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January 7, 2011

And so the great debate on where three of my best friends and I will travel to in the spring continues. Next up on the list: Cuzco, Peru.

I’ve never been to South America and have always wanted to go. Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, the list goes on…but today I focus on Cuzco, a large city located along the Southern Sierra Mountains. Once the capital of the Incan Empire, Cuzco is filled with tons of historical architecture from colonial buildings to Inca Ruins such as the famous stone walls that can be seen throughout the city. Along with incredible architecture and history, Cuzco is also more touristically known for its fun and wild nightlife which, let’s face it, is appealing to a group of four young girls experiencing a new city together. But as much as we may try and convince ourselves that we’re the “ladies of the night” type, I’d be lying if I said we weren’t more of the sort whom enjoy wandering through museums, exploring neighboring towns and landmarks, and indulging in delicious local foods; all of which, Cuzco is full of.

While Cuzco is filled with breathtaking monuments and well-known museums, many of my handy dandy guidebooks and travel blogs recommend strolling through the smaller galleries which feature local artists handicrafts, weavings, prints, etc. The Qoricancha, aka “The Sun Temple” is another must-see on my Peruvian itinerary as it used to function as the central site of worship for the Incas. Although now partially in ruins, it still contains both Catholic and Inca ancestry and also offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. Many of Cuzco’s festivals and dances begin at the Qoricancha before making their way through the rest of the city. The most notable festival is the Inti Raymi (the Sun Festival) which is a remembrance celebration of the winter solstice, an Inca tradition.

Although known for being more touristy, the city’s historical center, Plaza de Armas is said to be a perfect way to spend an afternoon enjoying the many shops, vendors, restaurants and bars all surrounded by the Incan Walls. I must admit though that much of what draws me to this beautiful city, aside from the historical architecture and ruins, is the delightfully colorful clothing that so many Peruvians wear on a day to day basis. I’d love to get my hands on some of the heavily printed full-circle skirts and even the detailed adornments used to hang around llamas necks.

So, as much as our other options are enormously appealing (see here, here, here, and here), I have to say that after writing this post Cuzco may take the lead as my choice of destination, though I’d really just love to travel anywhere!

Agricultural Terraces •

Saxayhuamánthe end point of the Inti Raymi Festival •

the Qoricancha •

oh, hi! •

• Plaza de Armas •

Have you ever been to Cuzco?

photos via flickr

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicole permalink
    January 11, 2011 7:06 pm

    Hi, I never write a commment before in your blog, but I always read it. I like very much, I read irt evrey day.

    I just read that you are planning to come to Cusco; Im from Peru, I live in Lima but I visited Cusco many times, is a wonderful place, a lot of good vibe!

    If you want extra information about good hotels, prices just tel me; I have friends there and one of them have an hotel in Aguas Calientes a city down in Machupichu Ruins, you should go there too.

    Anyway, just write me if you need some help here in Peru, or an orientation.

    byes Nicole.

    • chris permalink
      February 4, 2011 3:59 am

      take a look at the campaign for Roberto Cavalli Fw 2008

      Cavalli was inspired during a trip to Peru & the attire of the indigenous people of Cuzco is referenced, right down to the hairstyle!

      If you decide on Peru, I recommend a mix of 1/3 of the trip in Cuzco and 2/3 in Lima. In an old issue of Nylon, Rachel Comey gave her ‘city guide’ of Lima which included the bohemian spots, local favorites, her favorites while she was there working on her shoe collection. I saved the mag somewhere already planning for my next trip.

      My sister is currently living there so I vote for Peru. And if you need another reason..the US dollar almost triples there!

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