Most people associate the city of Cuzco -o Cusco- with the famous Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, but, once you are there, you realize the great amount of cultural, leisure and historical offer that this magnificent place has.
We flew from Santiago de Chile to Lima with Lanchile -of the best airlines that I used in the 5 months of travel- and we spent the night at the airport of the Peruvian capital. If you ever have to spend the night there, I recommend you not to go crazy looking for a good place to sleep. There simply isn't. At 7 in the morning our flight to Cuzco left and just over an hour later we landed there. Our ticket was included in the 20 flights back to the World We had bought in Dublin, but if you have some pasta still in your pocket I advise you the option of flying because the bus from Lima can make you jump 24 hours on the Peruvian roads.
As soon as we arrived, the routine we had followed for more than 4 months was imposed each time we arrived at a new place: search for accommodation, bus or train stations, return of recognition around the place in search of bars for lunch or dinner and offices of tourism information or some travel agency.
We chose a small downtown hostel that offered us a small double room with a Spartan decoration and a small bathroom for the small price of about 3 or 4 euros per person per night. He was run by a family and had hardly any guests. We leave things there and go for a walk.
Cusco is well differentiated in Two parts: the city itself and the old and most tourist area that compose it, mainly, the Main Square with its Spanish cathedral and the tangled alleyways - being famous the San Blas neighborhood and that of Santa Clara with its houses with white walls and brown balconies that come out of it and make you believe that you are in a town in southern Spain. This whole area is dedicated to tourism. You will find many hostels and hotels of all types, colors and budgets; Small travel agencies where they will offer you their star products: the Inca Trail or -for the most lazy- the visit to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Tour; restaurants, pubs and simple bars.
Although the place is an important focus for tourism, it was not so crowded with tourists when we visited it just over 4 years ago. We strolled through its magnificent old town and its glorious Plaza de Armas with a quiet pace, chatting quietly while trying to imagine what it would have been like about 500 years ago when the Spaniards of Pizarro put their feet in the lands of the Incas. It is a bit sad that there are still Peruvian people a little resentful of this issue and they look at the Spaniards with some suspicion that something more latent becomes when a guide accompanies you on a historical tour and comments on the atrocities that the conquerors performed. And it is true, very reprehensible acts were performed, but we have nothing to do with those generations and travelers want to connect as much as possible with the people of the places we visit.
For lovers of architecture, the city presents a beautiful mix of Spanish and Inca culture. The conquerors built some convents, several churches, the Cathedral of the Plaza and even an archbishopric but the Inca constructions that are the pride of its inhabitants were also preserved by almost perfectly resisting the earthquake suffered in 1950, when Coricancha -Sun Temple- He survived and the church of Santo Domingo - built by the Spaniards just above the Temple to offend the Incas - was severely damaged.
Cusco brims with life. There were old women weaving colorful clothes in the outskirts of the Plaza, the men carrying goods from here to there, children wearing the T-shirts of the Peruvian football club that had brought glory to the whole country a year before winning the Cup Liberators to the River Plate - who played in the streets, commercial of the travel agencies located in the basement of the Plaza trying to capture a tourist looking to be looking for some information. A lot of color and a lot of vitality, all at 3,400 meters high where to climb a hill of ridiculous slope you have to stop to take a breath at least twice.
How Cusco captivated me!5.001