Cusco Journals

Cusco - The First Step on the Inca Trail

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A May 2005 trip to Cusco by aardwhite

The Fountain in the Main Square Photo, Cusco, Peru More Photos
Quote: Where almost everybody on the Inca Trail goes before to acclimatise to altitude, Cusco is both full of backpackers, yet relentlessly, typically South American.

Cusco - The First Step on the Inca Trail

Overview

The Fountain in the Main Square Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Cusco is a strange town. It really shouldn’t be as it is. It is of course the town where EVERYBODY goes to acclimatise to altitude before the rigours of the Inca Trail. It is at the same time full of Europeans and North Americans but totally retains the air of a thriving South American town. Around the central square there are themed bars but these are outnumbered by the local cafes, everywhere you turn you see backpackers, but they are quickly swallowed up by the indigenous throng. It is as if the business of life in Peru hasn’t the time to indulge the tourist, it won’t become a theatre or a theme park.After my first experience of Peru, landing in Lima Airport where I couldn’t have been mor...Read More

Hotel Arqueologo

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Hotel

Courtyard at the Hotel Arqueologo Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
When the magical "word pixies," or whoever it is who has the job of sitting around and thinking up words, wanted to illustrate what their new word ‘charming’ meant, they could simply have pointed at the Hotel Arqueologo. It is the very quintessence of South American charm.Converted from an old colonial house, the rooms are on the balconied first floor, arranged around a couple of internal courtyards. The atmosphere is highly conducive to relaxation, very useful if you are preparing, physically and mentally, for the Inca Trail. The rooms are decorated in traditional Peruvian style; ours had a beautiful oak four-poster bed, and though comparatively pricey at $60 a night, it was well worth the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2006

Hotel Arqueologo
Calle Pumacurco 408
Cusco, Peru
+51 (84) 23 2522

Hostal Rumi Punku

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Hotel

Hostal Rumi Punku Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
This is a bit more than a hostel, not quite a hotel. The name Rumi Punku means ‘stone doorway’, and walking up Choquechaca, one of the main, steep routes out of the main square of Cusco you could easily miss the unprepossessing entrance. It is a classical Inca trapezoid doorway that disguises what lies beyond.Arranged around two courtyards and gardens and across two floors and apparently converted from an old colonial building, the rooms at Rumi Punku are comfortable and functional. At $40 per night for a double in the low season they are very good value for money if perhaps out of the range of the budget of a traditional backpacker. The facilities however are well ahead of what the rate may i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

Hostal Rumi Punku
Choquechaca No.339
Cusco, Peru
+51 (84) 221102

Cristo Blanco

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Attraction

Cristo Blanco Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Like a smaller version of Rio’s Christ, the Redeemer, the Cristo Blanco (White Christ) looks out over Cusco from a nearby hilltop. If you are in town to acclimatise for the Inca Trail, then a trip up here is worth the couple of hours for a number of reasons. If you’re just in town for a visit, it’s the number one thing to see.Number one: the fantastic view, obviously. In the shadow of the statue you can stand a survey all of Cusco laid out before you. Maybe it’s even worth doing this when you first arrive; it will certainly give you an appreciation of the complexities of the city’s layout, and of how the main square dominates the plan.Number two: this altitude plus. Cusco is alread...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2006

Cristo Blanco
Cusco
Cusco, Peru

Písac

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Attraction | "Pisac Market"

Písac Photo, Cusco, Peru
Quote:
Well, you’re in Cusco for a few days because you have to acclimatise and you’ve got time on your hands. What to do? One of the big favourites is a trip to Pisac market. The main market day is Sunday, where the market seems to go on and on forever, though there are smaller ones on Tuesdays and Thursdays.There are frequent buses from Cusco, which cost about $1 for the approximately 30km trip, though I was travelling in a group of four, so it made sense to get a cab – it was hardly extravagant at $10 between us each way. If you are on a budget, though, the bus ride is a fine alternative and only takes an hour.The journey is quite hairy, though, winding up and down the foothills of the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 21, 2006

Písac
32 kilómetros al NE
Cusco, Peru
N/A