Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

Michelle in the Puma's mouth

they carried a lot of stones for this fort

Plaza de Armas from above the hill

and from ground level

inca stone walls and local girls

the here usual mix, bottom inca, top spanish

same thing here

here is our guide for the hike!


Our intention in Cuzco was to see the surrounding sites and then do a hike to a lesser known Inca ruin called Choquequirau. Charlie had already done the Inca Trail several years ago and seen Machu Picchu so we thought this would be a fun alternative since now the Inca Trail is much more expensive to do and overcrowded. As luck would have it, when we went to the South American Explorer's Club to ask about information on the hike to Choquequirau, they mentioned that a group was leaving the next day on an 8 day hike to the ruins and then on to Machu Picchu. We decided this would be a great way to do both things and got the last two spots in the group. We only had a few hours in Cuzco to check out the sites, so we went up to the big Inca fortress over the city. Supposedly the Incas constructed the city in the shape of a puma and the fortress was the head and teeth. The huge stones are quite impressive.

It is also impressive how much the city still holds walls over from the original inca capital. Around downtown frequently the lower part of the "modern, Spanish colonial" building is the original inca built wall.

Cuzco is pretty cool, although the tourist trade left its mark on it: you cannot sit or stand on Plaza de Armas longer than 30 sec-1 min before at least one kid will approach you if you want to buy postcards or finger puppets.



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