Cusco: visiting Peru's finest on a budget

Wonderguide by

Silke Ghekiere

Cusco: visiting Peru's finest on a budget

A city of sidetrips, taxi's and "massages"

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My personal favourites

Some of the trips, bars or restaurants we visited, hold a special place in my heart. Here are a few, and the reasons why they'll never be forgotten.

Image - Qucharitas
Silke:Icecream, millions of options and pancakes. I don't need more reasons to get you there. Oh but, they have VEGAN icecream as well. Check mate.
Image - Indigo Bar Restaurant
Indigo Bar Restaurant
Silke:Happy hours, but all day everyday. And a lot of games to play, cocktails to drink and seisha to smoke. It's perfect to start your night or to just hang around for a bit.
Image - Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Silke:Put on your hiking shoes, set your alarm and go on the trip of your life. Don't be afraid to start walking in the middle of the night, because being able to see the sun rise above this monument (and the surrounding mountains) is worth it. It makes you understand why the Inca's chose the sun as their god.
Image - Chez Maggy
Chez Maggy
Silke:Most cosy place you'll ever find, and there's two of them ;) You feel like you're sitting in some kind of movie set whilest dining there, and the food itself is great. It's also nice for big groups, because they have these really long tables. Hop in some time (/day) before you want to go, because making a reservation is pretty useful.
Image - Inka Team
Inka Team
Silke:Salsa lessons and good times = inca team. Make friends with the bartenders and get more drinks for free might help. Watch your stuff, and you'll have the time of your life!
Image - Takysan Sushi Bar
Takysan Sushi Bar
Silke:Where two worlds meat, you'll get Takysan Sushi Bar. The Japanese kitchen with its sushi comes together wit the Peruvian ways of life, and you get things like alpaca meat sushi. Sounds weird (it is, that one) but some others might have been the best sushi I've ever had.
Image - Isla del Sol
Isla del Sol
Silke:Isla del Sol is not technically located nearby Cusco or even in Peru. It's a small island on Lago Titicaca at the Bolivian side. You can only get there by boat, there aren't a lot of people living there, but that's what makes it great. And incredibly beautiful.
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To do in the city

You can eat, dance and swing life away in this city, but if you dont't have the time or money to take some sidetrips, there are always the hidden gems IN the city itself to explore.

Image - Saqsaywaman
Image - Pikchu
Silke:A small hike on the many many many stairs next to Plaza de Armas gets you to Pikchu. A lookout point above the city where you find a big statue of Jesus (like the one in Rio de J.) and a marvellous view over the city.
Image - San Pedro Market
San Pedro Market
Silke:The place to be for all your souvenir shoppings. Make sure you have enough confidence to get the price down, because otherwise you better bring the big bucks.
Image - Qorikancha
Image - Plaza San Blas
Plaza San Blas
Silke:Might be the nicest little area of Cusco in my opinion. Some days there's even a little market where you can find all kinds of jewellery and souvenirs (again). It's also the area to update your yoga skills and find some great pancakes.

Food, food and desserts

Cusco is the place to be for everyones budget. It's never really expensive anyways, but in some spots you get the best of the best for a price worth a coffe at home. Look no further, for every kind of food there is a venue to match your expectations.

Image - La Bodega 138
La Bodega 138
Silke:Best pizza's ever ! More a 'western' styled restaurant, but great.
Image - Jack's Café
Jack's Café
Silke:It's labeled an 'Australian' café/restaurant. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or the best option possible: BRUNCH. You will not find any locals here, but a big line outside waiting to be seated. No need to say it's worth it.
Image - Pacha Mamma
Pacha Mamma
Silke:Nice local restaurant. One of the more 'fancy' ones. But if you're looking for a decent local dish with less chance of being sick the next day. Go for it.
Image - Paddy's Irish Pub
Paddy's Irish Pub
Silke:Nice and cosy like an Irish pub is supposed to be. Good for day drinking, night drinking and great food. This place makes you like the Irish ;)
Image - L'atelier Café Concept
L'atelier Café Concept
Silke:Amazingly cute coffee spot to find your next hipster item, drink a fancy coffee or just relax and look over the tiny streets of the San Blas district.
Image - Pantástico Bakery
Pantástico Bakery
Silke:They have the best cakes and brownies you'll ever taste. With a crazy view.
Image - Panaderia Qosqo Maki
Panaderia Qosqo Maki
Silke:Tiny panaderia which was close to my school when I was staying in Cusco. Worth mentioning, because I had some nice pastries like almost every day. So big thanks to these guys.
Image - Taste Of India, Cafe Carvalho
Taste Of India, Cafe Carvalho
Silke:Lovely people, even better food. It's somewhat hidden from the big squares or streets, but go look for it. The owners are so nice, and it's something different to eat for once. They have something for every option you're stomach is craving.
Image - Cappuccino Cusco Cafe
Cappuccino Cusco Cafe
Silke:It's perfect to find a quiet place in the busy city right in the middle of it. It's not open very late, but a good local alternative to Starbucks for coffee and getting work done.
Image - Organika
Silke:Not very surprising, but this place has some decent organic food. The menu is small, but very very very tasty. Try the wine as well ;)

Bars & nightlife

If you thought Cusco was a nice quiet city somewhere in South America, think twice. There are plenty of bars in the center of the city, almost every night ready to party. They give away free drinks, free entrances and the music is as good as anywhere. It's this perfect balance of the famous pop songs and the salsa latino atmosphere.

Image - La Chupitería
La Chupitería
Silke:Shots shots shots and even teapots full of shots!
Image - Mythology
Image - Mama Africa
Mama Africa

Side trips

No words needed to explain how beautiful the surroundings of Cusco are. In a few hours drive radius you find the craziest landscapes and the most ancient monuments to visit. Booking with a local company is both cheap and an adventure. You HAVE to check multiple agents before booking something, price

Tips & Tricks

Here you find some things that might be useful for you, even though you didn't think about it before.

Wonderguide map

  1. Qucharitas
  2. Indigo Bar Restaurant
  3. Machu Picchu
  4. Chez Maggy
  5. Inka Team
  6. Takysan Sushi Bar
  7. Isla del Sol
  8. Saqsaywaman
  9. Pikchu
  10. San Pedro Market
  11. Cusco Cathedral
  12. Qorikancha
  13. Plaza San Blas
  14. La Bodega 138
  15. Jack's Café
  16. Pacha Mamma
  17. Paddy's Irish Pub
  18. L'atelier Café Concept
  19. Pantástico Bakery
  20. Panaderia Qosqo Maki
  21. Taste Of India, Cafe Carvalho
  22. Cappuccino Cusco Cafe
  23. Organika
  24. La Chupitería
  25. Chango Club Cusco
  26. Mythology
  27. Mama Africa
  28. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain
  29. Laguna Humantay
  30. Baños Termales de Cconoc
  31. Pisac
  32. Urubamba
  33. Moray
  34. Sacred Valley
  35. Puno
  36. Tres Cruces De Oro
  37. Plaza De Armas
  38. plazaVea hiper Real Plaza Cusco
  40. Peru Hop Cusco

Like these tips?
High Five Silke