I have been forever amazed to travel and learn more about the world’s cultures. Peru is one of the most fascinating places that I have ever traveled. It is a mix of the original people that lived here and the European people who came after Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca nation in 1532.

As one of my friends here said, “We are mostly a mixed race now, but my heart will always be Inca.”

The Inca people still live in the high Andes where the original capital of the Inca civilization was in 1450 to 1532. Cusco was the capital of the Inca civilization and is where you will go if you are going to visit these beautiful people.

Cusco is a city of about 500,000 people and is 11,000 feet above sea level. It still has many of the narrow original streets and some of the original roads that were built by the Inca people. I would like to share with you some photos that were taken by one of my fellow traveler Beth Garn last week on my trip to see and visit Machu Picchu, a sacred city in the high Andes.

Here is a photo of Cusco. It is very much like Salt Lake City, Utah, in the fact that it is in a valley surrounded by high mountains.

The Inca people are not very tall. In this photo, they are dressed in their native costumes wearing the hats that Inca women customarily wear, and leading a herd of alpacas.

The Inca women are the ones that care for the sheep. We saw this little lady who was out one morning with her sheep.

This photo shows plants that are used to dye the wool from the llamas, alpacas, and sheep, together with the finished wool product. Just like the American Indians, Inca women boiled plants to make the dyes they used to dye the wool they used to weave the beautiful clothing they wear.

Women still weave just that as they have for hundreds of years. The patterns are created as they weave.

We visited the salt mines, which were pools of very salty water that come out of the mountain and then are channeled into pools and then left to evaporate and then bagged and exported. Each pool is owned by a family, who then come and process the salt from their pond.

The main attraction that people come to see from all over the world is the city that the Incas built in the Andes, which was never found or touched by the conquering Spaniards.

It is believed that this was a sanctuary built for the Inca Emperor Pachacuti, who was their great leader and the person who built this great nation that is still loved and admired by the Inca descendants and the three million visitors who come here every year.

The Inca people did not have any need to write, so the history of these amazing people has been lost.