Pre-Incan Ruins

Smack-dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Miraflores, is a ruins sight that once spanned many blocks, but now only has this one block left. The ruins, were formed thousands of years ago, and once stood as a tall pyramid. What is left of them is able to be viewed by guided tours. You will see where mummies were found, and learn about the native plants to the area as well, and of course you can see some llamas and alpacas!

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Sillustani

After a few hours of shopping, because as I’ve mentioned before, it’s not only our favorite thing, it’s also what we’re good at, especially bargaining, we had lunch and took a bus to an archeological sight that our teacher had recommended.

The sight is home to tombs from the Incan empire and before, where many mummies have been uncovered. The history was intriguing and the views were spectacular. We even watched a thunderstorm in the distance as the lightning struck down on the mountains.

After an extensive history lesson, we traveled to the home of a local family where we tried some local delicacies, including potatoes with clay dip (literally a dip made from combining the clay found naturally in the soil with boiling water and salt), and fried quinoa dough with cheese. Oh and of course we saw 20 alpacas, llamas and other breeds of cute furry animals.
Oh and the craziest thing, we went on this tour who our new friend Catherine, and not 2 minutes into the tour did two of her housemates get onto the bus, expanding our group to five. Which we eventually increased to six by dinner when we invited an England-born, Italy-living, UN-working friend to join us also.

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The Sacred Valley: Chinchero

Our last stop was Chinchero, where we got to visit a center that is focused on preserving the Andean women’s handicrafts, including weaving and dying of Alpaca and Llama fur. Then we went to a beautiful church that was from the colonial period and clearly had more influence from Spain than from the Incas, but there were small Incan touches throughout.

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The Sacred Valley: Urubamaba

We stopped in Urubamba for both lunch and more ruins. We ate in a quaint open-air restaurant, and then went to see more mountains and terraces built for farming. There were also some areas that were meant for religious activities.

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The Sacred Valley: Pisac

Our first stop on the Sacred Valley was the town of Pisac. We saw many different Incan ruins, including an urban center with royal homes and normal homes, terraces built for farming on the mountainside, and a mountain that at one point held over 200 bodies/tombs. We then visited the Pisac Market, and did the best shopping so far on the trip, getting large and colorful duffel bags, headbands, and llama stuffed animals. The views were spectacular, and gave us a taste of what we will encounter Sunday when we begin our trek of the Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu.

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Pompeii

When we arrived at Pompeii we were shocked that there was hardly anyone there. We practically had the entire ruins to ourselves. We followed a tour that explained all of the different aspects of what we were seeing, including the bodies of the victims that were frozen in time by the volcano; as well as, the different ancient homes, restaurants, and baths we were looking at. We then took a train back to Naples, and another one back to Rome.

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