So about the place we’re staying at…
Yeah, anyways, Loki’s Backpackers Hostel? It’s nice:
Our circuit around Cuzco was brief. We pretty much saw most of everything we were supposed to see in under 4 hours. This was the route we took:
- Start @ Loki’s Backpackers Hostel @ Santa Ana 601 (on this really steep hill)
- Walk down Meloc Arones Tordo to Plaza San Francisco.
- Make a left and walk down Garcilaso street to Plaza Regocijo
- Keep walking ahead to Plaza de Armas
- Checked out the Cathedral and its adjacent churches
- Keep walking along Triunfo northeastwards
- Checked out the 12-sided Inca stone on our right
- Walked up Hatunrimyoc and then Cuesta San Blas
- Checked out Plaza San Blas, the artistic center of Cuzco
- Backtracked to Plaza de Armas
- Walked eastwards along Loreto (a street famous for being straddled by Inca walls)
- Walked down Pampa de Castillo.
- Checked out Iglesia de Santo Domingo and the Qorikancha Inca ruins
- Turned around and walked along the main business avenue, Ave El Sol, back to Plaza de Armas.
That’s pretty much it. We didn’t buy the 10-day or 1-day tourist ticket that could’ve gained us access to many of the museums and archaeological sites; a lot of fellow backpackers and guides we talked to advised against it if we were staying only for a day. Cuzco is instead a city to wander in and appreciate its historical significance: the city itself is a museum of Incan/Spanish history. Besides, most travelers use Cuzco merely as a jump-off point before heading to the Sacred Valley, Inca Trails, Machu Picchu, or the Amazon.
After our DIY tour of Cuzco, we grabbed a beer at Los Perros — a great expat restaurant serving (unfortunately) more international food than legit Peruvian, chatted and shot pool with fellow backpackers at the bar in Loki’s, ate some cuy (cooked guinea pig), and alpaca (pretty much llama steak) at La Turca, enjoyed a shisha & pisco session at Indigo, pregamed at Mushrooms, danced for 6 hours straight at Mama Afrika, and finished the night by cramming 7 backpackers in a Peruvian cab that was meant for 4 people back up to Loki’s at 4am. It was an amazing night. Flawless, really. I would actually recommend the above as the standard bearer itinerary for how to have fun in Cuzco on any night of the week.
Curious about what cuy (fried guinea pig) looks like? Here you go:
And a series of Peruvian musical performances, the latter being very very bizarre:
And more pictures of our day around Cuzco:
We made a lot of friends whilein Cuzco, including 2 New Zealanders who were sharing a room with us at Loki’s Hostel, a fellow American I had met a few weeks earlier while giving a tour of my medical school, 2 Canadians who shared our love for dancing, Brazilians, British, Australians, and many others. If you want a very socially active hostel where you can meet a lot of different people and make new friends, I highly recommend staying at Loki’s.
Now that our tour of Cuzco is coming to a close, I’m now alone, waiting on my flight to Bogota, Colombia. Kseniya and I just parted ways for about a day and a half as her flight leaves for Colombia a day later than mine. I wish her luck in her first time alone in Lima, but given her fleuncy in the Spanish language, I think she’ll do just fine.
Thank you, Peru, for an amazing 4 days of nonstop adventure. Despite sudden rain showers at 1pm everyday without fail, sleuthy bug bites, altitude sickness, miles of trekking, steep cliffs, tricky touts, and constant sleep deprivation, it was the kind of adventure you think you could only have in the movies. That said, Colombia plans to be a completely different kind of vacation: one where we finally get the sleep and relaxation we deserve.
– At time of posting in Cuzco, it was 50 °F – Humidity: 81% | Wind Speed: n/a | Cloud Cover: few clouds