The drive from the Sacred Valley to Cusco/Cuzco is incredible. You have an opportunity to see scenery that is incredibly beautiful. I will try to upload some video when I have a chance. We spent 2 nights here and I felt that it was enough time to see this city.
The towns in the Scared Valley are much smaller than Cusco. Cusco was the Inca Capitol at one point. It’s a very busy city with a rustic feeling and of course it’s set up high in the mountains. The altitude is crazy, over 11,000 feet above sea level, but I’ve managed well no issues. Even though I landed in Cusco headed straight to the Sacred Valley that has a lower elevation than Cusco. This maybe why I did not have issues with headache’s (and I suffer from migraines).
Our flight path took us via Mexico City and our layover was long enough to take a taxi downtown for lunch. The elevation for Mexico City is much higher than most Americans have experienced and while walking for about 15mins my head started spinning and it got hard to breathe. My friend walking with me felt nothing so it all depends and varies for each person. I will say that I did not get that feeling as I advanced on the trip onto higher elevations.
Things to do in Cusco are museums, shopping, shopping, shopping at the various markets, people watching at a outdoor cafe or in one of the many squares or visit Inca ruins. They have all kinds of restaurants.
I felt very safe in this city and ventured out alone most of the time. There are a lot of tourist from all over the world and plenty of americans.
View of Cusco
I personally find it most fascinating to explore the areas where folks actually live instead of staying closer to downtown. Cusco neighborhoods are high up on the hills, feels like cliffs really. Stone structures sitting what seems like on top of each other. Kids heading off to school and stores opening and folks getting ready for the day…so different than the way things work on a daily basis in DC. The same only different if you know what I mean and very interesting to watch what’s “normal” all around the world.
As you can imagine there are a lot of hills and narrow streets that lead to squares. I would suggest to leave your pumps and dresses at home if you visit Peru. Bring comfortable casual clothes and shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking. You will not want to whiz through this city in the back seat of a taxi. The nights are very chilly but the days during November were very comfortable.
Here are a few pictures.
Woman with lamb
Anise Tea at outdoor square Cafe