Here is a collection of my favorite pictures from my trip to South America.
I loved Peru. Not only was it a visually stunning place, but the people I came across were genuinely nice and eager to help.
I thought I would share with you some of the specifics of my trip in case you should want to go yourself.
We flew into Lima, then stayed a night at the Backpackers Family House. This hostel is situated in a great neighborhood called Miraflores and is very close to the water.
The receptionist told us to take it easy and not eat anything that would upset out stomach, so we went to a restaurant called Victor Victoria for some soup and pasta.
We didn’t climb either of the mountains in Machu Picchu, but we did go to the Sun Gate and the ruins which all together took 2 hours.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, because I know I had to ask around a lot on how to do Machu Picchu. I am completely satisfied with my trip, but I really hope I could visit the wonderful country of Peru again in the future.
Up next, Bogota.
We walked the empty streets of Aguas Calientes to the bus that would take us to Machu Picchu. The ride up was unnerving. With every sharp turn I thought of how the bus could fall down the mountain or crash into another bus making its way down. Of course we made it to the entrance safely.
The climb was actually a lot easier than I thought. With all the horror stories I got before my trip, I was prepared for anything. Since it was early in the day, we decided to walk up to the sun gate to watch the sun rise. It was hard to make it in time, since with each step I noticed something picturesque.
I had to pinch myself a few times to convince myself I was there. All your life you look at pictures in books of faraway places that you wish you can visit, that when you are actually there, you feel like you are in a fairytale.
We made our way to the Poroy station. The train was a lot fancier than I expected. Although my toes were frozen, it was a was a pleasant ride as we made our descent into the Sacred Valley.
We arrived in Aguas Calientes too early to check into our hostel, so we decided to look around town.
The streets were crowded with tourists. This was the first time since I arrived in South America that I came across so many Americans.
Every restaurant and shop was a tourist trap, with people trying to get you to buy their overpriced goods.
We decided to spend most of our time at our hostel’s bar, which had the cheapest prices in town as well as a great view. We drank Pisco Sours and beers until we sung along with the bar’s stereo system.
At first the bar was empty except for us and the bartender. At 6:00, a football game came on, and the bar was full of locals. Together we laughed and screamed at the television as Chile and Uruguay fought it out on the pitch.
At one point, a man came to give one of the workers at the hostel a cake along with several plates. He asked us if we wanted a piece and we accepted. It was a warm banana chocolate cake that melted in my mouth. It warmed me up as the night grew colder.
Although Aguas Calientes isn’t my favorite place in Peru because of its dependence on tourism, the locals made it feel like a home away from home.
We were surrounded by mountains. It was as if the wing of the plane would graze the them, but we landed safely and tried to hail a cab.
I hailed one taxi, and upon telling him where I wanted to go he said, “No, no puedo ir arriba!” At this, I was confused. What do you mean you can’t go up?
I quickly learned. It was Inti Raymi, also known as the sun festival, and the streets were flooded with people and music. The second taxi we hailed dropped us off as close as he could get, and we went the rest of the way on foot.
I also quickly learned that Cusco is comprised of rich history and stairs. We climbed up the cobblestone pathways, quickly running out of breath. By the time we got to our hostel, I was unable to tell the receptionist that we wanted to check in, preoccupied with trying to fill my lungs.
Our hostel was amazing. From the rooftop we could see for miles. People, houses, mountains and monuments, everything was magnificent, saturated with the setting sun.
I quickly fell in love with Cusco. It may have just been perfect timing, but the food, the music, and the dancing just added to it’s natural beauty.
l awoke at 6:30 to the sounds of birds singing and my stomach rumbling. We didn’t eat dinner the night before since out taxi got lost, leaving us at our hostel at 11:00pm.
We checked in, left our things at our room, and walked to the water. There is an indescribable feeling I get when staring into the dark abyss where the ocean meets the sky. As if melancholy and fear meet on the horizon. Oddly enough I love this feeling. Staring into the unknown while knowing you are safe at shore.
The next morning we walked along the coast and got breakfast in Miraflores. A place called Haiti, which had a large menu to choose from. I had the “Desayuno Espanola” which was a delicious frittata with onions and chorizo. I washed it down with cafe con leche which revived me with every sip.
We then headed to the airport to catch our plane to Cusco. Lima has left a good impression on me. I wish I could have spent more time exploring its streets, but more adventures await me at Machu Picchu.