It really is hard to match the density of tourists per square meter daily transits Cuzco in Peru, the correct spelling is Cusco-whatever the time of year.
The ancient capital of the Inca empire is today a city of half a million people and perhaps as cosmopolitan as any in Latin America. Children, youth, adults, elders. European, North American, South American, Asian. All intersect each colonial buildings up and down the cobbled streets, stopping to regain normal rhythm of breathing more often than usual. Is that, at 3,400 meters above sea level, the "altitude sickness" or "boy" is not just concern athletes. Some tourists come to pass pretty bad (with headache, nausea or insomnia) until, after one or two days, manage to acclimate. Others barely notice the change, although fatigue is quite common. The chewing coca leaves or infusion usually available free at hotels and hostels for guests to use them as a treatment.
Overcome altitude sickness, list all the activities offered by the city is a daunting task. Beyond the enjoyment itself involve walking the historic town surrounded by picturesque mountains and observe the daily bustle, there is something for everyone: museums, nightclubs, fairs and restaurants in the city center, horseback riding, extreme sports and short trips in villages nearby. One of the most made-in general, as a preview to Machu Picchu, for she grew to the idea of the archaeological sites of the area and its history, is the Sacred Valley of the Incas, consisting of a three day visit peoples: Pisac, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo, in the latter, it is worth staying overnight.
Back in Cuzco , an unforgettable experience is to visit the Mercado de San Juan , in the historic center and just three blocks from the Plaza Mayor . While one half of the property is dedicated to clothing and crafts , the other is a very popular food court Cuzco. And that is all, literally . On the one hand , there are bars that serve hearty lomo saltado , Cuban rice , rice " chaufa " ( or " Chifa " , which is the fusion of Peruvian cuisine with China ) , pickled fish or ceviche , for example at prices supereconómicos (3 to 6 suns , ie 24-48 Uruguayan pesos ) . If the guest has no problem with the preparation of the dishes is questionable hygiene worth trying . In fact , although many tourists come just to gawk and take pictures , so many others are encouraged to eat, but the ingredients are not cool , the cook while copper cut vegetables and dishes are washed in buckets ranging sinking clouding the water throughout the day.
But in addition to meals, the market also has stands selling juices, spices, grains, fruits, vegetables and meats-impresses see beef snouts on countertops, plus some curiosities. One of them is ayahuasca, this natural drink used for religious rituals, according to some traditions, allows "the spirit leaves the body." Or in other words, is a drug that generates strong hallucinogenic effects. In the market there are bottles of this preparation, like St. Peter (another sacred drink with psychoactive effects). Just do not bottle it is for sale. Ayahuasca is shared by "dose" and each costs 75 soles (about 600 pesos). Quite economical when compared to the ceremonies performed for tourists in the mountains, minutes from the village of Pisac, the experience costs from 150 soles (about 1,200 dollars) in an informal group to $ 250 with a shaman recommended by guide trip.
No obstante, cuando se habla de dinero, vale tener presente una regla válida en todo Perú: el regateo es ley. En general, la conversación con un vendedor suele comenzar así: ¿Cuánto cuesta? "40 soles, pero se lo dejo en 35" Mmm... "Hágame una oferta, amiga. ¿Cuánto quiere pagar?". La misma negociación puede hacerse al contratar ciertos paseos o servicios turísticos.An example of this is the price range that you can reach the area jewel: Machu Picchu. Roughly speaking, there are three ways to access the mountain where the lost city of the Incas. For the most comfortable, the best option is the train of Peru Rail, the one that makes the stretch Cuzco-Machu Picchu (although the station is not in the capital but 11 kilometers Cuzco, in Poroy). According to the chosen and the date of the year, round-trip ticket cost from 140-700 dollars.
Another popular way is to do the Inca Trail , one of the most famous trekking routes in the world. The "official" four days and three nights must be booked at least four months in advance and is around $ 500 . However, there are several walks to choose from. Another of the most popular is the Camino Salkantay , longer and more rustic but with landscapes and priceless feelings : one of the nights we camp at the base of a snowy mountain in subzero temperatures , the day after struggling with the heat , humidity and mosquitoes in the middle of the Amazon rainforest , according to bargaining ability , experience costs between 180 and 250 dollars. Mind you , negotiate the tents and envelopes that give are of good quality , and make sure the price includes that part of your luggage load . Recently, two new routes were added . One is the Inka Jungle , that adds a stretch trekking bike (about $ 300 ) . And the other is known as Machu Picchu by car : is part of Cuzco by truck , usually to 12 or 14 people , road to the village of Santa Teresa and from there walk 10 km to Aguas Calientes ( the town that is in the base of Machu Picchu ) . Warning: they stretch , lasting six hours , is always by mountains and there is a gap on the end, which is known as " death road " , on one side is the rock (which each have both landslides ) and the other the precipice , not paved , is very narrow and dual hand. If it survives , the experience will have cost only $ 120. In addition, all the above routes include meals, one night in Aguas Calientes, entrance ticket to Machu Picchu , the guide and return to Cuzco . There is no bus that takes you from the town to the Inca city , but if you prefer to save the $ 10 ticket can climb the mountain on foot: will take about an hour .
It is recommended to save energy for the rest, it is still far and long. But do not worry, when you stand on top of the mountain, every effort will be worth it.
Wonder of the World
Although the peak season is in June Cuzco (for European holidays), and the second peak is in January (in the austral summer), no time of year with low demand to enter Machu Picchu. The Incan city discovered "scientifically" in 1912 is a World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the modern world. In addition to the amazing construction, which takes about five hours to go, the visitor can make several trips from there, like going to the Puerta del Sol, the Temple of the Moon or move the mountains Machu Picchu ("Old Mountain") and Huayna Picchu ("Young Mountain")