Shots from the road: An Incan aperitif

After Puno’s unremarkable streets, settling into Cusco’s historic quarter was a real treat. This World Heritage city is a blend of Incan foundations and colonial toppings, courtesy of the Conquistadors – and it’s beautiful (even if the Spanish stonework falls short of Incan handiwork).

Cusco is the starting point for visits to Maccu Picchu, the jewel in the Incan crown, but we had a few days to spend around the city before making our way to that spectacular settlement. Plenty of time to wander the streets, marvelling at the intricacy and finesse of Incan construction; huge blocks of smooth stone, slotted together with incredible precision.

Cusco alley

There was also time for a day trip to the Sacred Valley outside Cusco, where vast green hills shelter ruins that stand in better shape than most modern Peruvian buildings. We visited two Incan sites, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo, pristine examples of Incan solidity. Really impressive stuff – yet just an introduction to the Incas…

Incan terraces at Chinchero.
Incan terraces at Chinchero, Peru.
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