Cusco / Machu Picchu

We have been in Cusco, Peru for a few days now. The weather has been a mix of sun, clouds, and rain showers. Despite these conditions we have walked a lot in Cusco and enjoyed this beautiful city. There are many archeological sites to visit, related mainly to the Inca civilization, museums, and of course all kinds of souvenir shops, and restaurants to feed the tourists. We had booked a 2-day guided tour to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. We got up at 4:30 a.m. to enter the park of Machu Picchu around 6:30. The weather was cloudy and misty. The guide took us straight to the best viewpoints but we had to wait a while for a break in the clouds in order to get a good view of the Sacred City. While waiting I saw something coming out of the woods and we were treated to the rare sighting of an Andean bear. It ran in front of us on the terrace right below where we were. Shortly after it started pouring but we still hiked around quite a bit and explored the fascinating and mysterious Inca ruins. By 11:30 we had enough of the wet and went down to the village of Aguas Calientes for a warm lunch before taking the train back to Cusco.

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