Pisac is the undisputed hippy capital of the Cusco area. Dreadlocked, poncho-wearing gringos adorned in crystals, bump elbows in the market with the locals. It is a unique town that fuses mysticism and Andean traditions like nowhere else in Peru. Here’s how to soak up all of Pisac if you’re only staying for a day.
Morning coffee at El Jardin
El Jardin is the most beautiful coffee shop in Pisac—you’ll be hard pressed to find another one, even in Cusco, that can match its scenery. The coffee shop looks out into a very well kept garden that is vibrant, colorful and full of life. This is a great place to begin your day and sip on some coffee.
Machu Picchu aside, the Pisac ruins can hang with the best of them. The ruins are a labyrinth of Inca construction, going from lookout posts to farming storehouses and a little town. You get to see it all in one trip and the ruins remain in great condition. The ruins are fairly large and require about 2 to 3 hours to fully explore it all, especially if you plan on hiking to the temple and the lookout on the highest point of the mountain. The best way to get to the ruins is by taxi, which will take you from town to the backside of the mountains where you can begin and then descend to the other side. You can enter the ruins from the town itself but it will take you in the opposite direction, so you’ll need to take a taxi back to Pisac. To enter the ruins you’ll need to pay for a one-day pass or buy the multiple day option. The multi-day option is the best bet, giving you more for your money, especially if you plan on seeing other Inca ruins in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
The shopping in Pisac is another reason tourists keep coming back for more. The Pisac market takes up the entire Plaza de Armas in town, leaving no stone unoccupied by a table full of alpaca products and Andean print backpacks. On Sunday it is taken to the next level—if that was even possible—with vendors selling traditional lunches and chicha de morada added to the scene. It is a great time to visit and see the entire town come to life. If you were waiting to do all your souvenir shopping, wait no longer. You ‘ll find everything and then some in Pisac.
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