Peru Part 2: Aguas Caliente and the Cloud Forest
Peru Part 3: The Amazon Rainforest
Peru Part 4: Cusco and the Sacred Valley
Peru Reading List
|I loved Aguas Caliente, perched right in the Cloud Forest below Machu Picchu!|
After our 27 mile, 4 day backpacking trip up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Trace and I decided to spend the night in Aguas Caliente, aka Machu Picchu Town, aka Gringoville. Yes, it is very touristy! There are no roads into the village, so no one can leave by auto. Buses shuttle up and down the mountain from Machu Picchu to town, and there is a train that connects it to the outside world. It gave me a very laid-back, gritty, granola vibe, and I have to say I really liked it.
|A beautiful Chestnut Breasted Coronet, one of the four species of hummingbirds we saw in the Inkaterra nature preserve.|
|The Highland Motmot, moss covered trees with bromelaids!|
|Four roosting guan in the Cloud Forest.|
|Hiking the nature preserve at Inkaterra with camera and sketchbook in hand!|
I can't round out a post on this blog without mentioning dogs! Aguas Caliente was POPULATED with Peruvian Hairless Dogs, in the U.S. known as Peruvian Inca Orchids. Whenever we left Inkaterra and went into town, we saw one or two zipping about on their business. Dogs in Peru are not spayed/neutered and leashes seem unheard of. Many dogs were homeless but these guys seemed to live with people, just not be hanging out with them.
|Best picture I could get of an Inca Orchid dog, somewhere in town near the main square.|
I have to say, our overnight in Aguas Caliente was one of my favorite days in Peru. It was hot and HUMID, but nothing compared to our future time in the Amazon. Temps seemed to hang in the low 70's so it was a bit uncomfortable for me- Trace thought it felt very Florida-like and didn't mind at all. Everything about the Cloud Forest was spectacular... the birds, the orchids, the bromelaids, the moss, EVERYTHING! If I ever visit Latin America again I would definitely make it a point to see more of these amazing ecosystems!