Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAR-APR 2013

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More than Machu Picchu Written by Bridget Williams View of Cusco from the Sacsayhuaman archaeological site. Photo by Eric Williams Peru���s diverse cultural treasures and ancient wonders form a fascinating network equally intriguing as its most famous site Te ability to tick one of the boxes on my bucket list by visiting Machu Picchu was the impetus for my visit to Peru, but what I didn���t expect was the City in the Clouds would be just one, among many highlights, throughout the duration of our wanderings in the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca regions. We discovered so much, in fact, we had to make the experience a two-part story. Like many people these days, I began planning for my trip by conducting online research, during which, it became quickly evident the services of a tour company would be advisable to make the most of what I hoped would be an epic adventure. After reading the good, the bad, and the ugly of reviews for countless tour operators and after initial online inquiries, I settled on Kensington Tours for their ability to custom-tailor an itinerary that most suitably met my varied criteria: soft adventure opportunities and an even softer pillow on which to rest my head each night! 38 After a few back-and-forth interactions via email and phone with Kensington���s South American destination expert, Noraly Barillas, I received a link to a proposed itinerary that promised a comprehensive tour of Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, all with a private guide and vehicle. Each day���s schedule was outlined frst in bulleted summary form and later in expanded detail on subsequent pages, which allowed me to research each tour stop and proposed accommodation. With the itinerary settled, we booked about three months in advance of our mid-October travel date, at the tail end of peak season and just prior to the rainy season, November-April. Considering that the only way to reach Machu Picchu is via a four-day hike or a train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes (the closest town to the ruins) and the area���s elevation ranges from 8,500 ��� 11,000 feet, it���s advisable and enjoyable to spend a day or two in Cusco for an altitude adjustment.

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