Stay: 6 out of 14 days

Sunday 14th April - Thursday 28th April

Hotel Plaza de Armas

Cuscu, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, was Paul and Preetha's main base of operations during their 3 weeks in Peru.  When they weren't trekking along the famous Inca Trail or exploring the Amazon Jungle, they spent a total of 6 nights in the relative civilisation of this high altitude (~11,000ft) city.  Although, as they mention in their 3rd email, even here life isn't easy if you don't speak Spanish...

The name "Cusco" is derived from the Inca word "Qosqo" which apparently means the "navel of the world" because they believed that their city was the source of life.  At its peak 500 years ago, the city had sophisticated water systems, paved streets and no poverty.  This only lasted for 70 years, however, before the Spanish came to visit...

There are numerous theories as to the design of the city, the boundaries of which were built in the shape of a Puma.  Some specialists believe that the Inca sensitivity to astronomy played a part in its shape, suggesting that at least one boudary was warped to make it coincide with the mid-point of the Milky Way!.

The city is also reknowned for its spectacular architecture, particularly the cathedral and churches, but I get the feeling that, after their treks, Paul and Preetha were most impressed with its hot showers and comfortable beds.