There was a lot of hype surrounding Cusco. Several Peruvians we met along the way were either from Cusco or just loved the city so much that they could not stop raving about it. So I wondered…would Cusco live up to the hype??
My assessment: maybe.
Cusco was a nice place. I stayed in the San Blas area-which is beautiful with narrow cobble stoned streets. Actually, narrow cobble stone streets may be an understatement for how narrow these streets were. The sidewalks were so narrow that you had to walk in a single file line to remain on the sidewalk–and if a car came through you had to stop walking and stand with your back against the wall to feel safe. Super cute…functional, not so much.
* Streets in the San Blas district.
*Another photo of the narrow streets in San Blas. As you can tell, it is a tight fit!
The shopping in Cusco is great. If you are looking for gifts, art, or tasty treats, you can find an array in Cusco. The San Blas district had several high end shops and is touted as one of the best shopping areas in the city. There were also some good flea market type shops down Avenue El Sol.
There are a lot of churches and museums in Cusco. Some of the highlights of Cusco included Qorikancha–an Inca archaeological site, the Inka Museum, the Chocolate Museum (with great free samples), and the modern art museum.
Overall Cuscu was cool, but it was hard to focus with the anticipation of Machu Picchu…