Category Archives: South America- Peru

Chez Maggy – Cusco, Peru

Such a long day! Woke up at 4am to be the first ones at Machu Picchu when it opened at 6am… rushed back down to Aquas Calientes to catch the 3pm train back to Cusco but due the floods, we had to get off the train and take a bus to Cusco.. and from the train station, had to lug our backpacks 20 minutes to our hostel…..

A good thing about our hostel is that it’s right next to the Plaza de Armas… so we could sight see while looking for a place for dinner!

Cusco’s Cathedral

Even though it was past 8pm at this point and the only meal we had was breakfast (and I didn’t even eat dinner the night before!), we still took our time to look for a restaurant that served cuy, a local delicacy.

We found Chez Maggy.. and it has a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence!  I love the atmosphere at this restaurant because it has live music.. from traditional Peruvian band to a piano player.

free appetizer

guacamole with tortilla chips

my vegetable soup…… I was still sick…. I ended up switching with my friend for her quinoa soup (for protein) and that began my current obsession with quinoa.

my friend and I shared a half portion of cuy al horno (woodfire oven guinea pig).. yes, so the delicacy we were looking for was guinea pig….  I guess it’s not pet-material in Peru and it’s bigger than I imagined! I only had a bite of it… it wasn’t really meaty and tasted a bit gamey…. I don’t really like it..and was sort off grossed out by the appearance..

my other friends ordered the whole portion so you can see the guinea pig in its entirety….  you can even see its nails…..

FAIM? un peu… (still sick)

Chez Maggy

Procuradores 374 | Procuradores 365-344, Cusco, Peru
084255448
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Off to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, Peru

From Ollantaytambo, we took the Peru Rail to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.  We didn’t have enough time to do the infamous 4 days Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu so we settled for the comfy way up!

Who would have thought the train trip would be so luxe?  Food and drink are included!

Nevertheless, I was still too sick to eat it…

Aguas Calientes … the gateway to Machu Picchu….the town actually has a hot spring.. hence, its name..

This is a town built just for Machu Picchu and only caters to tourists..

We went to a random restaurant and this was when I was the sickest…..I threw up in the toilet and was extremely nauseated.  I only ordered soup but I couldn’t even finish that.

Meanwhile, my friends had steak and grilled alpaca!

That night, I didn’t even know if I could wake up the next morning at 4am to go to Machu Picchu……

But I did.. and it was amazing!  Thank God!   We were one of the first ones up and managed to enjoy the archaeological wonder before the crowds.

I didn’t really have dinner that night and only had a banana in the morning, but I managed to hike up Huayna Picchu (the mountain in the background)!

We left Machu Picchu around noon in order to catch our train back to Cusco and we didn’t have time for lunch.

Even though I had an empty stomach and the food on the train looked pretty appetizing, I still didn’t have an appetite to take a bite.

I think I would have had an even better Machu Picchu experience if I didn’t have the stomach bug 😦

Faim? still sick!

Coffee Tree – Ollantaytambo, Peru

The next and last day in Ollantaytambo, we had lunch at Coffee Tree after exploring the ruins.

I love how most cafes in town have free wifi!

mate de coca…..

steamed vegetables... Probably the first time I had vegetables in few days.. cause I won’t eat raw salad..

chicken empanada…. non-flakely and non-buttery crust and tough and dry chicken filling….

Thank goodness I didn’t have an appetite then or else I’ll be foodie deprived….

Coffee Tree

Plaza de Armas, Ollantaytambo, Peru

Heart’s Cafe @ Ollantaytambo, Peru

After the pizza dinner, I really wanted to go back to the hostel to sleep but my friends wanted dessert. 

We went to Heart’s cafe.. and I just sat there.  I was so sick that I PASSED ON DESSERT!

My friends said it was pretty good.. but I was so sick that they couldn’t even tempt me!

picture of Heart’s Cafe in the morning..

Heart’s Cafe

Avenida Ventiderio in Ollantaytambo, Peru

(if walking towards the ruins, the cafe is right before the bridge)

Pizzeria Restaurant Inti Killa – Ollantaytambo, Peru

For dinner, we went to the recommended pizzeria located at the main square.

It’s funny how we still haven’t tried Peruvian cuisine yet!

I really like the traditional rustic decor..

oven-fired pizza

At this point, it was my 3rd day of  having gastroenteritis and still did not have an appetite.  I didn’t even care what I ate… so I couldn’t remember what pizzas these are.  All I can remember is that the pizzas were warm not hot.  Oven fired pizzas should be hot!  Seriously, the best pizza I’ve had so far is still the one in Nepal.

My friend also had a Pisco Sour, the national drink.  It’s made of pisco liquor, citrus juice and egg white.  It tasted really strong!  I prefer sticking to my mate de coca!

FAIM? un peu..

Pizzeria Restaurant Inti Killa

Plaza Principal de Ollantaytambo, Ollantaytambo 084, Peru
+(51)084436746

Street food @ Ollantaytambo, Peru

Before going on the trip, I wasn’t gonna eat any street food.. but then, we passed by this BBQ stand in Ollantaytambo…

It’s grilled.. so this should be safe!  We ordered 2 each of beef and chicken..

extremely oily and tough to chew…. and the meat + potatoes were just lukewarm….. it hasn’t been grilled for long enough!

faim? non non..

Street food @ Ollantaytambo, Peru

Puka Rumi – Ollantaytambo, Peru

Right after landing in Cusco, we immediately went down to Sacred Valley.  Since it is at a lower elevation than Cusco, we decided to stay a night at Ollantaytambo before going to Machu Picchu.

Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor during the Inca Empire and has the famous Ollantaytambo ruins.  The above picture is a picture of the town taken from the ruins.

Most of the stones here are laid down during the Inca era!

This photo is my favourite  photo I took on the trip… the girls are so cute!

We stayed at Casa de Wow and

they gave us a map of the recommended restaurants in town.

For our first meal in town, we picked Puka Rumi… apparently, it has the best burrito!  It’s located next to the entrance to Ollantaytambo ruins.

very rustic decor..

mate de coca (coca tea)… apparently this helps/prevents altitude sickness and this was my drink staple at every meal.   Coca tea leaves are the source for cocaine base anhd it’s supposedly illegal in the US unless it’s decocainized.  But hey! it’s legal in Peru and Bolivia!

Everyone knows that to prevent altitude sickness, you should avoid alcohol… but my alcoholic friend had to have a beer for lunch…

free appetizer!

At this point, I was still having stomach flu so I shared a burger and burritos with my friends.

DIY burritos! Look at the generous spread of toppings!

I put so much toppings that I couldn’t wrap it!

my other friend ordered grilled alpaca….  surprisingly, this was really tender and was one of the foodie highlights… the green pea mash was pretty good too!

Even though we only stayed in Ollantaytambo for a day, it was one of the most memorable stays of the trip because I loved the small town Peruvian experience. 

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Puka Rumi

next to the Ollantaytambo ruins