Top Ten Peru Classic Adventures

Cuzco: Altitude Adjustment
By Rob Rachowiecki

Don't let Cuzco's altitude of 11,300 feet get you down: There's no better place to acclimatize. Cuzco's the ancient center of the Inca empire (how central? It's named after the Quechua Indian word q'osco, meaning "navel"), and brimming with Incan and Spanish colonial treasures. It's also the best gateway to several hiking areas, including the Inca Trail and Ausangate. Build up your thin-air tolerance on a six-mile walk. Take a local bus to Pisac and get off at Tambo Machay, a site known for its Inca fountain; then return along the road, visiting Incan sites like the labyrinths of Q'enko and the magnificent fortress of Sacsayhuaman, with memorable views of Cuzco. Soon you'll be ready to take on those tough hikes.


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