Cusco was a very walkable place. Within 2 days, most of us felt we knew how to navigate through the city around our hotel. Our hotel was in a great location; it was close to Plaza de Armas, where we ate most of our meals, it was close to the college where we held class, and in a safe neighborhood. For future students, make sure you bring “walking” shoes, “going out” shoes, hiking shoes, and shower shoes. You will need more than just Nikes for when you go out to Wild Rover or to a fancy dinner.
- Brown Cowboy Boots - Used in a versatile manner for many situations
- Black Nike Free 5.0 - Used for every day walking and hiking
- Pink Nike Solarsoft Flip Flops - Used for showering and various water activities
- Navy Blue TOMS - Used for class and other short walks
- Leopard Print House Slippers - Used in hotels for walking
When you walk through Cusco, be prepared for vendors attacking you with “good deals”. From old ladies with baby llamas in their arms, to middle-aged men selling knock-off sunglasses, to little kids selling keychains, the vendors are everywhere. At first it was overwhelming, but be strong. Look forward and keep walking. DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT. That’s how they get you.
When walking anywhere, make sure you don’t go anywhere alone. While we are in a safe-ish neighborhood, foreign countries are still pretty sketchy. Also, the map you are given in Casa Elena the first day is very helpful to learn the city. Part of the learning is finding your way around the city. I think that you learn a lot about the culture by just walking through Cusco and observing everyday life. In short, your feet are very important on this trip.