I’ve been in Cusco for about four days now. Mostly I have just been hanging out, waiting for Dad to arrive (tomorrow!!) and trying to find a company to go on our trek to Machu Picchu with. We finally settled on the Lares trek with Q’ente, mostly because they were the only company that had a trek going on the date we have to go.
Aside from that, I’ve spent some time walking around the city, visiting a couple museums (the Inca Museum is kind of cool, has some really cool mummies, but is otherwise a bit overrated), and went on a day tour of the Sacred Valley.
I really didn’t like Cusco at first. It’s a really touristy city, and people are always in your face trying to shove flyers for massages or restaurants or tours at you. But my first day I was also really tired (hadn’t slept at all on my night bus that arrived at like six in the morning) and it was a really gray day (it’s rainy season so it often gets a bit gray and sometimes sprinkles and rains on and off in short bits throughout the day). Also I was a bit stressed looking for a good trekking company, and it all kind of reflected badly on Cusco.
Now my perceptions have changed. Cusco has a different kind of beauty and appeal than Arequipa. It’s a more old and historic beauty. Cathedrals and colonial buildings built on top of old Inca ruins. There’s reminders of the Inca everywhere, old Inca walls and streets, etc. But getting out and seeing the city in the sunshine definitely makes it more beautiful. And I have incredible views from my hostel as well.
The other good thing about Cusco is that it’s hard to be lonely here. I’m staying in Loki hostel, which is a really infamous hostel in South America, especially in Peru/Cusco. There’s always a ton of people around, and even a great deal of Americans which it’s been a while since I’ve seen. I’ve met a lot of really cool people and have had people to hang out or go out with every day. It’s been a really nice change after a more lonely chunk of my trip, where I only seemed to meet cool people the day before one of us was leaving (here, at least, most people stay for quite a while).
All in all I’ve found that I went from seriously disliking Cusco to having a really great time here. And of course I’m really excited for Dad to arrive and to go do some trekking and finally see Machu Picchu!
Again, I will add another post or update this one with some pictures and more details later.
Accomodation: Loki Hostel – 23 soles (about $8) for the biggest dorm – Lives up to its reputation. Loki is a really great place to hang out, to meet people, to have a good time. No real complaints, except that the wifi is pretty terrible. And of course that you’re bound to spend way more money than you intend because you put every meal and drink on your room tab!