The city of Cusco creates a marvelous ambiance at an elevation of over 11,000 feet above sea level. Spanish Colonial churches stand atop strong foundations set by the Inca and the boulder walls of Sacsayhuaman remain strong on the hill overlooking the city. The black and gray colors of the ruin’s stones shimmer in the passing sunlight surrounding by the rolling peaks of the Andes Mountains. The Inca crafted the boulders like puzzle pieces, fitting each stone together without the need for mortar, and the snug positioning keeps objects as thin as a blade of grass from entering between the stones.
Your flight lands at Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon arrival. Cusco offers a captivating atmosphere shaped by the cobblestone streets, tiled rooftops, and urban sprawl winding along the bordering slopes. The Central Market is filled with the aromas of fresh popcorn and simmering chicken soup. Produce, such as purple corn and a variety of potatoes line the aisles against large bags of quinoa and beans.
The church of La Compania de Jesus was erected in the 16th century and rebuilt after an earthquake in the mid-1600’s. The church boasts a grand facade competing with the beauty of the crowning cathedral in the Plaza de Armas. The baroque design of the exterior gives way to the magnificent gold altarpiece of the interior, which hosts a series of shimmering polychrome statues. The structure was erected on the foundations of the Huayna Capac Palace, home to the last ruler of the Inca Empire.
Consider reading some of our travelers' Peru vacation reviews for more information on this exhilarating tour.