13 February 2019
It’s undeniable that most people travel to Peru to visit one of the seven wonders of the world: Machu Picchu. While the ancient Inca citadel is certainly a major attraction, it is Cusco’s natural beauty and its wonderful cultural heritage that make travelers fall in love with the entire region. Cusco offers a great variety of activities to please every traveler. For those who love hiking, there’s more than just the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. While this is the most renowned hike, Cusco has over 6,000 miles of interconnected trails, which allows for days, weeks and even months of exploring. One of the very best of Cusco’s alternate routes is the trek around Mt. Ausangate in the Cordillera Vilcanota range, where one can truly appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the Andean landscape, hiking in mountain meadows among imposing peaks and glacial lakes. Be sure to contact us to reserve your Ausangate trek, as well for more information about our one-day hikes around Cusco. Some trails are open for mountain biking or horseback riding, offering new ways to experience the Sacred Valley. From Pisac to Ollantaytambo, you can enjoy a gently descending ride through small towns, with views of glaciers and visits to some of the foremost Inca archeological sites. The Andean region also counts with excellent cuisine, known for its variety and its exotic dishes. We highly recommend Pachamanca, a culinary feast cooked underground on hot stones for several hours. The dish is a combination of savory spiced meats and a variety of vegetables native to the region. Another must-try dish is Chiri Uchu, flagship dish of Cusco and main course of the Corpus Christifestival. Chiri Uchu,Quechua for cold dish, is a meal that combines ingredients from Peru’s three regional ecosystems of: coast, jungle and mountains. Cusco’s restaurants serve hungry travelers a great variety of international fine dining and Andean fusion dishes, including Japanese, vegetarian and Chifa, Peru’s own delicious version of Chinese food. While the Cusco region is well-known for its Inca history, you can also enjoy visiting fascinating remnants of colonial times. The city itself features its stately Cathedral and many colonial-era churches that are well worth a visit. Andahuaylillas, a town 25 miles from Cusco, is home to the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of the Andes: the church of San Pedro Apóstol. These colonial buildings are beautiful combinations of Spanish baroque architecture and indigenous art and culture. As you can see, Cusco has a lot more to offer than just Machu Picchu; it’s a truly captivating region where you’ll experience beautiful landscapes, historic architecture and archeological wonders, and wonderful food and entertainment. And you just might fall in love with Cusco!