JWG (jwg) wrote,


After Lima we flew to Cusco to explore it and its surroundings and then go to Machu Picchu. Cusco is the gateway to Machu Pichuu - the only way to get to Machu Picchu other than by foot is via train from Cusco.

Cusco has a long interesting history. It was headquarters for various indian tribes and in particular it and the surrounding fertile valley and hills were dominated by Incas. One of it's key leaders, Yupanqui, was strong on uniting the various tribes. (too bad he isn't around today. ) After his success he was renamed Pachakuteq Inka Yupanqui. His architects designed the city to be in the shape of a Puma. Sanctuaries were aligned with the stars. For more details see this article (veracity not confirmed). Our guide who explained lots of things (too many for some people) did not cover this. Later of course the Spaniards invaded Peru (Pissaro in 1534) and their influence is seen in many of the buildings - many of which are build on top of Inca foundations. It's interesting to think about how the Spaniards occupied the west coast of South America which required some extremely difficult traveling since you had to sail around the tip of South America which is quite treacherous.

We had several quick trips to plazas, churches, and convents in central Cusco. The main square was a couple of blocks from our hotel (it's where the bus parked to let us on or off). Cusco is a big city with a rapidly growing current population of almost 400,000 - of course that's small compared to Lima which is ~8 million. It is definitely a fascinating place and I wish we had more time to explore there.

Click here for some pictures ->

Click here for pictures
of children in the square->
Tags: mpei2010, peru, travel

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