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A memorable trip to Machu Picchu – with Donovan Moodley

I was very blessed to have had the opportunity to visit and experience a once in a lifetime experience or a so called bucket list to do adventure trip – Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu Donovan Moodley

We started of with a flight on Latam to Sau Paulo from Johannesburg, the airline,ground staff and hospitality on board way exceeded our expectations. Even though it was a 9.5 hour flight to Sau Paulo and taking a day flight be sure that the movies and entertainment on board kept me busy. We arrived at Sau Paulo late afternoon with the time difference and rushed off immediately to connect for our next flight to Lima ( Peru) which was another 5 hour flight. Inevitably it was a full 22 hour journey from Jnb to Lima. The process and connection flight in Sau Paulo was very lengthy including security check’s made us very worried that we may not make our flight but hey apparently security and drug searches are common in S.America.

Machu Picchu Donovan Moodley

On arrival at Lima international airport we were met by our representatives ( Lima Tours) fantastic team, speak fluent English and very knowledgeable.

We spent two nights at the Lima hotel- located central town where all the action is ,the hotel itself very vibrant and trendy my kind of taste, good beers and great food. On day two we thoroughly enjoyed a day tour- city is full of history, Cathedrals, Palace’s architecture,museums and culture, so comfortable shoes is recommended.

On day 3- we were transported to Lima airport to start our journey Machu Pichhu via Cusco-there are many scary stories about Altitude sickness and I suggest that you stay away from any you tube video’s pertaining to this and that was our biggest challenges when the group then became paranoid. I recommend altitude sickness tablets and coco leave tea which does eventually settle the body from time to time. It is not a myth- if you are a smoker you adjust quicker and fast to high altitude cause you are already used to the low oxygen in the body- So after the two hour flight from Lima to Cuso .Not to panic- As you get out the plane, you do feel the massive difference and a tightened chest , but nothing to worry it take a few hours to settle if you lucky, unfortunately for two members of my group really struggled in Cuso. It is said to be 2.8 km above sea level and that is the height of our domestic aircraft flight path.I mportant fact is that Oxygen mask’s are provided for those that fall ill and it is at a cost, some hotels are now putting in controlled oxygen tanks so that your rooms are a safe place.

Outside the airport you are welcomed by the locals with cocoa leave’s keep in mind this is not legal any where else and you cannot take this out the country as they use this to make cocaine- some facts. In addition you can try out the cocoa candy which is also recommended to stabilize the body and breathing.

With this said we arrived in around 11am on Latam again, great service and was immediately taken around by our guide to visit the city, hear again, great architecture and history with a number of cathedral visits- by now i did have enough of the bricks and Inca stories. What amazing people that built magnificent structures without plans, cement and huge trucks to move material from mountain to mountain.

The night life is by far the most amazing site,the street come alive, with dancers(local),shows, entertainment and the awesome lighting that light up not only the city but the beautiful mountain backdrop.

We did overnight at a the 5 star Cusco Hotel, in the city and we thoroughly enjoyed the bar hopping withing 1km from the hotel and the local shopping. Food outlets such as Mac Donalds, KFC end Irish pubs are the most popular if you not up to local cuisine Al Paca.

On day 4 after breakfast we started our Journey to Machu Picchu from Cusco- it is 3.30 hour journey to Urubamba better known as they sacred valley, for those that fell sick in Cusco will be excited that they are heading to lower altitude and will once again feel themselves. As we drive to the sacred valley there are a number of stops, for site visits, local markets for shopping.

In order to get to the mountain you will need to start your journey very early at 4.30am so we overnight at Urubamba , very basic accommodation, lots of rivers, bush and mosquito’s so insect repellent and yellow fever is recommended for this part of the journey. Over and above the stress and excitement, you also need to pray that the weather is great and that there are no cloud cover otherwise your trip will be cancelled and it will be disappointing. My suggestion is that you accommodate for this when planning your trip, just in case.

On day 5, the most wished day for all, we depart our hotel for the train station, Ollanta station where we purchased a category 1 ticket, which is very comfortable, affordable and luxurious. The train ride from Ollanta station to the base of Machu Picchu is aprox, 2 hours, but you can enjoy the beautiful views, coffee and breakfast on your journey. On arrival at the base, we then hop on  bus that take you up to Machu Picchu, this journey is around 45 minutes and not for the faint hearted or a person that is scared of heights, you can imagine the roads, and the fact that these transport services to and from the mountain amazes me.

Machu Picchu Donovan Moodley

The most breathtaking and amazing views on arrival- suggest that you definitely have a guide to ensure that you move through the 6000 people that are up there daily.While the less adventurous like myself do the day trip via luxury trains and bus, with still a substantial amount of walking still,there are many brave hearts that choose to hike to mountain which take 4 days to complete.  Incha business, was indeed a great and memorable site for me. Enough said  and enough said, enjoy the picks.

Machu Picchu with Donovan Moodley

Definitely suggest a break in journey when arrive in Sau Paulo, so it is more relaxed, I guess we had time constraints and still thoroughly enjoyed the duration and experience.

Check out all our South America Holiday options here: https://serendipitytravel.co.za/south-central-america/

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