We spent 2 nights in this regional capital, sandwiched between Ollantaytambo. We took it easy as it was right when we arrived in Peru, and after Machu Picchu.
Cusco has Inca Ruins and Colonial architecture. There are a lot of Quechua People as well. We observed a local festival in the main square, Plaza de las Armas, where there was traditional dancing in beautiful and colorful outfits.
This interesting arch is at the entrance to another main square, Plaza de San Francisco:
There was a very interesting local, indoor market called Mercado de San Pedro — where you could get some tourist souvenirs, but mostly local produce and a rustic “food court” where you can get Chaufa con Huevo (Chinese-Peruvian fried rice with an egg) for S/.3 (~$1) — Fernando thought it was “too local” when seeing the whole raw pigs you can buy (or buy a piece of). We like the idea of eating local, but our western stomachs might not always agree. I was very excited to eat Pollo Broaster (fried chicken) at this local dive we found. I was excited that for S/.9.50 ($3) I could get 1/8 fried chicken with salad, rice and fries. But my stomach didn’t feel so good that night.
My favorite thing we ate during our short stay in Cusco was the ceviche (succulent and a big portion of fresh fish) we had at Pacha Papa in the San Blas neighborhood — which is a neighborhood that is artsy and touristy too. The restaurant appealed to western tastes in it’s ambience and prices. It was good though!
We enjoyed our brief stay in Cusco and definitely felt it’s high altitude!