If you are thinking about going to Cusco (which you should), I have some tips and recommendations for you:
1. Go in FEBRUARY
It’s off season, the weather is perfect for all the hiking done in the nearby tourist spots, and most importantly, IT WON’T BE CROWDED which translates into amazing pictures and optimized tours!
2. Party on
If your itinerary allows it and you want to party after all the touristy things have been checked off your list, I highly recommend spending the weekend in Cusco. It has lively bars, dance clubs, the people are VERY friendly and you’re sure to make some new friends.
I was going out for ONE pisco, and ended up dancing at a club with some people from Dubai, Argentina and Germany until 5 in the morning… #oops #sorrynotsorry
Start your evening at Museo del Pisco for some delicious Peruvian drinks and then go wherever the night takes you. Cusco is very safe, so you’ll be fine. Just have fun.
3. Breakfast in Mercado San Pedro
This lively and colorful market has all the breakfast options you could possibly need. From juices and smoothies to tamales and eggs, you can eat what you please for very little money… now that’s something we all like!
4. Wear a frickin’ hat
Because of the altitude, you will most likely burn your scalp. Seriously. Scalp. Red. Burn. I wore a hat EVERY day except for the last and got a horrible burn. I couldn’t even comb my hair and had to go to work looking like the Lion King for a few days.
So trust me on this one. Plus, hats are cool 😎.
5. Treat yo’self
I’m one who likes spending money on GOOD food. If you are too, there are two restaurants in Cusco’s historical center that I would highly recommend; one of them is LIMO which has amazing ceviches and traditional Peruvian food. The other is CICCIOLINA, an Italian restaurant with an excelent menu and perfectly executed dishes.
Both of them are a little on the pricey side… but worth EVERY penny. 😋
6. Pay and get the picture!
Yes, you will be asked to pay to get your picture taken with anyone wearing traditional Peruvian clothing. But believe me, it’s worth it. You can give these people anything from ONE Sol (0.30USD), and you will definitely get an insta-worthy picture.
7. Coca tea, coca tea, coca tea
Yes, I needed to write that three times. Maybe not everyone is as sensitive to changes in altitude as I turned out to be, but boy! Constant headaches, running out of breath while getting dressed, and general grumpyness is NOT good. So get your dose of coca tea every 2-3 hours. That really helped me feel a lot more normal.
So there you have it! These are a few honest and random recommendations from me to you. Hope you find them helpful!
Wander on, nomads!