Cusco Journals

Snow, Stairs and Soroche; Heart of the Inca Empire

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Cusco by Niiko

Quote: Cusco and its wealth of surrounding riches; the small, the big and the Guinea Pig.

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site

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Attraction | "The Hype, and Then Some"

Quote:
~ A Little Background ~ Originally built during the 15th century, Machu Picchu is unusual for the fact that the relentless Spanish conquistadors who sought to wipe out the Incas never discovered its location. However, with the passing of those who built it, the citadel was reclaimed by the jungle and lay hidden from the outside world until it was (officially, at least) discovered by American scholar Hiram Bingham in 1911. There is still no real consensus as to what Machu Picchu was used for - theories have seen it as a sun temple, a refuge for the 'Virgins of the Sun', the last city of the Incas and numerous other variations. The favourite modern conception of the site is a rather simpler ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 29, 2010

Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site
Above The Urubamba Valley
Cusco Region, Peru

Inca Trail

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Attraction | "On the Beaten Path"

Quote:
~ Tourism & Machu Picchu ~ As stoutly as the Inca Empire was able to resist the advancing Spaniards, the influx of tourism has proved rather more difficult to hold back. That's not to say Peru wants to discourage tourists, far from it - although there are a number of fairly strict safeguards in place to prevent Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail which reaches it from being overrun. Only 500 people a day are allowed to use the Trail, and development in and around the Unesco World Heritage site is minimal. This is for the most part a positive thing, and means the immensely popular site retains the ethereal splendour that people have come to see, untainted by the outside world. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 25, 2010

Inca Trail
Andes Mountains
Cusco, Peru

Aguas Calientes

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Attraction | "In Hot Water"

Quote:
Where some places exist on their own merits and are destinations in themselves, others spring up out of necessity, serving a function and spreading out like a fungus. Or a flower, to go with a slightly more positive image.Aguas Calientes is one of these places – although when I was there, there seemed to be something of an official resistance to calling it this, pushing the moniker "Machu Picchu Town" instead. Which just sounds like an extension of Disneyland. So I’ll stick with Aguas Calientes. The place, which exists largely to cater for the influx of tourists coming to and descending from the world-famous Inca Citadel, has a kind of end-of-the-worldly, last-stop feel about it, like a du...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 29, 2010

Exploring Cusco

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Attraction | "My Giddy Air"

Quote:
Though it is often viewed foremost as the gateway to Machu Picchu, Cusco is a beguiling, fascinating city, rich in history and modern-day delights, and is overlooked at the traveller's peril. Understandably, the Inca Trail and the famous citadel at its end are the major reasons many people will come to Peru, and an eagerness to get straight onto the trail is inevitable - however, spending a week or so in Cusco itself is something to be strongly recommended – for wellbeing of body and mind.~ A breath of fresh, if giddy, air ~ If only to acclimatise, one should spend a few leisurely days in the city before exerting themselves; the altitude is well-noted, and is ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 21, 2010

Exploring Cusco
Cusco, Peru
Cusco, Peru 00 51
0051 84 273693

Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park

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Attraction | "Kings of the Stone Age"

Quote:
Straying a little from the centre of Cusco, the ruins of Sacsayhuaman lie to the north of the city, around two miles' walk from the Plaza de Armas. Buses and taxis will take you up into the hills for a modest fee, dropping you outside the entrance, but we chose to walk up around the back of San Blas (5-10 minutes north-east of the main square), following the stairs and narrow streets cut into the hillside to the top. Going a little off-track does remind you of the vast number of people living in considerable poverty, even in a fantastic place such as this - a fact that one can lose sight of when surrounded by such lush and delightful scenery. Taking this route also runs you past the Cristo Blanco as y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 6, 2010

Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park
Located On A Steep Hill That Overlooks Cusco
Cusco, Peru

Yaku Mama Grill

Restaurant | "Mama Knows Best"

Quote:
As my beloved mother repeatedly told me, breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and at Yakumama’s, a wonderfully-situated eaterie on Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, it’s also the best. The restaurant’s open all day, but it’s the fantastic morning spreads and reasonable prices that’ll keep you coming back.The Plaza de Armas is oriented like a diamond, each of its corners seeking out a cardinal point. Yakumama Grill is at the southern apex, on the south-west side. A relatively inconspicuous entrance is tucked away under the arches that line the square, leading up a switchbacking flight of stairs to the restaurant. The food is certainly one part of the appeal of the place, but the atmosphe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 8, 2010

Yaku Mama Grill
Plaza de Armas
Cusco, Peru