12 sided stone cusco peru

Cusco: Museo Inka, San Blas & Chicha

Standing by the famous 12-sided stone....at least I think this is the one...

Our first tourist stop on Monday was the Museo Inka. As promised, the museum itself is nothing fancy but there was some good info about the various indigenous cultures of Peru. It was cool to learn about all the cultures that came before the Inca even:

  • The Paraca tribe made beautiful woven funeral cloths
  • The Pukara would include feline faces on their pottery and art
  • The Mochika had 11 different colors they used in painting pottery
  • The Nazca, while famous for their lines, also made really beautiful pottery with many colors and in lots of animal forms, even mythical creatures
  • The Wari tribe, which took over Cusco for awhile, also included feline faces in their art, complete with colorful eyes
  • Of course the highlight for me was seeing the Inca mummies, still very well intact

It was interesting to finally see cats represented. Most ancient cultures seem to have recognized something spiritual or significant in felines, but I hadn’t heard or seen too much of that in Peru until now. There are definitely a lot of dogs around town, but barely any cats.

After lunch, we went up by the San Blas neighborhood to see the Iglesia de San Blas. It was a very simple church, but known for its intricately carved wooden pulpit, complete with human skull! We also took advantage of San Blas’ unique shops and galleries to do some shopping. Continuing our souvenir shopping closer to Plaza de Armas, I officially topped myself in buying the most ridiculous souvenir ever by spending too much money on an antique iron that weighs probably 20 lbs. I also finally got a photo with a little lamb!

Antique plancha from Cusco
Me and a baby lamb

That night, we had dinner at Chicha, a restaurant of famed chef Gaston Acurio. Considering all the hype, the rest of the group was disappointed in the food. I felt it was simple but good. The tamales appetizer and pumpkin ravioli I ordered were pretty much what I expected so overall I was happy with the dinner, although it didn’t necessarily blow my mind. I’ll admit that the ambiance definitely didn’t compare to Fallen Angel.

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