7 Days in Peru: Day 5: Cusco (Part 1)

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Trip to Peru Day 5

Location: Cusco

Cost: Free to walk around and get acquainted and see the town. If you want to tour the cathedrals buy a pass that will get you into to all of them at any location. Individual cathedrals cost about $4 per person to enter. 

Time: Plan at least 1 hour per cathedral- any time of day is great to visit except Sunday when they closed for worship.

We woke up early in Aguas Calientes after our day in Machu Picchu rested and ready for our next adventure! The train ride from Aguas Calientes to Cusco is absolutely beautiful, and we were ready for the next adventure.
Cusco Peru travel
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We’d heard mixed things about Cusco. So many people said it’s amazing and they wish they’d had more time there, and equal amounts of people told us it’s a touristy city and really not to waste time there. We still opted for a day and a half, and I have to admit at first I wasn’t super excited to go there.

I mean The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are amazing, and the idea of leaving the Incan ruins for a city that have Spanish buildings, namely cathedrals, built on top of the Incan ruins sounded like such a turnoff. I honestly felt like I didn’t care to learn the history of how Spain conquered one of the greatest civilizations, and that I’d feel really sad seeing modified ruins.

view of Cusco Peru
Something happened to me in in our first cathedral, which happened to be the original Incan temple. As we walked around inside and saw the modern uses and the great faith of the people, it hit me that this is Peru. They are a people who are proud to be of Incan heritage, they are proud to be Catholic and grateful to have learned of Christianity through the Spaniards, and they are deeply entrenched in both cultures and histories. Cusco is amazing because it is the perfect representation of the people.
Cusco Church Bell
Maybe we had the upper hand speaking Spanish and having a local tour guide walk around, one who serves significantly in his church and in most of the festivals, but I think it just takes a little time and history, and a view of the locals to fall in love with a place.
Cusco Peru Bell Tower


View of Cusco
Cathedral Doors, Cusco Peru
Incan Temple Cusco

And oh boy did we fall in love with Cusco!

Cathedral Cusco Peru
Cusco Peru travel

Even with the tourist traps and the fact that most people stopped to ask me to take their picture, I still love Cusco. Jacob couldn’t resist taking at least one picture of me offering my services. I guess a DSLR around your neck lets people know you’re likely capable.

Cusco Peru Tourism


Visiting Cusco Peru

We loved touring the Cathedral of Santo Domingo. It’s definitely worth the price, and if you don’t have a local who knows all the happenings, be sure to get a tour guide.

Visiting Cusco, Peru
Just don’t tell on us for snapping a picture, we seriously couldn’t resist!
Cathedral of Santo Domingo Interior


Streets of Cusco Peru


Visiting Cusco Peru

As much as I hated the idea of Incan ruins being converted to modern buildings, when I saw it in practice I was in awe, so beautiful!

Incan buildings Cusco Peru

My other favorite thing was the fact that every single building has a cool door. They are either beat up and what most Americans pay big money for in the shabby chic scene, or completely ornate and elaborate. I started taking pictures of us just in front of the doors.

Historic District Cusco Peru


Incan Buildings streets of Cusco

We also got excited to find the famous 12 point stone in the historic part of town.

12 Point Stone- Cusco Peru


The doors of Cusco Peru


Cusco Peru walking tour


Cusco Cathedral Attire

Seriously, one day of touring three Cathedrals, walking through town, and talking to the locals, and Cusco had a big piece of my heart.

Viewing Cusco


Cusco Peru at Dusk


Cusco Peru Museum


Art of Cusco Peru


Cusco Peru and at Night


Cusco Peru Fortress at Night


Plaza de Armas Cusco Peru


Historic Buildings in Cusco Peru


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  1. Alicia Snow says:

    That huge blue door is amazing! I love reading all of your Peru posts!

  2. I loved Cusco! My dad was obsessed with Aguas Calientes and said he wanted to move there. Haha…