Gustu, a restaurant and cooking school from Noma co-founder Claus Meyer will open in La Paz, Bolivia this year.
A quinta in Cuzco is like a huarique in Lima. It is a simple, traditional restaurant that provides regional dishes at local prices. As much as Cuzco has grown and become a global city and home to dozens of massive hotels, the old Cuzco has become more and more obscure. Still if you take a few steps off the beaten tourist paths there are still a few of genuine lunch only quintas to be found.
Cuzco has always been a bit of a wild card in terms of restaurants. While quality products are there, few restaurants have really put them to good use and instead have tried to serve tourist friendly food. That’s beginning to change.
In 2009, after expanding his restaurant empire around the world, Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio opened two new restaurants in the provinces of Peru, his first outside of the confines of the capital of Lima. The two restaurants, both named Chi Cha, bring Acurio’s signature style to two of Peru’s largest cities: Arequipa & Cuzco. Each skews toward regional dishes and ingredients, though also serves a wider national cuisine and Acurio originals. The dining rooms are elegant, yet they’re not stuffy nor is the food over priced. As with most of Acurio’s restaurants, the bar menu is creative with a dozen or so Pisco based cocktails that go beyond a traditional Pisco Sour.
The home of Peruvian pink salt is 10,000 feet high in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 30 miles north of Cuzco, near the town of Maras. Here, more than four thousand small ponds of salt cluster together on a steep hillside. Each salt pond has a deed, like that of a deed to a house, and they are passed down from family to family, as they have been for centuries, since before the start of the Inca Empire. The pale pink salt contains magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, and zinc and is believed to have curative properties by the local population.
The Mercado Central in Cuzco is in giant warehouse a few blocks away from the main plaza. Unofficially, it also stretches towards the railway tracks, becoming more gritty as it does. The warehouse houses a lot of food stalls, with large sections devoted solely to either fruit drinks, snacks and… Read More →
Aguas Calientes, or Machu Picchu town, has come along way. It is slowly taking on the tourist feel of Cuzco with innumerable hotels, restaurants, and craft shops. Aguas Caliente (translated to Hot Water in Spanish because of thermal springs there), can only be reached by rail from Ollantaytambo. Therefore, much… Read More →
Boleto Turistico, a tourist pass that almost every traveler to Cuzco must buy, includes admission to more than a dozen of the most popular ruins and museums in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley (though not all of them). The pass will get you into: Santa Catalina Monastery and Museum Contemporary… Read More →
Most come to Cuzco (also spelled Cusco and Q’osqo, population 350,000) en route to Machu Picchu, but to many it is Cuzco that leaves them breathless, although maybe that’s from the altitude, which stands, at 3360 meters (roughly 11,000 feet) above sea level.
Cuzco offers the most diverse craft and textile selection anywhere in Peru, not too mention fine jewelry and alpaca clothing. Be sure to bargain, as prices can often be inflated. Handicrafts from throughout the Andes can be found here and quality is usually very good.