I traveled in Peru and Bolivia with my brother for two weeks in November 2002
Airport of Arequipa (2,350m). Arequipa is a nice colonial town 1 hour flight south of Lima.
From Cayma, a suburb of Arequipa, one has beautiful view across the green valley to the volcanoes Chachani (6,075m) and Misti (5,822m)
Inside Santa Catalina which was a very high profile monetary. Once a nun had entered no contact whatsoever with the outside world was allowed. This monastery had not been accessible for outsiders for centuries. The nuns had not a very bad life, as they had servants to help them with their daily chores.
The famous laundry area in Santa Catalina.
The amazingly clean streets of Arequipa (it isn't any better in Switzerland).
The facade of the main cathedral at the main square (Plaza de Armas). The square is completely surrounded by arcades buildings like to the one on the right hand side of the picture (which actually was our hotel). Please also see the video (1,812KB).
View across the main square
Between Arequipa and Puno on a high plateau (4,000m to 4,500m) where the Vicuñas (relatives of the Lamas and Alpacas) have a refuge.
Chulpas (grave towers) on lake Umayo in Sillustani. These Chulpas were built by the Colla culture before the time of the Incas. The Collas speak Aymara (contrary to the Incas who speak Quechua). Aymara is still today spoken in the region around Lake Titicaca.
More Chulpas
Lake Titicaca (3,820m high, 3,833km2 big) with the Cordillera Real (up to 6,500m high) in the background.
Copacabana (Bolivia) on lake Titicaca. Copacabana is a famous place of pilgrimage.
Our hotel on Isla del Sol, the island in Lake Titicaca where the first two Incas Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo descended onto the word in 1200.
View from the patio of our hotel.
The Cordillera Real at sunset (as seen from Isla del Sol).
Girls coming home from the meadows at night (Isla del Sol).
Our hydrofoil approaching to pick us up.
José Limachi who built the Kon Tiki for Thor Heyerdahl and who crossed with him the Pacific still lives on Lake Titicaca (Huatajata). José was just about to leave for the Easter Island where he was to build another boat for an expedition.
On our way to La Paz.
The upper parts of La Paz (El Alto) are located at 4,000m where it is pretty cold in winter. Hence the richer people live in the lower parts (not much above 3,000m). The center of La Paz with the football stadium is at 3,700m.
The main square of La Paz (Paza Murillo). To the right of the right hand side clock tower one sees a big indent in the otherwise densely built houses. That is where rain has washed down 50 houses. Much of La Paz is built on instable clay slopes.
Typical house in the Altiplano (the high plateau around Lake Titicaca). Most of the people here still live in houses like this.
Tiahuancao, a splendid culture before the Incas. Unfortunately over the centuries most was destroyed carelessly or on purpose. The Spanish were systematically erasing all signs of non-Christian cultures.
The Templete Semsiuberráneo in Tiahuanaco. One of the steles shows a figure with round eyes, full lips and a beard which fuels speculations about visitors to the region before the Spanish.
The stele Ponce. The Spanish tried to behead it (as can be seen from the marks) as they didn't succeed they baptized the figure buy engraving a cross.
Swimming islands on Lake Titicaca built by the people called Uros. However, the last pure Uro died at the end of the 1950ies and today these islands are more of a tourist attraction than a real habitat.
Train from Puno to Cusco. As always in Peru/Bolivia food was excellent also here.
Cruising across the Altiplano.
Train stop at the highest point (La Raya, 4,313m).
The main square of Cusco (Plaza de Armas). Please also see the video (1,524KB).
Typical Inca walls in Cusco. The Incas built fantastic walls without any cement which fit so perfectly that not even a razor blade can be squeeze in between the individual stones. Those walls which were not torn down by the Spanish have survived the centuries undamaged, despite the many earthquakes.
Perfect masonry (we'll see more of it).
Back on the Plaza de Armas.
En route to the holy valley of the Incas between Pisac and Urubamba.
Ollantaytambo, an Inca fortress at the entrance to the holy valley.
More Inca walls (please pay attention to the perfectly rounded edge)
Inca terraces to grow food (these walls were not built to highest standard).
View of the countryside on the way back to Cusco.
Sunset on the way back to Cusco.
Machu Picchu, one of those places on the world one has seen on pictures and on TV hundreds of times but which is still capable to enchant the visitor once one is there. In the background can be seen Huayna Picchu which of course I "had" to climb.
View from Machu Picchu down to the train station in Aguas Calientes.
View down on the other side of the ridge.
View down from Huayna Picchu. It looks tougher to get up than one thinks. It took me 25 minutes. However, as Machu Picchu is pretty low (2,750m, half way down to the jungle) compared with the rest of Peru, temperatures were quite "sweaty".
Machu Picchu is fascinating from every angle whatsoever. Please also see the video (1,672KB).
Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress close to Cusco.
Some of these boulders are close to 100 metric tons!
Coricancha ("Golden Court") a major religious center of the Incas. These walls only came to light when the Spanish monastery which was built over them crumbled in an earthquake. At their time the walls were decorated with precious stones and golden panels.
Weaving. The traditional bowler hat is still worn by all women, at least in the rural areas.
Alleys in Cusco.
Rich wood balcony from the Colonial time
Patio de la Merced
Francisco Salamanca a monk has spent years in this small cell painting the walls.
This was a very nice, not very touristy evening with excellent pizza and good music.
Plaza Mayor in Lima
Francisco Pizarro a super criminal of the medieval who systematically tried to extinguish a whole ethnical group (comparable to Saddam Hussein or Ariel Sharon today).