Cusco was not my mother's favorite since she got sick as soon as we landed. Altitude sickness is very common in Cusco. The cure: Mate de Coca (Coca Tea-a herbal tea made using the leaves of coca plant.) My mother was provided with mate and an oxygen tank at our hotel, but remained sick through the morning. I became very concerned and took my mother to the tourist hospital. Unfortunately, my mother was hospitalized for the next three days. We found that my mother did not only have altitude sickness, but also Salmonella and Giardia Lamblia, which is a parasite that can be found in uncooked food and contaminated water, etc. I felt horrible that she was going through all this. I was surprised that I didn’t get sick. I believe she got this from eating some grapes the night before we left Lima. Luckily, I didn’t eat those grapes. I slept in the hospital two out of the three days my mother was hospitalized. This wasn’t the greatest way to start our next adventure. After this experience, my mother didn’t really have energy to partake in any of the activities that I booked for us, including a tour to el
Valle Sagrado de Los Incas (SacredValley of the Incas) and Machu Picchu. My mother feared getting sick again and just wanted to rest the next couple of days in the hotel room. I offered my mother to fly back to Lima, but she didn’t want me to miss any of the tours. My mother encouraged me to go on the tours, being that they were paid for and she didn’t want for us to lose that money. Motherly love!!!!! Cusco Tips:
1. If you are interested in doing a tour, you can arrange one at the airport. They have several travel agents that book tours and hotels for you. They personally drop you off at your hotel, if you book it through them.
2. Food in Cusco is cheap. I was able to eat a whole meal for 3 Peruvian Nuevo Sol, which is approximately $1.00. The meal included a soup, rice, meat and a drink.
3. If you want to eat traditional food in Cusco, you must visit "La Chomba".
4. In comparison to Lima's city life, Cusco is more colonial. The streets are cobble stone and narrow. People are more traditional and dress
in cultural attire.
5. A very cool place to visit is El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco). This is free of charge.
6. You can souvenir shop at el Centro Artesanal (Handicraft Center).
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