Curry in Cusco!! Foodie review – a continuation. Megan Malley

Last year Megan Malley, Threads of Peru intern, had the delightful task of sampling a variety of Cusco’s restaurants for our Blog. A continuation from her earlier posts, here is another to wet your appetite for a cuisine other than that you may have expected in Cusco!

As surprising as it may sound to find Indian food in Peru, make sure not to skip over Korma Sutra in the artsy and quaint San Blas hillside neighborhood.   With a completely open kitchen, this small candlelit restaurant allows the mouth-watering scent of curry to waft out onto Tandapata street to lure in passersby.


Although the curry bowls aren’t cheap, they are sometimes discounted for occasions such as the restaurant’s anniversary. If you order the “very spicy” level of chicken, lamb, or tofu curry, make sure to accompany it with a mango or banana lassi to cool off your mouth!  Run by the owners of the former innovative Sumaq Misky, they bring the same Andean pizzaz to Indian food.


Alpaca Curry anyone? For alterntaive suggestions see our restaurant link:

A special thank you!

Apus Peru has always been interested in being a responsible business that treads lightly and ‘gives back’ to the communities where it travels.

This desire eventually grew to be a not for profit organisation, Threads of Peru. $15 from every Apus Peru client is donated to Threads of Peru as a way of directly supporting these high Andean communities.

coin purses - a selection

coin purses – a selection

Now, as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for your support, Apus Peru has ordered coin purses from Huaran, a weaving community at the beginning of the Lares trek. Every Apus Peru traveller will receive one of these gorgeous coin purses, perfect to stash your stuff or even carry your USB.
coin purse foto 3

“These coin purses provide Apus Peru clients with a reminder of their Peru visit while also providing a tangible investment in local communities,” said Ariana Svenson, Apus Peru Co-Founder.

Here we have two of the wonderful weavers, Bacelia and Juana.

Bacelia Condori Quispe

Bacelia Condori Quispe

For more information about Threads of Peru, go to
Or, should you love the coin purses and want more please check them out here

Juana Paola Siccus

Juana Paola Siccus

Family trekking in the Andes.

My name is Matt, I work as a Travel Consultant for Apus Peru. I’d like to introduce myself as a new and regular blogger to report first-hand information on some of the Apus Peru treks and to obtain up-to-date relative trip information and experiences of the treks associated with Apus Peru. I am absolutely mad for the mountains and since I am in the middle of the Andes why not take the chance to explore what’s just a stones-throw from our office.

So here goes the first blog! This week I had the pleasure to accompany 2 families with children aged between 8 and 10 walking 16 miles (just under 26 kilometres) over 2 days across the high Andes to the ruins of Huchuy Qosqo in the Sacred Valley.

This would be a tough test for all!

6 Walking through Pongobamba village1 hour in and I caught the first, “are we nearly there yet?” from one of the kids. This did not become a habit I am pleased to announce. The reason for this may well have been the opportunities of interaction with animals, the locals, ever-changing scenery and great weather that we had ensuring that the younger trekkers did not become bored in any way.

One of the children could speak some Spanish, which was a blessing as at one point several children from a local school caught our eye whilst picnicking. She was gently encouraged to go over and make introductions and soon followed a little bit of banter and exchange of conversation.

Local children during the trekA little later, as we made our way onwards we were accompanied on our journey by some more locals who asked us where we were going – easy to answer that  “Huchuy Qosqo” – understood in Quechua as ‘Old Cusco’ – the language of which most people of these parts speak.

17 Chatting with the locals

Our climb to the top was hard-going but we made it to our camp spot.

The following day we passed through a very remote village called Pucamarca, which still uses thatched roofs that are rarely seen amongst the modernization of Andean villages these days!


Then we ran into some problems. We were stopped in our tracks. We could not go any further for at least 30 minutes. Our trail was blocked!!! Landslides no, llamas were the issue here!

They had our route guarded and were not moving – that was that!

27 Llamas!!! 50 of them

We met a local trader who offered to sell some handicrafts. We liked buying from her and giving some income to someone who probably doesn’t see tourists coming through her village often.

Did we pass any other tourists along the way of the entire trip?  No, not one!

31 Maybe a little more than the first price given though

The next section on from the village was rather ‘cool’ as we proceeded through a canyon where there were some waterfalls and wooden bridges – could well have been a set off an Indiana Jones movie!

33 Bridge 1

We arrived at the Sacred Valley in dramatic form. There were some amazing panoramic vistas and all the way to the site of Huchuy Qosqo itself. It is claimed these ruins were built under the orders of Viracocha –  the 8th reigning Inca and were constructed to house Stone Masons working in the area while they were constructing the surrounding villages and temples.

A 2 hour, steep descent on switch-backs to the valley floor got us to our final stop of the journey, Lamay. This town was definitely not like that of Pisac or Ollantaytambo and full of tour groups.

41 making our way down some seriously steep switch-backs to our final goal, the village of Lamay

A nice shaded spot with a cold soda and beer was just the right touch to mark the end; flake down on to the grass with weary legs but contented trekkers, before heading back to Cusco.

42 Happy ending, although tired

We asked the kids at the end of the trek, to count how many kinds of animals they had seen on the way and they got to 11 – Pigs, sheep, llamas, Condors, Ducks, Chickens, Cows, Donkeys, horses, Guinea Pigs, Alpacas – this took a while, but then they started on the bugs….!

Are you an adventurous family with children that would like to trek in the Cusco region?  Missed out on the Inca trail, then why not contact our family oriented sales consultants who can offer honest and helpful advice about trekking with kids? We run many private treks for families all over the Andes and our guides are experienced in making your trek a family adventure work for you and your children!

Huchuy Qosqo trek, being “easy” by Andean standards (that is, with not too many climbs) and also short with just 1 nights camping, is the perfect way for a family to test their trekking abilities as a group, while also having an adventure right on the doorstep of Cusco!

Matt Waugh, 3rd of June 2014


Cusco Wining and Dining.. a continuation

Given the fact that 40% of travellers come to Peru for gastronomic tourism we are following on from Megan Malley’s ‘foody’ blog about Cicciolina in November. Here we have a review of another of Cusco’s high end restaurants; Limo! Go ahead Megan… 


Thank you to M GASTON for the foto View from the balcony at Limo, Plaza de Armas

Thank you to M GASTON for the foto of Cusco’s Plaza de Armas

Limo restaurant has one of the greatest dining views of the city. If you book ahead and request a table on the enclosed balcony, you will be looking right out over the beautiful flower-filled Plaza de Armas and the surrounding cathedrals. It is also the best place to go for gourmet Peruvian food, and is particularly renowned for its ceviches.


For those with an interest in gourmet Peruvian food, this is one of several restaurants run by Coque Ossio, an internationally renowned Peruvian chef. I started the night with a Pisco Sour, the traditional cocktail of choice here, but the menu also includes an enormous selection of drinks made with different types of Pisco. The kitchen always sends out a complimentary cup of crispy potato wedges with three traditional Peruvian dipping sauces. I ordered a main course of Asian-style ceviche, which was absolutely delicious.


The menu is well thought out, and the dishes are complex and flavorful. The sushi at Limo is unbeatable, and if you sit at the bar you can watch the chef make each roll by hand. 


Well then, thanks to Megan for her Limo review. Look out for the third and final installment covering 4 more unmissable eateries in Cusco, Peru: South America’s leading culinary destination 2013, World Travel Awards

Cusco wining and dining, by Megan Malley

Megan has finished her internship with Threads of Peru, but while she was here managed to get around the city and sample some of Cusco’s ample and varied eateries. Here we have one of a set of Blog articles providing a tantalising insight to tickle your taste buds! Thank you Megan for your time..

Trip Advisor ranked no. 15 our of 353 restaurants in Cusco! Thank you TRIP ADVISOR for the foto.

Trip Advisor ranked no. 15 out of 353 restaurants in Cusco! Thank you TRIP ADVISOR for the foto.

A short one-block stroll from the Plaza de Armas, Cicciolina is arguably the best restaurant in Cusco. Tucked up on a side street, the atmosphere is great for a romantic dinner or a fun night out with friends. The style of the food is a creative fusion of Italian and Peruvian, using traditional South American ingredients like quinoa and alpaca steak. They also have a very nice selection of wines from Peru, Argentina and Chile. When the plates come out, the food is arranged like a work of art. It’s almost a shame to eat the beautifully designed meals. Our appetizer was 4 polenta squares wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with a reduced balsamic, which turned out to be one of the most creative and delicious dishes I’ve tried. For the main course, we ordered golden beet ravioli with a pesto sauce, as well as a tagliatelle with sautéed Mediterranean vegetables. Everything tasted fresh and delicious. Find out more for yourself at: 

Also run by the same owners, Baco Wine Bar comes highly recommended:

A view of the restaurant bar, Megan Malley

A view of the restaurant bar, Megan Malley

TREKKING IN THE ANDES: Things I wish I’d have known

When I began my 5-day trek last month with Apus Peru, I didn’t know what to expect. I had done a bit of backpacking around the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and a 4-day trek in the Himalayas of Nepal, but I knew this would be a completely different experience.

Megan on a warm sunny stretch of the  Vilcambamba trek!

Megan on a warm sunny stretch of the Vilcambamba trek!

The first thing I noticed on my trek was the climate of extremes. In our 8-hour drive from Cusco to the starting point of the trek, we drove over a high mountain pass where I could see my breath in the thin cold air. A few hours later, we were in the jungle, eating bananas and sweating in the hot sun. In the Andes, the weather changes drastically from moment to moment, especially as the sun goes down. As soon as sunset is over, the temperature drops immediately to sub-zero Celsius. This means that, when trekking in the Andes, layers are essential. When we started trekking early each morning, I would shed my jacket, fleece, and thermal in the first thirty minutes of sunlight, eventually hiking in just a sleeveless top. Packing multiple layers that can be easily shed is a very smart move.

Camping at altitude - you need to be prepared!

Camping at altitude – you need to be prepared!

When I was sleeping up at the high-elevation sites, even equipped with a cold weather sleeping bag, I froze during the night. I’d definitely recommend renting a high altitude bag if you feel the cold! I remember waking up in the middle of the night shivering, even with a knit hat and gloves on. I would also recommend packing warm clothes even if it takes up room in your pack. You can send it with the mules during the day and use it at the campsite when the sun goes down. At Machu Picchu, however, the weather was scorching. In the humid jungle, when the sun is beating down, it gets very hot very quickly. I wore shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt, and still spent the day sweating my way around the ruins.

I almost did not bring a flashlight on my trek. That would have been a big mistake. In the Andes, the sun sets around 6:00pm every night, and its pitch black by 7:00pm. If I hadn’t brought a light, I could have run into some serious trouble with a misstep in the outhouse tent. A water bottle is another must; the cook boils water every night to fill the passengers’ bottles in the morning, and again at lunchtime. It’s important to stay hydrated after sweating out all of the liquid during the day, so one or even two water bottles should definitely be on the packing list. Another important item is bug spray. The insects are not an issue up in the mountains, but in the jungle they are relentless.

Our fabulous Guide Urbana, leading the way!

Our fabulous Guide Urbano, leading the way!

The terrain on our trek was a bit different than what I had expected. I had envisioned spending the first two days hiking exclusively uphill, then after crossing the summit hike downhill for the last two days.  Although my guide told me that this is the pattern on some treks, on the Vilcabamba to Machu Picchu route ( we crossed multiple passes each day, going up for a few hours, then down for the next few.

Snowcapped Splendour!

Snowcapped Splendour!

This afforded us some incredible vistas more than once per day. These downhill sections were tough on the knees; I didn’t bring hiking poles, but they would have been very helpful during these times and I’d recommend renting the poles if you don’t have your own.  The major challenges I faced were bug bits, sunburn, and hunger. Apus provides snacks for mid-morning, and the meals are very filling, but I was still glad to have brought little chocolate crackers to tide me over while hiking and burning so many calories.

Nosey llama, early morning misty clouds and Machu Picchu!!

Nosy llama, early morning misty clouds and Machu Picchu!!

Hopefully this blog helps give you some more background to what you might need to bring. Although I could have been a little better prepared if I had known exactly what I would be facing, I had an incredible 5 days trekking with Apus. The trek exceeded my expectations and I would do it again in a heartbeat.


World Food Day 16th October

Today is World Food Day! World Food Day was endorsed in 1980 to acknowledge that “food is a requisite for human survival and well-being and a fundamental human necessity.” This is a day to highlight the global issues of starvation, malnutrition and poverty.

Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) used bright colours and organic forms to express a reconciliation of humans with nature, notions that echo this year’s World Food Day theme. Image courtesy of the Hundertwasser Foundation.

Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) used bright colours and organic forms to express a reconciliation of humans with nature, notions that echo this year’s World Food Day theme. Image courtesy of the Hundertwasser Foundation.

Unacceptably, some of the more isolated high Andean communities across the country struggle with these issues all too frequently.

One of the World Food Day objectives set by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) is ‘to encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories, in decisions and activities influencing their living conditions.’

At Apus Perú our business is trekking the Andes. We do this on a ‘leave no trace’, sustainably and environmentally conscious basis. But what of the families whose paths we do cross? Those who live where we pass through?

Chaullacocha, Lares trek Photograph courtesy of Michael Marquand

Chaullacocha, Lares trek Photograph courtesy of Michael Marquand

From the onset, Apus Perú have supported local high Andean communities through the development and support of various projects from our mutual work with Threads of Perú, to our Annual Christmas Chocolatada:

Every person who treks with Apus Peru donates $15 to Threads of Peru, or sustainability projects in the Andes.  Since starting out, Apus Peru has donated close to $50,000 to Andean communities with the direct intention of alleviating poverty and more specifically, acknowledging and supporting the role that empowered women can play in facing sub standard conditions.

Dana Blair, Project Coordinator for Threads of Peru meeting with the women weavers of Chaullacocha

Dana Blair, Project Coordinator for Threads of Peru in a business meeting with the women weavers of Chaullacocha

We firmly believe that the work we do with rural Andean communities greatly reduces the risk factors contributing to the core issues that World Food Day is all about. For more information about how Apus Perú and their partner NGO Threads of Perú address poverty in indigenous rural communities please visit:

The women of Chaullacocha displaying some of their wares

The women of Chaullacocha displaying some of their wares

Now for a more ‘foody’ perspective… two staple produce of Perú; Quinoa and Potato, can be made into deliciously heart-warmingly, tasty recipes. Here are two of the best (and easiest) to try your hand at: 

Quinoa in plant form, beautiful, colourful and best of all .. tasty and good for you!

Quinoa in plant form, beautiful, colourful and best of all .. tasty and good for you!

Risotto de Quinoa. Ingredients:  onion, bacon, aji Amarillo, white, black AND red quinoa, (who knew?), chicken breast, salt, pepper, crema de leche (sour cream), cheese.

Now for the technique: Cover with cold water and bring the black, red and white quinoa to the boil until it is tender. Fry the chicken breast and cut it in parts. Fry the bacon, onion and aji Amarillo and put the quinoa in it. Add salt and pepper and fry it for a few seconds in the crema de leche. Serve on a plate with the chicken on top with a sprinkle of cheese for the final taste! YUM!

Delicious: boiled potatoes in a creamy, spicy sauce

Delicious: boiled potatoes in a creamy, spicy sauce

For the Papa Huancaina click on this page for a visual step by step recipe treat!

Then once you have finished your delicious plates of Peruvian goodness, consider this for suggestions on how to limit your food waste:

Eat thoughtfully! Happy Trekking!!

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation

UN Food and Agriculture Organisation