Machu Picchu is in the Andes Mountains in Peru.
Since I want to visit the Amazon River and the rainforest, while I am there I have to see Machu Picchu!
Why?.. You can’t go there to see one, without seeing the other.
Why Do I Want To See The Amazon River?
The Amazon is an extraordinary act of nature. It ranges from 2 to 6 miles wide in some areas, up to 30 miles wide in the rainy season. Don’t buy waterfront property there!
How Long Is It?
It is about 4,000 miles long! There are no bridges on the Amazon river. Can you imagine how this isolates small villages?
But the ground is just too unstable for bridges in the wet seasons.
As mighty rivers go, the Amazon is the longest in the world… followed by the Nile.
The Amazon is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, where it empties.
It is bordered on the west by the Andes Mountains where it originates from the glaciers above.
The Atlantic is the second-largest ocean, and the Amazon supplies it with 20% of its fresh water!
I cannot even pretend to guess how much water that is!
Here Are The Numbers!
The Amazon River has the largest discharge of water into an ocean, greater than the next 10 largest rivers, combined.
That is 4,200,000 cubic feet of water per second!
See? I told you! I have no idea how much water that is!
This is so much fresh water, if you were in the ocean 100 miles opposite the mouth of the Amazon, the water would still be fresh! You could drink it!
What Can You Do There?
Visit Machu Picchu. It is an archeological gem and one of the most well-preserved Inca cities.
It was built in the 15th century and later abandoned. Who could abandon such a property? The views from 7,000 feet above sea level – – – are out-stan-ding!
It was built for the Inca ruler, and the upper classes. They were trying to get away from the Spanish Conquests who were destroying everything in sight.
The Spanish didn’t get to Machu Picchu because they couldn’t see it from below. They did not know it was there!
They couldn’t find it!
Machu Picchu is a settlement with over 150 buildings: houses, baths, temples, and sanctuaries.
There are more than 100 flights of stairs, each carved from one slab of rock!
Almost none are used today.
The Incas were incredible masons and cut the stones to fit without mortar.
They fit so well you could not put a knife blade between them.
Sheer people-power pushed the rocks up that hill, a lot of them weighing fifty tons!
How Can I Get There?
The walk up to Machu Picchu takes 1 1/2 to two hours. Or you can take the bus which is a 20-minute ride, but the wait times are three hours!
The walk up is long, hot, and steep. Only a certain number are allowed onto the path at one-hour intervals.
So you could wait two hours to walk up that hill!
The down-walk can be difficult and very steep. But look up! Focus!.. The vistas are beautiful and endless!
As a designated monument and cultural site, it is treated with the utmost respect. To ensure it is preserved only so many people can go there in one year.
You need to book early if you want to get in.
Before you go you need malaria shots.
While not all mosquitos carry disease, why take the chance?
If you go to Rio Negro in the dry season, there are virtually no mosquitos.
But there are mosquitos everywhere else! The rainforest is the size of the lower 48 states.
South America is a big continent and contains 12 countries and a few territories.
Take a Shower!
The humidity is very high and your clothes will always seem wet.
Whatever you need for the trip home should be kept separately sealed in a plastic bag to keep them dry… Thanks for the household tip!
What you wear should be lightweight cotton, and loose-fitting.
Do not wear black or dark colors.
Cover your arms and legs – I know it’s hot, but you have to protect yourself from the mosquitos.
You will be provided with rubber boots for walks in the jungle as the ground will be wet and slippery.
The boots will protect you from snakes! Mostly they’re harmless!
Bring a mosquito net for sleeping. It’s not so bad;
very “bush-like”, and a fun experience!
(For more about the bush life read about a real Safari Vacation here!)
Carry a lightweight windbreaker for the rain – that’s right- – – it’s a rainforest! Stand under a waterfall and cool off!
You need hats and sunglasses, DEET spray, sanitizers, high SPF sunscreen, binoculars, and a digital camera with extra memory cards.
Carry a backpack and your passport; you need it to enter Machu Picchu. No exceptions!
There are no ATMs in the rainforest. Use cash for souvenirs and to tip the guides and bus drivers.
Don’t bring a laptop as there is no internet in the rainforest.
No Candy For Children!
The children in the villages have no access to dental care. Do not give them sweets.
Take school supplies and story books in their language! Watch their faces light up into huge smiles!
Scent of any kind will attract mosquitos and other bugs. Even deodorant!
Be sure to book a guide. Once you get there, you will need someone to show you what this place is all about. They are very knowledgeable and have lived here all their lives!
A rain forest is loud. The sights and sounds are undreamed of...It can even be scary.
Look at this insect to the right… there!
This is a “where’s Waldo” question: where are his eyes?… Can you find them?
Compare This To Table Mountain, Capetown
There is one cable car to go up to Table Mountain and the wait times are about three hours.
You can walk up the mountain but you need a guide. They take a dim view of anyone getting stuck on the face of it.
What can go wrong? You could be on the wrong path and twist an ankle!.. Now what?
The cablecar wait area is a covered ramp with benches along the walls so people can sit in the shade.
There are no buses going up that hill!
Is It Lovely At The Top?
Once you arrive at the top of Table Mountain, the area is large and several hundred people can roam about comfortably. The wind is fierce!
The views of Capetown harbor, Signal Hill, and the coastal countryside are beautiful! The wait was worth it!
Visit The Windy City!
In Capetown, the weather is usually balmy and warm to hot! If the weather turns windy – up to 30km/hr, it’s not so good.
But that can clear up overnight. Wait a day or two, and you will have more beautiful weather!
Do The Domestic Thing Too!
The beaches are beautiful and open. Surfing is a huge pastime.
There is surfing for every skill set in South Afria and it is lauded as THE Surfer’s Paradise! For an endless variety of waves, the best place is Seal Point.
I Like To Eat Everywhere I Go!
There are delightful restaurants and walking areas in the city with great night spots, and surf parties are common. Most places allow firepits… but they are very strict about safety.
Capetown ranks high among famous and cosmopolitan cities of the world.
I promise you the seafood is the best you will ever eat!
Worthy of the whole trip.
Want Some Cheese With Your Wine?
Don’t forget the wine tours in the Cape area. Visit Stellenbosch and Franshook wineries.
Tours are available, ending in wine tasting with lunch. A beverage to tickle your palette for every course of the meal.
There are “elephant crossing” signs! Yes, they roam free in some areas.
Not unlike our deer crossings in Canada!
Take advantage of sailing excursions and jet ski rentals. Go paragliding and zip-lining. Enjoy the view!
There are animal safaris available, with five-star accommodation.
But you have to book these months in advance.
see South African Safari Vacations for more safaris!
Or go shark-cage-diving in Gansbaai!
I don’t think I am ready for this, but YOU might be!
What To Do Now?
Should you book an excursion to the Amazon Rainforest
or to Table Mountain, in Capetown South Africa?
The Amazon Rainforest Offers You:
1. Excursions into the rainforest, the Amazon River, and Machu Picchu
2. Beautiful vistas and warm weather
3. Visit the villages and meet the children
4. Buy handmade reed baskets, and locally made items
5. Experience the wonderful food of the area
6. The jungle has animals and flora not found anywhere else
7. The jungle roams freely
8. It can be affordable. Exchange rates on average, favor the USD, 15 to 1
What Are The Cons?
1. There are mosquitos – lots of mosquitos!
2. It is quite isolated; you must be comfortable with seclusion
3. There is no internet outside the cities
4. It is very hot and humid
5. You need to be reasonably physically fit to go on the excursions
6. The wait times for tourist attractions are very long
7. There are mosquitos at night! (I know!)
8. There is no common language; you need a guide
9. There are no ATMs; you need to carry cash
10. It can be very tiring because of the heat and humidity
11. The scary things you encounter are piranhas, electric eels, jaguars, and giant centipedes;
I can’t go on.
So, What Does Capetown Offer?
1. Excursions to Table Mountain, game reserves, and wineries
2. Mainly English is used, plus Afrikaanse, which is Dutch.
3. The weather is beautiful
4. The vistas and views are gorgeous
5. The food boasts worldwide approval
6. The jungle areas are untouched and wild
7. Restaurants and hotels are affordable and of a high standard
8. You can cage-dive with the sharks!
9. The exchange rate is 16.8 to one USD
What About The Cons?
1. If you live in Europe, Canada or US, it is far to get to South Africa
2. You have to book safari tours well in advance
3. Everything costs money; it’s like Disneyland
4. Tourist attraction wait times will be quite long
5. If the weather turns, the wind can be fierce – up to 30km/hr in certain areas
6. You need to take malaria pills, to go to the game reserves
7. Spiders can be HUGE! the size of your hand.
Apparently, they are harmless… but I was running too fast to find out!
(honestly, I only saw one in twenty years!)
8. There are mosquitos here too, but not excessive.
Weigh The Pros And Cons!
1. Do you want to be in a beachy-type resort city or a remote jungle location?
The jungles might not be here forever.
2. Will the exchange rate be more favorable in one country over the other?
3. Will the humidity and mosquitos bother you?
4. Will the high winds and spiders bother you?
5. If you are further from one country than the other, check the airlines; it might be cheaper to fly further.
6. What was in your heart when you started your research?
Were you set on the Amazon, or just thinking about it?
7. Does Africa hold more fascination for you?
8. Does the Amazon Rainforest hold more fascination for you?
I Am No Help At All!
I am sorry, I cannot make this decision for you. You will have to weigh the pros and cons of your particular situation.
What would I do?
I would plan to see both places.
Can’t help it, I need to see everything!
I’ll tell you why “I Want To Go There”!