An April 2002 trip
to Cusco by astrid_travel
Quote: I lived in Peru's Sacred Valley for 3 months as a volunteer teacher, staying with a local family. I often visited Cusco at weekends and on one of my holidays, i trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with friends.
Restaurant | "Greens."
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 7, 2002
Cusco, Peru 243820
+51 84 24 3820
Restaurant | "Los Perros Couch Bar."
Although the food is snack food, it is filling. Especially good are the soups, or the potato skins. The baguettes are good to take away for a picnic (they also do special picnic food). For drinks, the iced-chocolate is good, or a special smoothie (great for hangovers!). Alcoholic drinks are quite pricey.
Average cost of a meal is $3. There is a good net cafe a few doors away.
Los Perros Couch Bar
Restaurant | "Yaku Mama,"
My "usual" was the special breakfast which cost approx $3 and included as much bread (white and wholemeal), butter and jam, tea/coffee and fresh fruit juice as I wanted. You can get 2 eggs, cooked to your liking, muesli with fruit and yoghurt, and a sandwich, too. The pancakes are also worth trying.
There is a very clean toilet upstairs.
Service is quite slow.
Restaurant | "Yaku Mama."
The best thing about this place is the view over the square from the balcony.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 7, 2002
Yaku Mama Grill
Plaza de Armas
Attraction | "Inca Trail (Trial) and Machu Picchu."
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 13, 2002
Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site
Above The Urubamba Valley
Cusco Region, Peru
Attraction | "Norton Rats."
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 14, 2002
Norton Rat's Tavern
Loreto 115, 2do. piso
+51 84 246204
Attraction | "Cross Keys Pub."
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 14, 2002
Cross Keys Pub
Plaza De Armas
Attraction | "Peliclub."
Attraction | "Mama Africa."
Portal de Harinas 191 - Plaza de Armas
+51 (84) 246544
Attraction | "Xcess."
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 15, 2002
Plaza De Armas
Attraction | "eko."
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 7, 2002
Calle Plateros (close to Plaza)
I went with the Uk- based organisation "Teaching and Projects Abroad" because i wanted to do volunteer work, but i wanted to go with a company that would be flexible about dates. They organised my teaching placement (I chose this from a variey of projects which also included rainforest conservation and archeology) and my homestay.
This was probably the part of my trip which i enjoyed the most, despite the fact that i wasn't actually travelling. It gave me the opportunity to find out about and become a part of the community. Working with the children (aged 12-19) was rewarding and fun, and i loved living with the local family. There were other volunteers in the village so i was able to meet people. I think that it was a good way to start my trip as it gave me the chance to acclimatise to South American culture and i was able to improve my Spanish before travelling.
It is an experience which i will never forget and i would strongly recommend it.
I would recommend starting in the town of Ollantaytambo-if you take the train from Machu Picchu it stops here on the way to Cusco. Alternatively, take a bus to either Ollantaytambo, or Pisac (the town at the other end of the valley) from Cusco. The journey takes approx 2 hours, and costs $1. The scenery is breathtaking.
Ollantaytambo is a charming town with cobbled streets and some impressive ruins.
Following the Urubamba River through the valley, the next stop is the town of Urubamba, which is probably the most developed (but pleasant none-the-less), and worth having a wander through.
Jump on the next local bus to the small village of Calca, which has a pleasant, if small square. Carry on to Pisac-famous for its artesania market, where you can barter for souvenirs (or simply "window shop") or if you are feeling brave, sample the traditional Peruvian dish-roasted "cuy" (guinea pig). The market is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and is worth a visit. Also of interest in Pisac are the ruins. It is quite a trek up to these, so if you have recently arrived from sea level, take a taxi.
I strongly recommend this trip-it will give you an insight into traditional Andean culture, and although these people are poor, their hospitality will amaze you. Share a glass of "chicha" in the market, travel on a local bus, and you will have an unforgettable time. Remember however, that these are indigenious people, so be careful not to cause offense.
Guernsey, United Kingdom