A Travellerspoint blog

The Incan Capital of Cuzco

Eating a Guinea Pig

sunny 60 °F

Cusco was the capital of the Incan Empire until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

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Located in Southeastern Peru, we arrived to Cusco via a gorgeous ride from Arequipa.

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In 1983, Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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As a result, it's become a major tourist destination, hosting nearly 2 million visitors annually.

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We spent our first week exploring downtown, which is decorated with colorful flags.

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The Peruvian flag is red and white and the Cusquenan flag is multicolored like the nearby Rainbow Mountain.

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As usual, we went out of our way to try many local dishes including the Andean specialty Cuy, or guinea pig. Many locals keep guinea pigs as pets, and then grill them whole for special occasions.

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You can buy whole cuy and many other grilled meats on the street during weekend markets.

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However, we opted to make a reservation to ensure ours was hot off the grill.

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Curious how it tasted? Check out the video:

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Everyday feels like a party in Cusco. It's very common to hear fireworks morning and night, and to see people dressed in traditional costumes dancing in the street.

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On our first Sunday here, we stumbled upon the Festival of Saints:

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The city is also breathtaking by night:

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Cusco is the hub for many of the best hikes in the country, so stay tuned for our next post on summiting Rainbow Mountain!

Posted by wintermaasz 12:54 Archived in Peru

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