Falling in love with Cusco, Peru
Peru – it’s a country we hear about in the travel guides as a ‘must see’, but usually in connection with a tourist visit to Machu Picchu. If travelers visit surrounding towns such as Cusco at all, they typically do it while in transit to Machu Picchu. But, Cusco is definitely worth getting to know.
Yes, Cusco is a place that draws tourists and street vendors selling everything from massages to tattoos so you can memorialize your recent trek in the Andes Mountains. In itself, though, Cusco and the surrounding Sacred Valley are stunning and more than worthy of as much time as you can dedicate to the area. This is a place where you can take your digital nomad career into a new world of culinary arts and beautiful sensory experiences.
If you’re anything like us, you like to be productive while working so you can set aside time to enjoy the scenery while you are there. In reality, this might be a bit tough for the first couple days of your trip to Cusco, Peru. At 3,399 meters (11,152 feet), the altitude is no joke. The moment you step off the plane, it feels a bit like taking 10 steps uphill has used up your energy stores for the day, but typically these sensations lessen with time, hydration, small meals and listening to your body. You can also try out sorojchi pills from any pharmacy if you need some extra help getting used to the atmosphere. As with any medical treatment, talk with your doctor about this before going to Peru.
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Lucky enough, some comforts from home are available so that you can settle in and get yourself back in business once you arrive at your new home away from home. You can set up your remote workstation at Starbucks above Plaza de Armas. It will feel just like home with some added treats like Lucuma Frappuccinos. Don’t miss this. Peru has so many unique produce options that you won’t taste anywhere else in the world.
Though there are countless delicious restaurants, one to note, whether you’re vegetarian or not, is Greens Organic, located just off Plaza de Armas. If you’re staying for a while, as your digital nomad lifestyle allows, visit Mercado Central de San Pedro, where you can stock up on everything amazing Peru has to offer. Even if you’re just passing through, this is a must.
Cusco is an epicenter of tourism for the region, so expect to find it somewhat difficult to make longer term relationships and connections. The best way to do this, if you are moving to Cusco for a while, is to frequent some of the numerous coffee shops. While you’re there, ask for coca tea just like the locals. Coca leaves and tea are abundant and help provide an energy boost for your online workday. If you find some hole in the wall local cafes, you might get lucky and can get your coca tea adorned in a teapot with llama art, because who doesn’t love llamas? The drawback could be varying internet connectivity speeds. La Valeriana offers a more modern coffee shop experience, complete with fancy desserts, along with outdoor heaters and blankets if you’re craving some fresh air and a place to work.
Once your day of attending to online clients and freelance contracts are done, make some time to visit the Cusco Planetarium, a privately-owned organization with exceptional knowledge of the culture of the Inkas, along with the sky’s links to everything magical surrounding you throughout Peru.
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