Thru the Lens: Cusco

Hundreds of years ago, Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire before the Spanish conquistadors arrived in South America. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, the city is the touristic capital of the modern day nation of Peru. From the Spanish colonial buildings lining the Plaza de Armas to the bright traditional fashion of the local Andean women it’s easy to see why tourists from all over the world come here. Oh and did I mention that the city is also the gateway to Machu Picchu?

The Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas

Getting to Cusco Sitting at approximately 3300m above sea level, it’s quite common for visitors to experience a mild case of altitude sickness upon arrival, particularly if you are flying in from Lima which is at sea level. The flight takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It’s also possible to get to Cusco by bus from Lima (24 hours), Arequipa (10 hours), Lake Titicaca (8 hours), and La Paz, Bolivia (15 hours).

Peru - Cusco

Traditional fashion vs modern fashion

No trip to Peru would be complete without visiting Cusco and experiencing a bit of Andean culture. Even if trekking to Machu Picchu isn’t your cup of tea, there’s surely something to be found in the city that will suit your tastes, whether it’s llama steak or coca tea. Coca tea, by the way, is perfectly legal in Peru and helps with the altitude. Cocaine, however, is totally illegal. You’ve been warned!

Peru - Cusco

A float for one of the many parades held in the city.

Peru - Cusco

The city is surround by awe inspiring mountains

Peru - Cusco

Parade goers line the Plaza de Armas

Peru - Cusco

A busy day in the square

Peru - Cusco

The focal point of the city is undoubtedly the Plaza de Armas

Peru - Cusco

The fountain in the center of the Plaza

Peru - Cusco

Parade day!

Peru - Cusco

Some colourful performers

Peru - Cusco

Seems like every city has its own Christ statue these days.

Peru - Cusco

Cusco’s Christ the Redeemer statue

Peru - Cusco

Taken from another vantage point of the city

Peru - Cusco

The main pedestrian mall

Peru - Cusco

Another incredible view from another vantage point

Peru - Cusco

A quiet moment just off the Plaza

Peru - Cusco

Sunset

Have you ever been to Cusco? What were your favourite things to see or do in the city?

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