Clash of cultures




September 2011 • Canon 40D camera

UNESCO World Heritage site
City of Cuzco

F rom the city of Lima, which we spent the night after arriving from the UK, we caught an internal flight to Cuzco. At the airport we met the rest of the tour group and our tour guide for the duration of the tour, Silvia. We all boarded a mini bus to take us to our hotel, while Silvia gave us a brief introduction to our itinerary for the tour as well as some helpful tips while in Peru. By the time we got to the hotel I felt a strong headache coming on. It was the dreaded altitude sickness every traveler gets while here because we were high above sea level. Some people get it really bad where they need medical attention so if you are planning to visit please read up regarding altitude sickness.

We were all served coca tea while we checked into our rooms. This tea helps clear the headache from the altitude sickness. It tastes like herbal tea with a bad odor. After settling into our rooms, it was now around midday so a few of us went round the corner of the hotel to have lunch and get to know one another. After lunch Silvia took us on a walking tour of Cuzco. There were a lot of narrow, pebble streets we walked through as Silvia explained the history of the city.

Where to stay

Tupac Yupanqui Palace Hotel

San Agustin 236, Centro de Cusco

Very basic but adequate for a night or two.
Large bedroom. Nice courtyard to sit outside.
Center of town


From the pebble streets we walked through, we arrived to our first destination of the walking tour, Qonkancha. Once a rich temple in the Inca empire, it was now a colonial church.

There were still the Inca remains of the stone wall foundations.

Did you know...

Cusco is in the Southern part of Peru and it sits at an altitude of just over 11,000 feet (3,400 meters). It was the capital of the Incan Empire from 1200 to 1532, when the Spanish invasion took place.

From here we walked to the Plaza de Armados. A nice square with a big Cathedral overlooking the area. In the center of the square was a small park with locals enjoying the sun.

You could tell by the buildings that there was a strong history of mixed cultures. Some were very Spanish–colonial and a few had an Incan charm and feel.

Onward we continued our walking tour to a small Inca museum to see some artifacts, which turned out not to be that interesting for me. My headache was now getting really strong... unpleasant but nothing serious.

Luckily the walking tour was over and we made our way back to the hotel for a rest before heading out for dinner.

Final thoughts

Cuzco was a charming city and we did not really get much time to explore more. We came to Peru for the Inca Trail, but in hindsight it would have been nice to have spent more time in Cuzco.

Exploring more the rich history and sights this city has to offer. I would recommend if you come to give yourself more than one day in Cuzco.

Explore more of Peru


Inca Trail begins

The start of the classic Inca Trail with a gentle hike on a sunny day


Rising to the clouds

Hiking up to the highest and most challenging part of the Inca Trail


Inca Trail finale

The grand finale: the classic Inca trail comes to a close

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