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Highlights of Cusco

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Cusco is a magical city that straddles two worlds: majestic colonial architecture gives the city a distinctly Renaissance era feel while the abundance of ancient Incan and pre-Incan ruins as well as the colorful indigenous handicraft markets that dot Cusco exude pure native tradition. Visit the ornate churches, flower filled plazas and stone streets of Cusco before heading to the ancient sites of Machu Picchu and Moray. Later, dive deep into the incredible cuisine and booming nightlife here.
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Calle Chiwanpata 278, Cusco 08000, Peru
STAY During our stay in Cusco, Peru, we picked our hotel in the San Blas district of the city. I had read that this is where you could find great galleries, restaurants, and historical sites. They all proved to be true. Our hotel was the Casa...
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Av El Sol 395, Cusco 08000, Peru
La Catedral is actually three churches in one, each of which are exquisite. It is decorated in the Baroque style, with more gilt and gold trimming than you can imagine. In order to convert the Incan people to Catholicism, the Spanish used symbols...
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Calle 26A, Bellavista 07011, Peru
For those of us used to seeing chicken cut into parts, wrapped in plastic, and cooling in supermarket refrigerators, a trip to a local Peruvian market is fascinating and a bit daunting. At the biggest market, San Pedro, just up the...
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Sacsayhuaman is an impressive Inca fortress on a steep hill that overlooks all of Cusco. The ruins are humongous, but archeologists believe that the original site was as much as four times larger. What remains today are the impressive outer walls...
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Santa Catalina Ancha 398, Cusco 08000, Peru
There's not a drink more Peruvian than a Pisco Sour. Where better to learn about -- and taste! -- Pisco than the Museo del Pisco? I initially thought that Museo del Pisco was an actual museum recounting the history of Pisco in Peru, but instead,...
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Pisac, Peru
One of the best things to do while in Cuzco is to visit the Sunday farmer's market in the nearby Andean town of Pisac, taking either a taxi or a more economical bus to get there. The villagers surrounding Pisac come from miles around to sell their...
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Latin America
This photograph was taken at Ccaccaccollo Community outside of Cusco on the way to Pisac. The women of the village farm, dye and spin the wool. Then use the yarn to weave and knit beautiful traditional peruvian textiles.
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Coripata, Cusco, Peru
Cherubs hang from the ceiling and flying pigs decorate the bar. Aquarium bathtubs covered in glass are the tables and funky, modern art with Christian themes decorate the walls. Behind the bar a disco ball glitters the rows of liquor bottles and...
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Cusco 08000, Peru
It seems like a small town but when you walk throughout this small city from end to end you find yourself taking in so much more than you imagined. The locals, tourists, markets, commerce, daily life... we found ourselves at the top of a...
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Calle Plateros 334, Cusco 0000-0000, Peru
All along the square and branching streets of Cusco are restaurants that serve Western-style and Peruvian meals. The meals are hearty and meaty. However, if one is craving warm soup in characteristically simple surroundings, Kintaro is the stop....
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PLAZA MAYOR, CENTRO DE, Cusco 08000, Peru
Reward yourself for climing all those damn steps to Sacsayhuaman! Head to Norton Rat’s Tavern on the corner the Plaza de Armas (sorry, you’re in for a few more stairs to get to the second floor), grab a cold Cusqueña beer (it’s not bad stuff) and...
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Plazoleta Nazarenas 337, Cusco 08000, Peru
A dedicated national monument dating back to 1592, this former monastery sits on Inca stone foundations, which were later topped by plenty of Spanish colonial flourishes. Evidence of the hotel’s history is everywhere you look, from the rich...
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Av. de La Cultura 220, Cusco 08000, Peru
Along the wall of the Coca museum in the San Blas District of Cusco, are about six artifacts from major ancient civilizations from Peru. They are anthropomorphic figures and they all are all shaped to include a wad of coca leaves in their cheek....
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Lares, Peru
As popular as the Inca Trail is, I never considered it. If I'd wanted to share a trail with 500 hikers and porters, I would have signed up for the Inca Trail. But I prefer the road less traveled, whenever possible. So I was the only person in our...
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Korma Sutra is one of the stand out gems of Cusco's international dining scene. Located in the ancient San Blas neighborhood on the pedestrian only Tanda Pata street, this real London-style curry house blew me away with its fully spiced dishes....
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Peru
The Inca Trail is perhaps the most famous trek in Peru. This is the road to Machu Picchu, an ancient route that leads from the Sacred Valley into the heart of the Andes. You must obtain a permit and hire an official guide in order to hike the Inca...
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Triunfo 124, Cusco 08000, Peru
As much as I love Peru, Peruvian food, and Cusqueña beer, sometimes, after one has been in Peru for an extended period, it's time for something different. Bring on Paddys Irish Pub, which claims to be the "highest 100% Irish-owned pub on the...
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Ruta Santisimo Downhill 2, Chinchero, Peru
One of the first stops outside of Cusco was on the Anta plain at 12,375 ft. The 16th century ruin of Chinchero is rumored to be the birthplace of the rainbow. I would be hard pressed to argue those refractions of light could have a more beautiful...
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PLAZA MAYOR, CENTRO DE, Cusco 08000, Peru
Five minutes after settling into my hostel in Cusco and meeting up with an international contingent of newly found friends from the prior week in Lima, we made our way toward the Plaza de Armas, center of the gone but not forgotten Inca Empire. As...
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Latin America
Surfers from around the world come to northern Peru to ride the waves, some of the planet’s longest. But many Peruvian communities lack the facilities and skills to benefit from surf tourism. In the small fishing village of Lobitos, Waves...