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  • Heather Miles

Cloud forests and other wonders of Peru

First published in GardenDrum: September 7, 2016


Escaping from Sydney a few days before New Year’s Eve, a motley group of friends and family headed to South America for a month of adventuring. First Peru and Machu Picchu, then cycling in Cuba for 2 weeks, followed by 10 days sailing the Galapagos. A triple bucket-list trip!


Bromeliads clinging to the rock wall at Machu Picchu

After a night in Lima with plenty of Pisco sours (pisco, sugar, lime and egg white), we headed to Cusco, the staging ground for Machu Picchu.


Cusco at 3400 metres above sea level – while equatorial in latitude, average annual temperature is 10 to 11ºC and rainfall is between 600 to 880 mm per year.

Cusco at 3400 metres above sea level – while equatorial in latitude, average annual temperature is 10 to 11ºC and rainfall is between 600 to 880 mm per year.


At 3,400 metres above sea level, no sane person goes beyond Cusco without altitude (or is it attitude) adjustment, unless they like being dizzy, getting headaches and feeling sick. With acclimatisation time on our hands, we explored Cusco, ably led by our fantastic guide, Darwin Mendoza.


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