Well I had planned to stay in Cusco to learn Spanish while waiting for JB. Once he joined me here, we would start our trip over Peru and Ecuador together.
I got stunned by Cusco, I loved this city. It is so pretty, I love the pavements, the monuments, the energy here.
There are a lot of travellers because of the Machu Picchu. Therefore, there are tons of options for everything: travel agencies, accommodations, restaurants….
I spent hours looking for many addresses so I thought I’d share 😉
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
Cusco is about 3400 meters high, be careful and give your body the time to accommodate.
It can be really cold in Cusco, just so you know 😉
WHERE TO STAY:
I definitely recommend the San Blas neighbourhood. I love it. It feels magical with the pavement, quite good location, good market. It is also very pretty at night with all the lights. Just be aware that you need to walk up to get there. So if you are not yet accustomed to the height, the first few days will exhaust you a bit. However the view is definitely worth it.
We’ve stayed in room number 6 at the Siete Angelitos Hostal. It has this amazing view and is so lovely. However, you’ll have to share the bathroom. But it was a great deal, and they have a good breakfast included and a lovely garden.
Other options where I wanted to stay but they didn’t have availability:
SAMAY WASI PERU, you have to deserve this one because you need to walk even higher, but the view is worth it!
PANTASTICO, also a great bakery, I guess I was missing my food :p
La Bo’M seems to be a good hostel too and great location. The owner is French.
Dragonfly Hostel is a good option as well if you don’t want to stay in the San blas area, for sure you will have a lot of choices in Cusco.
WHERE TO EAT:
Cusco was awesome for food, so many options, great ones, all tastes, all budgets, I didn’t even have the time to try everything I wanted.
For French travelers missing their French crêpes (or French food lovers) I really recommend La Crêperie La Bo’M (I don’t know how they manage to get blue cheese!) and the restaurant is nice decorated too.
The San Blas Market was definitely my favourite, you can find super cheap menu (vegeterian otpion as well), and I loved chilling out there talking with locals while drinking huge fruit juice made by Grandma 😉
D’Gustos y Preferencias is a cute little organic restaurant located in a hostel, their menus are great and new everyday. It’s delicious and cheap.
La Libertad Pizzeria, a great place where many locals go as well. You take place on big wooden table. The wait can be a bit long because it is popular. But it is the occasion to spend time with your friends while enjoying good pizzas 😉
LIMO on the plaza de armas is a fancy restaurant, nice location, good service, good food (however maybe not completely worth such an expensive price, or maybe if quantities were bigger…) It is a nice Japanese Peruvian fusion.
Bakery (I can’t help it!): QOSQOMAKI PANADERIA is a great and a cheap one but a bit out of the center.
You’ll find many other options while walking in the street that will all look very appealing so just go for it and let us know in the comments below 😉
WHERE TO GO OUT:
Well I’m not so much of a party person (anymore 😉 ), however I enjoyed going for drinks at the bar KM0 (still in San Blas), they have live music and it’s a nice place to go.
CUSCO VIEW POINT HOSTEL has a super nice view over Cusco, but I wouldn’t go there for anything else.
You have many party hostels in Cusco (Pariwana, Kokopelli, Loki, Wild Rover…)
WANT TO LEARN SPANISH:
ECO PERU SPANISH SCHOOL is a great place for it. I contacted a few schools before arriving in Cusco. Faviola and Kelly were really welcoming. They also had the best deal, a package with a tour, hours of Spanish lessons and even extra free activities like salsa classes, pisco sour cocktail learning…
I’ve learnt a lot and I was so proud to get my advanced certificate of Spanish 😉
Gracias Kelly y Faviola !
THINGS TO DO:
Of course, you have so many things to do in Cusco it will be hard to list them all and I’m sure it won’t be a problem for you to find them once you are there.
I liked the Choco Museo. It is free to visit and they have guides who explain how the chocolate is made very well and they make you taste great products as well.
I wouldn’t recommend the Valle Sagrado tour though, it is so touristic, way too many people! Actually it feels like the amount of people you get in the Machu Picchu takes over those places but there are a lot smaller than the Machu Picchu site so it is kind of a nightmare. Especially that all the tours do pretty much the same route so all tourists are here at the same time.
To know more about how to visit the Machu Picchu, you’ll find all my explanations here.
At ANDINA SPA, you can get chocolate waxing. It might be a bit more expensive than some offers you might find somewhere else in the street, but hygiene is definitely better. You get what you pay for…
Apparently, they also do great massages!
A MAGICAL PLACE:
I really fell in love with Cusco, I loved just getting lost through the calles, walking around and anywhere, hanging out with local people in the San Blas market which has nothing to do with the main one in Cusco. I could have stayed longer, and I could definitely go back 🙂
Don’t rush to the Machu Picchu and off to your next stop, I really think Cusco is worth staying a bit there. Let me know how you liked it in the comments below!