About Lynda C
Lives in Adelaide, Australia
Since Jan 2012
After years dedicating many years to corporate life, I decided to take an extended break to travel throughout Latin America. What started out as a five month trip has turned into over a year on the road with a little break in between to touch base with my roots in Adelaide, Australia. I adored living and volunteering in places such as Cusco, Peru and Puerto Lopez, Ecuador so I am now back in the Americas, travelling and volunteering once again and am excited to be sharing my experiences with others. I know Australia well, and have also travelled New Zealand, Europe, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. I just love discovering new places and learning how others live their lives. What a wonderful education travelling our world is!
Historic Walking Areas, Neighbourhoods, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Lessons & Workshops
Gift & Speciality Shops
Monuments & Statues
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Gift & Speciality Shops, Art Galleries
No matter where you are staying in Cusco, you will find yourself drawn to Plaza de Armas. Beautiful Colonial architecture with a strong Incan influence around every corner. A great meeting point, place to relax and enjoy the sun and grab a bite to eat at the many restaurants and cafes that surround. Many architectural highlights such as the church of La Merced and the Cathedral reside here and it is also the starting point of the many alleyways that will lead you to many other treasures. A great way to start your adventure in Cusco and get yourself accustomed to the new environment and altitude.
Just a short walk up the hill from Plaza de Armas, San Blas is a beautiful little square complete with water feature, that you can come to pause for a moment and enjoy the surrounding stores, cafes and San Blas Church. Traveling vendors often set up their wares at the top of the stairs and you might just see a Sharman or two walking around. Generally a quieter part of town except for Saturdays where you will find a local market.
It is great to see that in recent year Peruvians are embracing their heritage and the Quechuan native language is making a resurgence. If you want a deeper understanding of the culture and to learn some basics of the language you will be hard pressed to find a better place to find it than Amigos Spanish School. Owner and teacher Jesus is vibrant, welcoming and incredibly patient and he and the other teachers will go to any lengths to help you out. You can also take hourly, daily or weekly lessons in Spanish and will be put in a class to suit your level. The classrooms are clean, modern and intimate with a beautiful rooftop break out area. You will make lasting friends and memories at Amigos.
Less known about to tourists but definitely bustling with locals is the El Molinoa market. You can find just about anything here and it’s a great place to do your souvenir shopping with lots of authentic pieces at much lower prices than you will pay in the center of Cusco. Along with every sort of household goods, clothing, jewellery and the like, you will also find a wide range of fresh food and places to eat. A great place to experience life like a local and get yourself a real bargain.
If you are up for an early morning walk, there is nothing quite like the view of the sun coming up over Cusco from this vantage point. It is quite a hike with steep stairs so you will need to have a reasonable level of fitness especially if you are adjusting to the altitude. If not, you can always jump on a bus or catch a cab and take the easier way up. The statue itself is worth seeing but the views are one of the best you will see in Cusco.
The closest Incan archaeological site to Cusco, Sacsayhuama is a great place to start to get an understanding of this incredible area. Believed to have been a fortress, its construction seems to be nothing short of a miracle with each stone being cut to fit together perfectly without the use of mortar. Considering the time period, this was an amazing feat considering the boulders are estimated to weigh up to 200 tonnes. A great introduction to the many sites that you will enjoy discovering.
Theories are that Tambomachy was either a spa area for Incan VIP’s or a military outpost. The water still runs through here and includes fountains and pools. Like anywhere in this region, you are up for a bit of a hike but the ruins are of interest and the surrounding area is very beautiful where you will see the local people with their Llamas.
You simply must try Pisco while you are in Peru and here is a great place to start your love affair with this drink. Pisco is a spirit prepared from the white Pisco grape with a smooth flavor. The museum will provide you with a history and an insight in to the making of Pisco, the preparation of various drinks and you will also get to sample this tasty beverage. You can even make your very own Pisco Sour.
A great place to prepare yourself with some knowledge before heading out to Machu Picchu. Gain insight into the history of the site and the people that lived there over 10 rooms with artefacts of pottery, stonework and jewellery. Videos and photographs will leave you with a deeper appreciation and you will leave eager to get out and discover Machu Picchu for yourself.
Peru is typically known for producing Cacao but generally we leave it to the Belgians to make the best chocolate. At the museum you have both the opportunity to learn about the history, growing and roasting of Cacao, but also sample the delicious range they have on offer. If you have a couple of hours to spare, you can book in for one of the workshops and get to be part of the process yourself. If you haven’t had enough chocolate after all of that, take a seat and enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate along with a decedent dessert.
Before you head out to visit some of the local villages, it is a good idea to come here to understand the process that goes into the making of the very special Peruvian textiles. You will then be prepared with the knowledge and appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into every piece and no doubt want to take some home with you. A group of women's cooperatives that produce fabrics and garments come together here for sale to the public. The little museum displays a range of pieces and gives an insight into the process of dying and weaving process.
A unique insight to the stars through the eyes of the Incan’s. Just 15 minutes from Cusco, you will be provided with both Incan and modern day knowledge of the stars. Information is provided from the interpretation rooms based in a little cabin, then head out for a star gazing session from a big Telescope. You can expect a personalized experience from this family owned business, complete with blanket and a warm cup of coca tea.