Introduction

Introduction

This album covers a journey in the Sacred Valley, Peru, made in April 2014. Crossing from Bolivia on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the journey started in Puno, then continued to Cusco. After a short by high trek along one of the Lares Trails the trip finished in the Machu Picchu world heritage site.

Juliaca Market

The Andean Explorer train from Puno to Cusco passes through Juliaca where there is a long market held in the street and on the track itself. The twenty minutes it takes to roll through the market provides a remarkable view of the varied and extensive market.

Lares Trek

The Lares Trek is an excellent alternative to the Inca Trail, for those who seek an enthralling insight into Andean life further off the beaten track, as well as sensational views of the mountains and surrounding valleys. It is worth noting that there are several variants around the Lares Valley area, this route is higher and harder than the better known Inca Trail. Unlike the busy popular routes this trail was empty, we saw no other trekkers in the 4 days trekking.

The Lares Valley lies to the east of the Urubamba range, traversing part of the Sacred Valley.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a well known 15th-century Inca site located at 2,430m in the Cusco Region of Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley, which is 80 km northwest of Cusco. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438?1472). Often referred to as the "City of the Incas", it is perhaps the most familiar icon of Inca civilization.

The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it as an official site for the Inca rulers a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed; by 1976, 30% of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues.

Since the site was not known to the Spanish during their conquest, it is highly significant as a relatively intact cultural site. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.