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We've spent the last three weeks in Cusco, studying Spanish, enjoying the history, and being frustrated with problems here on the site. we haven't done all the touristy things, but we've been enjoying relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere. Cusco Cusco is incredible. It's supposed to be laid out like a puma, but we haven't really seen it. It's in a valley, with the centre of action as the Plaza de Armas. Up one side of the valley is the hippy district of San Blas, with the head of the puma at the top. That's where the iconic White Christ is situated, with the Sacsaywaman fortress nearby. Food One thing that we love about travel is the food. And Cusco has a lot of it. We enjoyed juice and beer milkshake in the market, lots and lots of menus del dia, and the street food was varied and interesting. It was just sad that we only found that empanada vendor near our school in our last week. Things to do There's heaps to do around Cusco. It's the jumping-off point for Machu Picchu, and if you don't want to pay through the nose, there are lots of other ruins nearby too. We loved Tipon and our visit to the Sacred Valley with our friend Renzo. ATMs We've done a bit of experimenting here in Peru to find the best ATMs. Globalnet is really prevalent, and is often found in shops and hotels, but they have a limit of 400 soles and they charge you on this end to withdraw cash. We like BCP, which has a 700 sol limit and there's one in the Plaza de Armas and one around the corner on Avenida del Sol. School We've been studying at Wiracocha Spanish Language school on Cuesta San Blas, which is situated in the hilly hippie district of San Blas. There's a lot of nice places to stay around here, though the backpacker district is on the other side of the Plaza de Armas. We really enjoyed Cusco, and it's definitely worth a visit. Make sure you see what it has to offer, don't just get caught up in the tourist trail.
Direct download: Episode2014920-20Cusco2C20Peru.mp3
Category:Podcast, On Location -- posted at: 3:22pm EDT

I find it strange that concerns about safety are some of the main reasons people don't like to travel. Demolishing those fears is one of the things we like to do around here. Today we speak with travel security expert Craig Bidois, who covers travel safety strategies before leaving home, during transit times and while you are in foreign lands. For more, see http://indietravelpodcast.com

South America us huge, and full of interesting places to explore. Distances between destinations aren't short, there are no trains to speak of, and flights aren't exactly budget, so you'll probably spend a fair bit of time on buses. We've travelled a fair bit by bus in Chle and Peru, and we've picked up a few ideas that could help to smooth your journey. For journeys of less than six hours, your best bet is to travel by day and enjoy the scenery (at least in the south of Chile, in the north it's quite repetitive). But for longer journeys, save your days for sight-seeing and travel by night. The buses are generally safe and comfortable, and you can increase your comfort by paying more for a better seat. The names vary from company to company, but generally there are four classes of seats on night buses. For more visit: http://indietravelpodcast.com