At 3,400 meters (11,150 feet) above sea level, Cusco (Cuzco), the onetime southern capital of the Incas, today offers visually stunning opportunities to observe how native traditions in Peru intersect with Spanish colonial heritage. But first, a cup or two of rejuvenating coca tea to help adjust to the altitude that tends of affect even the most seasoned travelers.
Stroll Cusco’s cobblestone streets, discovering modern art galleries, alpaca sweater vendors, handicraft shops and exceptional restaurants like the Peru-Med upstairs café called Cicciolina. This city’s Spanish Baroque cathedral stands on the site of an Incan palace; inside its altar is made of pure silver. Museo de Arte Precolombino informatively displays a world-class collection of pre-Columbian art with one of this city’s most inspired eateries in its cobblestone courtyard.
Just outside Cusco, Qorikancha, or the Temple of the Sun, was once home to 4,000 Incan priests, and served both as an observatory and a storage facility for vast quantities of precious metals. Sacsayhuamán, one mile north of Cusco, is a military and religious complex dating to 15th century with sweeping views back to Cusco.
Please note that pre- and post- Amazon cruise itineraries are not included in the Aqua Expeditions Amazon River cruise rates and are priced separately. We will be happy to recommend our preferred tour operators to arrange this component of your Peru holiday.