Travel Diaries + Cusco, Peru

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If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably know my history with Peru.  For those of you who are new, first of all, welcome.  I’m so happy you’re here!  While this site is mainly a fashion blog, my second love will always be travel.  Now for the Peru connection… my husband is half Peruvian with a father being born there.  Through them I have been extremely lucky over the years to be able to explore Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu.  On our most recent trip, we had a 24 hours stopover in Lima before flying on to the Andean capital of Cusco.

So why Cusco?  Why do I love it so much?  To me it feels like a charming blend of a European city with the warmth and flavor of Latin America.  It’s like the best of both worlds.  The adorable llamas, alpacas, and little lambs scattered around every street corner doesn’t hurt either.  So let me show you around…


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Our first stop after landing was our home away from home, the JW Marriott ‘El Convento’ hotel.  From the exterior you can tell that the hotel is a restored 16th-century convent which was originally built upon ancient Incan ruins.  Guests can go on daily historical tours of the property to learn even more about the hotel’s rich past.  The luxury hotel also offers a full service spa, sophisticated dining, and plush guest rooms with supplemental oxygen for any guests struggling with the altitude.

Some of my favorite spots around the hotel include the beautiful courtyard in its center and the oversized fireplace with cushy couches located off the lobby.  Either are perfect spots to sip ‘mate de coca’ (coca tea) as you slowly get used to the altitude.  Speaking of the altitude, being at 11,152 feet will sneak up on you.  Climbing steps feels impossible and even one class of wine might make you a little loopy.  Oh, and you might lose your appetite, which I’d normally be all for (woohoo instant diet) but with all the delicious restaurants you’re going to want to be hungry.  With that in mind, be sure to make a reservation at the Qespi restaurant in the hotel.  They offer some of the best ravioli that reminded me of being in Italy on my honeymoon.

Outside of the hotel itself, one of the best parts about it is the location.  You’re only steps away from the Plaza de Armas, the Cusco Cathedral, and many restaurants and cafes.  We spent most our time walking the streets, exploring the charming alleyways, and eating entirely too much.  I could go on and on about so many little parts of this city, but just look below for a quick guide covering everything I love about Cusco.  I hope this mini-guide will help you if you ever find yourself in this enchanting city.

Areas to explore — Plaza de Armas, Cusco Cathedral, San Pedro Market, Saksaywaman, Coricancha

Restaurants — MAP Cafe, Ciccolina, Qespi (Pirqa Restaurant), Museo Del Pisco, La Bodega 138, KION

Important points to add — While this IS a fashion blog… I would not suggest taking high heels.  Opt for comfortable shoes since the streets are cobblestone and sometimes steep.  When taking photos with ADORABLE llamas/alpacas or lambs, please tip the woman and children.  It’s how they make their living.  With that in mind, bring some cash as not all restaurants take credit cards (La Bodega 138 for example and it’s worth it).  Finally, try to immerse yourself in the culture.  There is something truly special about this part of the world and most of that is because of the wonderful people who call it home.

Here are the rest of my Cusco outfits /// colorful sweater dress + the courtyard /// fringe poncho and dreamy doors /// cobblestone streets and OTK boots /// an ancient wall and a most “liked” dress ///

Hotel accommodations provided JW Marriott

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