Cusco, Peru – Camping in Cusco

We heard it must be difficult to find the only campground in Cusco and were warned to follow the GPS. We don’t completely succeed in finding the way immediately, we still drive strangely, but a motorcycle policeman seems to await me. He offers to go ahead for a while. He can’t drive, he stumbles again and again, turns left where it’s not allowed, goes through red lights, and finally manages to lose us. Who cares, we ask around, and before we can get mislead by the GPS another time we find our friend again. He gestures that we just have to go straight now – well, nearly. To find camping Quinta Lala is another story. It is outside city centre close to the Sacsaywamán ruins, isn’t signposted, and the GPS wants to take a country lane. It is pitch-black since Cusco centre, so we don’t even find the nondescript wooden entrance gate. But yet helping hands point, helping mouths shout, a helping mother runs, and we stand on the crooked lawn.

The camp ground is rustic, but well organised. Four-page instructions in English inform not only about the camping prices (per night 10 PEN per person and vehicle = 30 PEN for us, electricity 3, internet 5), but the services as well: e.g. two organic eggs from the hens freely going around for 1 Sol, 1 large bottle of beer 6 (if available), one washing machine 5-6 kg 10 PEN aso. Where do I find the supermarket, the best restaurants, dark bread, or Dutch cheese? Where can I repair my overland truck or vehicles of certain brands, or fill my gas tank? Where do I find English speaking physicians? On which ways do I reach Machu Picchu? This and more is answered by the manual.

Quinta Lala campground is usually closed during rainy season, because the lawn is impassable then. This year it had rained much less than in other years, but 2WD mobiles plough the meadow anyway. Nobody in Cusco knows Quinta Lala. Ask for Sacsaywamán ruins and turn left before the ruins in a right-hand bend, following a sign Hotel Inca Tambo – just if your GPS goes crazy as well (S 13°30’20.8’’ W 71°59’06.3’’, 3.619 m).

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