The Real McCoy – Cusco, Peru
Cuzco at 3300m above sea level it is a city to take wander around slowly, as any attempt to take on the steep lanes that wind up from the centre past ancient walls and buildings at speed is bound to leave one dizzy and very short of breath.
There are many reasons to put this city on the ‘things to do list’.
First it is the gateway to the sacred valley which culminates with Maccu Pichu - this is the place to plan your trip whether it be treking, taking the train or village hopping with the locals up the valley.
Second, it has a grandious presence thanks to the impressive colonial buildings and its ancient Inca walls that hark back to times when Cusco was the Inca stronghold.
Third, its narrow, steep cobbled lanes lead to cute plazas with spectacular views and sparkling fountains.
12 sided Inca Stone in wall
Fourth, it has markets and shops that throng with locals that sell traditional wares whilst sporting the traditional dress of their ancestors.
Fifth, it has some amazing restaurants and coffee shops.
Sixth, there are Inca ruins above the city that afford spectacular vistas of the city below.
Saqsaywaman (satisfied falcon) Inca Fort above Cusco
Sixth, town life carries on above the centre and one can people watch on the veranda of the lofty hostels watching the world go by.
Sixth, it has (in my opinion) the best Indian restuarant in South America and Britsh owned Real Mccoy which provides amazing big breakfasts and other pub grub (a welcome change from the chicken and rice that we dined on constantly). I loved this place.
Seventh, there are museums, art shows, cultural shows, cathedrals, small plazas with tinkling fountains, hundreds of kodak moments and the shopping is good.