Percy is the man for your Cusco arrangements. He does everything--tours, hotels, airport pickup, Machu Picchu tickets, train tickets. He
speaks English and can be reached at 084-621-152 (cell phone). Tell him you are from Colegio Rossevelt.
Posada Alemana is a charming little alternative to the high-volume hotels downtown. Located in the revived and now trendy district of San
Blas on the hill above the plaza, the location affords great views and an short, easy walk to downtown sites (you may want to take a taxi
back UP, however). A lovely garden with lawn tables on two small patios and a comfortable
sitting room with TV complement the simple dining room. A fire is made in the wood stove each night to take the chill off.
is run by a Swiss lady for German owners. It's maintained by Hector (a
tourism student who can arrange it all for you) and a
kind lady whose name I've forgotten but who took special care of our son who was sick much of his stay.
only 8 rooms the place stays pretty quiet and has more of the feel of a
B&B. We hear they may be expanding by adding some rooms
around the garden, but we don't know when the work will begin. It might mess up the garden for awhile, but I imagine the main house will
stay, don't miss eating at Greens, on the same road and right behind the
San Blas church. It's an English-run place with great food. I
think they also have a juice bar on the Plaza.
out pictures and prices at their web site:
We stayed at the Best Western-Andes de America on Calle Garcilaso. Nice hotel, great buffet breakfast. Breakfast begins at 4:00am so
that you can get breakfast before early tours and flights. Be sure to ask for a room with a window to the outside. (Three-star hotel)
Andes Grill on Plaza de Armas-good food, reasonable prices. Cebiche, alpaca steak, and stuffed rocotto highly recommended.
(12/00) Looking for a night spot in Cusco? "Los Perros" bills itself as a "couch bar". That's pretty accurate--the rooms are filled with
couches on which to sit and talk to friends. Jazzy music plays in the background. Food is served as well as drinks. A cool place
(although it can get smoky). It is only a few blocks from Plaza de Armas--where Teqsiqocha and Tigre meet (a
that I have been to several times is "Al Grano". It is at Santa Catalina
Ancha 398 (a few blocks from the main square). They
serve Asian food. They have five or six menu choices every day--each is from one of nine Asian countries (Indonesia, Thailand, India,
Vietnam, etc.). I have had a couple of excellent meals there and one that was only OK. The place is/was owned by a Canadian guy (I have
never seen him there, though). It is open until 9:00 PM and closed on Sundays.
around Machu Picchu is now part of a debt-for-nature program. An
agency was established with a two-year mandate to sort out
the needs of nature, the people living in and around the park, and visitors. A tough task! A number of new regulations will come into
effect on January 1, 2000. I don’t know what they all are but be prepared for the possibility of things being different from the last time
you went, or if this is a first time trip, different from what others have told you.
at Machu Picchu is a hidden but serious problem. Although the site
is cleaned up and most tourists seem to use the trash cans, what
is thrown out is stuck on the mountain. The park authorities will be doing a cleanup and expect to haul out tons of it by train (I forget how
many exactly). Some sort of permanent waste management program needs to be established. Meanwhile, you can help by taking your
empty water bottles, etc. back with you to Cusco.
To all the people who would like to go to Cuzco for the first time or for the tenth time! I have a friend who rents his house in the best
neighborhood of Cuzco-(Santa Monica) for 50 dollars the day ( it has 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, family room, dining room, T.V cable
and garage) perfect for 6-8 people; 5 minutes from the Plaza and taxis cost 2 soles the ride. For more information call: Ronie and Carla
Suero 434 4223, 449 1481, 923 4236. I just came back!, If you would like to have some information or" trip tips", how to save money, etc.
I'll be happy to help you!
Language School - I attended Amauta Language School por dos semamas y estaba muy bien! The classes were one-on-one instruction
with two hours of grammar followed by two hours of conversation every day. The teachers are excellent and they offer many activities
throughout the week. The student housing was absolutely appalling, but (to their credit) they have just finished a brand new housing
facility on the campus. You don't have to stay in the student housing (which is not always made clear.)
favorite restaurants in Cusco included:
the Inca Grill - for fine dining (that everyone can afford!)
the nun's bakery on San Blas Street (proceeds go to a girls orphanage)
the kabob/falafel stand on Procadores (half way up on the right hand side, you'll see the rotisserie. It's Great!!!!!)
766 Saphi St.
It is a safe, quiet, family-owned hotel. A short walk from the Plaza de Armas, clean, hot water, with a nice lounge and dining area. We paid
$15.00/night for a single and $20.00 for a double. The owners (Sandra and Richard) are great folks - we spent one evening with them
singing folk tunes and listening to them play guitar and sing.
The Trip That Everyone Has Made . . . Well, Almost Everyone
it to charming, colonial Cusco and magnificent Machu Picchu. Just
a few observations and comments. As you know, each place is
described and experienced differently, depending on whom the traveler is. And, who knows, you made be headed again over that Andean
the U.S. State Department advises the use of diamox over coramina for altitude
sickness, but I prefer coramina. I got some pretty
severe headaches and nausea my first day, and diamox didn't help much. As Bertha Monroy advised me, drink lots of orange juice before
you go, rest the afternoon you arrive, and munch on some citrus flavored candies.
memorable and recommended experience: staying one night at the Hotel
Pueblo in Aquas Calientes, enjoying their fresh trout
and pisco sours and sleeping to the roar of the Urabamba River, and waking up at the crack of dawn to take the 6:30 AM bus up to Machu
Picchu (Kris Paulson's recommendation). I hiked Huaynu Picchu before it got too crowded and then descended behind the mountain peak
to El Templo de la Luna, which was partially hidden in the semi-tropical forest. Don't forget your sunscreen; the sun's rays get fairly
intense and drink lots of water.
I don't know if you have covered this, but I highly recommend the Inca Grill in Cusco. They have a varied menu, with some really great
dishes. I tried the chicken breast stuffed with gorgonzola and topped with elderberry sauce. Rachel had the gnocchi. Both were terrific
dishes. There is live entertainment there as well. Cost was not cheap, but decidedly worth it.
that I stayed in were nice too: Loreta, in Cusco (nice with Incan
walls) and Gringo Bill's in Aguas Calientes. They are average
price hostels, have good locations and offer 24-hour hot water.
The city tour that I took from the office on the Plaza del Armas was only 10 soles for four hours. I thought that was well worth it.
Machu Picchu at 6:30 AM is still magical. At 9:30 AM, it is not because all the people arrive from the train.
Spent December 24 to January 1 in Cusco. Although it was Christmas and lots of people were in the streets selling things from alfalfa to
Backus champagne to mittens to yellow underwear, we had no trouble finding lodging. We stayed at the Loreta Inn (after two changes)
and liked it (cost $30 for three). There are cheaper places to stay but as a mom with two daughters, I felt safe there. It was a little noisy
because a band played all the time in the plaza (and it was not quite Sousa), but we still would stay there again. The owner helped us get
our train tickets to Lake Titicaca (for a small fee). For a couple of nights we stayed at Kusi Runi and the staff there were wonderful (cost
$40 for three). You must be wondering about the yellow underwear...it was being sold everywhere. It's a New Year tradition along with
eating grapes (12 for 12 wishes) and throwing yellow chrysanthemum petals everywhere. Yellow means good luck.
my daughter was recovering from pneumonia, we did the two day Inca Trail
(note: only a very small portion of it is really Inca trail).
It was easy and can be done without a guide. However, we had the luxury of a porter and a guide. (Another time we want to do the four
day hike). Lunch was at a beautiful waterfall and then evening at the Huinay Huayna ruins. We were able to sit in the ruins after dark
watching fireflies and reading Celestine Prophecy by flashlight. Much better than hanging out at the camping area next to a hostel which
has the appearance of a college weekend party place. The best part about camping here is getting to the sun gate before sunrise and then
entering Machu Picchu and really having the place nearly empty to explore for a few hours!
other suggestions for Cusco...an artist tour of San Blas would be fun.
We visited the Toya home for soft weavings. An incredible
artist. Also watched a lady painting the long necked dolls (her grandfather started the tradition). Edgar Chavez at 229970 can arrange an
artisan "behind the scenes" tour. Others recommended him.
Machu Picchu is truly a magical place, but it suffers from too many enthusiastic tourists. If we are not careful, we will destroy this unique heritage site. A request to visitors: tread lightly and leave nothing but footprints. --Eloise Rodriguez
FRESH FISH FOR INCA
Modern hikers love
to travel along the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu, but the Incas also
had a port on the coast. The ruins of this port, called Puerto Inca,
are located about 10 km north of Chala and about 160 km south of Nasca.
From this port extended a road leading to Cusco, 240 km away. Runners
ran relays from this port to Cusco, carrying messages and special cargo,
including fresh fish and seafood for the Inca emperor in Cusco.
NO MOON, NO SUN
“The best time to find crocodiles is when there is no moon or sun for light. We got up at 3 am, when the moon had gone down and the sun wasn’t up yet. We paddled for 2 hours around the lake, shining torches over the water and scanning close to the shores. When we saw two red spots, we knew there was a crocodile!”
AMONG THE MINERS
“We were crawling in a tunnel and we saw a hole that seemed too small for anything but a rabbit. Our guide called out, “Rodrigo!” A tiny old man appeared. We gave him his supplies: coca leaves, cigarettes and dynamite. He said, “Gracias!” and disappeared again.
THE FIRST ONE DOWN INTO THE MINE
“The miners tied us to a rope so that we could climb down deeper into the mine. We had only small candles for light. We couldn’t see what was below or above us. I was the first one down, so I was the leader in the dark. The miners sad that we Czechs are the craziest, so we had to go first.”
CLIMBING THE PEAKS
“It’s so high, you’re breathless all the time. We arrived directly from Lima and tried to go higher too soon. We got terrible headaches and dizziness. You have to take the mountains seriously.”
MOUNTAINS BY STARLIGHT
“We woke up at 2 am
and saw thousands of stars. We could see the whole mountain bathed
in starlight and moonlight. It was really, really cold; the water
we had outside our tent froze solid. When the sun came up, it was
blistering hot. We made it to 5,000 meters and realized that the
mountain was more powerful than we were.”