Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cusco Peru

Plazoleta de las Nazarenas
We left the Marriott Lima around 11:30 to make our 14:15 domestic flight from LIM to CUZ. Lima Domestic was pretty crazy but it all worked out as we got on our plane to Cusco. From Lima, it’s a one-hour flight to Aeropuerto Velasco Astete, located about 3 miles from Cusco. Upon landing at CUZ our Taxi driver greeted us with a sign board and a smile. We took off for the Centro Historico where our hotel was located.

One thing we thought about arriving in Cusco was Soroche or high altitude sickness. After all Cusco is at 3500 m (11,500 ft) That’s high.

La Compañia-Built on Inca Huayna Capac's Palace
After hearing all the horror stories about altitude sickness we talked to our doctor and were prescribed Acetazolamide (Diamox) and started it 2 days before flying to altitude. Took two, 125 mg tablets daily. It worked. Arrived expecting problems but apart from being a little winded walking up hills, we had no problems. The hotel even pumped oxygen into the room 24/7, which really made sleeping very nice.

Took the Diamox tablets for a couple more days and that seemed to be it. If you are worried about the altitude I would suggest seeing a doctor for medication before traveling to Peru.

Cathedral Built on Inca Wiracocha's Palace
Cusco is an ancient city that is wonderful to visit. It was the center of many pre-columbian cultures finishing with the Inca who made it the beautiful centerpiece of the Inca Empire. Until the Spanish conquered the Inca in the 16th century, all roads led to Cusco and the plaza now called the Plaza de Armas.

Statue of Inca Pachacutec over the Plaza
The Inca built this massive square (originally it was twice its current size) as a location for festivals and ceremonies. According to legend, this plaza once marked the exact center of the Inca Empire, earning Cusco the nickname the navel of the world

Cuesta del Almirante that leads down to Plaza
Within the square, the 16th century Spanish conquistadors constructed La Compañia and the Cathedral. Both churches reside on the site of former Inca palaces. Now, the Plaza de Armas contains landmarks significant to both Andino and Spanish history. No trip to Cusco would be complete without a visit to the Plaza de Armas.

It was time to get to our hotel. We headed up a little alley called Cuesta del Almirante to arrive at the Plazoleta de las Nazarenas where our hotel, The Belmond Palacio Nazarenas stands in colonial splendor mixed with Inca foundations. This is a very historic place to stay in Cusco. More to come on the Palacio.

Highly recommended!
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