After a night in Lima, the first destination in our tour of Peru was the Sacred Valley. This involved an internal flight to Cusco, and then an interesting transfer to our hotel.
This was our first sight of rural Peru. The centre of Cusco is an attractive and touristy city, but the further you get away from the centre the more rustic everything becomes, including the roads.
Cusco is actually very high up, so the journey was predominantly downhill. We passed busy communities with lots of children playing in the streets, local people in traditional dress and dogs snoozing in the sun. The roads became progressively rougher and dustier, until, by complete contrast, we arrived at our hotel.
We chose to stay in the Casa Andina Valle Sagrado, and could not have picked a nicer place. The hotel consists of a number of chalet-style residences grouped around beautiful gardens. The large central restaurant was great, and some nights a local musician provided entertainment.
The grounds of the hotel have many beautiful flowers, and walking around we saw hummingbirds for the first time. They are so tiny and so agile; really fascinating to watch.
Another first was seeing the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere. You can really see from here how the Milky Way got its name – you see so many stars that the sky really does have a milky glow.
The hotel even has its own planetarium. We booked a viewing one night and actually saw Saturn! It looked so tiny, like a beautiful little jewel, but we could clearly see its rings – a very special experience.
Starting Point of the Lares Valley trek
The Casa Andina is actually situated at one of the starting points of the Lares Valley trek. One day we strolled for a couple of miles on the track to see what it would be like. The track was wide and stony (and very dusty!), and not too steep in this section. We passed a couple of trekking groups with heavily laden horses on the way. Coming back the views into the valley were very beautiful – here are some photos.
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