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sunny 15 °C

Our first view of Cusco


We left our lodge by boat at 8:30am and headed back to Maldonada where we stopped to visit a lovely butterfly farm. We were at the airport in plenty of time for our 11:20 departure and we in Cusco shortly after noon. Although we are not on an organized tour we did plan the trip through a local company who were waiting for us on arrival and transported us to our hotel.


We love our hotel, Ninos Hotel. There is so much charm to be found when you get away from chains and 4 and 5 star hotels and this is a gem. We selected this hotel because it had a story.


We are staying the second of three hotels founded by a Dutch lady, Jolanda van den Berg who vacationed in Peru in 1996 and returned because she wanted to do something for the many children she saw working in the streets. She originally rented a small room and gave two children a home. Her family grew quickly and she eventually housed 12 boys. There is more to the story which you can read online but she eventually started a hotel to provide a steady income and a place to teach the boys skills. In 2000 she opened the Ninos (which means children) restaurant and two years later a second hotel which houses the girls. All profits go the foundation. The kids are fed, get medical and dental care and get support for schooling. Jolanda still lives in the first hotel with her two biological children. She has adopted 23 Peruvian children. Their names are the names of each of the rooms (you know this made me cry). We have Janeth’s room. The rooms are big, clean and simply gorgeous.

To read more about the project click here


The town of Cusco has immediate charm. It sits 11,000 feet (3360 meters) above sea level and was once the capital of the ancient Incas. Because of the altitude the air is very thin and many tourists will suffer from altitude sickness which can be quite nasty. They say there is no predictor of who will get sick. Sometimes it is top athletes while those with poor health do fine. In any case it is not to be taken lightly and it was my biggest fear about coming here. I actually had an irrational fear that I would land and immediately be fighting for air. I am happy to report we are all well. We are taking medication that helps and followed the directions yesterday to rest, walk slow, eat light, and drink lots of coco tea, the local remedy. We did have a moment shortly after arriving at the hotel where we feared we may be going nuts. I suddenly felt light headed, Sharon reported the same and within minutes we were in fits of uncontrollable laugher ( for those who have spent Christmas eve with me, I will liken it to that). Not long after, Jackson, Isaac and Kajal joined in while Lorna looked on wondering what the hell was going on. It was like booze hitting you hard but we hadn’t been drinking. It did settle out but was a bit of fun for a while.


After some mandatory rest we sauntered down to the main square, stopping at a few markets along the way. We have been in some of the high end Alpaca shops where the wool is soft to touch and the prices high, so have been ruined for some of the stuff in the streets. It might just be better to pay more and get something nice although I am not getting a $400 sweater. It is so cold; I may get a $25 one on the streets. Brhhh. We had the heat going in the room all night and our bathroom, which is separated, is freezing!


I can’t wait to go back to the main square this morning because it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Because it is winter it gets dark very early so by dinner time it is hard to doing any sight seeing. The one thing I do notice which is probably a product of the economy and so much tourist money is that there are still many street children selling and lots of drunks in the streets. That makes me sad.


We are excited to get out an explore what appears to be another amazing South American city.

Posted by curlygirl 05:04 Archived in Peru Tagged peru hotel family cusco ninos

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Thanks for sharing your experiences! Really cool!

by Bill

Love the butterflies and Peruvian handiwork

by Shirley

I love the story about your hotel. I leant so much through your posts. Have an amazing trip. Can't wait to read and learn more about this wonderful world we live in.

by Monique

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