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Statue to Statue in Cusco

 

 

A trip between the two towering statues that look down on the city from opposite hills is one of the best ways to take in the many sites that Cusco has to offer.

 

The walk begins at the Cristo Blanco, which can be reached by taxi and a short walk, or a longer but nevertheless interesting stroll through cobbled streets, up the hill, past the Sacsayhuamán Inca ruins. The ascent to the statue from the road is a tough one up steps and then a steep trekking path, but what a view you get at the end! At this height, even the clumsy and wing-less feel like they’re gracefully soaring above the cloud patterns on the city below.

 

The path back down follows more cobbled streets that seem straight out of Yorkshire, England, before reaching San Blas square, a vibrant haven of Peruvian artesanía. The area is full of art shops, where it is possible to buy popular bright blue, modern art paintings, as well as other souvenir stalls selling everything from t-shirts to embroidered goods. Scouting for art aside, an afternoon can be spent climbing the never-ending streets that zigzag amongst the colonial buildings in this picturesque area of Cusco.

 

You will pass through several other small and pretty squares en-route to the main square, the Plaza de Armas, where a break for lunch provides a welcome rest from the long stroll. After a look at the cathedral and the churches of Jesus Maria and El Triunfo, around the square, it is off again. The next stop is a craft market that backs onto one of the city’s many old Inca walls.

 

From here it is easy to find the main road where you will find an occasionally working fountain and a towering monument to the ninth Inca, perched between the two lanes of the thoroughfare itself. This is home to many of the stray dogs that roam the city, so you will quite probably attract a new friend to accompany you on the walk up the second hill to your final destination.

 

The statue of another Inca warrior appears as you head across the road through twisting streets that climb into the hills. You may even encounter some locals at home here. When the streets eventually lead you to your final destination, another fantastic birds-eye view of the city is unveiled. If timed right, this makes the perfect spot to take in the sunset.



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