Cusco (Cuzco or Qusqu)
Top: Plaza de Armas,Cuzco, (3326m) was the ancient capital of the Inca empire from the 13th to the early 15th century and later rebuilt and enlarged by emperor Pachacuti.
Middle left: Temple of Coricancha,
Middle right: Aerial view of Cusco,
Bottom left: Sacsayhuamán,
Bottom right: Cathedral of Cusco
The city, the oldest continuously inhabited place on the continent, was laid out in a regularly planned city wards representing all the provinces of the empire.
There was an inner city, including the Holy Place, (Huacapata), palaces, and administrative buildings, the Sunturhuasi tower in the square, and the Coricancha or Sun Temple.
In 1535, Francisco Pizarro a Spanish conquistador defeated the Incas, and established Lima as the viceregal capital of Peru.
Its mountain location was impractical to the Spaniards, who needed a large port city to bring European trade to their colonial possessions.
Cusco remained an important provincial governorship, however, and was still sacred to the Incas, who set up a successor state at Vilcabamba in the hills to the north.
They tried to recapture Cusco in 1538.
In 1572 the Incas were finally defeated.
Due to Cusco's central location in the Andes, and close vicinity to Machu Pichu, the Inca trail and Lake Titicaca attracts large number of visitors.
For more information about Cusco see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A local travel agent began hassling us soon after our arrival and taken us by taxi to a number of hotels before we found the Royal Inti, where we managed to negotiate an acceptable price of US$20 for two of us a night.
We did not like the pushiness of the travel agent and couldn't get rid of him quick enough.
Perhaps we should have been more tolerant, because they know ways to make your stay cheaper if you are on tight budget, as we were, but his insistence and pushiness did get under my 'gills'.
We quickly booked to visit Machu Pichu and Lake Titicaca by train.
The night before our trip to Machu Pichu I had a very bad attack of "altitude sickness".
I had a very bad headache, dizziness, trouble breathing and various pain in many places in my body.
During the night I often questioned, my survival until the morning, when it was too late to catch our train.
We had to trade in our Machu Pichu "Backpackers" tickets for a far more expensive "first class" ones, because the "Backpackers" were booked out for the next day, only available to us, because our scheduled departure.
We have enjoyed our stay in Cusco, Machu Pichu, Puno and Lake Titicaca thoroughly.
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