7 Day Itinerary in Cuzco

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Day one. Arrival in Cuzco. Due to the altitude of this city, be sure to take things easy on your first day – especially if you are arriving by air as your body will not have had a chance to acclimatise gradually. Whether you arrive by plane, bus or train, don’t try to walk to your lodgings with your luggage, as the altitude will make this exhausting. Take a cab (these are plentiful and inexpensive) and rest awhile before heading out. Spend the first day getting to know the city, which is easily navigable on foot, but take things easy. Look out for the Inca stonework that can be seen in the city streets. Invest in a Boleto Turistico General, which provides 10-day entry to the many historical and cultural sites in the city for around US$60. It’s wise to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during your first day in the city, so when night falls, just take your pick from one of the many restaurants in the city centre, fill up on carbs to keep your energy levels high, and get an early night.

Day two. Once your batteries are recharged, head to the impressive Palacio del Almirante, which also houses the Inca Museum. Close by, the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art is also well worth a visit. Grab a snack from one of the ubiquitous cafes or juice bars, before heading to Santo Domingo, where you can take a guided tour and see the excavated remains of the Qorincha, Temple of the Sun. After dark, budget travelers can find cheap restaurants around the streets Plateros, Procuradores and Tecesccocha, while a more expensive but good quality option is Inka Grill, at Portal de Panes 115, Plaza de Armas, which combines traditional Andean dishes with some great vegetarian choices. For late night drinks, there are lots of bars concentrated around Tecseccocha, but take things easy as you’ll want a clear head for the morning

• Days three to six
. For most visitors, Cuzco is a stopping point for taking in the magnificent Inca site of Machu Picchu, and taking the ‘Inca Trail’ – a high altitude trek through the mountains – is the best way to arrive. There are several companies offering guided treks, among the best of which is Amazing Peru, whose offices are located at Calle Yepez Miranda C-6, Magisterio. You’ll need well-broken-in hiking boots or sandals, plenty of layers for the variable weather, sun cream for the daytime and cozy clothes for the chill evenings. Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

• Day 7 After a well-earned rest from your mountain adventure, take a trip out to the ancient ceremonial site at Sacsayhuaman,whose giant Incan stones can’t fail to impress – even after Machu Picchu. Your multi-entry ticket is valid here too. If you head here on foot from Plaza de las Nazarenas, you’ll pass the ancient Qenqo Ampitheatre, which is worth a visit in itself. There are further Inca treasures to be found nearby, so its worth taking a guide to see the best of the sites, and allowing the best part of the day. When night falls, enjoy a last-night meal and drinks at Fusiones Restaurant-Bar, on the second floor of the La Merced centre, next to the Plaza de Armas. Here you’ll find Andean and international dishes, and some excellent wines.

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