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The relics of Cusco and Machu Picchu reflect mystery and admiration for the ancient times. For instance, Machu Picchu, which is located more than 7,000 feet above sea level in the Andes, is a complex of mythic stature and power. It serves to remind all humans with their blackberrys and nikes of the great accomplishments and wit of civilizations centuries before us. The complex itself represents the complex cultural structure of the Incas of the time. The buildings were arranged so that the lower areas were occupied by farmers and teachers and the most vital religious areas are situated at the summit of the hill, offer spectacular views of the lush valley below.
The locals today are far different from the cultures back then. However, many of the indigeneous populations still live as they have for hundreds of years, detached from the rapidly globalizing world. For instance, though t he official religion of Peru is Roman Catholic, the indigenous populations have combined their own traditional believes with Catholicism and turn to and unique fusion of religion, which mixes indigenous gods and spirits with Catholic saints.
Thus, it is often a culture shock for foreigners to see the locals along the Inca Trail. In traditional indigenous dress, with colorful hand-woven clothes and dark complexions, they stand out. In addition, some travelers find that there is a tension between the tourist and the locals, that the locals ‘hate gringos.’ However, it is important to arrive in Peru with an open attitude and patience. The locals can offer some of the best tips. While it is always a good idea to keep ones wallet close, it is a nice gesture to give a couple coins to those in need and most certainly the travelers should be courteous when visiting this foreign terrain.
When visiting the ancient ruins, travelers will be surrounded with indigenous people in native dress and youngsters playing around near llamas, which serve as primary form of transportation in these parts. The children are not ashamed to ask for donations and will play songs or act as a guide to the nearby temples in exchange.