peru
andes
Cusco (Cuzco)
Central Plaza - Stand with the kids in the central plaza, and you are, according to 800 year old Inca beliefs, literally in the navel of the Universe, the center of its four quarters. (The word "Cusco" means navel in Quechua.) A beautiful spot today, at one time it gloried in its importance, bathing itself in so much gold the Conquistadors thought they were hallucinating. You might feel a little dizzy yourself: the city is 11,000 feet above sea level, so take it slow.
The Cathedral - Another 400 year-old structure from the earliest colonial period, built in response to the political importance of Cusco in the Inca Empire. This has a magnificent colonial art collection.
Koricancha - Inside the Convento de Santo Domingo are ruins of the Koricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun. Imagine these enormous stone walls covered in gold - and you'll know why the Spanish liked Peru so much.
Down the hill from the Convento de Santo Domingo, the Museo de Sitio del Koricancha has a good model of what the Koricancha looked like. The grassy area around the museum is a fine place for kids to run around.
Iglesia San Cristobal - From the plaza outside the church of San Cristobal, you have a great vista of Cusco, a sea of red tile roofs, surrounded by high mountains, sparkling in the high mountain air. Climb up the bell tower for an even better view. Kids need to stretch their legs - it's a nice walk to the church from the center of town.
Tip: In Cusco, buy a Boleto Turistico, a tourist ticket for entrance into many of the sites in and around Cusco. The ticket includes Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Tambomachay, Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chincherro, the cathedral, Museo de Sitio del Koricancha, Museo Historico Regional. The ticket is good for ten days and kid's tickets are half price.

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