Cusco – the city of Incas, coca and chocolate

Cusco is not only a beautiful city with a history in South America. It is also a great base for trips to places such as Rainbow Mountain…


Jesus Hostel

After many hours of travel from Arequipa to Cusco we arrived approx. 8 am to the city. We found accommodation for the recommendation of a taxi driver. There was a big statue of Jesus at the reception – I already thought that the whole hostel would be like a church. In the room there was a bathroom waiting for us with warm water, which, as it turned out, barely wanted to fly, but after 10 minutes fortunately warmed up. Actually, this was the standard during our trip. Even such a higher standard, because sometimes the warm one was not there, or it was for a while, so loose.

Before checking into the room we left our backpacks in the deposit and went to eat something. Next to our hotel was a small but good café, where we ate a tasty and satiated breakfast.

Immediately after check-in, a woman from the tour bureau appeared. Someone must have given her zinc that tourists had arrived, so she appeared right in front of our door. Emilia discussed a little with her and discussed the details of the trip to Machu Picchu, where they were to provide us with transport, food and accommodation in Aguas Calientes.

In the meantime, we got a little wrapped up, left our dirty clothes for laundry and went to explore this beautiful city.

Coca Museum in Cusco

Right next to our hostel, we discovered one of the places worth visiting – the coca museum, because coca is a plant with a lot of history, myths and controversies.

Coca leaves alone are not a bad thing until you make their drug – up to this point, they offer a lot. Coca in Peru has been known for centuries for its health benefits. It has many minerals and nutritional values. It is given to tourists as a means of relieving the symptoms of altitude sickness. Such dry leaves can be rolled up, crushed with teeth and thrown during the trip. We often made tea from them with meals. In the museum you can see dozens of products and products for which it is used.

I will not tell you what is inside, but I will tell you that you can get a cold beer there for a better sightseeing.

The best pub in Cusco, according to us

Once we have visited the city and its narrow streets, it’s time for some dinner. We came across a place that had quite an interesting menu, prices and a pleasant décor. There were also motivating quotes on the walls and I even found one of my favorites (although I like to make fun of it a bit, I like this one).

Work hard in silence and let your success make all the noise.

Work in silence, let the effects make noise.

We ordered a little bit of everything, some drinks and got a cup of ice cream for dessert as a gift. They bought us.


After lunch, we went to the viewpoint. Along the way, there were a lot of obstacles waiting for us. First, a bus wanted to run us over, which blocked our way. We also met a gang of pigeons – similar to ours. Later, there was a drunk man who lost his sticks on his back, but he showed us the direction of our way. At some point, we had doubts whether we were going well, because the area was starting to look more and more dangerous – like the suburbs. Narrow streets, mess in the yards, houses made of what it will fall into. At the end, it turned out only that the road to the top from this side is being renovated and we will not go further.

Fortunately, coming back we came across a nice hostel with a bar, where there was a promotion for drinks, so here we already crouched until sunset.

After that day, we went on an expedition to Machu Picchu, which I will describe soon in the next entry.

Day two in Cusco

We are in Cusco again, tired but happy after visiting Machu Picchu. Only our wonderful team from the travel agency dropped us off at 23:30 somewhere in the middle of Cusco, because earlier our bus had a breakdown, which from 40 minutes dragged on to several hours. After all, we were constantly wondering if the wheel would fall off, because when we moved we could hear that they forgot to tighten it early. Seriously…

We landed in a square. Certainly not the main one. We had to look for a taxi that would not take us out of town and rob us, and by the way would not count us as grain. It seemed to be close, but in Peru it is better not to visit the streets of the city after the night.

Glutton Day

That day we went again to our already favorite restaurant – Kushka… Fe, where we had dinner. For dessert, right next door, in a hipster café, we ate churros with chocolate, which in total were so hipster that they were not good. I was expecting something more – 6/10.

Free Walking Tour

We have already devoted this day to a longer tour of the city and decided to use the help of a local Free Walking Tour guide – that is, for free. Of course – there is no entry fee, but it is worth giving a tip at the very end for a guided tour of the city, because the guide tells a lot of curiosities and shows some cool places. In anticipation of him, I made a deal of a lifetime and bought, at almost wholesale price, commemorative key rings with alpacas and beans of happiness.

The funny thing is that there is a ban on trading in the market, but sellers go there quietly. Sometimes they are children, and sometimes older ladies who earn money. At the one who sold me the key chains, there was even a policeman to whom she spoke in Spanish “daddy” to calm him down. Standing next to us, he allowed us to complete the transaction and did not chase the old lady’s fines with a block, as if it were happening in Poland. You want to make money – nobody bothers you there, and in our country they want to put children in prison for trading lemonade.

At the next square, in one of the gates, locals were playing, you could buy a few souvenirs there and learn the difference between a llama and an alpaca (alpacas are those fur balls with a shorter neck).

A little later, we learned about the layout of the city, which resembles a puma in its shape, and about the stones from which it is built. When and by whom the stones were erected, on average, I was interested in it – like a story from textbooks. However, it is worth noting how they were erected, because cement was not used to connect them, as it is now. Each stone matched the previous ones so perfectly that there are practically no gaps between them, and everything sticks together. In the photo, where you can see the guide, we stand at one of the most interesting, which has the most sides and fits perfectly with the rest.

In the meantime, I had the opportunity to train hip shots from my phone, because in Arequipa I left the charger for Olympus, gathering for the bus. However, the phone is a little less handy in this matter, although smaller, it does not have a physical shutter button that facilitates the work.

Along the way, the guide, of course, showed us several sponsored places, i.e. those where he is somehow in agreement with the owners and takes tourists there to visit the premises. At the beginning, the yard with the llama and alpaca was a small ambush, because if you wanted to take a picture with them, you had to pay a few salts to their babysitter.

At the very end we climbed up the city, where we had the opportunity to admire the sunset and the DOUBLE RAINBOW. Although I was equally impressed by the selfie man who walked with us for most of the trip. He seemed to be listening, but he was more busy taking pictures of himself in all these places. I think this is how he wanted to confuse the attention of the guide so as not to pay for the Free Walking Tour. As it turned out later, when saying goodbye to our group, you “forgot your wallet”, but at least you thanked, instead of washing yourself off before the tip (I warn you, it was not a Pole, but a Brazilian).

Chocolate Museum in Cusco

Visiting with FWT we saw the Chocolate Museum, which we later decided to visit. A nice place, because you can buy many types of chocolate and chocolate-like products, including alcohols. There are also a lot of souvenirs there, but I would not call this place a museum.

At the entrance we were greeted by a nice gentleman with a board of chocolates. He told us a little about what he had good and even gave us a taste, then the same with liqueurs, and finally he let us look around, because it turned out that we were just in the store. All in all, like in a coca museum, but there was some history and facts about it. Unfortunately, one of the most interesting things we did not see (but it was felt that it had recently taken place) – live cooking, in one of the rooms, on the wall of which was the whole process of creating chocolate. I don’t want to know the details because I’ll be sorry.

We bought some chocolate souvenirs and headed towards the hostel to leave the shopping. Here we had a difficult task ahead of us – to pack chocolates without eating them before we reached Polish. Fortunately, we still had dinner to kill hunger.

Dinner in Pachapapa

I know what Pachamama is, but the only thing I found on the Internet about Pachapapa is what we learned that it is one of the best restaurants in Cusco. What to say here, we were hungry and ordered after a warm soup, because it was already evening, beer and pizza from the oven. A cellist played us until dinner, so we found the perfect climate to relax a bit before the expedition to Rainbow Mountain.

We were happy, because for a little money we ate very good soups. And one of them (mine) was probably half a liter of volume. I barely had a beer and ate pizza. Interesting, because it was cheap for us, and the lady from North America thought that salts were dollars and wanted to pay with them, even though $ 1 = 3.25 salts. American life.

After such a dinner, we gained strength for a trip to the colorful mountains.

Last day in Cusco

At the end, we had little time left to explore, but in the evening we visited one of the premises on the main square, where dances and live performances took place. Here it was already a little more expensive, so we ordered only after a beer, to which we got chips. We watched the show and went to bed because we have to go back to Lima.

And here a little tip. If you sit in the premises and give you something that you did not order, it may turn out that they will add it to your bill. Such a hook for tourists.

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Fotograf eventowy - Marcin Krokowski