Discovering the nations of South America, trip to Peru

    Discovering the nations of South America, trip to PeruA journey to discover the nations of South America, in one of the most spectacular destinations, Peru, to explore the ancient roads of the mysterious Inca kingdom

    Peru is one of nations of South America more fascinating and magical, shrouded in the mysterious mists that descend from the peaks of the Andes recalling the times of the lost Inca empire. In this guide we will discover a spectacular itinerary following the ancient roads of the Andean peoples to explore the traces of the Incas Cuzco up to the legendary Machu Picchu.

    - INCA they inhabited the Cuzco valley for almost 400 years, from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century, developing a great empire where an incredible network of roads connected the cities perched on the peaks of the Andes, under the absolute reign of the Qhapaq, the sovereign believed to be the incarnation of Sun god. The Inca empire rapidly collapsed under the pressure of the Spanish conquest of South America during the sixteenth century and although politically there are no traces of this great civilization left, the Quechua culture is still alive in the descendants who have lived in the Andes for centuries.

    The journey starts from Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and since 1536, center of the Spanish administration, one of the most visited cities by tourism in South America, where you can see an extraordinary mix between pre-Columbian and colonial architecture. Plaza de Armas is the heart of the old city and from here you can explore the oldest and most evocative part by walking along the winding alleys flanked by incredible Inca structures, with the large stone blocks aligned to the millimeter on each other.

    Among the destinations not to be missed in Cusco there are undoubtedly the Inca Museum, which preserves the nation's best treasures and archaeological remains, the spectacular Cathedral, a triumph of Renaissance and Baroque art, and the remains of the mighty Inca fortress of SacsayhuamĂĄn where the Inti Raimi ritual is renewed every year on the day of the summer solstice.

    The Way of the Incas begins from Cuzco, one of the most spectacular paths of all the nations of South America, which in a wonderful mountain setting, among the peaks of the Andes, leads to Machu Picchu. The first stage of the route is the so-called Sacred Valley, the heart of the Inca Empire, the most sacred and important place in the entire Andean region controlled at the moment of maximum splendor of this civilization.

    In the valley you can stop for a short break Urubamba, an interesting town on the banks of the river of the same name, where you can visit the archaeological site of Quispiguanca, one of the royal residences that once dotted the entire area. Urubamba is often ignored by travelers heading to Machu Picchu but among its streets you can breathe one of the most authentic atmospheres, where you can meet the direct descendants of the Incas, the Quechua people.

    The next stop on this journey of the nations of south america is the center of Ollantaytambo, which in the Quechua language means "the inn of Ollantay", one of the last fortresses where the survivors of the sack of Cuzco reorganized themselves to resist the Spanish who were quickly conquering the territories of the Empire. Today all that remains are the ancient terraces and the remains of the temple of the sun, once one of the major places of worship in the region, with the large granary where the crops were stored to face the winter.

    From Ollantaytambo the actual journey on the trail begins Way of the Incas and from the city it is very easy to find a local guide who can accompany travelers to their destination. The route does not require particular climbing skills and a basic physical preparation is sufficient to be able to tackle it, although it should not be taken lightly, since the very high altitude of the entire area can quickly tire you if you are not yet acclimated.

    Continuing along the path you come across some interesting archaeological sites that testify to the widespread presence of Inca settlements in the area: Llactapata, Huayllabamba and Yuncachimpa. In these locations, in addition to being present very suggestive Inca fortresses and buildings, it is possible to camp to regain strength, eat something and meet other travelers who are tackling the Inca trail.

    The path continues to climb up to the pass Warmiwanusca, the highest point of the entire route with its 4.200 meters of altitude, from where you can enjoy, when there is no fog, a magnificent view of the entire surrounding valley.

    The path continues to the ruins of Sayamarca, “the inaccessible city”, one of the oldest Inca urban centers in all of Peru, where you can admire the structures built with incredible architectural mastery that sit perched on a rock outcrop at over 3800 meters.

    The next destination is Winaywayna, a small center where you can find refreshment in a small inn that offers shelter to travelers on the Inca trail, near another impressive Inca archaeological site where cultivated terraces form the backbone of the urban center. From this location begins the last, arduous stretch of the path which first arrives at Inti Punku, the Gate of the Sun, and leads to the center of Machu Picchu.

    Machu Picchu is perhaps the most famous Inca site of the South American nations, if not of the internal world, which has become the symbol of Peru itself, with its unique structures and the magical and mysterious atmosphere that has enveloped it since its rediscovery in 1911. The terraces and the perfectly preserved structures of Machu Picchu are still a mystery to scholars who still today wonder about the origins and history of this incredible fortress city in the heart of the Andes.

    Once you arrive at Machu Picchu you will be enchanted by its beauty and the incomparable view you can enjoy over the Urubamba valley, but in order not to miss the best of the site you need to organize your view well between the Temple of the Sun, the Tres Portadas area and the majestic pyramid of Intihuatana.

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