I'm really thankful that I have my friends traveled with me. They have equally contributed to this trip and make the first journey to South America possible. Thanks to Amelia who helped make the grand plan and help booking the Machu Picchu and Colca Canyon Tour, thanks to Adrian who selected and booked accommodation in each city we visited, and Christine who arranged the tour in Cusco and Puno. I also had a chance to arrange itinerary for Lima, Arequipa, and our transit in Rio de Janeiro.
(This road trip took place on August 16th 2015)
Remember when I grumbled about the hop-on hop-off bus on my way from Puno to Chivay? There were wonderful landscape spread along the journey that we only had a chance to enjoy in just minutes. Well guess what? On our way from Chivay to Arequipa, we passed some part of the road we passed from Puno to Chivay, and even better, those are the road with most picturesque views ever. And we were still part of the private tour where we can hop-on and hop-off as we like !!! I was sooo excited knowing about this. When I thought the trip started winding down, I got so pumped up and happy all over again. Nothing excites me like beautiful landscape and spending hours soaking all of it while taking pictures.
(Note: this tour took place on August 15th 2015)
Colca Canyon is the second deepest Canyon in the world, with the depth as twice from the Grand Canyon. The first thing we did in the morning was Condor watching at the place named Cruz del Condor. In this place, we could see condors flying over the canyon and people gathered over there just to see flying Andean Condors. Usually, even before the condor starts to fly, people already huddled the lookout point. Even without the condor flying, the place is beautiful with the valley spread before us.
(note: This drive took place on August 14th 2015)
The drive from Puno to Chivay usually takes around 4 hours, but with the hop-on hop-off bus and all the scenic stoppages, it took 6 hours to arrive at Chivay. We stayed overnight at Chivay since the next day, we would explore Colca Canyon (Cañón Del Colca). The bus ticket, the full-day tour of Colca Canyon and the drive from Chivay to Arequipa the next day were arranged by Majestic Tour, the same agent that arranged our train and entrance to Machu Picchu.
Since it’s a packaged tour, they sub-contract our transfer from Puno to Chivay to a bus company namely 4M Express. At 6:30 in the morning a woman collected us and asked us to wait at a bus station while she collected another passenger in a nearby locations. After all passengers were collected, we were ready to depart to Chivay.
(Note: This amazing trip took place on August 13th 2015, PM)
How Lake Titicaca and Uros island easily become my most favorite place in Peru
When the first I saw pictures of Lake Titicaca and Uros Island in google, I was determined to visit the lake and made a mental note that Titicaca is one of my must-visit spot in Peru. And being there was actually surreal. I was happy to be in Machu Picchu. But somehow Uros island and Lake Titicaca could top that. So for me, the best spot in Peru that I have visited is definitely Uros Island in Lake Titicaca.
(note: the visit took place on August 13th 2015
I’m lucky to have my fellow travelers to travel with me. We split tasks on whom to do what (hotel, travel bookings, etc). My friend Christine got Puno’s itinerary and she got to manage what to do the day we were in Puno. She picked Inca Lake Tour Agency to arrange our adventure, and picked ½ day Sillustani tour, continued by ½ day Uros Island Tour.
(Note: the journey took place on August 11th 2015)
When you have limited time to travel, every hour is so precious. The day after we explored Machu Picchu, we continued to explore Cuzco and its surrounding.
Why Cuzco? It’s the next big city going south, the closest one to Machu Picchu, and after exploring MP and still suffering Jetlag, it feels right to stay calm and enjoying the City and its surrounding. My friend Christine picked half day Tour Maras and Moray, continued by exploring the city central and have some rests.
Before continue, it’s better noting that the following tips focus only if you go to Machu Picchu by bus from Aguas Calientes. There are ways to go there and even includes 4 days of inca trail trekking. I didn’t take that route as much as I felt challenged to do so and I know how memorable (and tiring) it would be.
There are a lot ways to enjoy Machu Picchu, we took the easiest way. There are things worth nothing to prepare yourself before visiting Machu Picchu:
(Note: This journey took place on August 10th 2015)
The effect of Jet Lag almost ruined the mood. I went to bed around 10 pm and woke up several time that night, before finally open my eyes around 4 am. The earliest bus from Aguas Calientes starts around 5:30 am and we need to get going before the queue gets too long.