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by Orient-Express

West of Cuzco

The Cuzco-Machu Picchu train reaches the heights north of the city by a series of switchbacks and then descends to the floor of the Anta Basin, with its herds of cattle. In Anta itself, felt trilby hats are on sale, and restaurant Dos de Mayo is worth a visit.

A bus service runs to Anta. The railway goes through the Anta canyon for ten kilometres and then, at a sharp angle, reaches the Urubamba canyon and descends along the river valley, which is flanked by high cliffs and peaks.

76 kilometres from Cuzco (Cusco), beyond Anta, on the Abancay road two kilometres before Limatambo at the ruins of Tarahuasi, a few hundred metres from the road, is a very well-preserved Inca temple platform, with 28 tall niches and a long stretch of fine polygonal masonry. The ruins are impressive, enhanced by the orange lichen which gives the walls a beautiful honey colour.

100 kilometres from Cuzco, along the Abancay road, is the exciting descent into the Apurímac canyon, near the former Inca suspension bridge that inspired Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Also, 153 kilometres along the road to Abancay from Cuzco, near Curahuasi, famous for its anise herb, is the stone of Sahuite, carved with animals and houses, which appears to be a relief map of an Indian village.

   Ruins
 

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