Hostal El Triunfo is centrally located, steps away from the Plaza de Armas. My room with private bathroom was clean, bright and quiet. The front desk staff spoke English and were helpful with local tour bookings and general inquiries. My room rate included breakfast which consisted of basic hot and cold choices, coffee, juices, and cocoa leaf tea (mate de coca), known to help counteract some of the effects of altitude sickness. After breakfast, I stayed in my room to rest for a few hours.
In the afternoon, I walked to Jack’s Cafe to have lunch then started to explore the Plaza de Armas. The weather was sunny and cool. Cusco is at an altitude of 3400m (11,152 ft) above sea level so the air feels thinner, dryer, and it is more difficult to breathe. Even though my walk was short, I noticed how my heart seemed to beat faster, and I had to adjust to a slower pace.
Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th century Spanish conquest. UNESCO declared Cusco a World Heritage Site in 1983. My first impression of Cusco: A lovely city, with ancient Inca walls, Spanish-styled balconies and red tile roofs. Lots of history and beautiful architecture to explore.
Here are some pictures taken around the historic Plaza de Armas. Click to enlarge them.
|Plaza de Armas, Cusco|
|Church of the Society of Jesus in Cusco|
|Narrow and hilly street to San Blas district, Cusco|
|Hostal El Triunfo front desk|