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Top Tours

 
Cusco ChocoMuseo: From Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop
"Learn how to make your very own chocolate during this interactive tour of the museum and the chocolate workshop. A professional guidewill explain to you how to make chocolate from the bean to the bar. Understand the history behind the famous cocoa beans you will learn the different steps of the chocolate making process and participate to 4 of them: roasting the cocoa beans removing cocoa husk grinding the cocoa nibs on a metate with a mano and refining the cocoa paste in a melangeur.Finally you will prepare and savor delicious hot chocolates as well as creating your own chocolates with your choice of ingredients. You will be able to leave with all of your handmade chocolates unless of course
From $30.00
 
Machu Picchu Full Day Tour by Train
"At 3:55am in the morning you will be picked up from your centrally located hotel in Cusco and driven to the train station at Ollantaytambo. Here you will catch the train that will take you to Machu Picchu. You will take the train at 6:40am to Aguas Calientes arriving around 8am. Your guide will meet you at the train station in Aguas Calientes to take you to the bus up to Machu Picchu. The bus ride is about 30 minutes. You should arrive at Machu Picchu around 8:45am and enter the site.During a guided your bilingual guide will explain all about the historical sanctuary of Machu Picchu and visit all the major sites within the lost city. The guided tour will take around 2:30-3 hours. You can climb the mountain of Huayna Picchu (tickets need to be purcha which is a 1.5 to 2 hours round trip hike. The entrance time is 10am to 11am so if you choose to take this tour your guided tour will be faster in order to finish in time to enter Huayna Picchu.After the Machu Picchu guided tour
From $410.00
 
Half-Day Cusco City Tour
"Cusco is a city that mixes the mysterious indigenous culture of the Incan civilization with modernity. Cusco is considered as the archaeological capital of not only Peru but of all the Americas. It is a city that has to be shown to the entire world with its ruins preserved in their traditional structure. The city was the capital and the heart of the Incan empire during the 14th and 15th centuries and today serves as the most visited tourist city in the country of Peru.The Passengers will be the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun Korikancha where the Incas used to worship the Sun God. The tour continues outside the city to go through the old constructions Incas of Kenko Tambomachay Puca Pucara and the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco. Famous for its large external walls
From $32.00

Mercado Central - Central Market Tips (5)

Mercado central de San Pedro

I guess I could have put this tip under the "Shopping" category, but going to Cusco's mercado central is such an experience that I thought it deserved to be described as an attraction. Located in a huge warehouse just a few blocks south of Plaza de Armas, Cusco's central market houses hundreds of souvenir and food stands. There are plenty of fresh local produce and meat stalls, and it's also a popular place to go for eating on the cheap since several stands offer full meals. While these are especially popular with the locals, tourists have nothing to fear from the seemingly casual way the food is prepared for every stall must respect high quality standards. Our guide did warn us that we'd be able to find better-quality souvenirs in Pisac, but in general, it was much cheaper than what we found elsewhere in the city so we did make quite a few purchases. For those who are good at it (which is really not my case!), this is a good place to go to practice your bargaining skills :o)

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Jefie
Jun 03, 2015

San Pedro - Mercado Central Market

Random Market ~

On the morning of our last full day in Cusco, our tour guides offered an optional walk and tour of the San Pedro Market, also called the Mercado Central. This market is located near the San Pedro rail station, hence its name.

I add this tip only for additional informational purposes and not because I have first-hand experience at the market. Although this market is a destination for tourists and locals alike, I opted not to visit the market because I had previously seen photos of displays of not just meat but odd assortments of animals parts, butchered animals, etc. While some may find this sort of thing interesting, I cannot stomach it. I would not bring children here --- if it is upsetting to some adults, the same could be true for children.

If you can manage the shock of seeing all sorts of animals and their parts being sold, you can move to other sections of the market and you will also find vegetables, breads, pastries, freshly squeezed fruit juice, and the more expected items you think of when visiting a market. You will probably marvel at the hundreds of different types of Peruvian potatoes and corn, and huge varieties of fruit for sale. However, there are many unusual food items for sale too such as coca leaves, quail eggs, fried cuy (guinea pig), "sangre de drago" or dragon's blood which is really an Amazonian tree sap, live frogs for frog soup, and more that is difficult to write about. You can purchase food for snacks, or a meal and eat at street stalls incredibly inexpensively.

Rather than being a market where sellers pile their goods and produce under pitched blue tarps, the San Pedro Market/Mercado Central is rather large and housed still in an open-air situation but in a more substantial structure with supports and a metal roof offering protection from the sun and rain. At least one online site mentions that pick-pockets are not uncommon at this market so be on guard.

If the San Pedro/Mercado Central is just not a place which would appeal to you, try visiting The Artisan or Artesanal Market (located at the corner of Avenida del Sol and Tullumayo) which is known for the sale of handmade crafts and souvenirs. It is said to be the largest indoor market of handicrafts in Cusco. Also, don't miss a visit to the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (located at Av. El Sol 603) which is the city version of the Center for Traditional Textiles in Chinchero where we had visited earlier.

It seems that markets and shops away from the Plaza de Armas have better pricing and you can negotiate for a better price with some sellers.

A visit to San Pedro-Mercado Central Market was to be the last activity in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, before catching our return flight via Cusco's Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, the gateway to Cusco and Machu Picchu.

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starship
Sep 05, 2014

Central Market with a local guide

Not exactly a tourist spot, but the central market is a bustling place where you can find a series of small inexpensive restaurants, juice bars, fresh produce that includes papayas the size of watermelons and watermelons the size of pineapples. While we were told meat generally is not a large part of the Peruvian diet, you wouldn't know by the large selection of unusually body parts from unusual animals. We had heard that there were hundreds of types of potatoes. But seeing the vast variety in person sold by their well worn farmers was far more interesting.

And unlike the central square and other touristy areas, the vendors were completely laid back. For 1 sole, we had a great fruit drinks made from a nice variety of fresh fruits. Since we had arranged for local guide through Kensington tours, we had a local who was able to explain the purpose of a wide variety of medical plants and learn about specialty foods for different occasions.

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MookFamily
May 06, 2009

Mercado Central

We decided to walk to the central market to check it out. There wasnt too many tourist at all here and it looked more like a local place. It is pretty big and toward the entrance is the touristy type of souveniers. Then as you go down the rows you get to the meat markets, then the flowers area, then the food stands. I liked it here but Adrianna started to get sick here. She didnt like to see the whole pigs, and the uncooked chickens. Or maybe it was the frog soup? We saw the frogs swimming in buckets getting ready to be cooked. I think all that freaked her out.
There were rows and rows of people selling different types of potatoes and different types of grains. This place had a very authentic feel to it and everyone eatting here in the food stands appeared to be locals

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malianrob
Nov 11, 2007
 
 
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The Market

The Market is one of the neatest things I have ever seen. The fruits and vegitables for sale there were like nothing I had ever seen before! The meat market was the most revolting thing I have ever smelled and so unsanitary I could not walk away out of amazement. There was also an area where cooked food was sold that was very strange but also diffacult to leave. Many locals work in the market making baskets or other crafts and the clothing they were including no shoes is what their ancesters would have worn long ago. (Obviously only 1-2 hundred years ago)I just wanted to stay there for hours and watch the things that went on in that market.

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VolsUT
Jun 28, 2006
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AKtravelers

"Cusco and the Sacred Valley"
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"Cusco"
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"Cusco"
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"The center of the Empire"
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"The "special" shine in Cusco"
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Things to Do Near Cusco

Things to Do

Sacsayhuaman

The ruins are still pretty much in a natural state although preservation work has begun. The fortress was built by the Inkas in the 1300's on the site of earlier occupations. it commands a view over...
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Things to Do

Qoriqancha - Santo Domingo Convent

This church and convent are built on top of the Inca temple of Coricancha although much of the original temple was preserved inside the church. This was done as a means of stamping out the local...
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Things to Do

Main Square

Plaza de Armas is the historic center of the city and, as such, it has witnessed many important events, including Francisco Pizarro's declaration that Spain had conquered Peru and, almost 250 years...
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Things to Do

Hatun Rumiyoc - Twelve-Angle Stone

As they walk up Hatun Rumiyoc Street, visitors might not realize that they are walking on one of the original Inca roads of Cusco. The narrow street is now lined with attractive shops one one side,...
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Things to Do

Streets of Cusco

Cusco is a fascinating city and great and easy to explore as all roads lead to (or away from ) the Plaza de Armas. Taxis are cheap - you must negotiate the price beforehand - and plentiful. For a...
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Things to Do

San Blas

A much simpler Adobe Church set in a beautiful plaza. what it lacks for ornateness on the outside is made up for in the wonderful wood carved alter on the inside. The church sits in a little local...
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