5 Hidden Gems to Discover in Cusco

I've written about Cusco before. It's an awesome city and chances are you're going to fall in love with it with or without checking out these five awesome finds. That beings said, these five spots were some of my favorite places in Cusco and I highly recommend seeing them for yourself. Read on to discover five hidden gems that anyone visiting Cusco should make an effort to visit.

1. Yoga Room

On a narrow alley in Cusco there's an unassuming building with a piece of paper taped to the front. Most people (and there aren't many, on this street), hustle past without giving it as much as a glance. But those who do bother to read what's written on the page will find a schedule of yoga classes spelled out.

Due to my limited time in Cusco (not to mention my intense budget), I only got to visit Yoga Room once, but the class I had there was fantastic. Not only was the teacher well trained and experienced, but the space was magical. The cozy little yoga room was far from spacious, but what it lacked in square-footage it made up for in atmosphere. If you are a yogi of any sorts heading to Cusco, make sure to take a class or two at Yoga Room Cusco.

2. Green Point Vegan Restaurant

While there are two Green Point restaurants in Cusco, it remains a fairly unknown place. When we first walked in the room was suspiciously empty, but once we got our meals we knew that had more to do with a lack of marketing, because the meals were some of the best we had in Peru.

To be fair, veganism isn't really a big thing in Peru, so it's no wonder that a vegan restaurant isn't everyone's go-to dining option. That being said, even my non-vegan friend couldn't stop talking about the place for days and we ended up going to their second location later that week for their awesome lunch special. If this place existed in California, I'd eat there every day.

3. The Meeting Place

When I first discovered The Meeting Place, I thought it was just a cute café. It probably still would have made the list for it's book room, upstairs working space, extensive tea menu, and gourmet milkshakes. But it wasn't any of those things that convinced me that The Meeting Place is the coolest café in Cusco. What really sold me was their mission.

The Meeting Place is entirely volunteer run and all of their proceeds benefit local community initiatives. So you can enjoy that milkshake guilt-free knowing that every penny of your purchase will benefit non-profits and people in need in and around Cusco. Talk about a win-win.

4. OkiDoki Hostal

When we first arrived in Cusco, Maria and I checked in to what looked like a promising hostel. We were sorely disappointed. There was no hot water, there was no kitchen, the Wi-Fi hardly worked... it wouldn't have been a huge problem if I didn't have to work every day and if we weren't cooking most of our own meals, but there were countless other (better) hostels and we couldn't find a reason to stay. So we went on a mission to find a better hostel.

That's when we discovered OkiDoki Hostal. It's pretty easy to miss as it is tucked off on a random street and has a very small sign as its only signifier. But we stumbled in and fell in love. Their open courtyard, cozy rooms, full kitchen, hot showers, and high(ish) speed WiFi felt like real luxuries. We loved our time there and even ended up finding the cheapest Machupicchu tours there and booked our Inka Jungle Trek through the hostal.

5. Eusebio & Manolo

This little bakery was truly an unexpected discovery. I was planning to go to The Meeting Place, but finding it closed on Sundays, I strolled around the San Blas area and came across this gem.

Between artisan pastries and fantastic herbal teas, it was a Sarah-heaven. Not to mention the tiny hole-in-the wall shop and perfect décor looked straight out of Williamsburg. It may not have been the most South American experience of my trip, but every once in a while I love myself a good ol' hipster-style café. And Eusebio y Manolo was more than ready to provide.

#cusco #peru #destinations #southamerica

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