As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cusco is a must for the world traveller, or indeed any traveller. As the historic capital of the Inca Empire, you will become engrossed in beautifully retained architecture and ruins, all of which are set against a backdrop of the ever-present, yet glorious, Andes mountain range.
Spanish colonial buildings are immersed in the buzzing tourist day and nightlife scene that dizzies the centre of the city. For those that are interested in venturing further than the centre, the border of the city is dotted with magnificent ruins such as Sasayhuaman, the site of Pizzaro’s battle with the Incas in 1536.
Local artists provide a hub of wonderful galleries, while the city’s historic nature means there is an abundance of museums to check out. The walls of the Inca Empire are of course the most wonderful of touches to the city, and they can be easily identified and seen from Plaza de Armas, a plaza which is in itself magnificent.
There are also plenty of day trips from Cusco worth checking out, such as paragliding over the breathtaking Sacred Valley, visiting the Maras salt mines and going white-water rafting in the streams and rivers of the Urubamba mountain.
We found a wonderful, visually striking hostel in Avenue Arcopata named Hostel Cusi Wasi – close to the historical centre. The location is great and is lined with some fantastic cheap restaurants that are definitely worth checking out. When we arrived, the staff were welcoming and friendly, and showed their willingness to help.
The entrance area looks somewhat Venetian, with balcony style openings that show the floors and their staircases from the ground floor, which has dark river-blue tiles that contrast wonderfully with bright yellow walls.(To get a feel for my explanation, check out the photos on the hostel’s website!)
Our room was beautifully presented and nice and bright. It had all the provisions that we needed, including a really nice hot shower (such a gem in South America), and a heater making the room nice and cosy during the cold night.
The Wi-Fi was also notably quick, another hard-to-find thing in the continent. Other great facilities and services include free luggage storage, laundry, medical assistance and tour provisions. A great touch to the property is its courtyard, which is gorgeous, warm and cosy making it an ideal place to chill out in.
We didn’t get a chance to try out the breakfast as we had to dash at 5am to start our trek to Machu Picchu. Many reviewers claim it’s delicious, and includes fresh breads, ham, cheese, jam and great coffee! When we had to leave so early, the night guard was very courteous and had no problem letting us out at such an inconvenient time.
Cusi Wasi is a wonderful gem in Cusco, and a great relaxation spot to unwind in before going on treks or excursions. The owners are a married couple, the wife is from Cusco and the husband is from Holland, and they are great for telling interesting tales on their decision to make this wonderful city their home.