Cusco and Machu Picchu – A Popular Tourist Destination
A trip to the Andes Mountains is a great way to experience one of the most stunning natural wonders on Earth, including one of South America’s most visited tourist destinations: Machu Picchu and Cusco. These are two destinations that are ideal to visit in a single trip, and the incredible experiences they provide make them a popular choice for many travelers.
The height of the Inca’s Empire reaches up to 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level; whereas Machu Picchu’s height is 2,420 meters (7,900 feet) above sea level – almost a considerable difference of more than 1000 meters (3,281 feet)! Because it’s in the high mountains, you may imagine that Machu Picchu is higher up than Cusco, yet this isn’t correct. Machu Picchu, which means “great temple” in Spanish, is actually higher at its base than at its summit. At its base it is only about two thousand metres (nine miles) higher than Cusco’s top. Machu Picchu is actually about three thousand metres (nearly seven miles) higher than it’s nearest rival, the Inca citadel of Tiwanaku.
When you arrive in Peru, your first stop should be to visit Machu Picchu. You’ll probably want to start by visiting Machu Piccha itself, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t take the time to explore the ancient ruins of this fascinating site as well. This area is well-known for its amazing natural beauty, which includes lush rainforests, beautiful blue lakes and lush green meadows dotted with ancient stone pyramids. It also offers an impressive array of hiking trails, from easy walking tracks to strenuous hikes that cover long distances and offer breathtaking views of the landscape below. The trek to the base of Machu Piccha itself will take about four days, but the trail down to the Lake Tupungato ruins is a much shorter distance affair.
You can get to Machu Picchu by train, but if you prefer to drive you should take a tour of Cusco in your vehicle. Your guide will show you where you should be going and how you should reach your destination, although you can also choose to hike along your own trail to save money.
Your next stop should be the Machu Piccha ruins themselves. These sites contain enormous ruins and several ancient temples, including an impressive, round-topped stone structure that was originally constructed for the Sun God, in ancient times. Today, it serves as the main entrance to the Sacred Valley and the Inca’s main ceremonial center.
Once you’re inside the Sacred Valley, you can hike down to Cusco and enjoy some of Machu Picchu’s best view points. The valley floor is covered with volcanic rock, with many beautiful waterfalls and gorges carved into the face of these rocks, and you’ll be able to see a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and valleys as well. In addition to being a great place to enjoy the view, you’ll also find plenty of hiking trails and other attractions such as caves, rivers, and waterfalls in this area. Cuzco is close enough to the jungle areas of Cusco to be very popular, and there are plenty of opportunities for snorkeling or scuba diving as well.
After visiting the Sun God’s temple and ruins, you will then want to visit the world’s second most important volcano, Puerco de Alajuela. The summit of this volcano rises over 9500 feet into the sky, making it one of the highest volcanoes in South America. Puerco de Alajuela is an active volcano, and is the largest active volcano in all of South America, and is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Puerco de Alajuela is also the home of a rich cultural history for the Inca peoples, including many archaeological discoveries dating back centuries. to the 15th century.
Cusco and Machu Picchu are the perfect destination for hiking tours in South America. For the most part, these tours are fairly easy to organize and will provide a unique experience for the whole family. You will get to explore both temples and their ruins while enjoying your tour and making sure to take the time to see as many local wildlife and scenery as possible.