Hey there, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re going to explore the ancient city of Cusco, nestled high in the Peruvian Andes. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, there’s no shortage of cool things to do Cusco. So, strap on your hiking boots, grab your camera, and join me as we uncover the coolest things to do Cusco, from the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu to the bustling markets of San Pedro. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on these cool things to do Cusco!
Discovering the Ancient Inca Empire: Must-Visit Historical Sites
Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, is a city steeped in history and culture. There are so many cool things to do in Cusco, but if you’re a history buff, you won’t want to miss these must-visit historical sites.
No visit to Cusco is complete without a trip to Machu Picchu. This ancient Inca citadel is one of the most famous historical sites in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is located high in the Andes Mountains and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You can take a train or hike the Inca Trail to get there.
Sacsayhuaman is an impressive Inca fortress located just outside of Cusco. The site is known for its massive stone walls, some of which weigh over 300 tons. The fortress was built in the 15th century and was used as a military stronghold during the Inca Empire.
Qorikancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun, was one of the most important religious sites in the Inca Empire. The temple was dedicated to the sun god Inti and was covered in gold. Unfortunately, the Spanish conquistadors looted the temple and destroyed much of it. Today, you can still see the impressive Inca stonework that remains.
Pisac is a small town located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The town is known for its impressive Inca ruins, which include a fortress, a temple, and a cemetery. The site offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a great place to learn about Inca history and culture.
Ollantaytambo is a well-preserved Inca town located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The town is known for its impressive Inca ruins, which include a fortress and a temple. The site was also an important agricultural center during the Inca Empire and is still used for farming today.
These are just a few of the must-visit historical sites in Cusco. If you’re interested in Inca history and culture, be sure to add these sites to your itinerary. And don’t forget to check out all the other cool things to do in Cusco while you’re there!
Cusco’s Culinary Delights: Top Restaurants and Local Dishes
Cusco is not only known for its rich history and stunning landscapes but also for its delicious cuisine. From traditional Peruvian dishes to international cuisine, Cusco has something for everyone. Here are some of the top restaurants and local dishes to try during your visit to Cusco.
- Ceviche: This is a popular dish in Peru and is made with fresh raw fish marinated in lime juice, onions, and chili peppers. It is usually served with sweet potato and corn.
- Lomo Saltado: This is a stir-fry dish made with beef, onions, tomatoes, and french fries. It is usually served with rice.
- Anticuchos: These are skewers of grilled beef heart marinated in spices and served with potatoes and corn.
- Papa a la Huancaína: This is a dish made with boiled potatoes covered in a creamy sauce made with cheese, milk, and yellow chili peppers.
- Chicha por Gastón Acurio: This restaurant is owned by Gastón Acurio, one of Peru’s most famous chefs. It offers a modern take on traditional Peruvian cuisine and has a cool and trendy atmosphere.
- Cicciolina: This restaurant is known for its tapas-style dishes and has a cozy and intimate atmosphere. It offers a mix of Peruvian and international cuisine.
- Pachapapa: This restaurant is located in the San Blas neighborhood and offers traditional Andean cuisine. It has a rustic and charming atmosphere and is known for its grilled meats and stews.
- Green Point: This restaurant is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that offers a mix of Peruvian and international cuisine. It has a relaxed and casual atmosphere and is perfect for a healthy meal.
In conclusion, trying the local dishes and dining at the top restaurants in Cusco is definitely one of the cool things to do in Cusco. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste the delicious flavors of Peru during your visit.
Adventures in the Andes: Exciting Outdoor Activities in Cusco
Cusco is a city that offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventure seekers. From hiking to mountain biking, there are plenty of cool things to do in Cusco. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to try during your visit:
Hiking to Machu Picchu
One of the most popular activities in Cusco is hiking to Machu Picchu. This ancient Incan city is located high in the Andes Mountains and can only be reached by foot. The hike is challenging, but the stunning views and the sense of accomplishment make it worth it. There are several trails to choose from, including the classic Inca Trail and the lesser-known Salkantay Trek.
Mountain Biking in the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley is a beautiful area located just outside of Cusco. It’s a great place to go mountain biking and explore the stunning scenery. There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult. You can rent a bike in Cusco and take a guided tour or explore on your own.
White Water Rafting on the Urubamba River
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, white water rafting on the Urubamba River is a must-do activity in Cusco. The river has rapids ranging from class II to class IV, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. You can book a half-day or full-day rafting trip with a local tour company.
Zip-lining in the Sacred Valley
Zip-lining is a fun and exciting way to see the Sacred Valley from a different perspective. You’ll soar over the valley and get a bird’s eye view of the stunning scenery. There are several zip-lining companies in the area, and most offer packages that include transportation from Cusco.
ATV Tours in the Andes
If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to explore the Andes, consider taking an ATV tour. You’ll ride through rugged terrain and see some of the most beautiful landscapes in the area. There are several tour companies in Cusco that offer ATV tours, and most include transportation from your hotel.
In conclusion, Cusco is a city that offers a wide range of outdoor activities for adventure seekers. From hiking to mountain biking, white water rafting to zip-lining, there are plenty of cool things to do in Cusco. So, pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!
Immerse Yourself in Culture: Exploring Cusco’s Vibrant Art Scene
Cusco is a city that is rich in history and culture. One of the best ways to experience this is by exploring the vibrant art scene. Here are some cool things to do in Cusco to immerse yourself in the local culture:
Visit the Cusco Art Museum
The Cusco Art Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in art and culture. The museum is home to an impressive collection of colonial art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles. You can also learn about the history of Cusco and the Inca Empire through the museum’s exhibits.
Take a Street Art Tour
Cusco is home to some incredible street art, and taking a tour is a great way to see it all. You can explore the city’s colorful murals and graffiti with a knowledgeable guide who can provide insight into the artists and their work.
Attend a Traditional Dance Performance
Cusco is known for its vibrant traditional dance performances. You can catch a show at one of the city’s many theaters or cultural centers. The performances are a great way to experience the local culture and learn about the history of the region.
Explore the San Blas Neighborhood
The San Blas neighborhood is known for its bohemian vibe and artistic community. You can wander the narrow streets and discover galleries, workshops, and boutiques selling handmade crafts and art. It’s a great place to find unique souvenirs and support local artists.
In conclusion, exploring Cusco’s vibrant art scene is one of the coolest things to do in Cusco. From visiting museums to taking street art tours, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the local culture and appreciate the city’s rich history and artistic traditions.
Shop Like a Local: Unique Markets and Souvenirs in Cusco
If you’re looking for cool things to do in Cusco, shopping like a local is a must. The city is home to a variety of markets and shops where you can find unique souvenirs and gifts to take home with you. Here are some of the best places to shop in Cusco:
San Pedro Market
San Pedro Market is a bustling indoor market located in the heart of Cusco. Here, you’ll find everything from fresh produce and meats to handmade crafts and souvenirs. The market is a great place to shop for unique gifts and souvenirs, including alpaca wool clothing, handmade jewelry, and traditional Peruvian textiles. Be sure to bargain with the vendors to get the best prices.
If you’re willing to venture outside of Cusco, Pisac Market is a must-visit. This colorful market is located in the Sacred Valley, about an hour’s drive from Cusco. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of handmade crafts, including pottery, textiles, and jewelry. The market is also a great place to try traditional Peruvian foods, such as roasted guinea pig and chicha (a fermented corn drink).
Centro Artesanal Cusco
Centro Artesanal Cusco is a large handicraft market located just a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of handmade crafts, including alpaca wool clothing, ceramics, and jewelry. The market is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gifts, and the prices are generally reasonable.
Alpaca Clothing Stores
Cusco is known for its high-quality alpaca wool clothing, and there are several stores in the city that specialize in these products. Some of the best stores include Kuna, Sol Alpaca, and Alpaca 111. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of alpaca wool clothing, including sweaters, scarves, and hats. The prices are higher than what you’ll find at the markets, but the quality is worth it.
Tips for Shopping in Cusco
- Bargain with the vendors to get the best prices.
- Be wary of counterfeit goods, especially in the markets.
- Bring cash, as many vendors do not accept credit cards.
- Check with your airline to see if there are any restrictions on bringing souvenirs back home with you.
Shopping like a local is one of the coolest things to do in Cusco. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs or high-quality alpaca wool clothing, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Cusco After Dark: Best Nightlife and Entertainment Spots
Cusco is not only famous for its historical sites and cultural attractions, but it also has a vibrant nightlife scene. After a day of exploring the city’s cool things to do, Cusco offers a variety of entertainment options to keep you busy until the early hours of the morning. Here are some of the best nightlife and entertainment spots in Cusco:
1. Mama Africa
If you’re looking for a place to dance the night away, Mama Africa is the perfect spot. This popular nightclub is located in the heart of Cusco and offers a mix of Latin and international music. The club has a lively atmosphere and attracts both locals and tourists.
2. Norton Rat’s Tavern
For a more laid-back evening, head to Norton Rat’s Tavern. This cozy bar is known for its great selection of craft beers and cocktails. The bar also has a pool table and a dartboard, making it a fun spot to hang out with friends.
3. Ukuku’s Bar
Ukuku’s Bar is a unique spot that offers a mix of live music, comedy shows, and karaoke nights. The bar has a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to meet locals and other travelers. Be sure to try their signature drink, the Ukuku Sour.
4. Limbus Resto Bar
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a delicious meal and drinks, Limbus Resto Bar is a great option. The bar has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city and serves a variety of Peruvian and international dishes. They also have a great selection of cocktails and wines.
5. Plaza de Armas
The Plaza de Armas is the main square in Cusco and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The square is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere. During the evening, the square is lit up, creating a magical ambiance.
Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or enjoy a relaxing evening with friends, Cusco has something for everyone. These are just a few of the best nightlife and entertainment spots in the city. Don’t forget to add them to your list of cool things to do in Cusco!
And there you have it, fellow travelers! A treasure trove of cool things to do in Cusco, just waiting for you to explore. From the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu to the vibrant streets of San Blas, Cusco is a city that never ceases to amaze. As Journeying Jack, I can confidently say that my time in this ancient city has been nothing short of extraordinary.
So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, there’s no shortage of cool things to do in Cusco. I hope my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to embark on your own journey to this incredible destination. Remember, the world is a vast and beautiful place, and Cusco is just one of the many gems waiting to be discovered.
As you plan your trip, don’t forget to refer back to this list of cool things to do in Cusco. I guarantee that your experience will be nothing short of magical. And who knows? You might even stumble upon a few hidden gems of your own along the way.
So, pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to create your own Suitcase Stories in the enchanting city of Cusco. I can’t wait to hear all about the cool things you discover during your journey. Until next time, happy travels, and may your adventures be as unforgettable as mine!