Cusco, centre of the Inca kingdom
Just straight from the jungle at about 100 m above sea level we flew straight away to Cusco at about 3500 m above sea level at the Andes Mountains. The altitude really caused trouble for both of us during the first days. The first day was the worst, Mery had headache and sickness, luckily I didn´t had that much problem. After a couple of days it was getting better, our bodies get better used to the altitude, but already small physical effort like walking up a stair or a hill, you felt really exhausted. It is a good advice in general for the first days to just relax and not doing too much.
On our second day we had to do some organisational stuff, we bought a “Boleto Turistico Del Cusco“, some sort of a tourist ticket at the Citizens Advice Bureau of Cusco, it allows you to enter several historical places and museums. We also didn´t book any tickets for Machu Picchu in advance, so we went to one of the travel agencies in the city and booked our trip to Machu Picchu and also two other daytrips. At the end it was better to book everything from here because it costs less.
Comparing to Lima Cusco is much safer, there was no problem at all to walk around the old town. We enjoyed walking around in Cusco, you can see plenty of nice historical buildings, it is really a nice place to be. On our third day we booked a city tour where they showed us some ruins from the Inca and pre-Inca time. We visited places like the temple ruin of Qori Kancha, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Qenqo and the biggest temple Saqsaywaman. It´s really a shame that the Spanish conquistadors under the Catholic religion destroyed the culture of the Incas. At the end of our city tour we visited a textile factory where they only use Alpaca wool for their products, it was really interesting to see.
On our fourth day we also booked a tour, but this time it was more adventurous, only the two of us with the guide and a driver, luckily. This tour package includes a visit of three different historical places of the Incas, a ride with an ATV through the pampas and zip lining down the hill, which was really a big fun. Some of the zip line distances was more than one km long and you can reach a speed of more than 100 km/h. With the ATV we visited the historical pre-Inca place Moray. This place was like a test field for the ancient people, they tested different plants for cultivations and optimisation of the seeds. With the Quad we also visited the salt field Salineras where the people use to make salt from the mountain water for more than thousands of years ago, the method is still the same until now. The last visit was the old Inca ruin city Chinchera, unfortunately it was not possible to use the quad, so our driver brought us to that place and later back to town.
On our fifth day before we travel to Machu Picchu, we drove along the Sacred Valley of the Inca, it´s definitely a beautiful on Earth. We visited the historical places Pisac and Ollantaytambo, both from the Inca and pre-Inca time.
So far enjoy the pictures, our next blog in Peru will be about Machu Picchu.