Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cusco the Inca capital

Cusco, the charming capital of the Inca empire, sitting near the top of the world at 3400m elevation. It was by far the city we liked the most considering the amount of pictures we took. The plaza de armas is downtown done right. As usual the square is in front of the cathedral, but here in Cusco the square is huge, so that you can admire the cathedral in all its magnificence. However here in Cusco all the 2 story buildings surrounding the main square are also a work of art. We could actually say that to the entire historic center district.
Like in Berlin you step in history all the time. There's clear evidence of the advancement of the Inca culture, but also of the atrocities committed by the Spanish conquistadors.
I understand Cusco is the airport to get to Machu Picchu and other adventures, but the city itself is very comfortable and welcoming.
For a touristic city it's quite cheap, with laundry for 2 soles/kg in the maloq street, and awesome lunch for 6 soles in restaurant Gallito Rojo at calle Siete Cuartones, 242. Lunch includes soup as entrée plus main dish and a refreshment.
There are even some restaurants that offer a lunch menu for 4 soles.
Another highlight are the artisan and gift shops. They have awesome items for good prices.

Practical information
Once you arrive at the airport, you can get one of the vans to downtown for 0,70 soles. A taxi downtown should be around 8 soles. Word is the taxis inside the airport cost 3 times more, so you should just get out of the airport in the main street (a short 100m walk) and hail a cab there. Since there's no taximeter you will have to haggle.

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