Going to Machu Picchu? See MORE by routing via La Paz!

Many friends ask us to plan a visit for them to Machu Picchu, that impossibly beautiful and majestic Inca citadel perched serenely on a remote mountain ridge at the end of the Sacred Valley to the northwest of Cusco, Peru. So, most are surprised when we send them NOT via Lima, Peru’s bustling capital and obvious main air portal into the country, but instead - to La Paz! Often, the airfares to La Paz from various neighboring South American countries are cheaper than the flights to Lima - and travelers STILL need to get a connection through to Cusco, where 99.9% of tours to Machu Picchu begin! Additionally, by routing through La Paz, a whole NEW WORLD of experiences also opens up for the adventurous traveller! We typically recommend that clients spend at least TWO DAYS in La Paz, both to acclimatize to the altitude (3,200m to 4,100m above sea level (asl)), and to see what the city offers. This includes truly unique and amazing sights in the city centre, such as the Witches Market, where locals go when building a new house to buy a llama fetus to bury beneath the

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cornerstone as a
cha’lla (offering) to Pachamama. Or the provocative and educational Coca Museum, where one can explore the sacred leaf’s role in traditional societies, learn about its gifts to the soft-drink and pharmaceutical industries, and impact as cocaine in the illicit drug trade; or visit the delightful Museo Costumbrista or Museo de Instrumentos Musicales where colorful and “hands-on” experiences of traditional Bolivian cultures will entertain and instruct. There are many other interesting buildings, museums and palaces to visit in La Paz, even an amazing cemetery and possibly one of the world’s worst prisons, BUT there are even more delights to be found just outside the city. In geological terms, anyone fascinated by nature’s whims must visit the Valle de la Luna or the Muelle del Diabolo. These natural rock formations, reminiscent of a lunar landscape, are especially striking in the clean mountain air and sharp

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sunlight of early morning or just before sunset. If you are a golfer, you
should also try to visit La Paz Golf Course (the world’s highest course at 3,292 masl), where your ball will go higher and further than ever before - as long as you avoid the bottomless gorges! Before heading west to beautiful Lake Titicaca and Peru, we strongly urge the truly adventurous to take a ride down the world’s legendary Road of Deathalong the Yungas Valley! This AMAZING road plummets down from its snow-decked summit at 4,650m asl to the humid and lush vegetation of the pre-Amazon jungle at 1,200m asl, in just 64 kms! On an unpaved track painfully cut out of the plunging mountain ridges by Paraguayan prisoners of the Chaco War in the 1930s, the route passes striking scenes where waterfalls cascade over the vehicles passing along the road, or where unfortunate souls have tumbled to their ends in the valley floor some thousands of feet below. The secret to seeing this sight safely is on a bike, SLOWLY, or in a good 4x4 with an experienced driver, going UPHILL! Leaving the joys and thrills of the Yungas and La Paz behind, we now guide you west towards Lake Titicaca. Once again there is so much to see, be it a fascinating visit to the museum and workshops of the Limache Brothers, legendary boatbuilders of Thor Heyerdahl’s “totora” (reed) boats, Tigris and Ra II, a full replica of which can be seen at the little port of Huatajata. From here, motor launches take passengers out on tours to the Island of the Sun and Island of the Moon, where fascinating ruins of the pre-Inca Tiwanaku civilisation can be explored. Then it is on into Peru, to board the Orient Express Line’s “Andean Express” train at Puno. Next stop, Cusco! Contact us to see more!

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