Amazing Race 7 - First Stop: Peru

Plaza de Armas and fountain in Lima

Amazing Race 7 was one of the most popular in the reality television series with fantastic contestants. Once again, eager contestants, grouped into eleven teams gathered in Long Beach, California for the Amazing Race 7.

Their first stop on the Amazing Race was Lima, which is the capital of Peru and known as the City of Kings. Here teams had to make their way to the Plaza de Armas to find their first clue.

Plaza de Armas is also known as Plaza Mayor and is located at the centre of the city in the historic neighborhood. The water fountain that is at the heart of the plaza was commissioned in 1651 by the viceroy Garcia Sarmiento de Sotomayor. Today it remains and is a popular meeting place for locals.

Once the teams reached Plaza de Armas they were directed to take a bus to their next clue, in Ancon, a seaside resort north of Lima.

On Amazing Race 7 one team had a significant advantage. This team was fluent in Spanish and when looking for the clue they immediately led several teams to the right bus. Another team, the popular couple Rob and Amber of Survivor 8: All-Stars were helped by a fan who recognized them. 

Once in Ancon, the teams had to make their way by rickshaw to the beach known as Playa Hermosa and dig through one of three sand piles for airline tickets to their next destination, the ancient Inca city of Cuzco.

After spending the night in Ancon, the competing teams flew to Cuzco. This ancient city has many spellings, you will often see it as Cusco or Cuzco but also at times Qosqo or Qozqo.

This city, which is considered the gateway to Machu Picchu was once the capital of the Inca Empire. If you are looking to visit Machu Picchu it's a good idea to spend a few days first in Cuzco to acclimate to the altitude. Many people find they get altitude sickness when hiking to Machu Picchu but drinking coca tea and resting in Cuzco helps immensely when preparing for this epic hike.

Here the next clue instructed them to take a marked taxi 22 miles to the small town of Huambutio, about 40 minutes east of Cuzco.

Located at the mouth of Huatanay, Huambutio is a popular river rafting destination. In Huambutio, the teams were to find a kiosk where the owner would hand them their next clue, directing them two miles to the top of a gorge, take a zipline across it, then take a second zipline to get to the bottom.

Some of the teams discovered the first Detour of the Race. In this Detour, they had to choose between Rope a Llama and Rope a Basket. For Rope A Llama, each Team had to rope two llamas and take them to a pen. Roping the llamas didn’t require strength, but getting them to cooperate and walk to the pens could be frustrating and time-consuming. Rope A Basket required each Team member to use a rope to tie a basket containing 35 pounds of alfalfa to their back and carry it two-thirds of a mile to a store. Carrying the heavy baskets required strength, but Teams with endurance could finish quickly.

The next stop was Pisac, in the Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Pisac is the site of a famous market, and here the teams had to find the next clue which directed them back to Cuzco, to La Merced, a 325-year old convent and church and the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race.

Debbie and Bianca, the team with language skills, arrived first and each won $10,000 for their efforts. Arriving last, Ryan and Chuck were the first Team eliminated from the race.

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