Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Peru Recap :: Day 2 :: Sacred Valley Zip Line Experience

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Our full itinerary here
First day in Cusco here

We spent the first night in Cusco. Woke up the next morning around 7:00 a.m to get ready for a full day of adventure. We booked a zip lining tour with Natura Vive. Full disclosure: I have never been zip lining before and this was my very first time doing it. Natura Vive picked us up from our hotel in Cusco at 8:00 a.m and dropped us off at the train station in Ollantaytambo around 3:00 p.m so that we can catch the train to Machu Picchu. The zip line is in Urubamba which is about  45 minutes drive from Cusco. There are 7 zip lines ranging from 500 feet to 2300 feet long. The longest line took 45 seconds from start to finish. For some reason, I thought there is a chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. I didn't know that I had to climb up to the zip line's starting point high on the mountainside until we got to the base camp. I wasn't going to do it but my husband gave me a pep talk, I decided to sign my life away and just went with it. I am so glad I did because it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The experience was beyond exhilarating. It's something I'll be talking about for the rest of my life.
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Natura Vive provide you with harnesses, all cables, helmet, gloves, and a snack box for lunch. Our tour guides explained everything about the climb to the top and safety procedures. They were amazing, they made us felt safe and at ease the entire time. After the safety procedures, we put on our harnesses and started ascending up the rocky face of the mountain. You're always locked in by cable so I felt 100% safe the entire time. After an hour of climbing, we were at about 1300 feet above the Sacred Valley. This is of course at an altitude of about 9000 feet above sea level already. I freaked out a little bit once I got to the first platform. I took a few minutes to collect myself and started enjoying the thrill. I am really proud of myself for overcoming my fear. I am not afraid of heights but I don't like the idea of not knowing what is going to happen at the other end of the zip line. I wish I could record the climb but there was no way I would be able to pull my camera out. Safety is definitely my number one priority. The views are absolutely incredible! We took a break at about 1000 ft and were literally just sitting on a ledge overlooking the Sacred Valley. I felt such a sense of accomplishment at the end and would totally do it again.
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After the zip lining tour, Natura Vive dropped us off at the train station so that we can continue our journey to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town). It's a 2-hour train ride via PeruRail. What an adventure! The views along this route are spectacular. Everywhere you turn, you're surrounded by astonishing, lush and green mountains.The sheer mountains which are partially covered in clouds and the raging white water river just make the scenery absolutely amazing. We were served complimentary drinks and deserts. 2 hours later, we arrived in Aguas Calientes. This little town is incredibly charming. We spent the next 2 nights at Tierra Viva. The room was really nice and clean. The location was excellent. It's close access to everything without being in the main busy area. The bus station is only a block away. They will pick you up from the train station and assist you with your bags. Our room had a balcony overlooking the river which was amazing! The breakfast buffet had lots to choose from. Our stay was wonderful and I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Aguas Calientes. Next stop: Machu Picchu!
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