Travel diary Peru: All about Cusco and walking the Inca Trail

Travel diary Peru

It’s finally time for my last destination in Peru: Cusco. I’ve had plenty of time to explore this beautiful city and the Sacred Valley before walking the Inca Trail.

Exploring in Cusco

When I arrived in Cusco, I immediately knew this would be my favorite city in Peru. The narrow streets, the beautiful buildings, the amazing Plaza de Armas and lots of colorful markets.

Inca Trail - Plaza de Armas Cusco

I was happy to feel so much better again and wanted to do a couple of hikes and climbs to prepare my body for the Inca Trail and get used to hiking at this altitude. My first climb was to Sacsayhuam├ín, a big ruin on a hill overlooking Cusco. It was a nice climb to start with, just two kilometers and it only took me about 35 minutes. It’s a huge complex and you have some beautiful views of the city.

Inca Trail - Sacsayhuaman 3

Inca Trail - Sacsayhuaman 2

Hiking in Pisac

I had no problems with the altitude, so I decided to go for a more difficult hike and took a collectivo bus to the small town of Pisac in the Sacred Valley. There are some famous Inca ruins in Pisac, which you can visit by hiking uphill for four kilometers. I was alone most of the time and loved every second of the hike: this is why I came to Peru! The views were spectacular.

Inca Trail - hike to Pisac

Inca Trail - hike to pisac 2

The big Rainbow Mountain failure

The next big hike I wanted to do before the Inca Trail was the strenuous one to the famous Rainbow Mountain. At an altitude of 5000 meters, this should’ve been the highest point I’d ever visited, but unfortunately, it was the worst day ever to visit the Rainbow Mountain. It was snowing when we drove up the mountain (which was really unsafe, it was a really dangerous road with big cliffs). And when we finally arrived at the trailhead, they decided to cancel the hike to Rainbow Mountain. We took some pictures in the snow before going back down.

Inca Trail - alpacas in the snow

Inca Trail - Rainbow Mountain

They forced us to take a different tour instead of taking us back to Cusco (which most of us wanted because the weather was so horrible). We had to wait in the bus for three hours before we could go back to Cusco again, it was so annoying! What a waste of this day…

The best hike ever: the Inca Trail

Finally, it was time for the Inca Trail, the one thing I booked a year ago because I wanted to do this so badly! We had an amazing group, with people from the United States, New Zealand, Sweden and Argentina. Also the guides and porters Alpaca Expeditions made it a great experience.

Inca Trail start

I was kind of nervous before we started, I thought it would be very difficult. But it was not as difficult as I expected and enjoyed every second of it. I will write a more detailed post about the Inca Trail at a later moment, but here are some pictures to give you an idea:

Inca Trail - cactussen

Inca Trail - ruin

Inca Trail - top dead womans pass

Inca Trail - going down

Inca Trail - camping

Inca Trail - Intipata

Inca Trail - Close to MP

The famous trail ends at Machu Picchu, which I will tell you all about in my next travel diary.

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Travel diary Inca trail

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