At over 11,000 feet elevation, the arrival to Cuzco, Peru can be downright painful and breathtaking, literally. Without acclimating to the cities elevation, many travelers suffer headaches and shortness of breath upon arrival, which is remedied locally through the chewing of coco leaves and oxygen tanks for breathing.
The city serves as a stopping point for many on their way to see the ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Cuzco is the historic capital of the Incan Empire and is a huge tourist destination.
The mild highland climate has two decidedly different seasons. The dry season is from April through October and the wet season from November through March. Though Cuzco sits at an extremely high elevation, snow is extremely rare.
The city is hugely popular because of its history, culture, one of a kind ruins and friendly people. This is a place to go and reflect, to see the past and the largely unchanged structure that remain in this gorgeous city.
If visiting Cuzco, you absolutely must visit the central market. Sporting fresh fare ranging from the local favorite Cuy (guinea pig) to the more classic variety of seafood and fresh vegetables, this market is bustling with phenomenal ingredients that would catch the attention of any true chef.
The currency is the Peruvian Sole and the city can be reached by bus or plane. Also popular, is the railway system, which many travelers proceed to take up to the Machu Picchu ruins.
• Chew on the Coco leaves, you only live once right? Plus with this elevation, you are going to need something for that headache.
• See the friendly people, historic plazas and unique architecture this city has to offer.
• See the ancient and historic site of the nearby Machu Picchu ruins and absolutely breathtaking site.
• Expect major nightlife, the city does sport some local bars and clubs, but is mostly known for its historic and cultural side than a party city.
• Get lost in translation Cuy means Guinea Pig and if you are not keen on eating the little rodents then be alert when they show up on the menu.