Located over 11,000 feet above sea level, and surrounded with archaeological wonder, is Cusco, Peru. Testing the lung capacity of millions of new selfie seekers each year, Cuscos quirky vibe and adventurous spirit are sure to leave a lasting memory for you and your special someone. Here are a few romantic activities and locations that will have you two sharing glances in no time.
Visit Cuscos Plaza de Armas
The heart of the city, Cuscos Plaza de Armas is a giant social hub bursting with activity and good vibes. Multi-level colonial buildings surround the massive square, with a giant fountain at its center displaying a statue of the the great Inca Emperor, Pachacuti. During the day you will find many vendors displaying their wares, whether your seeking some colorful handmade Peruvian accessories or are after the perfect woven Alpaca top, Plaza de Armas is a great place to spend some time with your sweetheart.
Tip: Any date can be ruined if one of you gets sick, if your new to Cusco and start to feel ill, try sipping one some Coca tea. Great to use if you have any symptoms pertaining to Altitude Sickness such as headache or upset stomach.
Explore San Blas
Located a short walk from Plaza de Armas, head off down Hathunrumiyoc street(The Inca Road). San Blas is a labyrinth of small streets, winding walkways and steep precarious stairs that provide for a perfect photo opp at every corner. Here you will find many small cafes or bars offering nightly(and daily) drink specials, try a Pisco Sour, a Peruvian alcoholic beverage that is absolutely delicious. Take your time exploring this area, the combination of stairs and people dodging can be absolutely exhausting. Check out the plaza in San Blas as well, at night this is a perfect location to sit and enjoy the small light and water display at the center, a quiet, intimate moment with the lights of the city as your backdrop.
Tip: Nobody wants to make out with cracked lips, grab some lip balm and use it often, as Cusco will wreck havoc on your lips. Fast acting Medicated ointment can be found for about 11 Soles at most pharmacies.
Go on a lesser known hike
There is a lot of activity in Cusco, and finding a quiet moment can be difficult. If you and your sugar-muffin are up to the task, head off towards a lesser known hike to one of multiple locations right outside Cusco. The Devils Balcony is a wonderful place, a walk-through cave system with some spectacular views, located about 15min via bus ride, right outside Cusco, for a round trip cost of 2 Soles per person. The bus drops you off at a trail entrance, the trail will take approximately 30min and is an absolutely beautiful trek. Along a windy river, over some rolling hills, and down into the caves you will go. The Devils Balcony is an intimate, adventurous few hours that will leave you both with fond memories. Looking for more? Try having a picnic at the Temple of the Moon, a beautiful location surrounded by forests sprinkled with Coca and Eucalyptus trees, giving the area a magical, ethereal feel that will leave you both with a needed break from the hustle and bustle that is Cusco.
Tip: Download maps.me for your smart phone, a great offline maps/navigation app that will save you a lot of time in finding some of the trickier to find destinations surrounding Cusco.
Try some adventurous cuisine
You've seen the signs, yes, Peru is known for having Cuy on the menu, and Cusco has many menus. Nothing says romance quite like having a full sized Guinea Pig delivered to your table as your appetizer. Known as a local delicacy and usually reserved for special occasions such as holidays, the method of eating Cuy is similar to that of chicken, just tear off the legs. Also found in Cusco, and known for being juicy and delicious, are Alpaca steaks and burgers, a very lean meat that is said to be similar to lamb. Expect to pay slightly above average for both of these food options as the locals know its a must try for many tourists. Are you and your date not interested in devouring adorable local delicacies? Reward your sweetheart with a sweet treat from one of the local bakeries or pastry shops. Many local ingredients are used in the savory sauces, such as the Lucuma fruit, a fruit found only in this particular region of the Andes mountains as well as northern Chile.
Tip: Be wary of food from street vendors, usually costing only slightly less than something you could get in a restaurant, the 2 Sole you might save does not make up for the 2 days you might spend out of commission if you get sick.
Cusco is a very unique city, offering many unique experiences. Whether your gasping for air at every corner, getting lost in an endless maze of stairs, or freezing your butt off from the cold Peruvian nights, doing so with someone you love allows for a very magical experience.