by Erin Elaine
Cusco was by far my favorite city in Peru. Cusco is the jumping-off city for the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, but don’t rush through the city itself. It’s a really enjoyable place to be, and I’d recommend spending 3-5 days here if you can.
Any city with lots of pedestrian-only streets immediately has my heart.
The central area of the city is really beautiful. Most of the buildings are Spanish-era, often built on Inca foundations.
Of course there are still Inca-era walls and buildings still standing. The walking tour guide asked us which wall we thought was older, and I answered the one on the right. Turns out the one on the left was built by the Incas and the one on the right was built by the Spanish. I learned that the Incas were master stoneworkers. You can’t fit a dollar bill between two stones! The wall also has a slight incline to protect against earthquakes.
At the end of the walking tour we were shown how to make ceviche. Apparently the trick is to use small limes, as they’re more sour. I loooove ceviche and I ate a lot of it on this trip!
I love how spacious the Plaza del Armas is. You can see the hills surrounding the city, giving it a very cozy feel.
I visited the Inca Museum and really enjoyed it. I love the little llama figurines.
Alpaca is so yummy! I guess this was the most out-of-the-ordinary thing I ate in Peru, since I never ended up eating guinea pig. Alpaca tastes somewhat like bison meat, if I had to compare it to something else.
I was lucky enough to be in the city during solstice celebrations, which was really neat. I got to see dozens of different groups performing with music and dance. It was a lot of fun!
I had to get a picture with this adorable alpaca. I wonder if he ever runs in to things?
I stayed at a great hostel called Pariwana. It was the best hostel I stayed at the whole trip, and better than most I’ve stayed at in Europe.
Last but not least, some beautiful murals I saw while walking around.