Paris has the Eiffel Tower and London has Big Ben. When you stroll the historic streets of Lima, Peru you realize the City of Kings has its Balconies.
For most people, a trip to legendary Machu Picchu begins with a flight to the gateway city of Lima, capital of Peru. Guidebooks will try their best to convince you to skip Lima and hop on the next plane to Cusco … but they’re wrong.
Frommer’s Travel Guide describes Cusco, Peru as, “A fascinating blend of pre-Columbian and colonial history and contemporary mestizo culture.” This historical and contemporary mix makes the city a unique destination, and a wonderful introduction to the region.
This is the stunning stained glass dome in the lobby of the historic Gran Hotel Blolivar in Lima, Peru. Built in 1924 in the Spanish Baroque style on Plaza San Martin, it attracted Hollywood stars such as John Wayne and Orson Wells in the 1940s and 50s.
On a chilly morning in early spring she sat steadfastly, basking in the warm Andean sun. Savoring the moment, she wrapped herself in a brilliant blue tapestry, just as her ancestors before her … although they probably didn’t have the ball cap.
Midway between Cusco, Peru, the capital of the Inca Empire, and Machu Picchu lies Ollantaytambo. For most tourists traveling through the Sacred Valley, it’s no more than a train stop. Which is unfortunate, because this small, historic village makes a delightful destination.
Conversations buzzed as the train rolled slowly from the platform in Ollantaytambo, Peru. Everyone, including us, was excited about finally visiting Machu Picchu, and it showed. Backpacks were stowed, cameras were at the ready, and we were off.