The Inca Trail – A Peru Holiday

Situated in the western region of South America, the Republic of Peru is a beautiful multiethnic country with a vast number of hidden treasures. With Colombia and Ecuador on top, Brazil on the right, Chile at the bottom and the gargantuan Pacific Ocean on the left, it’s no wonder why this country is rich in culture and the atmosphere here is amazing. Foreign visitors have claimed Peru to be the ideal holiday experience, a balance between nature and civilization.

If you’re planning on making a trip to Peru, here’s the list of the top three tourist spots. The first spot that I would recommend which incidentally has the highest number of visitors would be the renowned Inca Trail. This trail is one of the most oldest and sophisticated trail in South America and was built during the Inca Empire ruling. The Inca Trail is also known as the Camino Inca and is divided into three parts. The most famous part of the trail would be the trail to Machu Picchu and an average tour of this trail will consume 4 days. The Inca Trail is also divided into three routes, the Mollepata, Classic and One Day.

Secondly, when in Peru, you must pay Lake Titicaca a visit. This lake is elevated 3810 meters above sea level and is located on the borders of Peru and Bolivia. The average temperature of water in this lake is 12 degrees Celsius and is home to a variety of endangered wildlife. When visiting Lake Titicaca, it would be advisable to stay in the Puno, a small town that sits nearby the lake. During the existence of the Inca Empire, this lake was believed to be sacred and spiritual. The Incans believed that the Gods that the prayed to had once dwelled in the lake.

When in Peru and once you’re done with its nature side, there not better place to unwind than Lima.  Lima, the largest and also the capital city of Peru is home to 9 million people. Home to Callao Port, Peru’s biggest harbour, Lima is filled with museum and mind blowing architecture. A walk through this city will teach you all that there is to know about the people of Peru. Besides its culture and history, walking around Lima has another positive attribute, food! With so many different cultures and flavour, this spot is knows to be a food haven.

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Inca Trail Trek

An Inca Trail Trek is a very popular activity for visitors to Peru. This trek is the best-known route for hikers in this country, and understandably so. Trekkers on this path will experience incredibly scenic mountain vistas, amazing Inca ruins, and a wonderful mix of beautiful forests with their abundant, unique flora and fauna.
Of course, the main purpose of an Inca Trail Trek is to visit the mysterious, mystical Machu Picchu. Visiting this sacred Inca city is the pinnacle of a wonderful trek. To get the full effect of this visit, many trekkers choose to arrive at Machu Picchu at dawn on the final day of their journey.
Most Inca Trail Treks take about 4 days to reach the mountain city. This popular route is a fairly strenuous 45 kilometers, traversing some mountainous terrain at a fairly high altitude. A moderately fit person should have no trouble completing the trek, but due to the altitude it is recommended that any person arriving from sea level spend at least two or ideally three days in the city of Cusco prior to beginning the hike. This will give your body time to acclimatize.
Cusco is the city from which you will begin your trek. Here, you will find hundreds of tour operators offering to assist you on your journey. As you might expect, however, they are not all equal. The Peruvian government awards licenses to operate on the Inca Trail. These licenses based on several criteria to ensure that the tour companies are operating appropriately.
That being said, even after ensuring that your Inca Trail Trek tour company is operating legally, youll want to understand a few other things to make sure that you are booking with a reputable company. While everybody wants a great deal on their travel costs, please be reasonable about this. Expect to pay around $ 500 per person for your trek. If you see any rates advertised lower than about $ 450, the odds are good that the tour operator is cutting corners in some respect. Most likely, they would be unfairly straining the porters, who are the employees assigned to carry cargo.
As you select a tour operator, also keep in mind that trek permits are limited, so youll want to book well in advance of your intended travel time. The busiest season is from May through September. During this period, youll want to reserve your spot at least four months in advance. If you know your plans earlier than four months ahead of time, that is even better. During other parts of the year less advance notice is necessary, but youll still want to make sure you give yourself at least a few weeks in order to ensure your preferred travel date.
Hopefully these technical details wont detract from what is sure to be a wonderful travel experience. Select your tour operator carefully, book your trip early, and then rest easy knowing that youll have a great time on your Inca Trail Trek and your Machu Picchu visit.

Hummingbirds of Peru

Who has not been enchanted by photos or sightings of these iridescent mini-rockets of energy known as hummingbirds? They were described by the Aztec as tiny suns, and have been accorded their place in legend, story and song throughout the centuries. People have called them flying jewels; most male hummingbirds possess iridescent gorgets, or throat feathers, whose colors shift depending on the sunlight shining on them. Additionally, many species also have exotic crowns, distinctive tails, and sparkling iridescent wings.

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world, ranging in size from the Bee Hummingbird, at 5.7 cm, to the Giant Hummingbird, at 21.6 cm. Hummingbirds are among the most skilled fliers of all avian species. They can fly backward, hover, fly straight up, and quickly change direction.

Hummingbirds are pollinators. They drink nectar from flowers with their long tongues, and some catch insects as well, snatching them midair as they fly. Many have bills that are perfectly adapted to particular species of flowers, so that the plant and the hummingbird have an interdependent relationship that is mutually beneficial to both species.

There are over 300 species of hummingbirds in the world. They are native to the Americas, with most species found in South America. Peru has over 118 species of hummingbirds, or colibris, which translates as “Birds of the Sun God.” In Quechua they are known as Q’inti (pronounced Keen-tee). According to one Quechua legend, when all the Earth was suffering from lack of water, and the People, animals and plants were all dying, a tiny hummingbird arose from the last flor de Cantu, and implored the God Waitapallana to save the land and its creatures. Even though he died in the process, the hummingbird accomplished his mission, as two great crystal teardrops fell from Waitapallana’s eyes when he saw the devastation on Earth. These tears awoke the serpent, Amaru, who was dreaming at the bottom of a lake, and who, upon shaking his great wings, brought rain back to the Earth.

Some hummingbird species found in Peru are: the Sparkling Violet Ear, Giant Hummingbird, Green-tailed trainbearer, Booted Racket-tail, Long-tailed Sylph and White-bellied Woodstar.

In addition to being a haven for hummingbirds, Peru is the second most diverse country on Earth for bird species in general, with 1,710 species at last count, and more continuing to be discovered.