Out through the garden a structure had been added to
the house which held jewellery, objects of art, and lots of
beautiful things from different periods that had been
unearthed, some comparatively recently, from ancient tombs
and digs. Although we were told that the items technically
belonged to the country and could not be removed, you have
to wonder why and how these items, given the extent and
quantity of the collection, were allowed into private hands.
It is not possible to visit Peru without bringing back
some souvenirs. The best bargains are to be had out of town
during an excursion where the locals are happy to bargain.
Many sweaters are made from the wool of a baby alpaca,
which are hand-knitted. Authentic weaving of Inca
designs is still maintained through the Centre for Traditional
Textiles of Cusco, which was set up to encourage native
families to make and sell a varied selection of items using
Soles are the local currency with dollars accepted in
most cases, although you could lose out in the conversion.
Although credit cards are taken in some shops, you can usually
benefit from a discount if you pay with cash. Crime is rife,
particularly at night, and it is important to take heed of where
you go, and to be aware of pickpockets.
If taking a taxi, which has to be paid in the local currency,
it is important to agree the fee in advance as there are no taxi
meters. Unfortunately, there is a great divide between those
who are extremely rich, and the many who have very little.
If you are planning to visit, start collecting clothes that you
no longer want, and don’t worry about whom to give them
to – you will find plenty of deserving takers.
It is worth noting that you are required to pay airport tax,
both within the country – we flew from Lima to Cuzco,
$5 each way – and $28 when you leave Peru. As there are
no direct flights from the UK, we had to change airports
at Amsterdam. With a stop-over, the trip took us 18 hours,
which did not include getting to and from the airports.
Tel: 020 873 5000 -
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org -
Cox & Kings is offering readers of MQ magazine
£100 off all Peru tours in the company’s Latin
America 2006 brochure, including its 7-night
Highlights of Peru tour. This excellent introduction
to Peru takes in the country’s most famous sights,
including the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Cuzco
and Lima. On this tour one night is spent at the site
of Machu Picchu, allowing visitors the chance to
return to the Inca citadel the following morning.
For more information, to make a booking or to find
out about its other tours to Peru call 020 7873 5000
quoting reference PERUMQOFFER.
Cusco, once the capital of the Inca empire
Web site created by Mark Griffin