Before stepping foot on its soil... 

I knew that Cusco, Peru would be one of my favorite cities in the world. From the air, I captured some really great images of the mountain city and was in love with the colors and textures on the ground. The love affair continued as I found my driver, Carlos, and he took me into the city to my hotel. I couldn't get enough of the stone, brick, and more stone. 

It was late afternoon and I couldn't help but notice the light and the shadows that were starting to be cast. I didn't waste a moment. After checking in, I simply walked to my room, threw all my bags on the bed, took out my camera and walked right back out into the city. It's a unique place and wanted as much time with it as possible. In the few streets outside of my hotel (Ninos Hotel Fierro), I started capturing some details: 

I would eventually find myself in the open space of Plazoleta San Pedro and would stumble upon the greatest thing a photographer could ask for...There were people dressed in colorful garb, musicians with instruments, noisemakers, and a big crowd gathering. It was a parade. 

The best research I can do has led me to believe that on this afternoon in early September, Cusco was having its Fiesta de la Virgen de Natividad (Festival of the Virgin of the Nativity) which is honor of none other than the Virgin Mary. Talk about great timing. I stepped off the plane no more than an hour prior and here I was immersed in a local parade. Photographer's dream. I captured a few images before it's start, and even mixed it up with a few members of one of the parades marching bands (have yet to develop that film, we'll see how I look in those images). I will also say that Halloween has some serious competition with all these great Cusco costumes. Too much fun: 

Afterward, I made my way over to Plaza de Armas, where I spent a few good moments before sunset capturing images of the Templo de la Compañía de Jesús, a gorgeous Jesuit church, and the statue/fountain of Pachacuti, one of the rulers of the Kingdom of Cusco and Incan Empire. FANTASTIC first day in Cusco: 

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