I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Friday, June 30, 2023

The road to Machu Picchu

I always underestimate the size of countries in Africa; on a map they appear comparatively small, just a small percentage of the total land mass of the continent. But that continent itself is huge, and the individual countries are always much bigger than I would guess.

I think the same may be true for South America—I was shocked to learn that Peru is almost twice the size of Texas. I would have guessed it was maybe the size of California, or a little smaller, but it's much much bigger.

And all of that land is very diverse. There are 34 types of climatic zones, and Peru has 20 of them, from the deserts in the south and on the coast, to the Andes, and then the Amazon Basin.

You can see the changes as you head from Cusco north to Machu Picchu. The mountains in the south are brown and rocky, with little snow. Machu Picchu is in what is called “the eyebrow of the Amazon,” a high-altitude jungle.

There are no roads into Machu Picchu; you have to take a train from Ollantaytambo to what used to be called Aguas Calientes and is now being rebranded as Machu Picchu Pueblo, the town at the base of the mountain. From there it's a death-defying (only a slight exaggeration!) bus ride up the mountain to the ruins.

1 comment:

Anne said...

I had no idea Peru was so large and had so many climate zones. Amazing!

Blog Archive