Cusco and the Last Days in Peru
Did I call my last Ecuador blog something similar? Anyways, a few hours ago I passed the border into Bolivia and am now in my third country of this South American adventure. I’m in Copacabana – not the one of Brazillian fame rather the one on Lake Titicaca just over the border into Bolivia from Peru.
After I visited the astonishing Machu Picchu I returned by train to Cusco. What did I make of Cusco? Well, it’s the nicest city I visited in Peru. It’s very touristic as you might expect, it’s well set out and there are plenty of museums and churches and the like to keep you busy for a few days. Then there are several possible tours outside the city on offer as well. I was going to take one to a place called Moray, more Inka ruins, but in the end decided to push on to Puno and Bolivia. Nothing’s going to beat Machu Picchu right? And they aren’t the only Inka ruins I’ve seen or will see.
What can I recommend in Cusco? Well be prepared with your money because it’s the most expensive place save Aguas Calientes I visited in Peru. However it’s really a beautiful city with some amazing squares that are of course free to visit, none grander than the Plaza De Armas with its grand cathedral to one side, restaurants galore all around and the people milling around everywhere.
The Plaza San Francisco features a wonderful arch and an interesting cathedral and monastery which I visited. The grand style of these structures remains constant with beautiful cloisters and even some catacombs. The Monasterio de Santa Catalina has a small museum inside with some interesting mannikin nuns posed in situations and a whole bunch of art worth no doubt a lot of money.
The most interesting thing I saw in Cusco though was the Qorikancha ruins/monastery. The main Inka buildings of Cusco were built over after conquest, with some of the walls remaining. Today it’s primarily a tourist attraction – there seems to be more emphasis on the Dominican Monastery than the Inka Ruins which was of less interest to me, but certainly it stands to a testament to what happened to this region of South American a few centuries ago.
So yesterday I bid Cusco goodbye. Very attractive, great to walk about despite the altitude, however I had seen all I wanted to. I should also say that owing to the high number of tourists Cusco sees, there is an elevated level of hassle from restaurants, to massage places and tour offerers. You can’t walk far without being approached.
There was some sort of festival on though on my last day in Cusco with a procession/parade in the Plaza De Armas. Brassbands, dancing and loads of costumes. Then yesterday I took the bus to Puno, a brief overnighter to Copacabana, Bolivia. Wherever you are, take care, and May the Journey Never End!