Initially, I planned the following program:
Early in the morning take the same bus as to go to Pisac and get off at Tambmachay, the furthest site and visit the following sights on foot returning to Cusco : Tambomachay + Pucapucara + Quenko + Sacsayhuaman Temple.
But, with the rough day we had at Machupicchu, I modified the program to avoid doing the tours by dragging my feet … The trip must remain a pleasure and nothing serves to want to do everything if is in fatigue and without envy! In addition, I must admit that I was a little tired of seeing Inca ruins. So, we decided to spend the whole day in Cuzco city. We visited Cuzco in 1 day: San Pedro Market, Machu Picchu Museum, San Blas district, Chocolate Museum, Handicraft Market …
Cusco in 1 day – San Pedro Market
It is the largest market in the city and is a must for tourists. Covered market, it is located near the Plaza de Armas facing San Pedro Station: Tupac Amaru Avenue. Two parts compose it:
- The section reserved for food with magnificent stalls of breads, pastries, vegetables and fruits of all colors and flavors … You can have a full meal for 10 soles (just over 2 Euros)! We enjoyed some amazing exotic fruit juices. It is you who choose the fruit and we prepare the juice in front of you for 4 soles is about 1 € (a huge glass of half a liter!).
- Part reserved for tourist souvenirs with lots of crafts and woolen clothes. I was able to negotiate a nice sweater handmade in alpaca for 50 soles (about 12 €) and a scarf also in alpaca (but industrial) 20 soles (5 €). We must take the time to negotiate with a smile, to joke with them and we always end up finding the right compromise. They win and we are happy to have made the right choice.
Cusco in 1 day – The Machu Picchu Museum
It is located in Santa Catalina Ancha 320. It exhibits objects and other remains found on the site but it is mainly focused on the discovery in 1911 of Machu Picchu. I think we would have done better to go to the museum before going to Machu!
Cusco in 1 day – Artists or San Blas district
For my taste, it is the most beautiful district of Cusco. Small and old village perched in the heights of the city. Stairs, narrow streets, white walls, blue shutters, cobbled streets … the atmosphere is popular and bohemian. All that pleases the artists who have installed their workshops. I loved !!! And if you go to the top, you can admire Cusco from a mirador unknown to tourists.
This area attracts tourists with its charm and authenticity is always very lively (small markets, street shows …). We were lucky to come across a dance show that was full of colors!
Cusco in 1 day – Mercado de Artesanias
This indoor market is at the corner of Avenida del Sol. There are more than 100 exhibitors of Peruvian craftsmanship. You can find everything: alpaca sweaters, leather bags, silver jewelry, souvenirs …
Cusco in 1 day – Chocolate Museum
Very disappointing. Too many people, too formatted “catches tourists” and besides chocolate is not good (and I can boast of being a connoisseur …).
Cusco – A touristless market
In front of Arnaud (where we were staying in Cusco) is held every Saturday a REAL market. It is frequented only by the cuscenos and the merchants of the surroundings. It is authentic and far from cliché … We went the next day at 9am and did not meet any tourists.
As I have neither the name of the market nor its exact address, I just give you the address of Arnaud which is nearby: Residential Huancaro – Calle 10 Rosales – Distrito de Santiago.
What is surprising is the variety of foods that are sold on stalls: pineapple, strawberries, mangoes, cabbage, leeks, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes of all shapes and colors …
I will never be able to name everything but this market shows all the resources and cultures of Peru. And they are extremely varied since they come from all regions of Peru: desert, ocean coast, Amazon rainforest and mountains of the Andes!
I urge you to go for a ride because the faces and costumes are all very different (depending on the region of Peru where the merchants come from) and the stalls are incredible.
Cusco in 1 day – Where to eat in Cusco?
Behind a facade of bakery, there is a very small very nice restaurant: El Capricio. It is located at 390, Santa Catalina Ancha. Phone +51 84 265484. We simply feasted for an average price of 6 Euros.
Click on the following link to discover my culinary experience at one of the best restaurants in Peru: