A May 2006 trip
to Cusco by Liam Hetherington
Quote: A truly cosmopolitan city. In Cusco, Spanish colonial churches sit atop ancient Incan stonework. Now backpackers from across the world are drawn by its history.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 9, 2006
Hotel Garcilaso II
Calle Garcilaso 233-285
+51 (84) 227951
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 9, 2006
Plazoleta Nazarenas 221
+51 (84) 258184
Restaurant | "Pachapapa"
Plaza San Blas 120
+51 (84) 241318
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 9, 2006
Norton Rat's Tavern
Loreto 115, 2do. piso
+51 84 246204
Attraction | "Fun Y Fotos"
After donning their range of brightly coloured costumes you can have your photograph taken against a mock up of Inca terracing. The staff will take high-quality shots with their own equipment (and then post them on funyfotoscusco.com), or you can use your own camera for no charge.
After that, how about a salsa lesson? The dance space isn't the biggest, but if just a few of you want to learn a few steps, or brush up existing skills, their teachers are great. And then, back to the bar, for cocktails. Their menu is pretty varied, and all the fruit juices used are pulped fresh before you. There are tables in the shaded courtyard in front, and you can go there for a chat, a drink, and a selection of non-trademarked games ('yenga' anyone?). And losers get sent back to the bar for penalties—dangerously potent shots served in test-tubes!
It's a lively little hole in the wall place, with a youthful and fun atmosphere. The only caveat is that the toilets are not that great—best go easy on those test-tubes senor!
Fun y Fotos Coffee Shop & Studio
Calle Marquez 250
+51 (84) 9740828
Triunfo 124, Plaza de Armas
+51 (84) 247-719
Plaza de Armas
Museo de Arte Precolombino
Plazoleta Nazarenas 231
Attraction | "Sacsayhuaman"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 17, 2006
Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park
Located On A Steep Hill That Overlooks Cusco
Attraction | "Qoricancha"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 17, 2006
Koricancha-Temple of the Sun, Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Cusco Cathedral)
Plaza De Armas
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 17, 2006
The Vigil of the Cross
Plaza San Francisco
Attraction | "Machu Picchu - introduction"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 20, 2006
Machu Picchu Inca Archaeological Site
Above The Urubamba Valley
Cusco Region, Peru
Attraction | "Machu Picchu - My Impressions"
Attraction | "Machu Picchu - Recommendations"
My advice would be:
1) get there as early as possible. It is no longer possible for hikers to wander through the Sun-Gate at 6am to get first sight. Instead you have to come through the main entrance which opens at 7am. Buses run up from Aguas Calientes from before the crack of dawn, so if you are not a hiker seriously consider travelling up the day previously and staying overnight in the town before visiting the site first thing. The train from Cusco arrives around 10am—suddenly the place is overrun with tourists around 500,000 visits per year!). The earlier you arrive, the quieter the place will be and the more chance you have of exploring in detail. Once you’ve seen everything from up close you can then wander as you will, or just sit up by the Watchman’s Hut for an hour.
2) Go to the toilet before you visit. The only loos are by the entrance gate, down a steep flight of stairs.
3) Take a tour guide to explain the significance of what you are seeing, otherwise it could all just be chunks of rock to you. We were lucky in that our guide from the Inca Trail, Julio was with us, armed with his trusty notebook. He knew the history and significance of the site off by heart, and was able to answer most any question, but the reproductions he had of Bingham’s original expedition, showing the mountain peak thick with jungle really impressed me. Take more camera film than you think you would need.
4) Take water – the only shop is by the monstrous Hotel Machu Picchu and is terribly overpriced. If staying the whole day you would probably still save money by getting the bus down to Aguas Calientes, eating there, then returning.
5) And finally, if travelling by train, bear in mind that it takes four hours to / from Cusco, but only two from Ollantaytambo, which is a mere hour from Cusco by road. You can save time by getting a bus or taxi to Ollantaytambo, then a train to Machu Picchu, and vice versa.
Attraction | "The Inca Trail - Basics"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 24, 2006
Attraction | "The Inca Trail - Day 1"
Attraction | "The Inca Trail - Day 2"
Attraction | "The Inca Trail - Day 3"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 24, 2006
Manchester, United Kingdom