Trip to Peru Day 2
Location: The Sacred Valley, Pisac Ruins
Cost: Use your Boleto Turistico, which will run you about $43 U.S. Dollars (130 Peruvian Soles). It is a one-time expense that will get you into most locations in The Sacred Valley, not including Machu Picchu.
Time: Plan 4-5 Hours for the taxi up, the visiting, and the hike down to Pisac.
Tips: Make sure you bring your own map! Our taxi driver loaned us his and showed us how to avoid the trek down the mountain- it took us straight there. The signs aren't excellent, so if you can plan your route before you go that's helpful! Also wear hiking shoes, and brace yourself if you're afraid of heights- there are several steep drop-offs with small paths.
Our second day in Peru was filled with adventure as we headed to Pisac!
I am going to be totally honest here, because we looked at so many other travel sites and blogging posts and didn't find much about these ruins. So here it goes, spilling my guts.
You need to take a taxi to get there, so prep yourself for an additional 20-30 minutes to get up to the top. We thought the top was going to yield a few buildings and a lot of agriculture- based off what the Internet and travel books said.
When we saw the tiered farming land seen in the picture below, that's about what we expected!
But we learned pretty quickly that there was much more to the Pisac Ruins, and we decided to take the path to the temple.
I had been told by a friend that had seen some but not all ruins that wearing toms or ballet flats was totally fine. We expected these to be a mellow hike, so my worn down Toms it was! Jacob wore some loafers. Oh boy, if only we knew what we were in for!
The path was narrow, the rocks were smoothed from time and visitors, and the hiking path I would not put in the easy category. It was beautiful, and it was worth it, but I wish somewhere someone would have said, "Wear hiking shoes, and if you're even a little afraid of heights- brace yourself!"
I am a little afraid of heights. We're talking steep cliffs without handrails make me nervous. Mountain paths that can't fit two cars but need to definitely creep me out, and zero traction shoes on slippery surfaces at 7,000 ft. altitude with steep dropoffs definitely can do me in!
Luckily, there were moments of breaks, and very few moments of handrails.
At first glance you see Jacob, looking great and happy. and then if you look behind him you think- ah a bit of a hill. But if you look closely you realize there's an entire valley, and beyond that little hill there is nothing. This was a STEEP drop-off with a very narrow path, and I have to admit, shortly after this picture the fear of heights got the best of me.
Don't look too close at my swollen eyes in this pic, I had just calmed down post panic attack.
And when we got to the top and saw the temple, it really was so breathtaking and beautiful I was so glad I made it, even with trauma!
How else would I have snuck a picture touching the sacrificial alter?
Or witnessed the ingenuity of the sun dial inside the temple.
Or found the mild looking agricultural site we had seen in pictures, and watched this boy get excited about it?
The Pisac ruins are beautiful, and they are very high up on very steep ledges, and if you're terrified of heights I'd say skip it. If you're mildly afraid you may have a panic attack, but the right shoes and some mental preparation can go a long way!
But this steep cliff and high location only makes the surrounding area all the more beautiful.
It's also in those moments when you literally plan your funeral and see death around every literal corner that you realize what a patient soul you married, and how supportive they are. I can't get over how slow he was willing to walk, how good he was at tricking me into taking picture and looking up instead of down, and how much he cared that I was struggling. I'll always remember Pisac for the trauma and beauty, but also the beauty I saw in my husband that day.