Backpackers through Cusco, Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu
10 February 2014
What starts as a difficult adventure in many ways, ends up as one of the best experiences of a lifetime, to mark you for the whole story, for the same virtual magazine La Vanguardia article takes as mochliear through Inca terren. The visitor who lands in Peru with a visit to Machu Picchu on its roadmap will be touring the bustling Cusco planning how to reach the citadel Machu Picchu located in town, also known as Aguas Calientes. Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire, is the starting point chosen by most visitors before admission to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. There they can easily find numerous possibilities to reach Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the world.
One of the most comfortable and fastest but also the most expensive option is to enjoy a train ride. The Peru Rail connects Poroy station in Cusco to Aguas Calientes in a delicious four-hour journey through the bowels of the Sacred Valley. For those more adventurous highlights Inca Trail, one of the world's most adventurous challenges. This hike, which is closed in February for maintenance as usual, is in high demand among visitors who enjoy a good physical condition. We also have to plan to detail the journey because it has limited capacity compelling the book well in advance. From kilometer 82, Inca Trail, offers four days and three nights on the way while there is also the possibility to start the route at kilometer 104 slowing to two days and one night before coming face to face with the remains of Machu Picchu to 2508 meters of altitude.
The alternative route
However, for those who can not afford the luxury of traveling in Peru Rail or not have a reservation for the Inca Trail, there is an alternative route that can be extended up to three days before arriving to Aguas Calientes. One way that companies have begun to travel cusqueñas take advantage but that can be performed independently and is recommended for visitors on a budget.
The starting point of this route is the bus station in Cusco to Santiago . Open from early wake up with the city and quickly becomes a hotbed of ticket sales , drinks and some food to cope with a journey that is expected long . Ben- Hur , South Forest and Ampay are the names of the various bus companies that make the journey to Santa Maria. The bus smells like corn, freshly baked bread or stuffed hot pepper . The old men chew coca , women come up with all kinds of packages and children are scared with every curve of the port of Abra Malaga. After the stop in Ollantaytambo, bus stands on a path caressed by fear. Zigzag , is a way to avoid the rainy season from December to April, the constant landslides. The descent , once the summit at 4.350m , extends sinuously between villages isolated by fog. Adrenaline is triggered and there who dare to make the downhill biking as part of the program offered by various travel agencies .
After five hours we reach Santa Maria while the bus continued to Quillabamba, his last stop. Depending on the time and desire, you can spend the night here or continue to Santa Teresa is being bet most travelers.
In a shared ride with other travelers Santa Teresa is reached in just under two hours. Once off the property comes time for rest. This small town has a natural spa just three miles from downtown. The hot springs are Cocalmayo reward a long travel day that started early. The site has various hot spring pools at different temperatures to become a therapeutic treatment before tackling the trek that awaits the next day.
Hand UrubambaSunrise in Santa Teresa and begins a new journey in this route to Machu Picchu. The next step is to Hydroelectric backpacking, home since 1955 of a hydroelectric plant from which the place takes its name. Here is a checkpoint that leads to the last part of the route. It is convenient to take a taxi in Santa Teresa although there are many who dare to walk the two hours on the dusty trail.
Hydropower is possible to take the train, if it is running, but Aguas Calientes to walk two and a half hours is not wasted. The traveler can stock up on provisions in the different stores that are available next to the train station. Pailas egg, avocado sandwiches, local sweets or a drink before entering the heart of the Cusco jungle. In a dead loss, the train tracks with the sound of the river Urubamba, Vilcanota called in this area, as escort during all times follow. The Urubamba leads the traveler to reach Aguas Calientes while peak Huayna Picchu is spying from its 2667 meters high. Green and lush mountains give shelter to the traveler who passes slowly signposts. Mile after mile crossing some local hello while other backpackers are already back.
If you are careful you can see, as an advance, the ruins of the Inca citadel Machu Picchu mountain crowning. For many go unnoticed and only consciousness is taken when the traveler contemplates the road traveled once inside the archaeological site.
After almost ten kilometers and are the first buildings that are part of the hotel offer in Aguas Calientes. Exhausted, have to go to sleep early because the reward of up to Machu Picchu begins before the day breaks.