their way down, "Are we there yet?" But once we got to the top, the view was incredible and the hike was well worth it!
Back in Lima, we visited Pachacamac, PRE-Inca ruins. When visiting this site, one can see what influenced the Inca stone structures. However, Pachacamac only had stone foundations. The rest of the structures were constructed with adobe- mud bricks, and therefore, the ruins are in poor conditions today. However, here are pictures of the best kept adobe ruins.
During our stay in Peru, something tragic occurred back in the states... Michael Jackson passed away. As a tribute to MJ, Danny filmed me moonwalking around the Plaza de Armas in Downtown Lima. Don't focus too much on my awesome moonwalking skills; check out the old colonial buildings that still exist in this city.
Thanks for reading about our trip!