We started our trip in Cusco, the city that was once capital of the Inca Empire. The city is located in the the Peruvian Andes and sits at 10,000 feet above sea level.
We arrived in the early afternoon, and decided to head straight to the infamous San Pedro Market to find something to eat.
Later that afternoon, we spend some time in Plaza de Armas, the central square.
That evening, we enjoyed a couples massage. It was the perfect way to relax after a stressful week and nearly 24 hours of traveling to get to Cusco.
The night ended with some street food. I can already tell we will not be going hungry on this trip.
The next morning, we walked up to Sacsayhuamán (essentially pronounced “sexy woman” in English). These Inca ruins are only about a 30 minute hike from Plaza de Armas…although it’s all up hill to get there. You are rewarded with great views at the top.
Unfortunately, Sacsayhuamán suffered extensive destruction when the Spaniards conquered the area, as a result, it’s primary function is still debated. Apparently, the Spaniards hauled off the manageable sized stones and used them to build homes and structures in the city below.
Nonetheless, what remains is still impressive. Some of the base stones are up to 11 feet tall! And, like all Inca constructions, the stones fit together perfectly without aid of mortar.
Before heading back down to town, we hiked up to Cristó Blanco (the large white statue of Jesus that overlooks the city).
Cusco was a great place to start our time in Peru. Next, we’ll head to some of the more remote areas of the Sacred Valley.