Puno to Cusco by Bus

Cusco Travel Blog

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View from the bus of the Altiplano region

The days fly by and I have no idea of the day nor the date.  Today, we took a 9-hour bus ride from Puno to Cusco stopping six times along the way.

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.

Pukara town
  We followed the Sacred River and lunched in a place with a few alpaca hanging around. 

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.

Street in Pukara
  It's hard to believe the center wall of the temple is still largely intact after 600 years!

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.
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View from the bus of the Altiplano…
View from the bus of the Altiplan…
Pukara town
Pukara town
Street in Pukara
Street in Pukara
Stone carvings by the ancient Puka…
Stone carvings by the ancient Puk…
La Raya pass at 4,335m dividing Pu…
La Raya pass at 4,335m dividing P…
View of glacier from La Raya
View of glacier from La Raya
Me at La Raya
Me at La Raya
Some houses
Some houses
Alpaca suri at the place we ate lu…
Alpaca suri at the place we ate l…
Andean Kitchen with guinea pigs
"Andean Kitchen" with guinea pigs
Guinea pigs fattening up...so cute…
Guinea pigs fattening up...so cut…
Our guide showing us how they make…
Our guide showing us how they mak…
Me and a new friend
Me and a new friend
Raochi temple ruins
Raochi temple ruins
Impressive!
Impressive!
Nobility living areas near the tem…
Nobility living areas near the te…
Commercial area near temple
Commercial area near temple
Another view of the impressive fac…
Another view of the impressive fa…
Town near Cuzco - road getting rep…
Town near Cuzco - road getting re…
Dinner?
Dinner?
Sistine chapel of Latin America
Sistine chapel of Latin America
Big chairs to fill!...
Big chairs to fill!...
Road view
Road view
Sun Gate on way to Cuzco
Sun Gate on way to Cuzco
Cusco
photo by: Vlindeke