Machu Picchu Who..?
I spent three months in Peru researching the slew of ancient Andean sites for my book, Journey’s To Ancient World’s: What Modern Man Can Learn From Ancient Civilisations. In that time, I made a wide range of fascinating discoveries that blew me away and turned history on its head.
By all means, go to Machu Picchu, it’s probably the main reason you are going to Peru anyway and I wouldn’t suggest you miss it. The scenery is stunning, it really is, but as far as day trips go, it is not one of my most memorable.
By the way, before going to Machu Picchu, read all about the things the guides don’t tell you. It will make the visit more interesting!
If you are anything like me and do not care much for tourist traps and cattle herded holiday makers, you probably want to do something out of the ordinary to make your travel experience that little bit different. Because when you’re back home it’s days like these you treasure the most!
Amaru Muru – the Gateway of the Gods
Local legend says the portal is a door to another dimensions that a priest by the name of Amaru Muru disappeared through to rescue the sacred golden disc from the invading Spaniards. You can feel energy coming out of the rock and a lot of supernatural activity is reported in the area.
You can probably travel there independently from Puno, but it is better to get a guide to explain the mysterious story (alternatively read my experience.) Some tours also take you to the Temple of Fertility along the way which is a strange old temple full of large stone cocks.
You can also find tours in Puno in which Shaman hold despacho rituals at Hayu Marca which is a pretty cool experience if you want to immerse yourself in ancient Andean traditions.
The Inca Express “Route of the Sun” from Puno to Cusco (or vice versa) was one of the few touristy things I did, but there were only around 12 other people on the coach so it was not annoying. It is also a pleasant way to travel and a smooth journey rather than being crushed and thrown around in mini-buses with mountain locals smelling of fire smoke – and I did plenty of those!
The Inka Express is fairly reasonably priced considering you visit several museums along the way, which you probably wouldn’t ordinarily see. And the tiny Wiracocha Museum is one of the most charming and inspiring in Peru. You can watch artesans make jewellery.
Read about the Inka Express before you decide whether or not it is for you!
Tambomachay to Sacsayhuaman
Visitors making their way to Machu Picchu typically pass through Cusco, a quaint colonial town that is worth a visit in its own right. At the top of the winding road looking down on Plaza de Armas, is the formidable “fortress” of Sacsayhuaman. I use the expression fortress loosely as this is what archaeologists describe it as, but it was probably an initiation centre for practicing Shaman.
Sacsayhuaman is well worth a visit just because it challenges history. Huge stones, some weighing around 100 tons are moulded so tightly together it seems impossible to build – especially with Amorite stone. Another pearl of wisdom from academia!
You have to visit Sacsayhuaman to believe the theories, or rather to disbelieve them! It’s an engineering enigma that defies plausibility. But if you do visit, make a day of it and start at the very top of the hill where you will find the water fountains of Tambomachay and the old royal resting place of Puca Pucara.
Half way down the hill is the site of Q’enko which is also worth a visit to see the sacrificial slab Shaman would have slain llama on each spring to give a prediction of how the crops would turn out that year.
From Q’enko, get a passing minibus to Sacsayhuaman to save your legs although it is a lovely walk. The entrance fee to Sacsayhuaman covers the cost of the three other sites so it is worth doing all four if only for a cost-effective day – and when you’re travelling penny-pinching is on the list of priorities.
Ollantaytambo is the little village where you catch the train to Agua Calientes on the way to Machu Picchu. I believe some Inca Trail treks leave from here as well so if you are passing through I would recommend hanging round for an extra day or two to explore the surrounding areas and meet the friendly locals.
The quaint village looks very colonial when you arrive in the main plaza, but venture around the housing estate and you find evidence of ancient Inca stone works some of the locals have used as foundation stones to build their property.
The ancient ruins are also worth a visit. Look out for the llama built into ruins. The body runs along the top and the terraces are its legs. There is also a pretty cool water fountain which changes the running water when you tap on the filter.
There are also some waterfalls in Ollantaytambo. Personally I didn’t see them, but if you ask a guide or at your hostel they will point you in the right direction. If you have a head for heights, scale Pinkylluna using the original steps carved out of the mountain by the Inca and climb up to the storehouses.
Whilst in Ollantaytambo, take a trip to the local village of Willocq and call in at the local school. The kids love visitors – especially if you take them sweets. You might need a guide, but if you can speak Spanish a word with teachers should do the trick.
When I was in Willocq, I was fortunate enough to meet Mama Yupanqui, the last surviving descendant of Amaru Tupac Yupanqui, the last official Inca King who was hunted down and killed by the Spanish. He was pulled apart by horses in the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. When I met her, she was 101 years old, but sadly died two weeks after my visit.
Here’s a museum you won’t find in the guide books. And one of the most curious in the world! If you’re visiting the Nazca Lines, or just Nazca/Ica, take time to check out the Ica Stones, a weird collection of engraved Andesite rocks that defy orthodox history – again!
The stones are said to be thousands of years old, but feature images mankind was not supposed to know about thousands of years ago; dinosaurs, medical procedures and telescopes. There’s also a vase depicting a couple of blokes knocking one out!
Of course, like with all shocking evidence that rocks academia’s fable of history, the Ica Stones have been attacked as fake by mainstream academics despite respected archaeologists confirming their authenticity. You should take a look and see what you think, but do some reading up on the stones first.
The museum is intriguing to say the least and well worth a visit for inquisitive travellers. Access to the Ica Stone Museum is only granted by prior appointment.
My favourite site in Peru was Markahuasi. It was a truly unique experience on a number of levels. This is another site that defies history, and yes again, is not acknowledged by mainstream scholars nor is it advertised by tour operators. If you read my blog post on Markahuasi, it explains how to get there.
You should also check out the video at the bottom of the aforementioned blog posts. Again, Markahuasi is a place you have to see with your own eyes to cast away the lies spread by mainstream archaeologists just because the evidence does not fit with their version of history.
What you find at Markahuasi are sculptured rocks, which in itself is not so remarkable considering the building feats of Andean cultures. What is interesting though is that the sculptures are of things that are not supposed to be there – not if Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas!
What you will find is carvings of European and Arabic faces, a camel, lion and Queen Nefertiti. This is proof the ancient peoples of Peru and Egypt had contact way before the Spanish arrived! Mainstream geologists say the sculptures are natural rock erosion. You can see the chisel marks on some them!
Peru is a fascinating country to explore and there are loads of interesting sites that turn history on its head, make a mockery of academia and are not spoiled by tourism. If you want to blow your mind and open your eyes during your travels in Peru, get off the beaten track!
Furthermore, if you are travelling through South America and visiting archaeological sites in Peru, you can find lots of information the guides don’t tell you in my book “Journeys to Ancient Worlds: What Modern Man Can Learn From Ancient Civilisations.”
The book is packed with information about sites, how to get there, and what I discovered. Witty, informative and less expensive than the boring guides you find at the sites, it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in history.