Parks in Cusco (When You Need to Escape the City)
I grew up in the Midwest, meaning there was green space EVERYWHERE. Moving down here to South America has definitely been a different experience. There is plenty of nature to explore in Peru’s Sacred Valley, but aren’t many parks in Cusco. All the ones that are listed online have almost no green areas at all to relax in. Instead, they are huge paved squares surrounded by churches and restaurants. Sure, they have a fountain or some benches, but it’s really not the same as Central Park or the Boston Common, and I was really starting to crave some grass, trees, and fresh air. If you’re in Cusco and beginning to feel the same, it’s time for a day at Llaullipata.
There’s almost no information about parks in Cusco online, and the elusive Llaullipata is no different. I’m so glad Daniel and I found it! We’ve already visited twice and it’s been the perfect escape from the city.
How to get there: The first option is to take a taxi from Cusco. All the drivers will know where it is, and the cost will be about 10 to 15 soles for the trip. If you prefer to walk, you can use this map for directions to the entrance. It’s about a 30 to 40 minute walk from Plaza de Armas in central Cusco.
What to do: There are a few different areas to enjoy in Llaullipata. First, there is a large field with fire pits, where you can spread out a blanket and spend some time chilling in the sun or shade, reading a book or enjoying a picnic. There are also hiking trails that criss cross through the park. One goes down to a small river, while others run through the tree filled forest. If you’re in Cusco in July, there is even a yearly festival held there. I was also told that there are some Incan ruins of ceremonial altars in the park… although I never found them, it didn’t stop us form exploring while we looked!
What’s nearby: Loving finally spending time in the parks in Cusco, and don’t want to leave at the end of the day? There are a few different options to extend your trip to Llaullipata. One of the only campgrounds in Cusco, Quinta Lala, it just up the street. If you like to camp, you can rent some tents, sleeping bags, and gear from one of the many shops in Cusco, and snag a spot there in the great outdoors for the night. You can also visit the Planetarium Cusco which is very close by. I (think) reservations need to be made an advance, but this small planetarium has glowing reviews from people who have taken tours of the place and learned about Cusco’s night sky and the Incan beliefs surrounding it.
When you’re on the hunt for parks in Cusco, it’s hard to find green space and nature nearby to relax in. After being here for over a month, it’s definitely clear to me that Laullipata is the best choice for when you want to escape the city. It’s close to Cusco, has a forest, trails, and clearings to explore, and has plenty of other options nearby to extend your day. Check it out, and let me know what you think about this hidden gem!
All my love,
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