There was a 7.9 earthquake in the area in 2007, and they are still trying to re-build. The weather is always sunny (only rains every 25 years or so) and warm, so there wasn't the rush to rebuild houses you might find in wetter, cooler, locales. Our guide said that the government only pays to rebuild homes and businesses if an earthquake is over 8.0 since all construction is supposed to meet those criteria. He said that some systems registered over 8.0, but the government said the official ones were only 7.9. Sounds like problems people have with insurance/government back home!
The area seemed very poor, with people living in small homes. However, the unemployment rate is low compared to the rest of Peru because most people can find work on the farms. It's probably better to be poor in the country than in the city.
After turning east near Pisco, our tour rode along the Pisco River (which only flows when the snow is melting in the mountains) to the Inca ruins at Tambo Colorado, which date back to the 1400's. It was built of adobe bricks and is well-preserved. The large site included a plaza with a sacrificial altar (according to our guide, not for sacrificing humans, just corn and the occasional llama.) We spent about an hour touring with our guide Pedro, who showed us the baths and sleeping rooms. The rooms had many window-sized "niches" carved into the walls where the Incas displayed their idols. The site featured amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
We rode back the same way, stopping at the Fundo (hacienda) Carrizales, which houses the Sumaqkay Peru artisans' workshop. They make beautiful tapestries at this location, along with purses, scarves, clothing, and gifts. I looked at some bags, but didn't buy (about $100-$200; not bad). We also had a taste of Pisco 100, the most expensive Peruvian Pisco, which is 100 percent grapes. They don't even add water to the juice! It takes 8 kilos (almost 20 pounds) of grapes to make 1 liter of Pisco 100. I love Pisco sours, but straight, it was like drinking moonshine. The young wine is distilled to make the brandy, which ends up about 50 percent (or more) alcohol.
Page 5 > > The Ancient Peoples of Peru > >
More on Silversea Silver Spirit Latin America Cruise - Valparaiso to Acapulco
- Embark in Valparaiso (port for Santiago)
- Days at Sea on the Silver Spirit
- At Anchor Off Mejillones, Chile
- Pisco, Peru - A Day at Tambo Colorado and Sumaqkay Peru
- Ancient Peoples of Peru - Incas and Other Tribes
- Lima, Peru - Tour of Old Town
- Lima, Peru - Magic Fountains and Dinner at Hacienda Diez-Canseco
- Pachacamac Pilgrimage Center near Lima
- Mamacona Hacienda near Lima and the Peruvian Pasos
- Manta, Ecuador - Home of the Panama Hat
- Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Rafting on the Corobici River
- Day at Sea and Tour of the Silver Spirit Galley
- Tour of Antigua, Guatemala from Puerto Quetzal
- Filadelphia Coffee Plantation - Shore Excursion from Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
- Disembark in Acapulco