{ THE IN­SID­ERS: CUSCO, PERU }

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

ADRIAN d’HAGE Nov­el­ist, sci­en­tist, for­mer sol­dier. Lat­est novel, The Inca Prophecy pen­guin.com.au See: Museo de Hi­lario Mendivil, San Blas Laid out in the shape of a puma, Cusco, the an­cient Inca cap­i­tal, has myr­iad his­tor­i­cal at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing this mu­seum hous­ing the out­stand­ing works of cel­e­brated Cusqueno sculp­tor Hi­lario Mendivil; Plaza San Blas 634, Cusco. Stay: Ho­tel San Agustin El Do­rado, Avenida El Sol This charm­ing ho­tel is a short walk from at­trac­tions in­clud­ing Plaza de Armas (weapons square), where you’ll find restau­rants packed with lo­cals; hote­lessana­gustin.com.pe. Dine: Jack’s Cafe on Cho­quechaca For whole­some, cheap meals you can’t go past Jack’s (be pre­pared to wait for a ta­ble). For some­thing more Peru­vian try Limo Cocina Pe­ru­ana & Pisco Bar in Plaza de Armas. And if cuy (guinea pig, a na­tional dish) is your thing, try the nearby La Re­tama; jackscafe­cusco.com; cus­corestau­rants.com; lare­tama.info. Out­doors: White­wa­ter raft­ing on Urubamba River (two hours south of Cusco) As stun­ning as the Sa­cred Val­ley of the In­cas, Machu Pic­chu and the Inca Trail might be, an equally ex­hil­a­rat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is raft­ing in the up­per reaches of the sa­cred Urubamba River. There are rapids for be­gin­ners and more dif­fi­cult cour­ses in the river’s Chuquic­ahuana sec­tion; quechua­s­ex­pe­di­tions.com. Late: 7 An­geli­tos, Calle Si­ete An­geli­tos, San Blas With live mu­sic ev­ery night, this bar, away from the touristy Plateros Av­enue, has a healthy mix of lo­cals, good food and great mo­ji­tos; theon­lype­r­uguide.com. Shop: Mer­cado Cen­tral (cen­tral mar­ket), near San Pe­dro sta­tion Worth a visit, even if cooked frogs are not your bag. Also try the re­gional mar­kets in Pisac ; about­cusco.com. Avoid: Be pre­pared for al­ti­tude sick­ness. Cusco is at about 3400m and Tit­i­caca is the high­est nav­i­ga­ble lake in the world at 3812m. Carry al­ti­tude sick­ness pills, drink plenty of wa­ter and don’t con­sume al­co­hol the day be­fore you leave sea-level Lima. The lo­cal rem­edy of coca leaves does work, and ho­tels keep oxy­gen bot­tles.

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