Best things to do in Cusco - ranking of the top things to do and try in Cusco Peru.When planning a trip to Cuzco there are endless possibilities. This, dear traveler , is because there is history in every corner ; from the impressive ruins of the Inca empire to the shopping streets where you can buy handmade souvenirs vivid. There is no doubt
that the charm of Cuzco lies in the stories to be found in the simple details of everyday life .
As future tourist, you may feel overwhelmed by the clutter of options , packages and found reviews online . Inca Rail, know this city like the back of our hands so we've narrowed down your search to five things you need to increase your itinerary ; five simple , but meaningful experiences imbued with the mystical essence of what we consider to reveal the true value of Cuzco.
10 best to Do in Cusco
#1 Plaza de Armas Free attraction
Why go: Sitting on the steps of the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas at 5:00 pm The parade is the core of the vibe of Cuzco , the main meeting point which can be accessed from all directions of the city. The history of the Plaza de Armas stretches back all the way to the Inca Empire. The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, also known as Cusco Cathedral, is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cusco. The cathedral is located on the Plaza de Armas. Building was completed in 1654, almost a hundred years after construction began
#2 Machu Picchu
Even in pictures, but seeing the pictures does not compare to actually seeing it in person; you will simply love it being here and will be glad to have come on a great tour of the most amazing site. It's hard to believe this iconic "lost city of the Incas" was untouched during the Spanish conquest. Peru is still littered with sites that showcase this powerful empire's prowess as master builders, most notably Machu Picchu. Visiting this citadel hidden in the mountains is inspiration enough for a first-time visit, but the Incas were just one in a long line of peoples with a surviving legacy to explore..
#3 Qorikancha (Temple of the Sun)
Why go: Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun), is an ideal introduction to the ancient Incan civilization. Spending time in this area provides a primer of many examples of the Incan civilization. The exactness of the stonework, the engineering evidenced by the structures combined with the realization of the era creates nothing short of amazement.
#4 san Pedro Market
why go.“Outstanding Cultural Experience” To really see how the locals live and eat, visit the market to see all sorts of animal, produce and lots of meals to choose from. The food stall are organized by type - sandwiches in one row, rice platters, soups vendors etc.
#5 Tipon Temple of water
Why go: Tipon consists of a series of very-carefully-laid out terraces, with a single watering source, characterized by its magnificent four-spout fountain. This fountain feeds water into the hight terrace, and from there channels and engineered water-falls feed the water to the lower terraces.
Why go: Sacsayhuamán is often overshadowed by Machu Picchu, but this towering ancient Incan fortress—filled with exquisite stone masonry and dramatic ..If you think your office job is hard, think of the people who put this place together. Incredibly large stones hand cut and moved into a vast temple-fortress complex with outstanding views of Cusco
Why go: You sit on the last and deepest circle of Moray terraces 50 km from the city, two hours by car , find these circular terraces used for agriculture by the Incas. It is said that the land of the deepest circle about 30 meters transmitting an indescribable energy. Remember the saying : " Travelling is the only thing you can spend that makes you richer " ... if you know how to live .
#8 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Why go: The Inca Trail is most definitely one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime!! The beautiful views and breathtaking mountains on the way to Machu Picchu are stunning!!!.. Winding through Peru's verdant landscape toward Machu Picchu, this famous four-day hike is not for the faint of heart
#9 Inca Museum (Museo Inka)
Why go: Boasting an eclectic assortment of Incan originals artifacts and a distinctive location in a beautiful 16th-century colonial mansion, the Inca Museum
#10 rafting at urubamba river.
Rafting on the Urubamba river An adrenaline-filled group activity. You can choose from packages of 2-4 hours to a full day trip includes transportation from your hotel and back.
Top 10 Things to Eat in Peru
In recent years, Peru’s eclectic cuisine has earned acknowledgement as one of the world’s finest. But while quinoa and pisco sour cocktails have migrated to become favorites around the world, the best Peruvian specialties are still found in their home country. Here are ten to try en route to Machu Picchu.
The icy Humboldt Current that flows through the Pacific Ocean just off Peru’s coast supports one of the world’s most bountiful sources of seafood. If Peru had an official national dish, it would probably be this preparation of raw fish marinated in citrus juice. The acid in the fruit “cooks” the fish, giving it a delicate flavor and slightly chewy consistency. The dish is usually spiced with red onion and aji pepper, and served (typically at lunch) with sweet potato or choclo, a white Andean corn with dime-size kernels. Bold gastronomes can drink the leftover citrus marinade, which is known as leche de tigre, tiger’s milk.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. This staple meat raised in many households of the Andes goes by a different name in the United States: guinea pig. (One indication of how important the dish is to the rural Peruvian diet: In a cathedral in Cusco hangs a replica of Da Vinci’s Last Supper, in which Christ and the 12 disciples are seated around a platter of cuy.) The meat, which is quite bony, is usually baked or barbecued on a spit and served whole—often with the head on. It has a pleasant, gamy taste like that of rabbit or wild fowl.
A visitor to any market in Peru is certain to find two things—hundreds of varieties of potatoes, which may have originated here (Peru’s longtime rival Chile also claims tuber originality), and piles of avocados large enough to toboggan down. A traditional causa layers these two ingredients into a sort of casserole, which is sliced and served cold. Other layers might contain tuna, meat, or hard-boiled egg.
A hundred years before anyone had heard of Asian fusion cuisine, boatloads of Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru looking for work. The ingredients and techniques they added to Peru’s food vocabulary are probably best exemplified by this hearty hybrid stir-fry, in which beef, tomatoes, peppers, and onions are blended in a pan with soy sauce and fried potatoes. Not a dish for the carb-phobic; it’s usually served over white rice.
Aji de Gallina
The yellow aji pepper lends its color—a hue similar to Tweety Bird’s—as well as its mild kick to several Peruvian dishes. Among them is this rich, velvety stew made with chicken and condensed milk and thickened with de-crusted white bread. A vegetarian alternative with a similar flavor is the ubiquitous papa a la huancaina, boiled potato with creamy yellow sauce.,
These skewers of grilled, marinated meat (much like shish kebabs) are served everywhere in Peru. High-end restaurants offer them as entradas, or appetizers. Street-cart vendors sell them slathered in a garlicky sauce. While almost any meat can be prepared this way, the most traditional—and best—anticuchos are made with beef heart, a practice believed to trace back to the days when Peru’s Spanish conquerors would consume a cow’s choicest cuts and leave the organs for their slaves.
This dish is typically associated with Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, but it is served everywhere. What appears to be a plain-old red bell pepper is actually a fiery Capsicum pubescens (at least ten times as hot as a jalapeño when raw, but boiled to reduce its thermonuclear properties), stuffed with spiced, sautéed ground beef and hard-boiled egg. This is topped with melted white cheese, baked, and served whole.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the name alpaca refers to expensive wool used to make sweaters and socks. In the Andean highlands, this camelid (a smaller cousin of the llama) has also been a source of meat for centuries. The taste is similar to buffalo or other grass-fed meats: somewhat gamier than beef and very lean. Alpaca’s lack of greasiness makes for excellent jerky, which coincidentally is another ancient Peruvian culinary innovation. (The name comes from the Quechua word charqui, meaning “to burn.”)
While Peru’s cuisine is most famous for its spicy and savory dishes, Peruvians adore sweets, too—as evidenced by the popularity of Inca Kola, a teeth-melting bubblegum-flavored soda. Lucuma is a tree fruit that looks like a mango, but it has a custardy taste akin to maple syrup. It’s usually used as a flavoring in desserts, and is justifiably popular as a variety of ice cream.
Pollo a la Brasa
This Peruvian-style roast chicken is so delicious—and popular—that it’s now available in cities around the globe. The secret is marinating the bird in soy sauce flavored with red peppers, garlic, and cumin, which gives the meat and skin a smoky, salty taste. Outside Peru it’s typically paired with French fries, but the more traditional accompaniment is fried yuca, a waxy tuber that has a pleasant chewiness and holds its own against the spicy dipping sauces with which pollo a la brasa is typically served.
5 Ways to Experience Local Cusco
1. Drink Local
Whether you’re having simple dinner or celebrating a special occasion, order a Pisco Sour. The alcoholic drink is a commonly a mixture of Pisco (a pretty strong grape brandy with 44% alcohol content), egg white, lime juice and a sugar syrup. Some restaurants will even have a mixer and separate the ingredients in the right proportions for you, so that you can have a go at shaking up your own Pisco Sour! Too manly for cocktails? try Chicha, a type of corn beer. Places selling Chicha actually have a red and white flag (sometimes red and white plastic bags mounted onto a long wooden stick is used instead) outside the restaurant, so you know exactly where to go to get your Chicha.
2. Chew on Coca leaves.
Coca leaves are known to help with altitude sickness and living at 3,400m above sea level, it’s no wonder locals love these leaves. You can have it in the form of Coca tea – just add 4-5 leaves to your cup of hot water! Coca tea to the local people is like our daily dose of Starbucks (yes, it’s also that easily available!). Coca leaves are also common gifts, so this is a great way to say thank-you to your porter if you’re doing the Inca Trail!
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