We’ve spent the last three weeks in Cusco, Peru studying Spanish, enjoying the history, and being frustrated with problems here on the site. we haven’t done all the touristy things, but we’ve been enjoying relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.

To listen, hit play below or find episode 149 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:


Cusco is incredible. It’s supposed to be laid out like a puma, but we haven’t really seen it. It’s in a valley, with the centre of action as the Plaza de Armas. Up one side of the valley is the hippy district of San Blas, with the head of the puma at the top. That’s where the iconic White Christ is situated, with the Sacsaywaman fortress nearby. Cheap tours of Cusco are available.


One thing that we love about travel is the food. And Cusco has a lot of it. We enjoyed juice and beer milkshake in the market, lots and lots of menus del dia, and the street food was varied and interesting. It was just sad that we only found that empanada vendor near our school in our last week. Although chicha is apparently always alcoholic in other South American countries, we regularly drank a non-alcoholic version with our lunch; and we weren’t too keen on the “real” chicha we had in the Sacred Valley.

Things to do

There’s heaps to do around Cusco. It’s the jumping-off point for Machu Picchu, and if you don’t want to pay through the nose, there are lots of other ruins nearby too. We loved Tipon and our visit to the Sacred Valley with our friend Renzo.


We’ve done a bit of experimenting here in Peru to find the best ATMs. Globalnet is really prevalent, and is often found in shops and hotels, but they have a limit of 400 soles and they charge you on this end to withdraw cash. We like BCP, which has a 700 sol limit and there’s one in the Plaza de Armas and one around the corner on Avenida del Sol.


We’ve been studying at Wiracocha Spanish Language School on Cuesta San Blas, which is situated in the hilly hippie district of San Blas. There’s a lot of nice places to stay around here, though the backpacker district is on the other side of the Plaza de Armas.

We really enjoyed Cusco, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Make sure you see what it has to offer, don’t just get caught up in the tourist trail.

Sponsor: WorldNomads.com

This episode of the Indie Travel Podcast is sponsored by WorldNomads.com.

WorldNomads.com provides great value global travel insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online, even if already travelling. All World Nomads get free travel blogs, safety advice and language guides for your iPod. You can also support a Footprints community development project when you purchase online. WorldNomads.com – keep travelling safely.

Your thoughts on "Travel to Cusco, Peru podcast"

  • I enjoyed your blogcast on Cusco. Just from your description, I'm guessing you stayed at Rumi Punku - which is one of the Darn Good Digs on our world accommodations guide. Let me know if I'm wrong! You can read our review at http://www.darngooddigs.com/hotelrumipunkucuscoperu.html, which was written up by Mark from Travel Wonders of the World. We're planning on going to Cusco as soon as we can figure out how to move around easily with our four year old. We might wait a year or two more, when he can carry his own bags, and can walk more than a mile without me carrying him. But I'm familiar with some of what your described - chicha, coca leaves, altitude sickness from my 3 summers I spent in Bolivia when I was in high school 20 years ago!

    on April 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm Reply
  • So I finally had time to listen to this one, and, can I just say how lucky I am that you guys are preceding me in Cusco? I was literally sitting on my couch taking notes (especially that beer milkshake). Pretty miffed that the Boleto Turistico costs TWICE what my brand new Lonely Planet says it does!

    on May 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm Reply
  • @Michael, no it wasn't. A small, unbranded (and unnamed?) hostal at 172 Tantapata. Nice location, average service. @Sara, glad it was helpful! And have a shake for us :) If you could confirm the current price and leave a comment here, that would be excellent.

    on May 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm Reply

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