Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Running in Peru: Cusco

Unless you're comfortable navigating narrow sidewalks, dodging dog-poo, and choking down diesel exhaust, running in Cusco's no cakewalk, the altitude notwithstanding. Many of the streets are barely wide enough to accommodate a single car, much less a car and runner. People stare: the locals and other tourists, who are barely managing to walk around.

You can run in Cusco, but it takes commitment, thick skin, and a couple days of acclimatizing.

Of the few runners I saw, most looked as though they were sticking within a two-block radius of the Plaza de Armas. A young woman we met at a yummy crepe restaurant in San Blas (Creperia La Boheme) said she was paying a couple soles to use the track at the university. This may a good option if you're reasonably close to the university.

I tried a few routes during our month in the city (June-July 2014). This one gave me the best views and the fewest hassles.

About 4.5 miles
From the Plaza de Armas, hike up to the Cristo Blanco. Take in the views while you're catching your breath.

Start your run here. Head out to the main road, take a left, and make a circuit around Saksaywaman.

If you stay left after the Saksaywaman parking lot, you'll eventually find  yourself on Don Bosco, sprinting downhill after a grueling half-mile (or so) uphill. The run ends in the Plaza de Armas.


  1. Hey! I moved to Cusco for a teaching job about a week ago. I love running and am excited to get in some high altitude training:) I have gone up the stairs and onto some of the smaller village roads but have yet to find 'my route'. Let me know if you want to get a run in sometime. I am always looking for running partners. I'm on facebook as Charles Greg Neill.

    1. We'd love to run with you, Charles, but Cassie and I are back in Seattle. We were only in Peru for a few months during the summer of 2014. You might find some running buddies at the university track (UNSAAC). When we were there, we heard that some expats were able to use the track for a fee.

    2. Hey Charles I'm here until March and looking for a few running partners. LMK if you want to meet up some time. I'm over in Marcavalle area, about 4k away from Centro Historico.

  2. Hey Charles and Daily Runner I'm Pamela and I'll be in Cusco for a few weeks for work and it would be great to have running partners, I'm on facebook as Pamela Benavides