Cusco, Peru

Cusco is a city that lives from tourism. The city and the surrounding area has lots to offer:

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Of course, when you’re in Cusco there can be no doubt that Machu Picchu should be on your list as well. The historical site is part of Unesco’s world heritage sites and for a reason.

From Cusco, you can of course walk alongside the Inca Trail in 5 days to Aguas Calientes. You can also make it to Poroy or Ollantaytambo and take the train. Poroy is about 15 minutes from Cusco center. If you drive to Ollantaytambo, you’ll have to count several hours. I met a couple of friends from New York that had seen all kinds of roads and villages while driving from Cusco to Ollantaytambo. Fortunately for me, they missed their earlier train because of this and ended up on the same train where I was on since Poroy. Still hope they were on time in Machu Picchu to meet their friends.

My "alter-Lego" in the station of Poroy, waiting for the train to go to Machu Picchu.
My “alter-Lego” in the station of Poroy (Cusco), waiting for the train to go to Machu Picchu.

The Saqsaywaman sites near Cusco

The walls in the site of Tambomachay
The walls in the site of Tambomachay

There are several other historical sites surrounding Cusco. I was pretty much impressed by the ones that form the Saqsaywaman site. The large walls on the main site and the floor plans of the towers give an idea of the architecture in the area. The spirituality that surrounds the Q’enqo site is stunning. And the Tambomachay and Pukapukara sites give an insight into how the Inca society was organized.

Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is not only, just like all other cities in Peru, the central square. This one is infamous as well because it’s here that Túpac Amaru II was executed by the Spaniards. He started a movement for equal rights for indigenous people.

Pachacutec on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru
Pachacutec on the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Peru

The fountain in the middle of the square has the statue of Pachacutec on top of it. There was a bit of controversy when it was installed in 2011. But when I visited in 2015, Pachacutec seemed to be still there, showing the Inca heritage of Cusco.

Plaza San Francisco

The Calle Marquez and the Plaza San Francisco are places where you can stroll or just hang out.

A Franciscan Monk
A Franciscan Monk

San Pedro Market

The Plaza San Pedro hosts many shopping facilities. You’ll find small stores, street vendors, and supermarkets. On the square itself there’s the San Pedro Market. The smells will lead you to this market where refrigeration of meat seems not been invented yet. But all the produces are local, and the people are more than willing to tell a little more. You will find all sorts of fresh food here. Most vendors are related to the farmers. Across the street are more people selling fruits.

Entrance of the San Pedro Market in Cusco
Entrance of the San Pedro Market in Cusco.

There are several entrances to the market. The main entrance is located in front of the church.

Meat vendor in the San Pedro Market in Cusco
Meat vendor in the San Pedro Market in Cusco. 

The meat is displayed on the counter. It’s not cooled. Flies and other insects are of course very eager to taste the meat as well.

The small aisles the San Pedro Market in Cusco
The small aisles the San Pedro Market in Cusco.

Hotel

My room in the Tierra Viva Cusco Centro Hotel
My room in the Tierra Viva Cusco Centro Hotel.

I stayed in the Tierra Viva Cusco Centro. A nice hotel, very much in the center of Cusco. All the comfort a traveler needs.

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