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In Cusco/ Stories

Faces of Peru | Daniel the Tour Guide

“How’s your heart?” Daniel whispers to me as we pick our way through cobblestone streets in Ollantaytambo, Peru, in the drizzling rain. We’ve just finished a harrowing 1.5-hour car ride through winding mountain roads that drastically change altitudes, so at first I wonder if he’s inquiring about my cardiovascular health. But I know what he means. “Mejor,” I tell him. Better. Daniel has a keen intuition I have never seen in anyone else, a sixth sense that feels what other people are…

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In Cusco

What’s the Weather Like in Cusco, Peru?

“The weather of the Andes is like the women of the Andes: changeable and unpredictable.” – A popular Cusco saying When I first landed in Cusco, I was decked out in two layers of shirts and pants, a jacket, a scarf, knee-high boots and wool socks—because a city high up in the Peruvian Andes must be cold all the time, right? I soon found out how wrong I was. When I walked outside of the Cusco airport, I started sweating…

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In Cusco

Transportation in Cusco, Peru

An old man was asking me something in Spanish as I sat, hunched over and groaning, on the side of the main square where the colectivo (shared van) had dropped me off. I had just finished a nearly two-hour ride through curvy roads and high mountains to get to Ollantaytambo, a city in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, and even though my body was now on stable ground, my stomach felt like it was still on that colectivo. I couldn’t…

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In Cusco

How to Get to Cusco From Lima

After spending four months planning my trip and forking out more than US$3,000 on flights and lodging, the time had come to begin my first solo international trip and my first trip to South America. With my 30-pound backpack and a whole lot of optimism in tow, I boarded the first of three flights to get to Cusco.…

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In Cusco

17 Foods You Must Try in Peru

Peru is widely regarded as one of the best countries in the world for food lovers. Its capital, Lima, is often called the culinary capital of South America. So of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you my favorite typical foods in Peru that I tried while I was in Cusco. Famous dishes such as ceviche originated in Peru, as well as some of the most adventurous ones, like cuy al horno (roasted guinea pig). …

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In Cusco

How to Plan a Trip to Peru (From Someone Who Did It Three Times)

One month before the date I was scheduled to start my long-term trip to Peru, I still hadn’t booked my flights, gotten the recommended vaccinations, or even thought about what I was going to pack. Trying to juggle the travel preparation, especially since it was going to be my first long-term international trip, with my work and daily life was overwhelming. There were many moments, in the midst of my frustration, when I almost canceled the entire trip.If this is…

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In Cusco

South American Explorers Club in Cusco, Peru

Ah, the life of an expat in Peru. It sounds so daring, so rebellious. It must be FULL of adventure, right? Well, to be honest, it can be filled with a lot of nights sitting alone on your hostel floor scrolling through your Facebook feed to see what’s going on with friends back home. I don’t mean that we expats are sad, loveless foreigners roaming the world without purpose. What I mean is we’re human; while we cherish our independence and alone time more than…

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