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Cusco, Peru

When I was making this solo journey to Peru, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly, I was nervous yet excited at the same time. To be fair with, I invited some of my friends on facebook but unfortunately everyone seemed so busy and no one said “yes”. Well, I’m not bitter or anything but part of me wanted to go alone. During my trip to San Francisco, I also traveled solo and it was a rad sense of accomplishment on my part. Since I have always wanted to go to Peru, I finally decided to book my ticket and just go.

the city of Cusco

narrow streets

A “pay for photo” locals. L- llama  R-Alpaca

This was one tiring flight, I’ve changed planes 4 times (Denver- Houston- El Salvador- Lima- Cusco) but when I arrived in Lima and hearing those loud Spanish conversation, I smiled because I know that this trip will be interesting. I was at the Lima airport around 1 am and my next flight to Cusco was not after 6:00 am so I have a 5.0 hour layover. I was too tired and sleepy but glad to find a Starbucks and used their free wifi to kill my waiting time.

Some festival at the plaza during my second night

I finally arrived at Cusco at 7:00 am. I stayed in this old hotel near the main plaza and the staff greeted me with hot cocoa tea. The tea is supposed to help with altitude sickness. I was really zonked out but thankful that the hotel allowed me to check in so early in the morning.

she must be so tired

had fun time exploring their market

 

local spices

 

To recharge my energy, I took a nap first before exploring the city. I had a first taste of Peruvian food at El Meson de Don Tomas during lunch. Since it was my first meal in Peru, I ordered an alpaca steak. The meat was okay. It had a strong, gamey taste but very tender. It was also relaxing to hear a band playing Peruvian music on guitars and windpipes while I was enjoying my food.

LSS after lunch

classy bar in a small town

first time bartending

new friends

 

salsa dancing lesson

Cusco, known as the historical capital of Peru has an elevation around 11,200 feet, which makes it twice as high as Denver, Colorado. This means that altitude sickness is a real worry for visitors not accustomed to the thinner air. I’m just glad I didn’t experience this altitude sickness. Machu Picchu is the highlight of this travel but there is no airport or bus terminal in the ruins so most travelers find themselves first in Cusco as it is the closest city with an airport.

at San Blas overlooking the Plaza

 

I made the way to the beautiful Plaza de Armas in the center of the city. Around the plaza are two cathedrals and a lovely central park with beautiful landscape. I have to say that the whole city is impressive. It is full of cobblestone streets, narrow alleys,(leaving room for only one car) and old churches.  Many of the architectures sported solid Inca- period foundations. Cusco is full of character, best describes in their flag. At quick glance you might think that it’s same flag as gay pride. Haha!

Plaza de Armas

 

To sum up, I had a wonderful 4 –day stay in Cusco. From wandering aimlessly around the city to the adrenaline-pumped horseback riding (which I almost fell off) it truly was a remarkable place that I’ll never forget.

my super active horse Bonito!

 

scenic horsebackriding

up!

 

wasted!

 

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June 9, 2013 - 1:52 pm

Kat - Your photos are awesome! So glad I stumbled upon your blog. Bookmarking it. 😀

June 10, 2013 - 7:20 pm

Gaye @ Pinay Travel Junkie - Your awesome photos made me miss Peru sooo much! And makes me regret that we didn’t have much time to explore Cusco, plus it was raining everyday when we were there. But thankfully, when we visited Machu Picchu, the weather was good.

June 11, 2013 - 8:56 am

admin - @gaye: Too bad! Cusco has so much to offer 🙂 I’m glad that the weather in Machu Picchu was perfect! Cheers!

June 11, 2013 - 8:58 am

admin - @Kat: Pleasure’s mine 🙂

June 25, 2013 - 12:03 am

Dennis - Wow, living in Denver does have its advantage for you! I suffered soroche as soon as arrived in Cuzco, coca mate didn’t even help. Took a few days to get rid of the headaches!

Cuzco is just so beautiful! Your photos so vividly remind me of her!

June 25, 2013 - 9:10 pm

admin - Yeah, glad didn’t experience that. I really had great time wandering around Cusco. Peru is just incredible!

June 27, 2014 - 12:33 am

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico » jeffoutsidethebox - […] make me fall in love. Even the clumps of dirt in between old cobblestones were beautiful! Vigan and Cusco, for example, are a couple of places that I would love to come back to and visit again soon because […]

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