Cusco - altitude 3,400 metres / 11,200 feet ancient capital of the Inca empire.
Interesting fact: You have to drink your hot drinks quickly as they get cold quickly as water boils at only 80°C at this altitude!
Very modern hotel and another good breakfast. Leisurely start today bus picking us up at 09:30.
Tour of Cusco and some sites around the area. Relatively short drive to our first destination but a quick photo stop for a panoramic view of Cusco on the way. First site is Tambomachay at 3,700 metres (over 12,000 feet) which is a small one with a couple of Inca building remains built over still flowing springs.
peru-038-009View over downtown Cusco Just a short drive back down the road to our next stop at the Inca temple of Quenko where there is an Inca shrine with a natural underground cave.
We then had to go on a quick detour into town for the bank for someone to cash some travellers cheques while the rest of us walked round the old Inca town square - Plaza de Armas. This is an old Inca winter solstice site. The cathedral and Jesuit church are quite imposing buildings on the square.
peru-038-074Plaza de Armas We eventually then got to our 3rd site which was Saqsaywaman. This is a large old Inca Temple complex much destroyed by the Conquistadors but still looks very imposing. This also had an amazing viewpoint over looking Cusco.
peru-038-130Saqsaywaman peru-038-153View over Cusco including airport from Saqsaywaman We then into the centre of town to visit Coricancha – another old Inca site whose walls were meant to be covered in sheets of gold. The Conquistadors demolished most of the temple and built a Dominican church. Major earthquakes destroyed much of the church in the intervening years but the original Inca foundation walls still stand.
Then just a short drive back to the main square for a visit to the cathedral, again built on the foundations of an earlier Inca temple.
This was the end of the tour but as on previous days he had booked lunch at one of Cusco’s best restaurants – Pachapapa. Kiron had told the guide she wanted to taste Guinea Pig which they did – the guide had pre-ordered it as it takes an hour to cook. She loved it and I have to say it did taste very nice there were lots of small bones – I’m sure she tell everyone all about it. I had grilled alpaca.
peru-038-219Roast Guinea Pig This is where we also found out about our disastrous loss against Watford!!
Wandered back to the hotel looking around a couple of shops to pack up again as we’re leaving for Puno at 06:30 tomorrow morning.