Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Cusco is the launching pad for almost all tourists going to Machu Picchu. It's a fairly large city in comparison to Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes, and has an enormous amount of sights to see. My first night there I had dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Plaza de Armas, the main plaza in Cusco. In my opinion, the Plaza de Armas is the most luxurious square in the city.

A few blocks from the Plaza de Armas is the Religious Art Museum of Cusco. It is housed in an authentic old building with a beautiful courtyard. The street alongside the museum is the home of the famous twelve sided Incan stone. This stone has the most corners of all known Incan blocks.

Overlooking the city is the white Christ statue. There is a great walking path from the center of Cusco to the Christ, and the point offers a stunning view of the city.

The Plaza de Armas is beautiful, but is packed with vendors who absolutely will not leave you alone. People selling everything from paintings to massages shove products and advertisements into your face and follow you for as long as five minutes, even if you tell them you are not interested. While this gets really obnoxious, sometimes it is just heartbreaking. These two girls approached me in the plaza saying "Photo? Photo? Aren't we pretty?" While I know they are dressed up to earn money, they really were beautiful, so I took a photo and give them a little tip. I also got to pet the baby goat.

Barely a few paces away from the gorgeous Plaza de Armas are areas of extreme poverty. Seeing places like this helps me understand why there are so many people desperately try to make money in the plaza.

On a lighter note, my hostel has a resident cat and baby kitten. While they normally bat each other around and play, I woke up one morning to find them wrapped in a ball on a couch.

Visiting Cusco was definitely a unique experience. Peru never stops surprising me!

1 comment:

Fátima said...

Hi Claire!
Thanks for sharing all these beautiful pictures with us.
Llhamas and cats are the cuttiest things!!
Good job!!!!