Here we go for a few days in Cusco. We are not sure how much time we will spend here giving that the access to MachuPicchu gets filled up quite quickly.
In and around Cusco, there is many things to do:
– Visiting the city (plan at least for two days)
– MachuPicchu sighting (another three days including the transport from Cusco – Train or Minivan)
– Sacred valley visit (as well, count on two to three days)
So, a total of 6 or 7 days is required to visit Cusco and around. MachuPicchu and the Sacred Valley will be touched down on different posts.
In Cusco, the main places to visit are al located in the centre of the city.
No need to say that this city, which has been built at 3,400m, is considered as the most beautiful city of Peru and is consequently the most touristic place of Peru.
La Plaza de las armas (The weapon square) is the culture centre of the city. It is as well the best example of how the spanish ran the country as soon as they arrived in 1533.
First, because this square was the main place were excuted the opponents to the colonial regime. Indeed, this is where Tupac Amaru, the last Inca leader got executed in 1572 along with all his familly. He was quartered, his body dismembered and his head left exposed on the plaza de las armas.
This is where as well Tupac Amaru II got exectued in 1780 after the revolt he lead againt the spanish conquistadors. The repression has been always approved by the church.
A bloody square, indeed. However it is today a beautiful square, quiet from where we can admire some of the best colonial building in Cusco.
Good example because all the Incas buildings (temple and other) got demolished. Their bases were then used to build catholic building such as churches, monasteries… And they finally used the Inca building stone to build the new ones.
When we visit Cusco, we sometimes go through narrow street, with not a lot of light, which probably help us imagine how was it before. Some of them have been quite well renovated, and the result is there.
We spent some time as well at Cusco Market, called San Pedro market. We love markets, and we use them to tell us how is the city. A clean and well supplied usually goes with a safe and good atmoshpere city. We use to go there quite often for breakfast and even sometimes lunch. They prepare the food made of fresh ingredients of front of you, so at least you are sure not to be sick later.
We went up to the entrance of Saksaywaman ruins (part of the Sacred Valley) to admire the view point onto Cusco.
From there, we were able to count something like 13 churches in Cusco, sometimes just far away from each other by a few meters. This is where you realize that the conquistadors have done everything they could to change the population and turn them toward Catholisicm. But I am not sure how well they did that, as still a large portion of the population speaks Quechua. The quechua flag can be seen everywhere in Peru (as well in Bolivia) just next to the official flag.
We visit a few museums. We went through a great museum about MachuPicchu : La Casa Concha. I just recommend to visit it. It is a private musuem so entry is not free, And because we bought the full ticket for the sacred valley, we went through the public musem (which are not really good). Mainly the regional history museum, the popular art museum, the museum of contemporary art. Inside one of them (I don’t remember which one) you can see a paints of the last supper of Jesus with in his plate a Cuy (the cuy is a traditional peruvian dish which is a guinea-pig). Here we laugh a bit
Again a different way from the conquistador to impose their laws and views but by using the local customs. Not to add that all the religious celebrations are based on the Inca dates.. We just add Jesus or Marie instead of the local divinity and it is done. This is now (since 1533) yours.
That is it for Cusco, a lot of things to say and show but the best advice is for sure to go there.
Blog you soon,