Our first week in Cusco has been filled with more great experiences than we could have expected. Between the kind people we’ve met, the incredible places we’ve seen and the delightful food we’ve eaten, things couldn’t have started better after our rough welcome to Peru. To give you a better idea of what daily life is like in Cusco, we’ve created a list of the things you should know (in no particular order) before you plan to visit:
1. There are dogs. EVERYWHERE. It seems that everyone and their hermano (see how good my Spanish is?) has at least one dog in Cusco. When we were on our honeymoon in Bora Bora circa 2011, I asked a local man what the population was on the island. His response was “3,000 people…6,000 dogs!” It’s apparent that this rule applies to Cusco as well. If you’re in the downtown area of Cusco, the dogs won’t give you a second look. In the outskirts and more rural areas, however, they aren’t so nice.
2. BYOOT. Bring your own oxygen tank! The altitude is no joke here. The base elevation in the main part of city is 11,000 feet. And that’s within the city. If you go on a hike up one of the many mountains in the area, you’re just tacking on extra feet.
3. Toilet paper goes in the garbage. It took a couple of memorable experiences clawing wet toilet paper out of the toilet to truly learn this lesson. The pipes are skinny and the sanitation system in the city gets disrupted if you dispose of paper in the toilet. They also shut off the water when that happens.
4. Shop at the market. It’s cheaper, fresher, and the experience is awesome. If you love fresh fruits and vegetables, THIS is where you want to be! The local markets have a plethora of stands filled with about everything you can imagine. And the best part? Everything is cheaper than in the supermarkets!
5. Remember “Sin Agua.” It will save your life (potentially). The jugo (juice) stations at the market are not to miss. Those same fresh fruits and juices are blended together in a harmonic symphony of scrumtrulescence (noun credit goes to Will Ferrell/James Lipton). But remember: the water they use for juices can make foreigners sick. Hence the words “sin agua (without water).” Opt for orange juice (naranja) instead.
6. Check the “English” prices. Many places offer an English menu in addition to the local menu, especially in the touristy areas. However, be sure to look closely. Sometimes the English menu prices are higher than the Spanish prices!
7. Don’t be afraid to visit Cusco during “rainy season.” So far, this has consisted of seven days filled with 90% sun and 10% rain. And as good fortune may have it, most of the rain has been in the middle of the night! Maybe they just call it rainy season so they can have a few months without so many tourists 😉
For those of you who are more inclined to visuals, here is a video summarizing our first week of adventures.
10 thoughts on “Lessons for Days (7 Things We’ve Learned from 7 Days in Cusco)”
Cusco and its surrounding area look so much like our city!! But we’re at half the altitude (which means double the oxygen for you!) Can’t wait for your visit. Also, seeing Sofi makes me really happy. I didn’t expect it to bring me such joy, seeing her explore the world with you. : )
That’s great to hear because we love the landscape so much! We too are so excited to see you in May! It’s going to be incredible to visit you and Charles in your home. And I’m glad that seeing Sofi with us makes you happy! In spite of the challenges of bringing her along, it’s totally worth it when she can share in these unbelievable experiences!
Your video made me emotional with wonderful memories of our own Peru adventure and watching you guys enjoy some of the same special experiences. Thank you for posting! Great music, too:-)
Megan- We were just talking about you and Joe (and your previous trip) to our hosts yesterday! Were your ears ringing? 🙂 You are right about the market- it’s everything I hoped it would be! And we’re glad you like the music…that song really caught our ear.
You guys are just the coolest. I’m so proud and lucky to call you my cousins! Can’t wait to read more about your adventures! Have fun, stay safe and keep up that positive attitude!
Thanks Katie! We couldn’t be more proud to call you and Chris our cousins! We love you both and look forward to seeing you when we’re back from the first part of the adventure. Thanks for the well wishes!
Looks like your hacky sack skills are on par, glad to see you’re keeping it up. haha
Practice makes perfect, right Clayton? 🙂
This is my first stop at Kimblesinbits and it has left me smiling. I’m glad to hear and see you are off to a great start. The scenery looks incredible and sure you tell Sofi to Moooove over next time.
I can’t wait to see you guys when you make it to Flint.
Great to hear from you, brother! How are the Tropics doing this season? Keep exploiting fools with that Iverson crossover and remember that nobody likes finger rolls. Always dunk it home.
Glad you enjoyed your first stop at Kimblesinbits! We will be in Flint in no time, so we can’t wait to meet up (in daylight only).
Haha. Miss you man! Give your family a group hug for me!
The #1 Tropics Fan