Showing posts with label Peru. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peru. Show all posts

Friday, 15 February 2019

Isla Incahuasi - Peru

Isla Incahuasi is a beautiful hilly and rocky outcrop of land and Former Island in Bolivia. It is situated in the middle of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. Isla Incahuasi elevation is 3,656 meters. It is located in the Potosí Department, Daniel Campos Province, Tahua Municipality, Yonza Canton and 80km west of Colchani. This hilly outpost is surrounded by a flat white sea of hexagonal salt tiles. The cacti grow one centimeter per year and most of them are more then two meters high.
Isla Incahuasi is a Spanish name where “isla” means “island”, “Inca” means for Inca, and huasi is derived from the Quechua word “wasi meaning house”. The circular walk to the top starts slightly to the east or left as you face the island. Though this does afford superb views, their is some scrambling required? The route down is on the west side and is much easier.
Incahuasi has a total area of 24.62 61 acres and hosts gigantic cacti and a tourist center. This area is one of the best highlights of Salar de Uyuni also known as Inkawasi. Their are strange and flimsy coral-like structures and deposits that often consist of fossils and algae. The area is the top of the remains of an ancient volcano. That was submerged due to a giant prehistoric lake, approximately 42,000 years ago.
This is an island of Trichocereus cactus that rises up in the middle of the salt flats. Climb to the top of the hills and you can see 360 views of Salar. It is a surreal feeling watching centuries old cacti grow in all directions.
It is an opportunity to take impressive photos with the surrounding salt flats. The light was beautiful before sunset.  Try to avoid the wet season when the Salar is flooded, the island is inaccessible. This is one of the most popular destinations and resting place for tourists and geocaches alike. Read More – The Mysterious Manpupuner Rock Formations

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Natural Rodadero Slides Cusco, Peru

There is a huge rock formation across from the impressive Inca citadel of Sacsayhuamán which the Incas carved benches, altars, steps, and many other ceremonial features. It is a sparkling diorite rock outcrop, situated directly across from the Cyclopean in the northeastern Suchuna sector of the archaeological park. It is built by the Killke culture served as both a military and ceremonial complex massive zigzagging walls and you’ll come to the Rodadero, also known as the Suchuna.

These are manmade natural slides that undulate their way down the hill. Geographically, it is the formation of diorite igneous rock that emerged by modulating its surface with bulges and stretch marks in the shape of slides. The children of the Inca, and their descendants have played for hundreds of years.

This natural hillside playground, which looks like a massive glittering greenish white oyster shell, visitors scamper up the sides to slide down the glass-smooth ruts. The well-polished slides are an odd, incongruous sight among the straight lines of monumental Inca architecture. However, erratic with Sacsay huamán’s general vibe of military power and somber ceremony.

The Rodadero was documented by a few innovative archaeologists of the 19th century. It is said that the Inca youth entertained themselves in coursing through these polished grooves on festival days. That was custom which the youth of Cuzco have not allowed to fall into disuse.  In Spanish and Quechua respectively, Rodadero and Suchuna mean “slide.” The names bring up to a series of smooth rock channels that run down one section of the hill.

A smooth rolling stone, served for diversion to the inhabitants, by rolling like a garden roller, having a sort of hollow formed in the middle through friction. So, be sure to wear long jeans/pants and enjoy the smooth stone slide of the Inca. Moreover, according to Moores and Wahl in The Art of Geology, there are three theories have been advanced to explain the formation of the “toboggan slide” glacial, volcanic, and structural. 

Most likely, the grooves shaped when blocks of rock moved past each other along a fault. The hill maybe is the polished surface of an almost flat fault. That polishing expected continued for at least the last few centuries, humankind’s propensity for sliding down things.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Qenko, Archaeological Site in Sacred Valley of Peru

Qenko, or Kenko, is an archaeological site in the Sacred Valley of Peru. The site is located in the Cusco Region, Cusco Province, Cusco District, almost six kilometers northeast of Cusco. Qenko was declared a Cultural Heritage of the Cusco Region by the National Institute of Culture. It is one of the largest huacas in the Cusco Region. 

Many huacas were based on naturally occurring rock formations.  Inside the rock are large niches and a possible altar. This may have been a place where the mummies of lesser royalty were kept along with gold and precious objects. This sacred site occupies over 35,000 square feet and sits on what today is known as Socorro hill.

The rock is an excellent example of the Inca Rock Worship. It was thought to be a place where sacrifices and mummification took place. Qenko is the finest example of a rock artfully carved in-situ showing complex patterns of steps, seats, geometric reliefs and a puma design. On top of the rock are zigzag which served to course chicha or sacrificed llama blood for purposes of divination.  The speed and route of the liquid, in conjunction with the patterns made in the rock, gave the answers to the priest's invocations.

Qenko is made up of two areas; one is a large area, located next to the road from Sacsayhuamán to Písac. However, the small area a quarter of a mile farther back, showing remains of high walls, a circular design, and the same carefully cut stones. 

Monday, 22 January 2018

Ausangate Mountain, Peru

Ausangate or Auzangate is a stunning mountain of the Vilcanota mountain range in the Andes of Peru. Ausangate has an elevation of 6,384 meters, situated around 100 kilometers southeast of Cusco in the Cusco Region, Ocongate District. The mountain has great significance in Incan mythology, every year the Quyllur Rit'i festival, which entices thousands of Quechua pilgrims is celebrating festival which took one week before the Corpus Christi feast. This area is inhabited by llama and alpaca herding communities, and constitutes one of the few remaining pastoralist societies in the world.

Moreover, high mountain trails are used by these herders to trade with agricultural communities at lower elevations. Currently, one of these trails, "the road of the Apu Ausangate", is one of the most famous treks in Peru. The area has four major geological features, the Andean uplift formed by Granits, the hanging glaciers and glacial erosional valleys, the Permian formation with its singular colors: red, ochre, and turquoise and the Cretaceous, limestone forests.

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Incredible Rainbow Mountains of Peru

One of the most wonderful geologic features in the world is the Ausangate Mountain of the Peruvian Andes. The mountain is striped with colors ranging from turquoise to lavender to maroon and gold. However, this "painted mountain" is notoriously difficult to find and get to, requiring several days of hiking to reach its peak deep within the Andes by way of Cusco. The mountain sits at an elevation of 6,384 meters and is located approximately 100 km southeast of the major city Cusco. The local area is rich in geology, from uplifted granitic cliffs to glaciers which have eroded large valleys and the cretaceous limestone "forest" nearby. Rainbow Mountain Peru turned out not to be the beautiful natural wonder that you see on the tourism posters in Cusco.

It was quite the opposite. But we’ve made it back in one piece to now provide a warning to other travelers considering a Rainbow Mountain day tour. Rainbow Mountain is a colorful mountainside in the Andes of Peru. In short, the colors you see were formed by sedimentary mineral layers in the mountain that have been exposed by erosion. The Rainbow Mountain trailhead is located a 3-hour drive from Cusco, where day trips have recently grown quite popular. Rainbow Mountain turned out a true natural wonder, also known as Vinicunca, has become a major touristic attraction. The painted Ausangate Mountain is also considered to be holy and believed to be the deity of Cusco by local Peruvians. It is a site of daily worship and offerings by local citizens. 

Every year thousands of Quechua pilgrims visit the Ausangate Mountain for the Star Snow festival which takes place a week before the Corpus Christi feast. The Andes are an incredibly complex mountain chain that extends along the western edge of the South American continent. The subduction of the Nazca plate underneath the South American plate initiated mountain building and uplift of the mountain range. This produced significant volcanism and the introduction of rare and varied mineralogy to the Andes Mountains. The reason we see the rainbow coloration in the stratigraphic layers of the Ausangate Mountain is mainly due to weathering and mineralogy. Red coloration of sedimentary layers often indicates iron oxide rust as a trace mineral. Alike to how a nail will rust and turn red when oxidized, sediments that are iron rich will change when exposed to oxygen and water. This, in combination with uplift and tectonically driven crustal shortening has tilted the sedimentary layers on their side exposing stripped stratigraphic intervals.

The different coloration is due to diverse environmental conditions and mineralogy when the sediment was originally deposited and subsequently diagenetically altered. Moreover, introduction of goethite or oxidized limonite will introduce a brownish coloration to sandstones. Thus, the bright yellow coloration could be due to iron sulphide as trace minerals within the pore cement. Further, chlorite will often color sediments varying shades of green dependent on diagenetic history and concentration. What was simply a calm mountain in the Andes is now inundated with hundreds of tourists who all ascend in droves from Cusco to get their Instagram able shot of the colorful mountain. Though Rainbow Mountain may look good-looking in the photos, we recommend NOT pursuing this hike if it’s been raining and/or until trail improvements are made. It’s not just a strenuous trek. It can be downright dangerous, as evidence by the numerous people witnessed hobbling back to their tourist shuttle.

Not only that, but the striking and delicate alpine environment is getting entirely demolished by the hordes of eager hikers who make the journey to Rainbow Mountain. Rainbow Mountain is a day-long stagger at over 14,000 feet, tracing a dirt path between looming peaks of green and startling red rock. It's a striking route, passing local villages built from stone and glittering mountain streams. But the altitude is punishing sufficient to turn even the sprightliest young athlete into a panting mess.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru

The Sacred Valley of the Incas, in the Southern Sierra in Peru, contains many famous and lovely Inca ruins. The Sacred Valley of the Incas is also called Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, 20km at its closest north of the Inca capital of Cusco. It was called the Sacred Valley because it contains some of the best land in the region and was not a part of the Empire but the property of the Emperor or Inca himself. The Sacred Valley was incorporated slowly into the incipient Inca Empire during the period from 1000 to 1400 CE. The Sacred Valley was the most important area for maize production in the heartland of the Inca Empire and access through the valley to tropical areas facilitated the import of products such as coca leaf and Chile peppers to Cuzco.

Agricultural terraces, called andenes, were built up hillsides flanking the valley floor and are today the most visible and widespread signs of the Inca civilization in the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas. Its agree-able climate and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful combination for the high Andes. It was also the route to the jungle and therefore an area with access to the fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. The Sacred Valley served as a buffer zone, protecting Cusco from incursions of the Antis, the fierce jungle tribes who from time to time raided the highlands.

The sacred valley is famous among tourists due to scenic and historical archaeological site. Every year, more than one million tourist visited sacred valley. The valley was formed by the Urubamba River is fed by numerous tributaries which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The scared valley, running generally west to east, is understood to include everything along the Urubamba River between the town and Inca ruins. The Sacred Valley has elevations above sea level along the river ranging from 3,000 metres at Pisac to 2,050 metres at the Urubamba River below the citadel of Macchu Piccu. On both sides of the river, the mountains rise to much higher elevations, especially to the south where two prominent mountains Sahuasiray, and Veronica overlook the valley.

The Incas built extensive irrigation works throughout the valley to counter deficiencies and seasonality in precipitation. Peru’s Sacred Valley is encompassing what was the fertile homeland of the Inca Empire is a quiet expanse of country that is steeped in Andean history and culture. Moreover massive scale of maize production in the Sacred Valley was apparently facilitated by varieties bred in nearby Moray, either a governmental crop laboratory or a seedling nursery of the Incas.