Travel Journal: Wonderful Sights Of Peru

How To Plan Trip To See Amazon, Machu Picchu

Who doesn't like to travel? If you have the opportunity and can plan ahead to save up for the trip, Peru is a must see on your list.

We had a week -- from Saturday to Saturday -- to fly to and see Peru. To narrow everything down and save time, we decided to go through a travel agency called Lifetime Peru for help. It was recommended through friends. Because we had a week, we decided to see the Amazon and Machu Picchu.

We flew from Denver to Atlanta then into Lima. From there, it was a quick turnaround to a flight to Puerto Maldonado. There we stayed at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Hotel. We took a 45 minute boat ride just to get to the site. It was truly in the middle of the jungle.

While on site, there are plenty of excursions you can pick to go on. Because of our time limit, we chose a walk through the Amazon to understand more about the animal and plant life of the rainforest. We also took a canoe ride to Lago Sandoval. This is absolutely worth it! We were very lucky to see a cayman, fresh water otters, mccaw parrots flying over head, monkeys, etc. It was just beautiful.

We also took the canopy walk excursion. It was like a scene out of an Indiana Jones' movie. We were 90 feet above the amazon. I wish we could've taken pictures to do it justice, but we were truly seeing the top of trees in the Amazon. Feeling like we were standing on top of the world, we saw several different types of birds. The colors they sported were mostly bright. Each bird seem to have a distinct sound that stood out from the rest.

After spending almost three days in the Amazon, we took a flight to Cusco, population about 300,000. I thought we'd be OK with the elevation since we're coming from Denver, but you can feel the difference once you land at nearly 11,000 feet. It took a bit to adjust, but drinking a lot of water and a quick nap helped us.

From there, it was a combination of driving and hiking. We hiked part of the Inca Trail while seeing the Sacred Valley. The steps you see in the valley were mostly used for farming. Each step or tier varied in temperature so you can find different types of crops planted. The view was amazing. The pictures can only show so much. The hiking part was a bit of a challenge at first. At the highest, we were climbing at about 13,000 feet. But your body adjusted over time.

You had to take a train to see the Machu Picchu. We were on our way when there was a farmers' strike over cocoa leaves and the use of water with government control. Giant boulders were placed on the tracks to block the train from its destination. SWAT officers also took a train before us to try and clear the way, but after a couple of hours waiting, we were turned back.

It was a dissappointing day because that was the last day of our trip, but what can you do? We bought a postcard with a picture of Machu Picchu instead. Our suggestion, you might want to see Machu Picchu first just in case there's another strike during your trip. This way you have more days after to go back if need be.

The city of Cusco also had a lot to offer. It's filled with energy from day to night. The main square is the place you'll find plenty of people just enjoying a nice afternoon, playing a little music, and people watching. It's called Plaza de Armas. On the north end of the plaza you'll find La Cathedral. You'll also be surrounded by a lot of restaurants, night clubs, and souvenir stores.

The pictures we took will only show so much, but we will be back. If not just to try and see Machu Picchu again, it'll be great to visit such a beautiful country.

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