Back in May, I took advantage of my first bonus check (thanks, Hershey!) and, unsurprisingly, threw it at an airline or two. A friend of mine was graduating from Pitt and wanted to check out Peru before WWOOF-ing for a month in Chile. Guess who she called to join her! I take pride in my “yes woman” reputation for others’ travel plans. 🙂
Rather than go through every single thing we did every day, I thought I’d make a little suggestion list for how to make the most of Cusco, Peru…
– Accept the absolute lack of road laws and hope for the best. South America is known to house some fast and furious drivers, but the ride from the Cusco airport to our hostel was probably the scariest one of my life. People essentially honk a lot and just go where they feel like going. We survived, anyway.
– Be wary of altitude sickness, but don’t let the fear control your trip. Alexis and I were worried we’d get altitude sickness after all the warnings we read, so we planned to relax and stay hydrated our entire first day. That plan got thrown out 15 minutes after we got to the hostel and someone asked if we wanted to sign up for horseback riding. YEP!
– Get outside!
– Get ideas from those around you. We had restaurant suggestions ready from a woman who used to live in Cusco. Other travelers suggested a chocolate-making class (no complaints here). Go clubbing with the hostel employees while you’re at it. Whatever floats your boat.
– Do I even have to say it? MACHUPICCHU! We did a quick day-and-a-half trip, but I’d suggest spending more time in the area to get extra hiking in.
Alexis and I had a great 5 days in Cusco and Machu Picchu. A lot of that is thanks to our lovely hostel, Pariwana, that had tons of activities planned at all times and attracted a lot of awesome people that we got to hang out with. Someone recommended it to us while we were planning this trip in a café in Pittsburgh, and now it’s my turn to do the same! Other recommendations are below.
Although Alexis and I both flew into Santiago, Chile for the next leg of our trip, it was time for us to part ways. It definitely made for a different experience. I’ll recap that next time!
Places We Ate:
– Papacho’s – hip burger place, very English-friendly
– Marcelo Batata – slightly upscale traditional Peruvian food
– Paddy’s – the highest Irish-owned pub in the world!
– Any little stand in the Mercado Central de San Pedro
– The hostel Pariwana can get its own dance floor going late at night
– Mama Africa – well-known club that a lot of tourists go to
– Mythology – more Latin influence but definitely still a club