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Machu Picchu, better when you’ve earned it

The lost Inca city of Machi Picchu is one the world’s wonders. The fact that it wasn’t discovered until 1911 speaks to its spectacular setting. To explore it, hordes of tourist take a train plus bus from Cuzco every day… But it’s still possible to reach Machu Pichhu emulating the experience of the ancient Incas, who walked kms and kms through the Urubamba Valley to their sacred city.

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sudamerica 305

Lake Titicaca and other weird Peruvian stuff

I love how this long trip has not exhausted my ability to be surprised. Buses in Peru have nothing to do with the luxurious ones in Argentina; there are no flat-bed seats, no blankets, no food trays… but they’re quite amusing with all their extravagances. They stop in the middle of nowhere to pick up vendors of food (anything from sugar cane to chicharrones), ointments or books; they show one pirated movie after another, and passengers chat lively. Peruvians might be poor, but 2 minutes after meeting you, they offer you to stay at their homes!

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sudamerica 297

Arequipa, hidden gem

I arrived in Arequipa on a bus from Chile. My main reason to stop in this city was the famous Colca Canyon. And while I did do some cool hiking and rafting there, what really surprised me was the city itself. Nicknamed “the white city”, Arequipa is a gorgeous colonial town, with a large Plaza de Armas in the center, built of volcanic white-stones (thus the name). The well-preserved, colorful Convento de Santa Catalina is a beautiful place to get lost, and the frozen mummy Juanita at the Museo Santuarios Andinos is a mandatory visit for those who like “weird stuff”. The city is surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes, completing an idyllic picture.

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