Cuzco, the Inca and Tourist Capital of Peru
We have found Cuzco to be a quite fascinating city, being the most genuine (with well preserved colonial architecture as evidence of a rich and complex history) and at the same time most touristy place we have visited so far in South America (where everyone and everything in the city center are there because of the tourism). It is not large in size, the airport is located inside the city and the whole city is a Unesco World Heritage Site, but still it is one of Peru’s most visited cities because it as the capital of the Inca Empire lies close to Machu Picchu, Pisac and other Inca sites in the Region.
For our five days here we stayed at Milhouse Hostel, which was a great base as they arranged free daily activities and was located as centrally as possible, close to both the main square “Plaza de Armas” and the main street “Avenida el Sol”. These both had lots of shops where we bought around 5 alpacca wool sweaters each to send home with other stuff that we did not need any more for our trip. Eight kilos set us back a hundred dollars including packaging, which we found okay considering that we had gotten the sweaters really cheap after lots of haggling. The city center also had lots of restaurants serving traditional Peruvian meals such as alpacca and “cuy”/guinea pig (e.g Nuna Raymi restaurant), which is considered a delicassy only served at special occations. I still cannot come up with an other reason to only serve this at special occations than the Peruvians not liking it much either. There was very little meat in the Guinea Pig, but it was still very filling. It tasted much like chewing on bones, and the meat was very dry and chewy, but after the meal, it still felt like we had eated a fattening christmas dinner in the stomache. Everyone have visiting Machu Pichu on their “to do list” when visiting Cuzco, but I think that both visiting the market in Pisac and eating a cuy should also be something not to miss when visiting the tourist and inca capital of Peru.