Peru – Day 10

You’ve all heard the saying, “Go Big or Go Home!” Well, on Day 10, we did both and went big AND went home!!! We started the morning off by slowly enjoying our last breakfast in Peru. After a breakfast of Fried Eggs, Fruit, and cups of Coco Tea, we finished packing our bags and left them with the hotel. Then, we set off to walk to Sacsayhuaman, pronounced as “Sexy Woman”, to see the Christo Blanco, white Jesus statue. You’ll hear the locals say “Sexy Woman” and laugh even if that’s basically the only English they can speak.

  • Had last Peruvian breakfast at Terra Dorada
  • Asked hotel for info on getting to Sacsayhuaman and it sounded like our usual stroll to Plaza de Armas and then a “walk down two streets and turn when you see the church”
  • Finally, perused through the book fair at Plaza de Armas and picked up a book in Spanish for Apollo
  • Found that the “walk down two streets” was actually walking up lots of stairs again – we actually thought it was going to a moderate stroll up green hills through a neighborhood but we were wrong
  • Took pics at the church and soaked in the amazing view of Cusco from high above
  • Walked up to Sacsayhuaman, pronounced as “Sexy Woman” and used got another hole punched in our attractions pass
  • Learned Sexy Woman was more than the Christo Blano, but was in fact, an area made up of incredible Inca ruins
  • With a few loose Soles coins, grabbed a cheap cup of coffee at McDonald’s
  • Dropped by the Centro Artsenal Cusco to haggle and spend the last of our money
  • Made it back to our hotel 10 minutes before our taxi was to take us to the airport

We spent hours at the Sacsayhuaman Inca ruins! They were actually surprisingly incredibly fascinating above the city limits and very well maintained. Walking through Plaza de Armas, the center of town, you start off at the alley to the left of the big cathedral, and then make a right at on the first alley to face a bunch of stairs. Hike up those stairs and I believe you zig zag through narrow cobbled streets, turning right past a small store selling local fruit, and then turn left at the corner store. You just basically head upwards through many small streets towards the direction of the statue. My brain is tired from the travel home and I can’t remember the exact route…Eventually you’ll see a church and then you’ll turn right up the hill. Voila, a handful of businesses and the entrance to Sacsayhuaman with more stairs!!!

We noticed the big stones along the stairs going up and our brains started to wonder where we were. Then our mouths dropped once we took the last few steps up the stairs. No once told us there were Inca ruins above the city of Cusco when we asked for input on attractions in the area. The whole time, we thought we were hiking up to a statue. We were so happy that we decided to walk up to Sacsayhuaman. This is a must if you ever go to Cusco!!!

The ruins are spectacular and the grassland up there is huge for a picnic. Apparently, on the weekends, many families visit the place because some of the limestone rocks look like slides and you can slide down. Even on Wednesday, kids were sliding down the rocks and others were flying kites. I wanted to slide down the rocks but my friend wouldn’t let me, scared I’d get hurt. Oh please…these kids the age of Apollo were having such a great time!

We walked to every part of the ruins at Sacsayhuaman and after the sun shined on the Christo Blanco and made it illuminate, we decided to finally walk up the hill to it. There were many field trips with kids and kites descending on the area and we felt bad when these 7 year olds were about to pass us up the dirt hill. We huffed it harder and kept ahead of them to the big statue!

The statue was cool as was the view, but the Inca ruins were so much more of the treat for us. We highly recommend taking a part of your day to walk up to Sacsayhuaman and to also take in the local neighborhood. The walk through the cobbled stone streets allows you to see many schools and where the locals live. We really enjoyed that aspect. You’ll also encounter some cheap restaurants. The small one next to Organkika (rated highly on TripAdvisor by the way), that’s not even on the map had a set menu for 15 Soles. We debated on eating at Organika or Sancho Panza, pintxos y tapas, knowing we would be eating Spanish food vs Peruvian for our last final meal. The pics of meatball at Sancho Panza grabbed my attention and paella sounded great after that hike so we went there instead. Sadly, it was just a tease because they sold out of the meatballs! The food wasn’t great though we thoroughly enjoyed the Grilled White Squid. The Octopus and Seafood Paella could have been better for a 5 star ranked place on TripAdvisor.

After that heavy lunch, we spent a few Soles at McDonald’s for some coffee to perk up for last minute shopping. Back in the States, I like their coffee so I figured it would taste good there too and I was right. We walked to Centro Artsenal Cusco on Avenida el Sol and shopped around with our last Soles. We tried hard to haggle but when we were down to our remaining 20 Soles bill, some of the vendors wanted 2 more Soles, which isn’t even a U.S. Dollar but we just didn’t have it.

We walked back to the hotel and along the way, we were spectators to a parade. The costumes were cool! We stopped to watch and then still made it back 10 minutes early to head to the airport. After 18 hours total of waiting at the airport and three connecting flights between Cusco, Lima, Dallas, and San Francisco, we made it safely home for a Kale Salad and Iced Tea!

This was a truly amazing and life changing trip. Thank you to my friend, Z, for researching, planning, and making this Peru trip happen, and to my husband and baby for letting me leave them for 10 days to go find myself.

I’ll write up my tips and recommendations in a short post or two…