Cuzco, Peru is a short 1-hour flight from Lima, Peru’s chaotic capital. Breathing takes on a whole new meaning once you step foot onto Inca ground. The air is thin and the spirits are high – making this quaint, colonial city a must-see stop on any South American adventure.
Cuzco was once the capital of the mysterious Incas, the largest Empire in pre-Colombian America. In fact, the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. You’ll want to head straight to Plaza de Armas – the epicenter of everything Cusco. Stop by the beautiful Spanish colonial Cathedral of Santo Domingo before a terrace lunch overlooking the Plaza fountain.
The majestic Inca site of Machu Picchu, located in the Sacred Valley, is the driving force of tourism in the area. If you are feeling adventurous, book an unforgettable 3 day hike along the Inca Trail. It was the most physically challenging, yet rewarding experience I’ve ever had. Once you reach “The Lost City of the Incas” check out the amazing stone sun dial.
If you are feeling adventurous, guinea pig is a Peruvian delicacy available in most Andean restaurants. It didn’t feel right to eat my childhood pet, so I moseyed on over to Jack’s Café, a Cuzco staple and the only place where you can find a decent cup of black tea.
The abundance of artisan crafts and wares will make you wish you left more room in your suitcase. Browse the colourful markets which have everything from authentic alpaca blankets and scarves to traditional worry dolls and wooden jewelry boxes. The Barrio de San Blas is a great place to practice your bartering skills.