Puno to Cusco by Bus
Cusco Travel Blog› entry 36 of 89 › view all entries
Stop 1: A tiny town called Pukara to check out a small but interesting museum with excavations from nearby pyramids of the Pukara people. The guide was very knowledgeable and interesting.
Stop 2: After driving through more of the Altiplano (highlands characterized by short straw), we arrived at the highest pass at 4335m at La Raya, the demarcation line between Puno and Cusco districts. We were between the western and eastern mountain ranges.
Stop 3: The area then opened up into lush valleys full of eucalyptus trees and more greenery, the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Stop 4: We then visited a mini artisan market (for lack of a better word) in San Pablo town. There were several displays including a silver-making display and an “Andean Kitchen” with guinea pigs running around eating alfalfa. I felt a little bad about eating guinea pig the night before because they were so cute! I took the opportunity to make more “friends” with the alpaca-llama hybrids hanging out in the lawn! Cute things but they wouldn't be my friends.
Stop 5: Raochi - archeological ruins of a great temple and living area of nobility. You could see the old Incan Royal Highway (Inca Trail) in the pastures as well as the outside walls in the hills surrounding the area.
Stop 6: Lastly, we visited the “Sistine Chapel of South America” in a town 40km from Cusco. We had to walk several blocks as the roads were closed off for repaving - it seemed as though all of town had come out to help. The communal helping seems very characteristic of indigenous towns. The church was beautiful with fabulous frescoes from the Cusco school of art There was a great fresco of the road to heaven and hell in the back and the whole altar was golden-leafed. I won't remember all the stories or history that our guide told us but his rich stories and illustrations made the trip all the better.After a quick dinner and a stroll around town, I had a nice relaxing night. The next day, we go to Ollantaytambo and then the day after that...the Inca Trail.