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The Best Active Holidays Routes in Peru

Peru is a perfect travel choice for those of you loving active holidays and looking for a grain of adventure in their trip. The country has some of the most attractive trekking routes in the world and it offers the most amazing and exciting activities in South America. From the classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to the most off the beaten trekking paths in the central Peruvian highlands, such as Huaraz area, from the exciting zipline experience to the highest dining experience ever in Lima with “Dinner in the Sky”. Here a list of activities you should definitely consider if you are an adventurous trip lover.

  • Inca Trail: this is the classic trekking experience in Peru that trekking passionates cannot miss. It is quite prosaic saying that the route is amazing and you will enjoy beautiful view of the Sacred Valley with the Andes chain at the background and the magnificence of the Inca ruins all around. That’s an amazing experience that will take you directly to the Machu Picchu ciutadel. We suggest you to book well in advance your permit to do the Inca trail, since this is the most requested activity for Peru trip. We have already talked about the Inca trail and other hiking routes you could consider doing instead of the inca trail in this article (http://www.magicalcuzcotours.com/blog/3-spots-you-should-not-miss-if-you-love-hiking/), so have  a look at it!

  • Ausangate Trek: this is a one-day trek experience that will take you to the Rainbow Mountain, considered nowadays one of the most popular attractions in Peru. You can hike the route by yourself or you can rent a horse to make the experience a bit lighter. This is up to you and your physical state. Once you reach the famous rainbow moutnain you will enjoy an amazing and not-ordinary colourful landscape. Do not forget your camara!

  • Zip Line and Via Ferrata: This is an exciting activity that you can do in the Sacred Valley. There are several zip lines (they are seven interconnected ziplines), also ideal for people without any previous experience. Via Ferrata is a type of steel ladder and cable system that runs along the Sacred Valley mountains, it has installed a special security system that make it ideal for people with no climbing experience as well. This experience will be absolutely adrenaly pumping for you.

  • Rafting in the Urubamba River: This is another activity you can be engaged in the Sacred Valley. It is very fun to do as family activity or group activity with your friends for instance. You will raft the rapids of class 2 and 3 of the Urubamba river. During the activity you will have the chance to enjoy beautiful panoramic landscapes on the river shores and you will get to know Peruvian flora as well, enjoying flowers species and plants. There are several companies that will rent you all the necessary equipment for this rafting adventure and there will be a tour guide with you the all time, get ready for an exciting experience in Peru!

  • ATV Quad Bike tour in Maras and Moray: you will have the chance to visit Maras and Moray by quad bike, which can be authomatic or semi-authomatic; there is no need to have previous riding experience. During the tour you will have the chance to visit the archeological site of Moray, the Salt Mines and Moray village. This will be the adventure you will never forget!

  • Dinner in the Sky: if you are a food lover and you love to experience foreign food and combine it with adventure and action this is the right experience for you. You will have the chance to enjoy a delicious meal up in the air, up to 45 meters. It is a new experience, arrived in Peru thanks to the Belgium franchise “Dinner in Heaven”at the beginning of 2019, but already popular in more than 70 countries in the world. They have a capacity to serve 22 people and the structure is located nearby Lima, in Lurín. You will enjoy a main course, a dessert and wine. This is definitely a unique dining experience you cannot miss while in Peru.

These are only few of the best adventurous experiences you can live during your Peru trip! Stay tuned for more travel tips and active holidays recommendations.

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Top Places for Amazing Travel Photos in Peru

Are you that kind of traveller, eager to take stunning photos and have them to cherish everlasting memories of his/her trip or to share them in social media or travel blogs? Are you in a costant pursuit of incredible travel photos? This is the right blog article for you. We tried to select the most amazing places in Peru to take the best and the most suggestive travel shots ever!Credits: chrisactive.pl

We didn’t have a hard time selecting these places though, considering that Peru has many amazing views to offer and a wide variety of landscapes, we refer to high mountain picks, the highest lake in the world, paradisiac beaches, amazing trekking routes, beautiful lagoons, charming jungle bridges and even desert. So, if you are into travel photos, Peru is definitely a place you must note down on your travel list right now!

  • Lagoon 69 in Huaraz: This place is simply amazing! Here the celestial lagoon with its intense blue waters meets the clear sky, typical of the Peruvian “sierra”. The Lagoon 69 is located in the Huascarán National Park, in Huraz province, north-east of Lima. It is a 9-hour bus ride from the capital city; if you prefer, you can also fly to Huaraz from Lima. We believe that this is one of the most beautiful lagoon in the world and the trek to reach it is simply amazing, yuo will bump into amazing landscapes, and see beautiful flowers and plants while you walk along the path. You can find more information on this trek here: http://www.magicalcuzcotours.com/blog/huaraz-a-charming-destination-in-the-heart-of-peru/

  • Uros floating islands: this is an archipelago of the Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Here you will enjoy the blue waters of the lake, crossing the path with the clear sky, learn about Uros indigenous community, their lifestyle, and their activities, such as crafting, cooking, fishing, etc. This is a remarkable experience for travellers who have the chance to meet local people and jump on one of these amazing islands for a bit. The islands are made of “totora” reeds, which grow in the lake. The sun light is amazing on the Titicaca Lake and it will definitely help taking great shots of the lake itself and local people in their daily routine.

  • “La Catedral” in Paracas National Reserve: this is another amazing spot to get great travel pics, where you’ll find a geomorphological attraction in an arch shape, unfortunately partially destroyed during the earthquake which hit Peru in 2007. It is a place to stop and relax during your visit to Paracas National Reserve where you can enjoy all the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and its coast and the relaxing sound of the waves crashing on the shores. The high cliff is extremely fascinating and with the sunlight the color of the sky will reflect on the ocean creating an amazing effect.

  • Rainbow Mountain: this spot became extremely famous and known in the past 5 years, when travellers began to get interested in this amazing mountain, also know as 7-colors mountain. Today it is one of the most beaten path in Peru. The mountain, with its height of 5,200 above sea level, is completely covered by brilliant and colourful sands. This colourful effect comes from the minerals and the rocks which cover the surface of the mountain. Since the hike to reach the pick of the mountain is quite intense, especially if it rains, you can do it by renting horses if you prefer. However, once you get there your effort will be highly rewarded.

Credits: Atlantida.travel 

Credits: Travelholic 

Credits: blog.redbus.pe 

  • Amazon River: one of the most fashinating spot in Peru, where you will be merged into amazing wildlife and hear the sound of the nature. When you arrive to the Peruvian rainforest you have to get to the lodge you selected, and you usually have to take a rustic and traditional boat, called by locals “lancha”, for a river ride which could be short or long depending on the location of your accommodation. During the ride you will connect with the sound of the river and the amazing wildlife of the jungle, which will transfer you in a peaceful atmosphere. If you happen to arrive at your destination around sunset you are pretty lucky and can enjoy beautiful views of the river and the jungle’s flora. That’s the perfect time to get amazing shots.

Actually these are only few of the amazing places you can find in Peru, so grab your camera and best photo equipment, book your trip and come to Peru to get incredible travel photos.

Cusco Peru Destinations Travel Tips

New Regulations For Visiting Machu Picchu

I often receive so many emails regarding the new rules to enter Machu Picchu citadel and the different types of entry tickets available; a big change has been made by the Peru’s Ministry of Culture throughout the Ministerial Resolution No. 070-2007-MC since April 2017. The new resolution entered into force in July 2017 and from that moment a bit of confusion arises from this change for Machu Picchu visitors. Here I try to summarize the main new rules for visitors and the entry tickets available in the clearest way possible.

Machu Picchu entry tickets

Before this new law, Machu Picchu received a maximum of 2,500 visitors per day, but in reality the number of visitors each day was much higher considering the different ticket combinations sold to tourists. To overcome this problem and to preserve the integrity of this charming archeological site, it was necessary to implement this new rules. So as of July 2017, there are two entrance times available for visiting Machu Picchu:

1. From 6:00 am to 12:00 pm
2. From 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm

So passengers need to take in account that they have four hours to visit the citadel from the moment of the entrance. For instance if you enter Machu Picchu at 10:00 am you can stay until 2:00 pm, no more than this. Also consider that for the second slot the entrance is allowed until 4:00 pm, after this time you cannot enter the site anymore and you basically loose your entry ticket. The maximum amount of people allowed during the first slot is 1,200 and during the second slot is 1300, for a total amount of 2,500 people per day.

What should you consider when choosing your entrance time to the citadel? Here some factors you should definitely take in account that can influence your decision:

  • Your train’s arrival time to Aguas Calientes.
  • The waiting time to get on the bus to Machu Picchu. Have in mind that you could stay in line for an average time of one hour-one hour and half depending on the season. During high season you most likely will wait 1 hour and half.
  • The bus ride to Machu Pichu, which lasts about half an hour.

As for the bus to the citadel, the first one leaves at 5:30 am, and there’s a bus every 30 minutes leaving from Aguas Calientes. If you want to see the dawn from the citadel, take in mind that people get to the bus stop at 3:00 am to take the 5:30 am bus, so you should be there very early to do your queue.

Another question I usually receive is: “Is it mandatory to visit Machu Picchu with a tour guide?” Yes, it is mandatory for Peruvians and foreigners. There’s also the possibility to get a two-day ticket to the citadel, in this case it is mandatory to visit the site with a guide only for the first day. The second day you can visit Machu Picchu on your own. A guide can be assigned to a group of macxmum 16 people, for instance if you are 20 people you have to opt for two different tour guides. Tous guides offer two different services:

1. Half-day tour, which includes 2 hours or 2 hours and half guided tour.
2. Full-day Tour, which includes 4 horus or 4 hours and half guided tour.

Huaynapicchu Entry Tickets

Also in ths case there are two time slots to visit Huaynapicchu:

1. From 7:00 am to 8:00 am: you are allow to climb the peak of Huaynapicchu, visit the “Gran Caverna”, most commonly known as the Temple of the Moon (Templo de la Luna in Spanish) and enjoy a visit to Machu Picchu citadel. The hike lasts approximately 3 hours, but if you are a pro hiker you can do it more quickly. If you want to visit the Temple of the Moon, consider an extra hour for your visit. Once you hike the Huaynapicchu you have 3 hours available to visit the citadel. This Huaynapicchu entry ticket will allow you to stay in the archeological site for 7 hours in total.

2. From 10:00 am to 11:00 am: this ticket does not allow you to visit the Temple of the Moon, but after the hike you can visit the citadel as well. This Huaynapicchu entry ticket will allow you to stay in the site for a total of 6 hours.

The maximum amount of people for each time entrance is 200, for a total amount of 400 people per day.

Machu Picchu Montaña Entry Tickets

Also in this case there are two time slots:

1. From 7:00 am to 8:00 am
2. From 9:00 am to 10:00 am

This hike is a bit longer than the Huaynapicchu one, you have a total of 5 hours available to finalize it. Just consider that to get there you need approximately 2 hours and then you should consider the same time to get at the bottom of the mountain. This way you have almost one hour to stay on the top of the mountain and enjoy the wonderful view. After this visit you have 3 hours to explore the Machu Picchu citadel, so in total you have 8 hours available. The maximum amount of people for each time entrance is of 400, for a total amount of 800 people per day.

Intipunku Entry Tickets

You can visit the Intipunku, also known as the Sun Gate (Puerta del Sol in Spanish), buying any of the above mentioned  entry tickets (Machu Picchu, Huaynapicchu, Machu Picchu Montaña). The hike lasts aproximately 2 hours-2 hours and half. If you buy the general Machu Picchu Entry Ticket consider that you will have only two hours to visit the citadel after the visit to the Intipunku since you can just stay on the site a total of 4 hours, as I mentioned before. We usually recommend to buy the Huaynapicchu or Machu Picchu Montaña Entry Ticket if you want to visit the Intipunku and after that you have about 3 hours to explore the citadel.

I hope that everything is clear now and that this information can help you choose your entry ticket option for visiting the Machu Picchu citadel and help you understand the new regulations.

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Top Sights in the Sacred Valley

Many tourists coming to Peru are definitely more interested in Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu and the majority of the time they skip a visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In my opinion that’s a BIG BIG BIG mistake, since this place is magic, here you can find a very special energy that you are not able to find in any other place in Peru. I believe the name “Sacred Valley” can better define what I actually mean. This is a spiritual place where you can definitely recharge your battery after the tiring excursion to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Here a list of places you should not miss once in the area:

Pisac Ruins: The small town of Pisac is located 32 Kilometers (20 Miles) from Cusco. On the top of the modern town there are the ancient ruins, which consist of a vast amount of agricultural terracing and a small Inca village. Made up of groups of terraces, the outline of the site forms the shape of a giant condor. In ancient times the condor was considered to be the messenger of the sun, and the one who was in charge of carrying the spirits of the dead onto the world beyond. For this reason Pisac was also considered to be a place of great spiritual worship.

Pisac Market: Peru’s most famous crafts market takes place in Pisac on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday. This ancient Inca village is nestled in the shadow of an imposing Inca fortress and temple and it is famous for its beautiful and colorful market where tourists can shop for traditional handicrafts and every kind of handmade Peruvian products.

Awanakancha: AwanaKancha provides an opportunity to see products made from South America’s four camelids (alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanaco) from the first steps of the production process to its end: the animal, the shearing, the textile weaving and dyeing, and the finished products, which you can purchase in the showroom. It makes a great stop for the whole family, as kids usually have lots of fun feeding the camelids on-site.

Ollantaytambo Temple: Second in importance only to Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo includes some of the Inca’s best stonework, including a series of ceremonial baths, elegant trapezoidal doorways, and a sun temple that faces the rising sun.

Maras: It was home to the descendents of the Incas of the Hurin Cusco Clan. In Colonial times, it was the first salt producing center of the central – Sierra. This picturesque town is located 53 km northwest of Cusco (1hour drive) by a paved road. The town has a large church and several colonial houses with code-of-arms of noble families on their facades. Close to Maras, at the Peasant community of Pichingoto, there are salt mines, known locally as “salineras”. Landscape is awesome in this area.

Moray: Located 9 km west of the town of Maras, along an unpaved road, his archeological site is perhaps one of the most mysterious of the pre-Hispanic Cusco area. The site consists of a large irrigation system and a series of concentric agricultural terraces, constructed by means of stone retaining walls. The location is believed to have been an enormous agricultural laboratory in which the Incas purposefully created several microclimates in which they grew a variety of crops.

Chincheros: Known to the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, this typical Andean village combines Inca ruins with a colonial church, some wonderful mountain views and a colorful Sunday market. On a high plain with sweeping views to snow-laden peaks, it’s quite beautiful. Since it is very high, it’s unwise to spend the night until you’re somewhat acclimated.

So remember once in Peru do not forget to visit the Sacred Valley. If you have already traveled there and you have more suggestion feel free to add tips and recommendations in the comments.