Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walking Around Cusco

There really is never a dull day in this city and if you like crowds and streets full of bustling activities then Cuzco might be your cup of tea. I personally like walking outside and seeing many people on the streets, it just makes everything come alive and gives me a certain kind of energy. That being said, Cuzco is my cup of tea in that regard.

After lunch I like taking walks mostly for the exercise and to familiarize myself more with some of the streets in this city. There is always something entertaining I come across plus the weather is always so nice so I try to enjoy it by being outside as much as possible. I will share some of the images that I have managed to capture with my camera during my walks and by doing so maybe you can get a sense of what I experience and see on the regular.

During my stay here I have witnessed lots of processions and some are really colorful and full of pomp. This particular procession in the picture below took place on a Sunday and it was one of several that I had seen on that day.

You can definitely not say there is a shortage of fruits here. Same as with Colombia and Ecuador, Peru has a lot of fruits to spare so if you are a fruit lover like me, you are spoilt for choice plus the prices are dirt cheap so you can have your fill.

On the streets you will see some of the indigenous women dressed in their traditional clothing. I love the bright colors of their clothes and some of them have found ways of capitalizing on their traditional image. You will see them carrying these cute baby lamps and they will ask you for some money if you want to take pictures of them or with them.

This dude has secured a small area at the oldest street in Cuzco where you can see the old Inca walls. He is always waiting to take pictures with tourists against the wall, of course you have to part with some money if you want a picture taken with him. For the heck of it I decided to take a picture with him, don't ask me what he placed on my head.

Plazas and more plazas. If you like people watching plazas are the best places to do that and this city is not lacking in this provision.

Plaza de Armas - This is the main plaza in Cuzco and is usually full of people and activities. Unfortunately you will encounter plenty of folks hustling you to buy stuff so sometimes it can be annoying but it is a nice plaza to sit and watch the going ons in the city. You will see lots of tourists here and sometimes there are concerts held here as well which makes it even more fun. I took the picture below early in the morning when the crowds hadn't gathered yet.

Plaza de San Francisco - This is a laid back plaza and good for taking it easy and enjoying the warm sun without the hustle and bustle of Plaza de Armas.

Plazoleta San Blas - This plaza is near where I live and it always has artsy folks hanging around selling their wares, it's actually my favorite plaza. I have met interesting characters here and it is a cool small plaza to hang out and appreciate the various artisanal works that are in abundance in the surrounding area and shops.

The views - Cuzco is very hilly so there is always potential to get some amazing views the higher up you go. I have to warn you though, going up can be physically tough but it is worth it plus who doesn't need the exercise anyway?

Rants About Cuzco:

In as much as I appreciate and like certain things about this city, there other things that also get on my nerves and I will go right ahead and express them.

Walking around this city can be exhausting because of how much you will be hustled to buy stuff. Everywhere you go there is always someone shoving stuff in your face for you to buy, sometimes I just feel like shouting, "No! I don't want to buy anything, just because I am a foreigner doesn't make me a cash machine!!!" it is super annoying.

I also find it very annoying when people rip you off by tripling their prices just because you are a foreigner. I understand that life is hard and people are desperate to make a living but the extent at which people go is just appalling. This one guy sold me a painting and I later came to find out he had charged me triple the regular price, I was so pissed off! He did have good paintings and I would have bought more from him had he been honest. These days when I see him on the street I just pass him like I don't know him even when he tries to chat me up.

I passed by this store that had really cute ponchos and I was going to buy one. The girl in the shop quoted me the price and as I continued looking around, an older woman came into the store and I figured she must have been the girl's mother. She started quoting double the price of what the daughter had mentioned before. At that point I was so exhausted from all the rip offs I had encountered and didn't have the energy to call her out on her lies so I walked out of the shop while she was still rattling her ridiculous prices. She followed me outside but I ignored her.

Going into the numerous artisan stores and markets is another huddle, the sales people are so desperate to make a sale that they follow you around the store listing all their products and urging you to buy. I find the desperation both sad and annoying. I know they may be under a lot of pressure to make a sale but such tactics just put off customers.

Everywhere on the busy streets you will find these girls advertising massage services, they will shove their business cards or pamphlets in your face and will be calling out, "massage, massage lady, you need massage??" now picture walking down a street full of these girls, each trying to get you to accept their services.

Yesterday I went to get a pedicure because they are so cheap over here. I finally got to see a sample of those massage parlors because the services were being offered in the same room. Let's just say even if my neck and back are killing me, you will not find me getting a massage in there. The room looked very seedy and the sheets on the massage tables looked like they had seen their share of clients, they did not look clean at all. As for my pedicure, let's just say I had to stop the girl halfway and tell her it was enough. The point is, there is never a shortage of mediocre services here. I could give many examples but I will keep this particular rant short.


  1. Just like most of Europe the architecture in South America is remarkably similar throughout the countries you have visited so far its like they had the same architects designing their buildings!

    1. I keep meaning to ask how far is Cusco from Lima? Is it a road trip or air trip?

    2. Hey Lydz! thanks for stopping by. Cusco is actually pretty far from Lima depending on what mode of transportation you will be using. By bus it will take about 24 hours between both cities but by plane it takes about an hour. Flights within Peru are pretty cheap so if you don't want to spend too many hours on the road it's worth getting a plane ticket. Cheapest airlines within the country are StarPeru and Peruvian airlines.

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