Above the sacred valley, at an altitude of 2450 meters, the Incas built more than 500 years ago, the Machu Picchu. Abandoned during the Spanish conquest, the Machu Picchu was discovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham and has become since few years now the major tourist attraction of Peru and an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983.
Despite an agreement between Peru and Unesco, signed in 2011, to limit the access to the site to maximum 2500 persons a day, a bus dispatcher told us of having about 3000 visitors/day and “lots more” during high season.
Next post will be about the tourist crowd in the Machu Picchu.
A week trip to Peru starting with a quick tour of The Sacred Valley of the Incas or the Urubamba Valley located close to the Inca capital of Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu.
In the valley we visited the terraces of Urubamba, as well as the town and archaeological site of Ollantaytambo trying to escape as much as possible the tourists crowd.
Next stop, the mighty Machu Picchu.
The Salar de Uyuni, the World’s largest salt flat (4086 km2) is located on the South West of Bolivia at an altitude of 3656 meters. It was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar.
The crust covers a pool of brine, and contains 50 to 70% of the world’s lithium reserves.
The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of pink flamingos.