Posts Tagged ‘cusco’

Three Unusual Museums to Visit in Cusco

There are many unusual museums to visit when you are staying at Pariwana Hostel Cusco. Here is a look at three of the best. Learning about the area through your visits will make your adventurous backpacking trips to ancient sites even more enjoyable. The hostel’s friendly staff can advise you on planning your visits.

Take a look about  other things to do in Cusco.


Pre-Columbian Art Museum: This museum in the San Blas district is in a 15th-century Inca ceremonial courthouse, later the home of conquistador Alonso Díaz. The museum’s collections fill 11 galleries, with hundreds of ancient Peruvian artworks, some dating back as far as 250 BC. Items worked in gold and silver are on display, plus Inca ceramics, stone and wood. There is information in English, French and Spanish. Admission is 20 soles.


Museum of Sacred Plants, Magic and Medicine: Located in Calle Santa Teresa, this unique museum turns the spotlight on healing herbs regarded as sacred by the Incas, including the coca leaf and hallucinogenic drugs. There are 9 rooms with information about plants used in treatments for illnesses through the ages, plus a cafe and shop. All information is displayed in both Spanish and English. Admission is 15 soles.

Coca Museum: If you want to find out even more about the history of the coca plant, try this small museum in the San Blas area. You can also sample coca tea and buy coca-themed gifts. The information is in both Spanish and English, and admission is 10 soles.

Take a look of another unusual museums in Peru.

Visiting the Pre-Inca Walled City of Pikillacta

The ancient walled city of Pikillacta is one of the many historic sites to visit while you are based at Pariwana Hostel Cusco.


This pre-Inca site is around 30 kilometers away on the road to Puno, just past Tipon, and is well worth the trip. It is possible to get there by taking a bus to Urcos and asking to be dropped off – staff at the hostel will be able to give you details. Alternatively, you can book a tour or taxi to take you there.

The site is about one kilometer from the main road, so be prepared for a short walk. This huge, sprawling set of ruins covers nearly 2 square kilometers. It is believed the site was originally an administrative city of the Wari Empire, which ruled this region of Peru between 550 and 900 AD.

It’s thought this large site was once home to as many as 10,000 people. Today it contains the remains of hundreds of buildings, with massive walls all built from small stones. One of the most impressive aspects is that the buildings were originally several stories high.

There is a museum on the site where you can see artifacts discovered on the Pikillacta site. Also among the exhibits here are giant armadillo fossils that were found in the area. It’s quite a trek around the main site, so don’t forget to wear good walking shoes and take sun cream and a sun hat with you.

Look at tips on travel in Cusco.


Trekking to Huchuy Qosqo

Are you looking for a trek with a difference to enjoy during a stay at Pariwana’s hostel in Cusco? If so, for an adventure you won’t forget, travel to the spectacular Inca site of Huchuy Qosqo, also known as “Little Cusco“. This site is not accessible by road, so it is hard to get to, but definitely worth the effort.


Although it is near to Cusco, this historic area feels truly remote. The trail to the ruins gives amazing views of the Sacred Valley and you will also see the snow-capped Vilcabamba mountains. It’s possible to book tours with various operators from Cusco, with prices for this varying.

For a one-day hike, you can arrange to be picked up by bus or car early in the morning and travel to the Piuray Lagoon, near Chinchero, to start your journey. The first part of the climb is quite gentle, and you will go past lakes and villages. Watch out for llamas and alpacas as you climb this section. The early sunshine on the mountains also makes a stunning visual impact.


The climb is not hard-going, but it will take around nine hours altogether. It is also possible to include Huchuy Qosqo within a longer trek over two days or more, or combine it with a visit to Machu Picchu. After your long journey, you’ll be ready to relax with fellow backpackers when you get back to the Pariwana hostel, with its relaxed atmosphere and great staff.

Hiking the Incan Ruins in Cusco

There are several Incan ruins just outside Cusco, and the map that Pariwana Hostel provides upon arrival has an adventure trekking route through these ruins. It’s best to do this after you’ve acclimated to the altitude for at least a day, and plan to spend at least five hours. Bring lunch, water, and sunscreen!

Cristo Blanco

To begin the trek, follow Av. Pumacurco up several steps, and then along a winding trail to the entrance of Sacsayhuaman. You can choose to purchase a ticket for 70 soles for the four sites on the trek or 130 soles for additional sites in Sacred Valley and Cusco. It is possible to enjoy the trek without purchasing a ticket at all, though. You will pass by Sacsayhuaman, Cristo Blanco, Q’enqo, Templo de la Luna (which you do not need a ticket to enter), Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. There will be numerous guides along the way offering their services if you wish to have a more informational tour. If not, simply say, “No, gracias. Solo quiero caminar solo/a.”

The trek is fairly straightforward, although after Templo de la Luna it can be difficult to find the path through the woods. This area is not tourist-heavy and you will likely be walking alone for at least an hour.

Templo de la Luna

The town of Huayllarcoccha is also along this trek and is a nice place to stop for a rest and a snack. Be careful along the road here, as the cars tend to drive very quickly around blind curves.

Splurge Restaurant Reviews: Chicha and Uchu

After weeks or months of adventure travel on a backpacker budget, sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a meal at a highly rated restaurant. Luckily, the food scene in Cusco is thriving and the variety of dishes is astounding. Chicha and Uchu are excellent choices, and both are located within a few blocks of Pariwana Hostel.Chi Cha

Chicha is one of Gaston Acurio’s restaurants and highlights the celebrity chef’s modern take on traditional Peruvian dishes. The Trout Tarter and Cucuruchus (shells made of quinoa) is a popular appetizer and doesn’t disappoint with its mix of spicy and savory flavors. The Adobo, a spicy pork stew, is a relatively affordable main course at 34 soles. The cocktail list is enormous and each one costs about 20 soles. Overall, a meal here with a drink, appetizer, and main dish will cost about 100 soles, but it’s well worth it for the dining experience.

Uchu is the most highly rated Peruvian restaurant on Tripadvisor, and for a good reason. The décor is like your most fabulous friend’s living room, service is attentive and the food is some of the best in town. The menu contains a variety of stuffed fried potatoes, which offer an upgraded take on Peruvian street food. The steak, however, is the specialty here and is served with a variety of sauces. Dessert is not to be missed. Try the Pisco Mousse for something a little different. A meal here will cost about 70 soles.

Steak at Uchu