I’ll say it now, at the time of my visit I wasn’t a fan of Cusco (and yes its known as both Cusco and Cuzco). Looking back at my photos, I have changed my mind. It seemed everyone we met in Lima raved about Cusco – maybe my hopes were up and poor Cusco never stood a chance. Or maybe the TERRIBLE bus/van ride from the Ollantaytambo/Urubamba train station (following Matchu Pitchu) was to blame. It was a 3-hour drive to Cusco from the train station – I think it was three hours, it felt like six or more. Ugh. Were told by our host to just grab a community car pool at the train station – the ride would only be $8 – $10 US dollars (tip: book a private car if you can). This option proved to be too authentic for this snobby American tourist. We were crammed into a van, there may have been a rooster roaming around. It was dark and the roads were winding on and on. Needless to say, when we got there I was very tightly wound.
They let us off in a town square and I couldn’t really understand the instructions our AirBnB host had given us. I think we walked the wrong way a few times – but we finally got there. Our little townhouse for two nights was quaint like a cabin, although not as close to the town square as we’d of liked. Our host was very friendly and offered us tour options to the Sacred Valley the next day. I was still traumatized by the recent ride so I declined. Kind of wish I hadn’t but oh well.
We went into town and had a nice meal – as always, the food was amazing. The next day we took a city tour on one of those double-decker buses. When in Rome. This city is the original capital – steeped in history. The main town square is pretty touristy and old colonial in style, cobble streets and everything. It was nice, but I guess I’m more of a Lima guy.
Should you skip it if you go to Peru? HECK NO. Go, it’s amazing – don’t base your trip off my cranky American perspective. Have you been to Cusco? What did you think?