Check the other cities here: Travelling across South America in 15 Days
For as short as 5 days may seem when you are on a trip, this is the mark that one third of your trip to South America in 15 days is almost over. So far you’ve been to the paradise beaches of Santa Marta, the amazing historical sites of Medellín, some very exciting activities in Ecuador and the capital of Peru – Lima – for some food tasting and sightseeing. Now it is time to get to know Cusco, a city with way more than just Inca ruins (as if they weren’t enough!).
Cusco is considered the historical capital of Peru by the Peruvian constitution, as well as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It has around half a million citizens, is over 3400 meter high and stays roughly 1000 kilometers away from Lima. It is widely known for the Inca heritage in the area, but this guide will show you some more than that.
For the nature, archeology and open spaces enthusiasts, a good option is to check out the ruins of Machu Picchu, discovered in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham and perhaps the most familiar icon of the Inca civilization. It is also an amazing place to take a picture with a llama (let’s be honest – you don’t get that opportunity every day, so why not?), buy some nice tapestry items – such as bags, jackets, sweaters or hats – and do some awesome hiking. Mind you: the landscapes in here are like nowhere else in the world, so it might be worth staying longer for some deeper contact with the Peruvian culture and habits.
In Cusco a very nice place to visit (if you’re there on a Sunday) is the Pisac Market. You can buy all sorts of stuff there – like handcrafts, herbal medicines, spices, local foods, jewelry and minerals – apart from being able to see the native people wearing their traditional clothing for the church procession that happens in the town. Try some choclo con queso when you’re there, a strain of corn in the cob topped with cheese and spicy chilli sauce. While you’re there, you can also go to the Plaza de Armas in the downtown area and explore some of the exuberant small gardens and charming stone architecture.
Also for some sweet indulgence, you can visit the Chocolate Museum for free and get to know about the chocolate and cacao history, old advertisements, tastings and the chance to make your own chocolate! Apart from that, you can plain and simply pig out of their amazing chocolate delicacies such as cacao tea, chocolate fondue, iced chocolate and mix it with some Peruvian Coffee.
But what is most important while visiting Cusco is to let yourself experience all the surprises and little things that the region can offer. Try to find some new places for yourself and I am sure you will love it just as much. Our next stop will be in Bolivia, where you will see other breathtaking landscapes, so stay tuned!