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Balabanova All Over

Monthly Archives: July 2012

[Lima, Peru] For the first time in a long time, we didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn . Our flight from Arequipa to Lima wasn’t until 10:40 in the morning and we tried to sleep in, but we both woke up a good hour before the alarm went off. Still, it was nice to take our time and eat breakfast at a leisurely pace. The courtyard at our… Read More

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[Arequipa, Peru] Our transport to Arequipa was another bus ride with guided tours of sights along the way. Our first stop was Lagunillas lake, which, in the winter time, is home to Chillean pink flamingos. We could only observe them from afar, but the landscape was still beautiful. We made a couple of other stops to admire glaciers and volcanoes along the way. Before veering off to Arequipa, we drove by Pampa… Read More

[Puno, Peru] At 3800 m (12500 ft) elevation, lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. We were wondering what the term “navigable” referred to. According to Wikipedia, there are a few other lakes that are at higher elevations but they are much smaller and shallower, and so there are no commercial boats on them – hence they are not “navigable”. The native populations of this area belong to two… Read More

[Puno, Peru] Anther day, another early morning. I am going to need a vacation from this trip! To cover the 400 km (250 miles) from Cuzco to Puno, we opted for a bus with a guided tour of some of the most notable sights along the way. This was by far the longest option – it was going to take us 10 hours to cover the distance with all the stops –… Read More

[Machu Picchu, Peru] Coming to Machu Picchu felt like a pilgrimage of sorts. We’d been making our way towards it for 2 days now, and this morning, we still had a 20-minute bus ride separating us from these ancient ruins. We walked out of our hotel just after 7 am and were relieved to see the sun peeking out from behind the mountains around us. Our prayers had been answered and it… Read More

[Aguas Calientes, Peru] Our train ride from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Callientes was spectacular! This was not the luxurious Hiram Bingham, but it was still roomy and clean, and we got snacks. The views, though, were what made it so magical. The Urubamba river was right next to us the entire time, and just on the other side of it were mountains draped in fog and mist. It started raining for a little… Read More

[Ollantaytambo, Peru] After Pisac, we headed for Ollantaytambo. We had two sights in mind – the temple of Ollantaytambo and the Granaries. Since we didn’t have much time left before we had to board our train to Aguas Callientes, we decided to just visit the Temple. It promised great views of the city itself as well as the Granaries, which were on the mountain opposite the temple. We had to climb 260… Read More

[Pisac, Peru] It was another early morning for us today. We were hoping to make our way through the Sacred Valley with stops at Pisac and Ollantaytambo before finally reaching Aguas Callientes, the village closest to Machu Picchu. We had arranged the day before for a driver and a car, as we wanted to sight-see at our own pace. Our driver and tour guide arrived bright and early at 7:30 am and… Read More

[Cusco, Peru] When I woke up this morning at 5:30 am, I did not feel like I had only gotten 3 hours of sleep. I was excited to finally begin the three day journey through the Peruvian Andes that would take us to Machu Picchu by Friday. Cuzco, our first stop in the district, was the historical capital of the Incan Empire and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Historical Site in… Read More

[Lima, Peru] Our first day in Lima could not have been any better! We woke up relatively early so that we can get breakfast and get our day started. By 9 am, we were ready to set off for the short walk from our B&B to Larcomar, a shopping center nearby that makes for an unlikely tourist attraction due to the fact that is carved off the cliff and cannot even be… Read More