First Impressions of Cusco and Peru
After spending a few days in the capital of Peru, Lima, it was finally time to move to Cusco. Cusco will be the place to call my home for the next couple of weeks. I heard so many good stories about this city when I was traveling around in Lima. People who went to Cusco fell in love with this beautiful city. When I told them, I was going to stay there for seven weeks, they assured me that even that would not be enough to discover this magical place. Everywhere they went was another nice street or alley. You’ll get lost in the labyrinth that’s called Cusco, they said.
Beautiful Cusco and altitude
And now I’ve spent my first real night down here in the city, I believe every word they said. I think I could walk around for hours here and never get bored. Everywhere there are people on the streets, either dancing, playing instruments, painting or giving a fire show for example. You can say that this city is pretty much alive. Starting on the main square, better known as La Plaza da Armas, you can end up anywhere. There are so many squares, churches, parks, markets… It’s really an open-air museum. Besides that, I really can’t compare this city to another city. In Lima I kind of felt like I was in a Spanish city, not in a city in a Latin American country. Here in Cusco it does really feels like being far away from home and being in another century as well.
For the first few days it is recommend to mainly relax and take it slow, in order to get used to the height. Cusco is located at a height of 3.339 meters to be precisely. Even though there is so much said on the internet about the heavy effects of the height, it was not really that bad. It depends on each person of course, but despite a little bit of headache and no appetite I felt fine. And then bearing in mind that I come from one of the flattest countries on earth, the Netherlands, I might call myself lucky.
Volunteer house and Carnaval
Mi casa for the next couple of weeks is in the Ttio area. The volunteer house owns a big living room, a kitchen, four bedrooms and three bathrooms and can fit up to eleven volunteers. It is also equipped with a great rooftop terrace which offers a wonderful view on the green mountains. The location of the volunteer house is located very near the airport and only a 15-minute drive away from the city center of Cuzco. You can take easily a bus or a taxi towards the city, which will only cost up to €1. In Ttio are many shops, restaurants and there is one big market located near the house: Ttio mercado. You’ll find lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and local souvenirs here.
As luck would have it, it was Carnaval time when I arrived in Cusco! A great first impression of the Latin American culture. The whole city was pounding of people who were throwing water at each other like one big water fight. Foam sprayers are another Carnaval weapon. One thing was for sure: you will NOT make it dry. So, let’s get ready for some revenge!
Cusco: bring it on! 🙂