|left: mr A taking a break, the altitude differential hits you as soon as you walk off the plane|
right: the common Peruvian cure? coca tea
The city of Cusco is very pedestrian friendly and I suggest putting a day aside to just roam the streets. There are many local vendors (I got a great wool sweater) that sell everything from art and clothing to touristy knick knacks.
A note on the altitude: I was personally very worried about how I would react to the altitude given that I also have asthma. I spoke with my doctor and received pills (Diamox) specifically designed to aid with altitude sickness. The best way I can describe the effects is that you feel a little drunk, and winded after walking around a bit (doesn't help that Cusco is hilly!) A common Peruvian treatment for altitude sickness is coca tea. This works since the coca leaf is the base for making cocaine. Pro Tip: If you have any sort of job in the security/government realm, I suggest checking with your security officer before indulging.
|Viva El Peru!|
|Cathedral of Cusco located in Plaza de Armas|
|mr OMG and I at Plaza de Armas|
|streets of Cusco|
From Cusco, you can take many day trips to the sacred valley nearby
|you get beautiful views from every angle|
|factor in lots of stairs for any Inca ruin|
|our group <3|
|there's a lot of Peruvian culture going on in this pic|
One of the best views of Cusco is from the Cristo Blanco. It's easily accessible by cab.
Getting a cab: You're cab driver can easily become your guide to the city. If you find a cab driver you like, ask him to show you around to a few of his favorite places! They'll likely wait while you explore whatever locale you're at so it's like hiring a personal drive (for way less!)
|Cusco at night as seen from Cristo Blanco|
After exploring the city, seeing the nearby ruins, and talking with other we meet along the way, we were so ready to go to Machu Picchu.
Part 1: Haucachina Oasis, Nazca Lines & Paracas National Reserve
Part 2: Puerto Maldonado/Amazon Rainforest
Part 3: Cusco
Part 4: Machu Picchu
Overall Trip Guide