Cusco is one of the most visited and exciting places to go when visiting Peru. Its unique ruins and attractions will allow you to explore the Inca culture and learn about the origins of the country. The eye-catching colors, generous people and exquisite cuisine will create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The city was built in the shape of a racing jaguar and once was the centre of South America, making it very rich in history and traditions.
Machu Picchu, one of the seven wonders of the modern world, is located a few hours away from the city of Cusco. This magnificent structure is quite hidden and various forms of transport are needed to arrive there. Nevertheless, the breathtaking views and incredible photo opportunities are completely worth it.
Another Inca ruin located 15 minutes away from the city centre is called Sacsayhuaman. The ancient military fortress is on the hill and it is also a good way of seeing Cusco from the top. In my experience, one of the best parts of visiting Cusco is going to the Plaza de Armas which is the centre of the city. At night time the square lights up and is a nice place to go for a stroll.
Apart from the unique ruins Cusco is also known for its cuisine. The city is filled with restaurants like Cicciolina and Chicha. Some offer typical Peruvian cuisine while others have a very modern feel to them. Likewise, stores and markets are a big part of Cusco, as many artisans offer their work in the street or in small shops. These are great things to take as a souvenir or to a loved one back home.
Lima is a city that has a lot to offer. It contains a lot of diversity as you can `find historic buildings and modern architecture as you walk through the streets. Lima is recognised for the Costa Verde and its beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. It is a city full of life and is very busy at all times. The beaches in Lima are appreciated a lot by surfers as there are good spots to catch incredible waves. The Costa Verde has beautiful seawalls in the districts of Barranco and Miraflores which are perfect to ride a bike and enjoy the evening watching the sun go down and enjoying the beautiful sea. If you feel bold you could even go paragliding on top of the Pacific Ocean and have a thrilling experience.
Barranco is a district that is very famous for its diversity and bohemian style. There are incredible spots to buy creamy ice creams and have a delicious lunch. It is famous for its nightlife and a lot of musicians go and play in the plaza or different restaurants. It also has the MATE museum made by Mario Testino (a world-known Peruvian photographer) and enriching streets and shops to walk on by.
Moving to the past, Lima is a historic city. It is recognised for its old colonial balconies that have been part of the city since the Spanish conquest from around the year 1500. The Plaza De Armas, located in the centre of Lima, is the principal public place of the city. It is surrounded by old buildings which make you feel as if you are part of the past. The centre of Lima has a wonderful cathedral, a very famous church and two palaces. It is perfect for spending an afternoon and taking a look at the very detailed historic buildings surrounding the plaza.
In northern Peru, you can find Mancora and Punta Sal. These two places are the epitome of a stress-free lifestyle. Both have amazing beaches and are stress relievers from the hectic buzz of Lima. The best way to enjoy these places is to rent a house and relax for a week. This is also a great spot for surfers as the waves are good all year round.
El ñuro is an amazing place to go and swim with giant sea turtles.
Overall, Peru is a very diverse country that has a lot to offer and we hope to share it with all of you soon!
By Lara Elías and Shirley Nolas