It has been another busy day here in Peru. After spending a fantastic day in Peru, which I wrote about in my last journal post, we got up this morning to fly to Cusco. It is a beautiful and short one hour flight from Lima to Cusco, where we got our first aerial view of the Andes mountain range. The stunning snow capped peaks poking out above the cloud cover was absolutely gorgeous.
Upon arriving in Cusco, we caught a cab to our hotel, the JW Marriott in downtown Cusco. It is a beautiful hotel that used to be a monastery, so the the architecture of the building is beyond gorgeous. When we checked in, they set us up with a hot cup of Coca tea, to help us adjust to the altitude. Between the tea and the Acetazolamide pills that my doctor prescribed me for the altitude before I left, I have been dealing with the high altitude quite well.
Cusco sits at over 11,000 feet, so you feel the altitude almost immediately upon getting off the plane, so it really pays to plan ahead. The Acetazolamide pills are used to treat Glaucoma by relieving the pressure behind your eyes, so they also do a great job of relieving the pressure that gives you a headache at high altitude.
As soon as we were checked into our hotel and our bags were dropped off, we decided to do some sight-seeing around Cusco. My favorite place we visited was undoubtedly the Plaza de Armas. The Plaza was absolutely stunning, with beautiful flowers, trees, and walking paths crossing thru the center of the plaza. There is also a lot of great things to see surrounding the plaza. With the Cathedral on one side of the plaza, the Compana de Jesus on another, there is no shortage of beautiful sights no matter where you look.
Another favorite of mine from our tour of Cusco was the Central Market, or La Merced Central. If you are a fan of big markets with authentic foods and hand-made goods, you will absolutely love this market. There were so many new sights and smells for us to explore and we spent a good deal of time just doing some people watching as well. I love going to markets because, more than anything else, they tell you a great deal about the local culture. You get to see what the locals eat, what they are making to sell, and how the interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
It is going to be an early night for us because tomorrow we have to get up at 3:30am to head to Machu Picchu. I am beyond excited to see this wonder of the world, and I am even more excited to share that experience with you. I am going to document the experience well so that I can pass on any tips or tricks I pick-up to you.