Hotels in Cusco are well used to newly-arrived guests needing a quick dose of oxygen, with Cusco situated at around 11,000 feet above sea level. Usually 10 minutes is sufficient to restore you to ebullient health although I wouldn’t recommend attempting to climb Huana Picchu! We had arranged to be collected from the airport but, since our plane was rather late arriving, we didn’t hold out a lot of hope that they would still be there by the time we had come out of Arrivals. However, they were there, patiently waiting for us with the hotel’s shuttle bus. This set the tone for our holiday, to be quite honest.
We were booked into three hotels in the Cusco area, the first one in the town of Cusco itself to give us time to get acclimatized to the altitude, the second at Aguas Calientas for our much-awaited experience of Mucho Picchu, whilst our third hotel was again in Cusco to give us a chance to visit some of the other sites we wanted to see in the archeological dream of a town. That first morning, jet-lagged though we were from our long flight from Europe and second flight to get to Cusco, but we did full justice to the very tasty buffet breakfast. Although this hotel was right in the centre of Cusco, it maintained a dignified quiet about the whole premises.
Ceremonial City of the Incas
Our trip to Machu Picchu was everything we had expected and more. How can you possibly describe something as breathtakingly lovely and ethereal as this incredibly ancient site hovering on the edge of the world, wreathed in low-flying clouds so that the granite peaks hovered into view every now and then as the clouds cleared? We travelled around the area of Cusco where the Amazon vegetation meets the Andes and, knowing that our hotels in Cusco would be available to offer us peace and relaxation at the end of each day enabled us to make the most of every day of our visit.
Ollantaytambo and Pisac
Overall, we visited Ollantaytambo at the end of our holiday and stayed overnight there before making our way back to Cusco and then, the next, day finished our holiday with a visit to the market at Pisac. I have to say, however, that if it wasn’t for the standard of care and assiduous attention from the staff at each of the hotels we stayed in, I don’t think our holiday would have been anywhere near as enjoyable as it was.