“The perfect city to get lost amongst the cobblestone streets and fall in love with the locals.”
If you are lucky enough to visit Cusco during the month of June then you are in for a real treat. The Plaza De Armas is a hub for activity, life, laughter, dance, music and all things festive to celebrate the saints, legends and culture of Peru.
During this time there are endless parades and street dances along with copious amounts of loud noises, parties, drinking and merry making around the square. We were blessed to witness an epic firework show that put most Westernised cities to shame.
We got a bus from Puno which took us approximately 13 Hours due to boycotting the riots and needless to say it was an interesting sight. Cusco has an airport which can be accessed from most cities with Peru.
For location, location, location I would recommend Cusco Plaza 1 as it is situated right behind the cathedral in the main square. However, during June I would not expect an early night if your room is on the cathedral side as the Peruvians enjoy making as much noise as possible late into the night. Bring some ear plugs if you are fussy. A double room cost 65 Sols and the wifi works relatively well for the most part.
If you are looking for a more party hostel vibe then look no further then Wild Rover and Loki Hostels. I believe that Wild Rover has the better location of the two but both places are good value for money and know how to party.
When in Cusco it’s all about Jack’s cafe. The restaurant is Australian/Irish owned and the food is heavenly. I can recommend everything on the menu but afew favs to help you make your decision easier include; the Gordo breakfast at anytime of the day, the citrus and mint frappe and the Tex Mex Nachos. I loved the Veg Gordo in preference to the meat version as I am spoilt for bacon in Aust. The Gordo will cost you 20.5 Sols ($8.30 Aust.) and the frappes were 9.00 Sols ($3.65 Aust.) Complete value.
My friends highly rave about the Fallen Angel which is conveniently located right near the Cusco Plaza 1 in the Nazarenas Plaza. The restaurant boast unique, eccentric and local art work for your aesthetic needs whilst indulging in some of the best food Peru has to offer. The Nutella Bomb dessert was highly recommended. The prices are more expensive but worth spoiling yourself for either pre or post in a trekking.
What to do:
As mentioned above Cusco is the perfect place to get lost in.
- When wandering we found; multiple markets- some great local ones are located near the man made waterfall fountain off Av. Tullamayo. There Is a ‘black’ market where you can purchase good quality fake goods such as North Face, camping equipment, sunglasses etc. which is found in the South of the city, a 15 minute walk from the main Plaza.
- The natural Incan plant and herbs shop- where you can learn how to utilise the land for medicinal and personal needs. You can also do the San Pedro cactus and the Coca Leaf ceremony/ ritual here too. This place also has natural made skin products where we purchased delicious cocoa Lip blam for 5 Sols. There is a cafe here too that had an appealing menu.
- Check out The Shaman shop (near the plaza) where you can get shamanic ‘things’ & awesome authentic crystals. Similarly to the Incan plant shop you can book into a variety of healing workshops and healing ceremonies/ events here too.
For the night owls:
If you want to party then you have come to the right place. Be aware of the people on the corner who are more then happy to sell you any party supplements you may desire but what you may find is that what you want is not always what you will get. Chalk can be disguised as many things.
Here is a run down of some fun bars around the plaza in Cusco;
- Mushroom Bar- great cocktails for an acceptable price, awesome music if you want to dance to more progressive house, boasts a nice view of plaza. Only 1 toilet available, free entry. Connects to Mama Africa another fun dance spot.
- Inca team- Awesome value for money with cocktails during happy hour which is held from 9-12 whilst free salsa lessons are on offer. You have a choice of 2 cocktails from a varied and delicious cocktail menu for 20 Sols ($8.10 Aust.). The mojitos are heavenly. There are 3 levels to this bar. The first being he main dance floor and bar area, 2nd level is a seated much more relaxed vibe with table service and the 3rd is chiller again with smoking permitted. A great place if you want I have a conversation with someone before getting wasted. The bathrooms are amazing too.
- Mythology- a place where dancing on the bar is acceptable whilst having unknown liquor poured down your throat. Song requests are accepted which can assist to cater to all music needs otherwise the music can vary from salsa meringue to classic rock, pop, dance and trance. Lights come on at 6am. Multiple toilets available and are in a relatively open layout so don’t be alarmed if you have a male appear in you our bathroom ladies as they have only one place to shit.