The Inka trail trek is not the easiest way to get to Machu Picchu, but it’s definitely the most rewarding. Our 45 km journey took four long days of hiking through the Andes and included many breath-taking and unforgettable moments.
Day 1: We were picked up from our hostel at 6:30 am. After a 90 minute bus ride we scarfed down breakfast in Ollantaytambo, the closest town to kilometer 82. We met our trekking partner there; Kristina who hails from Holland. The journey began at km 82 around 9:30 am.
We spent a few days in Cusco before and after our Inca trail trek to Machu Picchu. I can’t say we got to really know it, but at least we got a little flavor of this cute little town in the Andes. The first night there, despite a bit of altitude sickness (Cusco sits at 11,200 feet), we went to Plaza las Armas to try some local food.
We walked along narrow cobblestone streets,stopping at many of the art galleries and artisan shops. There were also many food options. After much deliberation we decided to stop at a restaurant where a group of locals were eating. As we predicted, the food was very good and we were surprised by a trio of musicians playing typical Andes songs. It reminded us of the banda musicians at some Mexican restaurants and, although I hate to admit it, the Andes music was much more pleasurable while eating dinner. Anyway, it was a great first impression! Keep reading!
Galapagos: an isolated archipelago formed by volcanoes millions of years ago where only 3% of all the islands are inhabited by humans and animals are as curious about you as you are about them. We had the pleasure of spending 11 days at this enchanted place and are already discussing when to go back. Keep reading!
Quito has many things to offer aside from its interesting location on the equator and its altitude as one of the highest cities on earth. This beautiful city is nestled between mountains and volcanoes. A gigantic statue of a virgin divides the old (north) and new (south) parts of town. We spent most of our time in the old Quito, known for its colonial buildings and churches. We stayed here a few days before our flight to Galapagos. Adam took advantage of the great internet connection during the day and I went adventuring on the busy streets of town. Here are some pictures of the places we visited:
La Ronda, a bohemian street with art galleries, entertainment, restaurants and small corner stores selling traditional items, food, and drinks. One of my favorite drinks was the “Canelazo” made from naranjilla (a sweet fruit), cinnamon and liquor de cana… delicious! Especially on a chilly night.
El teleferico, a gondola ride with amazing views to all of the surrounding volcanoes (that I couldn’t see because Keep reading!