Ted’s Travels -Ted’s favourite “Plazitas”
After sharing with you my insights of places to escape and chill in different cities, I feel like some places are worth more detail. In this case I want to talk to you about San Blas.
San Blas is tucked away up in the northeast of the Plaza de Armas in the city of Cusco. This area is a bit different to the rest of Cusco, you will still get the touristic influx but it’s a little bit quieter. It is known as the artisans’ quarter and what a lot of youngsters would call the hipster area.
I recommend walking up any street to the north, but to have a more enjoyable time, try to take the acient Inca road towards San Blas, in that road you will see the 12-agled stone, which will take you back into Incan history and is part of the best preserved walls in Cusco. But not only that, this street is just beautiful and on a corner just before the Cuesta de San Blas you will come across the nice Jack’s Café to enjoy the best coffee in Cusco. After the energy boost of the delicious lunch and coffee at Jack’s continue on to Plaza San Blas.
You’ll then reach the tiny Iglesia San Blas famed for its intricate pulpit. The church was built in 1544 over the old Incan Temple dedicated to Illapa, the god of thunder and lightning. It is the oldest parish church in Cusco. If you’re thirsty after the walk up you´ll have a choice of bars and a plethora of cafés to pick from. A good choice for coffee and homemade cakes is The Meeting Place. This is a nonprofit café and a book exchange. KM0 is up the hill to the left side of the church. It has live music most nights of the week and a good food menu. Even if you don’t fancy eating or drinking it´s enjoyable just to wander the quaint streets and just take it all in. Around the side of the chapel there are benches, some grass and a waterfall that make it a perfect spot to sit and people watch.
The Barranco district is known as the SoHo of Lima, Peru. There are plenty of things to do in Barranco; it is full of renowned art galleries, cute boutiques and trendy coffee shops, that were once colonial mansions of Lima’s elite. Anywhere you turn, you’ll see art on the street, live music and killer bars. The Barranco neighbourhood also happens to be situated along the costal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, right next to Miraflores, making it the prime spot to view Lima’s spectacular sunsets.
Ted Dziadkiewicz is Director and Founder of Contours Travel, Australia’s longest running tour operator to Latin America. He has been more than 100 times to Latin America over the past 40 years and visited over 20 countries. If you want to know more visit www.contourstravel.com.au