Yucay — Exploring Ancient Trails in a World Standing Still

A couple of days ago I made a last minute decision to take a colectivo into the Sacred Valley to a rarely visited town called Yucay barely touched by tourism and dominated by agriculture still using Inca terraces built centuries ago. Despite being on the busy highway that runs the length of the wondrous Sacred Valley near Cusco, no one stops in Yucay and the only people walking the quiet streets are locals. It doesn’t take long to leave the central part of town which lines the main road through town and head into the agricultural fields where people still

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Flying Over Chinchero’s “Other” Church Ruin

This is just a quick piece I shot yesterday flying over the ruins of a very old church just east of Chinchero, Peru. The Inca/Colonial ruins of Chinchero are highly popular with tourists, but in many trips to this remote place not far out of the village, I’ve never seen anyone except for an occasional shepherd tending to sheep nearby. Please feel free to leave a comment below. I love to hear what people think! If you like this, you can share this page with the links below or even subscribe so that you’ll be notified when I post again.

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Lago Sandoval (Puerto Maldonado) is Wondrous!

Nowhere has captured my imagination in 2019 quite as much as Lago Sandoval just outside of Puerto Maldonado. I’ve been many times this year — so much that even the guides are getting to know me and trust me to lead groups. This incredibly beautiful lake located in the Tambopata Reserve was once part of the Madre de Dios river, but the river shifted course (as they constantly do in the jungle) leaving this section orphaned about 3 km from the current river channel. It is one of those places that I can’t recommend enough to visit. In fact, it

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Morning Visit to the Machu Picchu Museum

After walking past the entrance literally hundreds of times, this morning I decided to visit the Machu Picchu Museum (Museo de Machu Picchu) on Calle Ruinas just a few minutes from the Plaza de Armas. Like just about every other place I’ve put off visiting, this was one I realized that I should have explored long ago. The Museum opened in 1911 as the product of an agreement between Peru and Yale University to return most of the artifacts Hiram Bingham took back to the United States after his archaeological surveys of Machu Picchu in 1911 and 1912. (This was

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Photographing Cusco’s Plaza de Armas

One of my favorite places to hang out is in the Plaza de Armas — the historical, cultural, and tourist center of Cusco. Just as it has for centuries, the Plaza is constantly changing Differences in season, time of day, weather conditions, etc., produce drastically different photographs of scenes I’ve shot numerous times in the past. Patience and observation are the keys in finding new perspectives on “the same old” scene. Note: Be sure to click on the individual thumbnails to see the complete photo! It drive me crazy to see tourists taking the same postcard photos as every other

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Hiking Back in Time at Kinsa Cocha

The best part of exploring the Cusco region is visiting places that very few people take the time to see because almost know one outside locals know about them. Kinsa Cocha, a small lake 25 kilometers up into the mountains above Pisac in the Sacred Valley, is one of those places. [ Note: Be sure to click on the individual photos to see a larger version. The scenery on this hike is some of the most spectacular anywhere in the region.] Yesterday my friend, Thuy Mai, and I went up to Kinsa Cocha and had a great time hiking high

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Palccoyo – The Alternative Rainbow Mountain

In recent years, Rainbow Mountain has become an almost “must do” activity in the Cusco region. Thousands each week hike several hours up and down the mountains to view the mountains, but most folks don’t realize there is a much easier way to see the same brilliant colors (created by exposed minerals) with very few people. By visiting what has been called the “Alternative Rainbow Mountain” experience, you get to travel up into the colored mountains themselves and hike with very little vertical climb to get spectacular views of multiple rainbow-colored mountains in addition to breathtaking views of Mount Ausangate

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

The Convento and Templo de la Merced

After living here a year, I’m trying to start exploring all the churches in Cusco and the region. Most are centuries old and provide a glimpse into not only the colonial past of the city, but also how Catholicism of the 16th and 17th century intermingled with the conquered indigenous people. Saturday I went to the Convento and Templo de la Merced just a block away from the Plaza de armas. I’ve passed in front of entrance hundreds of times and always thought it was just another boring art museum inside a church. I was wrong! After paying the 10

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

Trekking the Lares Highway Above Calca

Yesterday I changed my plans literally at the last moment. Instead of getting off the colectivo in Pisac, I decided to go farther down the Sacred Valley to Calca and hike up the Lares “highway”. Despite the advantage of being a smooth, paved road almost the entire way, this is a steady trek that goes uphill the entire way and passes not only some beautiful country, but also Inca ruins, interesting modern ruins, and goes through multiple Andean villages where people go through daily lives in many ways much as they’ve done for centuries. The trip to Calca on a

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow

A Recent Visit to Moray and Maras

Despite being one of the most popular combination day trips out of Cusco, even after a year I still hadn’t visited these two very unique places. Recently I decided to quit putting it off and took advantage of the really cheap cost (25 soles/$7.50 USD plus entry fees to each site) to see them. Like almost every place here in the Cusco region, there is a reason why these places are so popular. They certainly didn’t disappoint and I had a great time visiting each. If you take a tour, keep in mind that a big part of their business

Read More…

Please share Explore Cusco:
onpost_follow