Word On The Street – Exploring The Peruvian City of Cusco With The Coversant Traveller

The next installment in the Word On The Streettravel series is a visit to Cusco. A city in the Peruvian Andes.  Peru is the home to a portion of the Amazon rain forest and the famous landmark of Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley of the Incan city, set high in the Andes mountains. Cusco was once the capital of the Inca empire. It’s also well known for its archaeological remains and the Spanish colonial architecture. Heather Cole, blogger of The Conversant Traveller takes us on a guided of Cusco for the second installment of the four-part travel series. You can search for the rest of the posts on social media via #WordOnTheStreetWithBee as well as the first post a guided tour of Perth In Australia.

 

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What area of town is best for a cocktail or a nice night out…

We love Chez Maggy just off the Plaza de Armas (main square) for it’s cosy and rustic atmosphere, superb pizza (when you’re fed up of eating llama or guinea pig!) and an incredibly friendly owner who plied us with free pisco sours on our honeymoon. There are often local musicians who pop in to serenade the diners, and yes, the panpipe music is cheesy, but you are in Peru so it’s allowed!

 

Where can the best view be found…
Just out of town is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sacsayhuaman (try and say ‘sexy woman’ when drunk and you’ll be halfway to pronouncing it!). This walled citadel dates back to the Inca civilisation (and even a bit before!) and has superb views of Cusco and the surrounding Andes. Also a great spot for that all important tourist photo with the obligatory llama.

 

 

 


What activities would you highly recommend in the city…

Spend the first day acclimatising to the altitude and take it easy by just strolling the streets, visiting the cathedral (one of the most beautiful in all of the Americas!), the Koricancha (Sun Temple) and numerous museums and churches if you have the energy! For more on activities surrounding this beautiful city

 

Best local escapes…
Then get out of town and explore the outlying archaeological sites of Qenko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, before visiting the traditional Indian market at Pisac to buy one of those iconic woollen hats or a soft alpaca scarf. For the more adventurous a day trip from Cusco can take you into the Sacred Valley to visit the Salineras de Maras Salt Mines, and the amazing concentric terraces at Moray, once ingeniously used by the Incas for a complex cultivation system.

 

Give me one secret only a local would know…
The nearby small district of Ccorca is the only remaining Quechua community in the Cusco region, and the way of life here is still traditional, with many hamlets consisting of simple adobe mud brick buildings and no electricity. Ask your guide to stop here on the way to Moray and visit a local house…we spent an afternoon with this delightful 90 year old blind lady who showed us around her single room home. There were several squeaking guinea pigs scurrying around the mud floors, one of which was destined for dinner that evening.
Easiest ways to get around town…
Cusco is a fairly small city, at least the parts you’d want to visit as a tourist, so it is best to stay on foot. Much of it is steep and cobbled, so leave the heels at home and instead opt for something comfy. To get out of town take a tourist bus or collectivo (like a grand taxi), or if you’re heading towards Machu Picchu (which of course you are!) there is no better way than by the Vistadome train.

 

Make sure you pack…
Warm clothing! Andean nights can be very cold, those alpaca blankets on the beds are there for a reason! Pack some Thermals to keep you warm.

Our Guide In Cusco, Heather Cole check out her blog below.


Blog: www.conversanttraveller.com
Facebook: Theconversanttraveller
Twitter: @conv_traveller
Instagram: @conversant_traveller

 

The next installment of the Word On The Street series we will be going to Scottsdale in Arizona, USA! Out next week to feed your Wednesday Wanderlust.

21 Comments

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:35 am

      It really does, doesn't it!

  1. October 14, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    Oh this is one of my dream places to visit! X

  2. October 14, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    So jealous! This looks like such an awesome experience.

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:35 am

      Meet too. Would love to visit Peru next year if I can.

  3. October 14, 2015 / 10:20 pm

    Great tips, I liked sexy woman the most 🙂

  4. October 15, 2015 / 12:40 am

    I heard this is a great city. I also heard they have some tea that helps you feel better in the new found altitude.

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:36 am

      Never heard of that but will have to look into it when I visit, hopefully in the coming year.

  5. October 15, 2015 / 2:52 am

    Love this post!

  6. October 16, 2015 / 1:56 am

    I just wrote a post about Cusco! It's such a cool city, probably my favourite in South America

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:37 am

      Awesome! Will check it out for some tips as I am keen to visit Cusco or Peru in general sometime next year.

  7. October 17, 2015 / 3:29 pm

    LOVED Cusco. Neat post. I need to get back to Peru one of these days… 😀

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:38 am

      You and me both, except my visit to Peru would be a first.

  8. October 18, 2015 / 2:05 pm

    This looks like a stellar experience! Ccorca sounds more of something that I'd like to do, and hang with the locals. Peru is on my list of places to go, but I won't lie… it's really to surf and eat :X

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:39 am

      Unfortunately this was a guest post but would love to visit Peru myself next year.

  9. October 20, 2015 / 4:39 pm

    Yep Holly, most hotels and restaurants have coca tea which helps combat the symptoms of altitude sickness that can affect people here in Cusco. Read more about altitude sickness here: http://bit.ly/1OuyaGX

    • October 21, 2015 / 10:40 am

      Thanks! I had no idea this tea was a common think. I wonder how high up this city/town is. Either way I would love to visit Cusco, Peru next year.

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