You’re welcome to see the video of one of the previous days with the view of the lake and pure nature full of harmony and calmness on my YouTube channel. SUBSCRIBE!
Being in Peru already for so long, visiting ethnic shops, local markets, seeing the natives in such unique clothes had teased me to a great point! I was postponing shopping till Cusco because I didn’t want to carry all my buyings with me during the whole trip. Plus, people told me everything was cheaper in Cusco. I believed… in vain. Apparently, who told me this haven’t been to the central market of Lima that I’ve told you about previously. I still regret I didn’t buy a super cheap leather backpack I loved there. I couldn’t find it anywhere else in the country 😦
Advice: Shop in the Central Market of Lima for backpacks and special souvenirs. There’s a big variety of them for a cheaper / same price as in Cusco.
On my second day in Cusco, I went to the biggest market in Peru. Pisac, a little village in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is one of the best places to shop in the whole country. It doesn’t seem big from above, but its streets stretch for hundreds of metres. I easily spend there about 4 hours, buying souvenirs for my family and friends, llama sweaters (how no, if I’m in the country of llamas?!) and looking for a perfect backpack.
I love bringing from countries something special. Something that can easily be with me and remind me of my excellent journey. Something useful and really typical of a place. It wakens an exceptional feeling of an endless lifelong trip.
Pisac is located 34 kilometres from Cusco. You can take a van from a local bus terminal that will take you there in about an hour. On the way to Pisac village you’ll see some sights, so don’t fall asleep!
In the market, you can find any kind of clothes made from llama fibre, silver jewellery, scarfs, bags and backpacks, tiny-tiny souvenirs. The uniqueness of t-shirts is extremely unique:
Getting tired? Get a cup of coffee with a snack in one of the cafes. Want to try something really typical? See what they offer:
OH, MY GOD!!! YES! They eat them. And you can easily find the Guinea Pig (Cuy) in restaurants too. MY GOD! (No, I’ve never tried it)
If you prefer something less exotic I absolutely recommend you to choose Blue Llama cafe out of all the options in Pisac. The view is incredible as outside, as well as inside. Its creators have a really good sense of humour and an amazing imagination 😀 Just look whom I found at the entrance. All the restaurant contains photos and collages of celebrities with the famous Blue Llama. Your mood will be on top the rest of the day!
The Pisac market works till 4-5 p.m. Make sure to buy everything you like on time. Make sure to indulge in walking along the picturesque streets of the city to see how locals live and appreciate the harmonious atmosphere.
On the way back to Cusco get some sleep. You’ll need to see the nightlife of the city! Or a least of your ho(s)tel… 😛
I’m not a fan of excursions and prefer to explore new places by myself, but if I’m short on time or want to get the first impression of the location quickly, I take a walking tour around the city. Nowadays Free Walking Tours based on tips become really popular in the capitals and big touristic cities around the world. I find it a useful and convenient way to get acquainted with a city.
From my own experience travelling around South America, I can pick our three FWT that I liked the best (in a corresponding order).
1. The best one is in Bogota, Colombia. I personally took it twice, while being in Colombia: at the beginning, when I familiarised with the city, and at the end of my time there when I knew Bogota well.
Both experiences were different and showed me the capital better. The Free Walking Tour will tell you the history and the culture of the country, revealing the most curious and unbelievable facts that will leave a lasting impression. You’ll thoroughly walk the historical centre of the city (that you might not do alone). After the tour, you’ll become an expert in how to move around the city, which museums, sights and parks to visit, where to spend an excellent party night and just to grab a beer or a Colombian chicha drink.
2. The second most favourite walking tour I took in Cusco, Peru. The great capital of the Inca Empire is a masterpiece of uniqueness. This city will easily become your favourite Peruvian city because of the Free Walking Tour you take. There’s a big variety of options you can choose from, but I took the best.
Two hours of the tour flew by in one breath. The culmination of the FWT became the view of the city. We went up unnoticeable long stairs in the middle of an unremarkable neighbourhood, and in from of us opened Cusco The Greatest. Its red roofs and endless streets conquered my heart. It looked so complete and united. Better than any other city of Peru from above. I was definitely satisfied with the tour and the quality of it: very informative, entertaining and helpful. Totally recommendable: Freewalkingperu.
3. The last but now least is the Free Walking Tour in Lima, Peru. It’s pretty impossible to see this huge city by yourself in a short period of time. The Free Walking Tour I had in the capital took me by public transportation from the touristic part to the centre of the city, that made a huge difference.
In 3 hours I already knew the city pretty well to understand how to organise my time there later. I saw the main places and learnt about the culture. I shopped a little, sent a postcard and tried a local beer and 5 types of pisco sour. I did it all in the Free Walking Tour! Unbelievable.
The best part of all these tours is that you don’t have to be rich to be provided an excellent service. They all are based on tips and usually, tourists donate 7-10 dollars.
If you had a similar experience, let me know where and how much you were satisfied in the comments below!
Day 8. Arriving in the greatest city of Peru Cusco, going sightseeing and enjoying its unique atmosphere…
You’re welcome to see the video of one of the previous days with the view of the lake and pure nature full of harmony and calmness on my YouTube channel.
After the boat trip to the islands of Titicaca, we’ve returned to Puno to spend several more hours there and have dinner. We asked the owners of our hotel to save our bags till night, so we won’t care it with us or pay for an extra night. The bus to Cusco leaves Puno at 10 pm. and arrives in the city at 4.30 am.
To tell you the truth, the bus ride wasn’t enough to sleep enough even with enough comfort provided by Cruz del Sur company. From the bus terminal, we took a taxi with a quite affordable price that dropped us next to our pre-booked hostel.
I’ve chosen one of the cheapest central hostels with the highest rate on Booking and it was great! Literally one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in and the best during my whole Peru trip. It’s located 10 minutes walking from the central square of the city and is very convenient. Hence, totally recommended: Ukukus hostel.
Even if the check-in time at the hostel starts at 12 pm, we were kindly invited to arrive later and chill in the common space. During this time I took a hot (thank God!) shower, cooked breakfast, studied Spanish (remember, had an exam after the trip?)… Did everything I wanted actually and even petted a cat. What could be better?
The staff was super lovely and explained to us how to orient in the city, recommended excursions, restaurants. The laundry service wasn’t quick enough so I wasn’t able to use it. Ukukus hostel is really (and I mean it) popular among tourists, so make sure to reserve it in advance, as I couldn’t book the second night there, when I spontaneously decided to stay in Cusco for one more day.
The first place to visit was the market close to the centre, where I bought local fruits for breakfast. After I saw this gorgeousness:
It made me fall in love with Cusco. Such a calm and unique atmosphere! Something really special is simply in the air of this city. It’s pretty touristic, of course. But you don’t feel the rush, you see local people, you get a positive attitude (because you’re a tourist that most likely to spend your money there, but still)… Well, yes. The last point about money just hits the mark. There are tens if not hundreds of tourist agencies that offer, sometimes quite busily, their services and excursions. At some point, it becomes very annoying.
Well, yes. The last point about money just hits the mark. There are tens if not hundreds of tourist agencies that offer, sometimes quite busily, their services and excursions. At some point, it becomes very annoying.
Traditionally, we took a free walking tour to get the whole picture of the city. We were actually late to the start point in the middle of the central square, so we have to look for a group of tourists. A lot of history was included in the tour, the information I didn’t know and would be hard to find. And the most priceless (for me) that besides was expressed a personal attitude towards the history, some events and their influence.
All in all, after 1.5 hours of walking around the city we reached the highest point of our route. The view of the city, its red roofs and endless streets conquered my heart. It looks so complete and united. It looks better than any other city of Peru from above.
I was definitely satisfied with the tour and the quality of it: very informative, entertaining and helpful. Totally recommendable: Freewalkingperu.
The final point of the excursion was the restaurant Manka, where we tried pisco and got discount cards for dinner. Later that day we walked around the centre of Cusco, had an enjoyable seviche at the restaurant and went back to the wonderful hostel…
Day 5. It was a very special day with a beautiful sunrise, magnificent nature and incredible landscapes of Arequipa region. It became one of the most memorable days in my life. Make sure to see it yourself here on my YouTube channel!
Day 4. Moving from the Ica desert to Arequipa city.
You’re welcome to see the video of this beautiful day with the ocean view, penguins, sea lions and endless desert sands on my YouTube channel.
Luckily the bus was comfortable for that long ride and early in the morning, we arrived in a second most populous city. The only desire was to take a hot shower. I didn’t book a hostel in advance so we just picked up from ones that were offered by promoters at the bus station. I had some prejudice about it, but at the end, I fully enjoyed the choice — Boothy Hostel Arequipa.
The same as in Lima, we took a tour. This time it was bus city tour that gave us a perfect idea of Arequipa. It appeared to be a very calm and vast city. With a volcano. Pretty unusual for me as I’ve never seen them before. Gets you some images of explosion? Never mind, nothing happened 😀
During the tour, we’ve visited the top touristic places: an alpaca farm, the highest point to observe the city and the famous historical Yanahuara District. But the thing I remember the most is when we stopped in the middle of the bridge over a river and I looked down from the second floor of our bus. Shock and panic! I couldn’t breathe or move until the time we passed it. Fortunately, I was able to film a little and take a picture:
I can’t highly recommend this bus tour as it wasn’t fascinating, but it gives a great chance to see quite distant attractions and parts of the city that would be inconvenient to go to.
After the city tour that took us about 3 hours we went to see the Historical Centre of the City (“Plaza de Armas”, yup, in every city of Peru) to book a tour for the next day. We stayed 6 blocks from the main square that was pretty comfortable to walk up there.
My main goal that night was to find a very comfortable and very ethnic pair of boots as my sneakers were driving me crazy. Mine cost about $25. A big surprise was to see a Starbucks coffee shop in the Historical Centre that was a relief. I had my Spanish exam in 10 days so I had to prepare for a little. Having a big cup of coffee in Starbucks I was making my homework.
Two hours later I moved to a small cafe on one of the prettiest streets near the centre.For the first time, I tried Coca tea ($3-4 per cup) that supposedly helps overcome altitude sickness. And that was something rather interesting. Later it became one of my favourite drinks so that I bought several coca leaf tea bags and brought it home to Russia. Surprisingly there were no problems exporting it. Just in case they gave me a special paper saying who when and where bought those tea bags.
Homework: Done. Coca tea: drunk. => Party time in the hostel…
Last year I had two weeks of summer vacations and a big desire to visit Peru. As usual, my goal was to see the most of what I could, as I never know if I have a chance to go back one day. This is how one of the most memorable journeys started! (You’re welcome to see a video about the beginning of the trip on my YouTube channel. SUBSCRIBE! <3)