This article has been updated on March 31, 2021
Cusco is a pretty colonial town of significant historical importance located in southern Peru. From the tourism point of view, Cusco ranks among the most visited cities in South America because it serves as a gateway to the major tourist attractions such as Machu Picchu or Sacred Valley. Due to its well preserved colonial architecture and hilly topography, there are however also plenty of things to admire in the city itself. In one word, Cusco‘s description could be summed up as “breathtaking”, both visually as well as literally because its elevation of 3,4km above the sea level means lower oxygen levels, which makes one’s strolls around this beautiful hilly town a bit challenging.
The local tourism industry attracts up to 2 million tourists annually. While it is a well-oiled machine that provides a wide variety of exceptional services, mass tourism at this scale unfortunately also often comes with certain negative side-effects, such as high levels of scam or pickpocketing. Sadly, Cusco is all but an exception to this rule, which is something I’m going to elaborate on further down the article. But first, let’s talk about Cusco‘s charm, rich and eventful history as well as things to see, do and experience in this incredible city.
Few basic facts about Cusco
The original city of Cusco (also spelt Cuszo or Qosqo in the indigenous Quechua language) was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th until the 16th-century Spanish conquest, which makes it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Western hemisphere. Cusco‘s name is derived from a Quechua word meaning “centre” as for “centre of the universe”, from the times when it ruled over a large empire, which at its peak extended from present-day Ecuador to the central regions of present-day Chile, including portions of modern Bolivia and Argentina.
We are therefore talking about quite a vibrant history that goes long way back, which is a way too complex subject to talk about it in-depth in a travel article. For that reason, I’m going to mention only a few basic facts. If you are interested in further details about the city’s history, please note that I’ll upload some interesting links at the bottom of this article.
As opposed to the romanticised views of Incas held by some people, Incan leaders didn’t really behave entirely indifferent from their Occidental fellows at the time. In other words, Incas did have a fair share of various expansive war efforts themselves, even their arrival to the valley is marked with driving out the reminding members of Killke civilisation who once also called this place home and flourished here between 900 to 1200 CE.
Furthermore, Incas weren’t even shy of enslaving their enemies or fighting each other in a Civil War (1529-1532). And “so they lived happily ever after”, until 1533, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro defeated and captured the Incan emperor Atahualpa.
Spanish were apparently astonished by Cusco‘s beauty and advanced urban planning but given the nature of war leaders, they began to make their mark by burning the Incan archives and destroying temples and buildings, only to use the Incan foundations as bases for their palaces and general construction of the new city. The original Incan stone walls are still visible on quite a few buildings in the city even now. The interesting fact is that Incas built their city on Killke structures, which makes Cusco‘s history and architecture rather “Multikulti”.
The post-Incan history of Cusco recorded several devastating earthquakes, in 1650, 1950 as well as in 1986. In a positive contrast with the city’s tragic past, let’s just say that the events of Cusco’s history created a fascinating mix and/or evolution that is derived from up to 8 different cultures. Due to this incredible cultural heritage and well preserved colonial architecture, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Currently, the city of nearly 350 thousand inhabitants lives mainly off farming and mining as well as off tourism.
The Ayar brothers legend
The Incan spiritual life and beliefs were integrated with their view of the stars as they were seen from Cusco. This was also all inter-connected to agricultural seasons in a complex calendar sort of system. The city is also one of the two most important sites for Incan mythology, the other one being Lake Titicaca. While the latter is based on a legend of Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, Cusco‘s legend is tight to the Ayar brothers. Let me tell you a bit more about that legend.
Once upon a time, there was a massive flood, which killed many people and left many others in despair. Four Ayar brothers have decided to do something about their situation and set off to find the new fertile lands. They have travelled together with their wives, who happened to be also their sisters (:0 So there were Ayar Cachi and Mama Huaco, Ayar Uchu and Mama Ipacura, Ayar Auca and Mama Rahua and, finally, Ayar Manco and Mama Ocllo. This jolly company travelled together for years, during which they fought against local tribes but then they began to fight each other, as you do…
First, the three weaker brothers betrayed Cachi, the strongest and most clever of them all, by tricking him to enter a cave, which those three younger “role models” later blocked so he couldn’t come out. Uchu later froze from fear after jumping on a ‘statue of the idol’ when he was destroying someone’s temple, as you do. Aucua then apparently produced a pair of wings and flew to fulfil the mission to find their new home.
And so he did, discovering the fertile valley, where the future Cusco was to be built. To mark the possession of the land, for some reason he was transformed into a rock, instead of just using a pole, flag or something. Anyway, the last remaining brother Manco, still accompanied by the four sister-wives, three of which were obviously widows by then, together reached the place marked by the Aucua rock and set up the city of Cusco.
I don’t know about you but I am personally not entirely sure about the moral of this story. On the contrary, I’m rather confused. I get the bit about the flood and the desperation to find new land but that’s about all I get about the whole legend. Just marrying your sister is already kind of an edgy thing to do, to start with. But then it all turns even more twisted, right? Walling in your brother inside a cave alive?
Uff. It’s an incredibly horrible thing to do, besides before achieving your goal, getting rid of the strongest and smartest one of them is a bit of a stupid move. And how about destroying other people’s temples only because you don’t like them? Last time I remember someone destroying temples was the bloody ISIS and Taliban. With no disrespect intended, I just find this legend a bit off, to be honest.
Things to do in Cusco: the beauty
When it comes to the general atmosphere of the place, the historical centre of Cusco is one of those places, that make you want to stroll around, turning random corners just to explore what’s there because everything looks nice and you want to see all of it. On top of that, the hilly character of the city often rewards these strolls with amazing views of the valley. Basically, Cusco feels very pretty and in addition to that, it has a certain cultural buzz, not to mention the numerous cool restaurants and cosy cafés with balconies you want to sit down and soak up the ambience.
FYI, for the best exploration of the city, I’d say consider taking a walking tour because that way you’ll get to hear some history as well as curious facts about particular places. I however understand that walking tours are not for everyone so I’ll try to list the popular locations in Cusco in a way you could walk by yourself at your own pace. Btw, get ready for a lot of stairs 😉
Tip: the links highlighted in red are Google Maps locations to give you an idea about where we're talking about. If you save the locations you're interested in into "want to go", once you arrive to the destination, it could make things easier for you to orientate yourself in the area, not to mention the (sometimes) helpful and informative reviews or the fact that it might also help you to determine your itinerary ;)
San Blas hood
In some parts of town, such as in the San Blas neighbourhood, this general “explore the city” buzz is even stronger and enriched by its bohemian vibe. Its steep narrow cobbled streets and numerous artisanal shops, as well as cool bars, do come across like if there was a bit of an arty scene going on, which is in fact true to a certain extend. While San Blas is already magical by just walking, the combination of low oxygen and hilly character of the neighbourhood will make you want to stop and take a rest.
And there are plenty of opportunities to do so in this lovely hood. Whether it’s one of the numerous galleries, workshops or cosy cafés that could all compete in the “best view of the city competition”, there are simply many small perks you can discover for yourself. As for the “must-see” attractions of the hood are, there are Plazoleta de San Blas, the Coca Museum and Iglesia de San Blas. The art lovers also often like the Hilario Mendivil & Family Gallery.
If you still have some steam in your legs after exploring San Blas, you could keep walking to Iglesia de San Cristóbal, which offers stunning views of the town main square Plaza de Armas, where we’ll get to soon. But first, let’s walk few more minutes to reach the 15th century Incan fortress-temple complex Sacsayhuamán, which played an important role in the city from the spiritual as well as military point of view. Read more about Sacsayhuamán here, in case you were interested.
The last push to thick all the highlights in this part of town would be 10 more minutes of walking to the viewpoint Pukamuqu, which a hill with an 8 metres tall statue of Jesus. On your way back to the centre, you could consider checking out Cusco Park to relax a bit.
FYI, if you are into astronomy, up here, you’ll be in close proximity to Cusco‘s Planetarium, which is obviously better to visit when the night falls. There is also an option to do it with the Cusco By Night’ tour, which I’ve heard good things about because you apparently learn more about how Incas perceived the stars from here, which was from what they believed was the centre of the world.
Plaza de Armas
Like in many other Latin American cities, the heart of Cusco, AKA the main town’s square is also named after conquistadors’ arms storage, which was, among other things the function of those squares in the past. Nowadays they normally contain government buildings, a cathedral and some statue of a war figure on the horse in the middle and sidewalk arches along the edges.
I admit that Cusco‘s Plaza de Armas is among the prettier Plazas de Armas I’ve seen. Except being very spacious, it feels rather mountainy and its cathedral is very impressive, not to mention the fact that there’s another impressive church Iglesia de la Companía de Jesús almost right next to it. And instead of a war figure, there’s a 19th-century fountain with a statue of an Inca on top, which is a refreshing feature.
Cusco‘s Plaza de Armas is also the place where you can find pretty much anything, ranging from spiritual moments in the churches, about a trillion tour operators and restaurants up to a vibrating nightlife, a large volume of scam and even drug dealers but I’ll get to that latter subject later. Basically, this is the centre of all tourism in and around Cusco.
Other interesting architectural landmarks in Cusco
Architecture-wise, while you’re nearby Plaza de Armas, I’d definitely recommend checking out the pretty Convent of Santo Domingo which is yet another colonial structure built on the top of what used to be Incan temple Qorikancha. I’m positive that upon your strolls, you also won’t miss the iconic arch Arco de Santa Clara, the narrow alley Calle Loreto that’s lined up with Inca walls, or the buzzing main street Avenida El Sol.
If you are interested in something a little different and perhaps less visited, if such a term could be applied here, I’d suggest checking out the stunning Almudena Cemetery. And last but not least attraction I’m going to mention is San Pedro Market, which comes with a great selection and less touristy priced goodies.
Plaza de Armas is also in very close proximity to visit some of the numerous museums Cusco has on the menu. Please note that while few museums have their own entry fees, to visit most of them you should be fine with a tourist ticket (Boleto Turistico), which you can also use upon your visit to Sacred Valley. You can purchase it in Costituc Office and it will cost you $40.
I understand that it sounds pricey but it will get you to 16 Sacred Valley sites, which you can visit over the 10 days of its validity, not to mention most of the town’s museums. FYI, you can also get 1-2 day tics for about half the price. This purchase is worth it, IMHO it is however mainly because of the Sacred Valley, rather than because of these two sites.
With the practical info out of the way, let’s get on those museums. If you are into history, Cusco is obviously a good place to be and check its museums. Among the most popular is a UNAAC University run Inca Museum with artefacts dating to Inca and pre-Inca times. You could also consider visiting Regional Historical Museum or Museo Casa Concha, which displays artefacts from Machu Picchu (website). In case you got overwhelmed by all that history, I’d recommend taking a break from it all in Museo del Chocolate (website with activities and events).
When it comes to art, except for the numerous galleries spread across the historical centre, art fans should consider visiting Museo de Arte Pre-Colombino (website) or a museum dedicated to contemporary Peruvian tapestry Museo Maximo Laura (website). Checking out a tiny “pop” museum with the winning entries from Cusco’s annual Popular Art Competition Museo de Arte Popular is also an interesting idea, especially for curious minds.
Then there’s also the popular Town’s Hall Museum of Contemporary Art (info) or the textile tradition museum of a nonprofit organisation Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (website). And last but not least, I’d like to bring to your attention an interesting guided tour around the San Francisco Convent and its catacombs that includes displays of art Museo y Catacumbas del Convento de San Francisco de Asis de Cusco (Fcbk page).
Places of interest just outside of Cusco
Tambomachay and Puka Pukara
Visitors seem to like visiting Tambomachay, which is ruins of Inca Spa, located only about 8 kilometres out of the city. Because of its close proximity to other ruins of Incan military fortress Puka Pukara, those two are often combined in one tour. You can also visit the ruins with a Servicio Rapido public bus for under $1.
To be honest with you, in case you were planning to visit Sacred Valley and/or Machu Picchu, I’d say skip those two if I were you. I mean that I can guarantee you that you’ll see far more impressive sites in the region. Or at least postpone their visit after the Sacred Valley because then you might be a little pickier about seeing more ruins 😉 Furthermore, please note that to enter those sites, you also need a Tourist Ticket (Boleto Turistico).
Rainbow Mountain and Q’eswachaka bridge
Next to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley, Rainbow Mountain, AKA Vinicunca is arguably among the top three most popular destinations in the region. The flip side to its beauty is the fact that it’s a very touristy and busy attraction. Most people opt for taking a long 3 am-7 pm bus-trek-bus tour from Cusco, which would cost you $30+ USD.
Please bear in mind that trekking at these altitudes is rather challenging. But if you’re lucky for the weather and if you time your trek right in order to arrive there either a bit earlier or a bit later after most people, you’re in for an unforgettable treat 🙂 More details could be found here in an info piece by Kevin and Amanda.
A nice alternative for an interesting and scenic day trip from Cusco would be Puente Q’eswachaka. We’re talking about a nearly 30 meters long traditional Incan rope bridge that crosses Apurímac River that’s located nearly 4 hours away from the city. It’s a little complicated to get there by yourself with public transport because you’d need to change buses but there are also numerous agencies you can take the tour with. More information could be found here on Atlas Obscura.
The Beast, AKA Cusco: the capital of SCAM
As I’ve mentioned above, the mass tourism Cusco attracts, unfortunately, comes with few negative side effects. Firstly, I’d like to state that I don’t want to paint everyone with the same brush because I did come across many nice and honest individuals in the city. However, there were also plenty of people that tried to take the opportunity of mass tourism, some of which could not be exactly labelled as being honest.
Yes, one might argue that scam is the case of every major tourist destination globally and it would be a solid argument but it wouldn’t change anything about it at all. Furthermore, IMHO Cusco takes the scam to another level. In practical terms, it means that one has to be constantly ready to face the street vendors and various tricksters. I’m talking about an incredible intensity of being approached by up to two people per minute at its worst.
I understand that people are trying to survive. Except for the fact that in an ideal world, people should have opportunities to live better lives, I wouldn’t have a problem with street vendors at all, only if there were not so many opportunists and tricksters among them. It’s not much of a secret that often it’s not only about selling their products, sometimes we’re talking about petty thieves or even worse kinds of people pretending to sell you things.
Their cover stories usually are either shoe-cleaning or being a desperate artist selling “his” paintings but in fact, they sell everything, whatever they think people are into and they don’t take no for an answer. Well, perhaps your 5th “no gracias” begins to take some effect. The perspectives of target audiences vary, depending on which “marketing” stereotype you belong to. For instance, guess what would be the nature of a large portion of offers made to solo-male travellers…
On the other hand, to be entirely honest with you, I must admit that on a few occasions, I could even admire the incredible skills some of these con artists exhibit. I mean if you think about it, some of them are quite talented and inventive people and few times I thought for myself that they deserve to make some money with such clever tricks, I’ve witnessed or heard off. But that happens rarely. Most of it is just dull, opportunistic and/or even dangerous shite. FYI, given the high volume of tricks I came across, I have even begun collecting the scam tricks. In case you were interested, read more here 🙂
Go out and events
As I’ve hinted above, Cusco does come with a very vibrant nightlife scene, most of which evolves around Plaza de Armas. A lot of people seem to like Mama Africa, where you can dance to some middle of the road electronic tunes but mainly salsa and other Latin rhythms with locals and tourists up to 5 am. Expect busy, predatory party night, expensive drinks and wrong change is given back to you nearly every time you pay. FYI, I’ve lasted one drink only.
In case you wanted to grab a drink in the area, especially if you’re into craft beers, I’d rather go to Nuevo Mundo Draft Bar if I were you. In addition to that, there are various European bars and many many other drinking holes, you can pick from. Do not anticipate discovering much uniqueness or soul, nor expect some underground scene around here much though. For that, or at least for hints of that, I’d head up to San Blas, which has few places I’ve personally found more authentic or let’s say soulful, such as El Huarique or Hakuna Bar for later.
Cusco is also rather rich in festivals and folk events. If you’d like to experience some traditional event, I’d recommend checking out Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo (website). Then there are numerous annual street events that bring people together, where the flowing alcohol helps to bring the locals and tourists closer together. Here‘s a list of annual events that take place in the city by cuscoperu.com, in case you were interested.
And last but not least, there are various local specialities one should try or at least be aware of their existence. I’ll mention just the two major ones. Among the classic things to try in Peru or even in Chile is pisco sour, which is a lime juice/sugar syrup/egg and local spirit pisco kind of cocktail. To be honest, it hasn’t exactly become my fav drink but it’s one of those “must-haves”, something like grabbing a pint of lager in Prague or a glass of wine in Paris…
Food-wise, I’d definitely recommend trying ceviche, which is a yummy raw fish marinated in lime and lemon. And then there’s cuy, the most tricky local treat ever! In case you don’t know yet what cuy is, it’s a local delicacy that’s unique to the highlands of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador and in English means: a Guinea pig. I admit, normally I’m excited to try unusual local dishes but given the childhood memories of my only ever pet, this was the first time I said no…
Safety in Cusco
Cusco‘s historical centre isn’t a really dangerous place to be when it comes to serious crime. But as I’ve mentioned above, some of the mass tourism side effects are interconnected with various forms of opportunistic petty crime, such as theft, pickpocketing or scam. And there’s quite a lot of that going on. How to deal with that? First of all, be nice and stay switched on. Watch your back as well as your belongings, especially if you’re suddenly engaged in some “accident” of for example spilt drink over you when the “spiller” starts apologising and wipe it off you or something like that.
I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist but in reality, any unexpected and seemingly random situation that happens to you in Cusco could be designed to divert your attention away from your belongings, which has the potential of you ending up without your phone or camera and so on. Watch out for the too very friendly people because some of them are actually very good at exploiting your good heart, naivety or just exhaustion. And as I said, in Cusco, things could be rather predatory, especially in and around the main square.
The usual precautions of not “advertising” your valuables by flashing them around that mostly work in other places could not be sufficient enough in Cusco because thieves here are a bit more proactive, plus some of them are also clever. This city is a good hunting ground for them. As I said: stay sharp, especially if you are by yourself. If you are in a group, it should be easier but it still doesn’t mean that you can entirely switch off.
While Cusco is a fairly large city, the tourist areas in the historical centre are however all pretty much walkable. Saying that I need to stress the fact about the elevation of 3400 metres again. Such conditions could make your strolls around the city rather challenging due to the lack of oxygen. If you need to reach any locations that are further away, there are tons of metered taxis around. In case you wanted to travel independently to the places in the Sacred Valley, look into the buses that depart from small terminals on Calle Puputi and/or Avenida Grau. For further details, ask at your hotel, they will be happy to explain the routes.
How to get here
Being a principal travel destination Cusco obviously has its own busy airport to which you can get from all larger Peruvian cities. Unlike most tourism-related things in here, the airfares are actually not that bad. As for getting to the city from the airport, there are two major shuttle service companies running from the city to the airport and vice-versa: Cusco Airport Shuttle and Cusco Shuttle. They are not exactly cheap if you are by yourself but if you talk to some other travellers, the shared shuttle works out quite well (their fares are stated on their respective websites).
When to visit Cusco
Cusco is a pretty much all-year destination. During the colder months of June and July, the air is generally dry with average temperatures 0.2/19.4 °C, frost is however rare. The warmer rainy season is from November to February. It feels a bit like in London then. Only with less oxygen.
Practical anti-scam notes
Being a bit predatory destination when it comes to making money off tourists, I’d advise you to minimise the so-called unforeseen circumstances by asking all sort of questions about things, you would normally assume as unnecessary. First of all, always ask how much is the particular product you’re about to purchase. So if you’re booking a tour, ask about every little detail, not to get surprised later. In other words, in case you come across a predatory salesperson, which you certainly will make sure that you ask every preliminary question, regardless of whether you think that such service/price or anything is automatically free of any extra charges.
From my experience, people will not lie straight into your face about their services. Things are much more sophisticated than that 🙂 It’s when you leave “an informational gap”, you might create an opportunity for them to exploit it. In practical terms, forget your usual assumptions about services. Ask about small details, such as expecting a towel in your hotel, if there will be water provided, or if there are any extra charges on the tour you should know off and so on. I’m sure that you know what I mean.
Think of the trick with “free” nuts on your table in a restaurant that you haven’t ordered but then you get charged for them if you’ve touched them. And in Cusco, there are so many “clever” little traps of similar nature you can fall for if you don’t stay sharp. The classic trick is if you’re paying with notes of higher value and get change off a smaller note. Always make sure that you point the note’s value out before you hand it over to a cashier to prevent a possible argument that you have paid with a smaller note. It’s quite a common scam and it’s a bold one. There’s not much you can do, It’s your word against the cashier’s.
I understand that I sound horrible, in terms of describing the city as one horrible scam machine. Let me assure you again that it’s not the case. The majority of people are fine but because of those few naughty scammers, you gonna have to be careful, otherwise, you’ll learn a lesson. The precautions are mostly in place because of the few, not because of the many, right? Bad shit is just louder than the good deeds…
Imagine a hotel industry in a city of 350 thousand people that welcomes nearly 2 million tourists a year. There’s a very, very wide variety of accommodation you can pick from, across all levels of comfort. Most people stay in the centre because it’s safer and more convenient. As for myself, I’ve first stayed downtown but after I’ve strolled around San Blas hood, I’ve rushed to check out and find a place there. I’ve ended up in Guest House Tuku Wasi. The owners are the sweetest people in Cusco.
FYI, the place is not Hilton. It’s a modest old house with comfy beds, decent Wi-Fi, hot showers and clean towels. As for my single room for $9,-US, it was more than OK and I believe that such price is hard to beat in this city, in you’re on a budget and prefer privacy. Pls, note that if you are however looking for a party hostel, this place will not be for you. Here you can get a good night sleep. Party is all around the area in case you were looking for some social life 😉
Sort of conclusion
In my humble opinion, Cusco certainly belongs among the highlights when it comes to popular travel destinations in Latin America. It’s a very pretty and atmospheric city with a brilliant social scene, where many people get stuck for longer than they’ve originally anticipated because it’s just a good place to be. In other words, there’s a lot to like about the city itself, plus is also literally surrounded by many interesting sites to visit, not to mention the exceptional trekking options in the area. I loved Cusco for all that. For its vibes, buzz, many options for amazing activities – for its beauty part.
And then there’s the other side, AKA the beast part. Scam and other opportunistic petty crime. I mean that scam has been with us since forever. After all, opportunism is also described even in the ancient religions. To be honest, I’ve experienced numerous tricks as well as their intensity at various popular tourist sites around the world. But when it comes to Cusco, I felt like this is the place is where you can get a PhD degree in the scam. It felt like the tricksters from Halong Bay, Prague or Siam Riep were young and inexperienced undergrads, compared to Cusco.
To be honest, IMHO the whole tourist industry machinery here appeared to be quite good at squeezing as much money out of you as possible, everywhere you go around here. Not that it’s not like that everywhere else but here it appeared to go an extra mile in that regard. Perhaps I’m wrong and this is all just my subjective take of a local tourist industry. Perhaps, due to the fact that I lived in Prague for 6 years, where I’ve been witnessing something similar, only on a smaller scale taking place on daily basis, I only have an overly sensitive eye for these things and it’s actually not that bad. You tell me 😉
How long to stay
Well, this obviously depends on how generous your schedules are. If you wanted to rush things, you could check most of the highlights in the city in 2-3 days and then head to Machu Picchu. I would however recommend staying a bit longer, if possible and soak up the cool atmosphere of this city. Many people chose to use Cusco as a base for numerous day trips they make, which is a brilliant idea.
Useful and interesting links
- Airport shuttles: Cusco Airport Shuttle and Cusco Shuttle
- Cusco tourist ticket: cuscoperu .com site with further details about Boleto Turistico as well as with tours, information, events, festivals and so on
- Further facts about Cusco: World History Encyclopedia‘s page on Cusco‘s history and mythology and geography
- History of Cusco: Encyclopedia Britannica‘s page on Cusco’s history
- Incan Empire: History.com article about Incas
- Incan Religion: Encyclopedia Britannica‘s page on Incan gods and religion
- World’s Heritage: UNESCO’s page for Cusco
Other popular destinations nearby
Only 25km away from Cusco, Sacred Valley. We’re talking about more Incan history, many many more ruins and stone terraces, all set in the beautiful and very scenic Urubamba Valley.
The most famous Sacred Valley site doesn’t need much introduction, especially if you are already considering visiting its gateway Cusco. In case you wanted to find out your options on how to visit Machu Picchu and how much would each option cost you, please click here.
If you are in the region, do not miss out on visiting Lake Titicaca. From Cusco, it only takes about 8 hours to get there by bus or 10,5 hours on a post-1920’s train. As for Titicaca, we’re talking about a stunning lake that also happens to the largest in South America and 18th in the world. As I’ve mentioned above, it also plays an important role in Incan mythology as well as general history, which is still very present nearly everywhere around the lake. Read more here, in case you were interested.
Bolivia’s Sucre and La Paz
In case you were heading further south, you’ll be only about 4-5 hours from one of the Bolivian capitals La Paz that is certainly worth a visit for numerous reasons. Heading even further south would take you to the other, less buzzing but more pretty Bolivian capital Sucre. Read more details about those two cities here, in case you were interested.
Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats
Arguably the most popular attraction in Bolivia as well as one of the most surreal and incredible places I’ve ever visited is Uyuni Salt Flats, the world’s largest salt flat with an enormous area of more than 10 000 km2 (3 900 square miles). Read more details here, in case you were interested.