Country number six: Peru. After a few flights and a terrible layover, we landed in Cusco around 10 am. We were exhausted, but managed to find the correct bus to our hostel, accidentally got off a stop too early, and then trudged uphill to our hostel. Maybe it was the week of pampering on the Galapagos, or maybe it was the thin air, but these first stairs in Cusco were some of the hardest I’ve climbed. One hostel bed and a blessed nap later, we left to explore the city.
Sitting at nearly 3,400 meters above sea level (more than 11,000 feet), Cusco is a high-altitude city normally populated by posh tourists, adventurous thrill-seekers, and local Peruvians trying to make a living. But because we arrived in the low (rainy) season, the narrow cobblestone streets of the city were decidedly quiet, while the sky alternated between bright blue and threats of rain. Here’s our first impression in photos: