Where There are Tourists, There are Starbucks. (Even in Cusco, Peru)
Normally we don't endorse spending time in a foreign city within the familiar, American environs of a Starbucks, but sometimes a traveler just needs reliable WiFi and an easy meeting place. Yesterday, we found this to be the case for us on our very first day in Cusco, Peru. Seeing as how we kinda "collect" exotic Starbucks locations (remember the Bali temple location?), this one we had to see.
Located right on Cusco's main Plaza de Armas, it occupies the second floor of a historic palacio. The walls to divide it into seperate rooms are still there, so it's a second floor location with a ton of work nooks, comfy seating, exposed wood beam ceilings and wood floors, and even a balcony open to views of the Plaza and Catedral.
Food selection is the typical minimal variety, and the drinks are standard as well. Booowe were hoping for a Starbucks spin on the Coca Tea that helps combat altitude sickness, common to travelers arriving in this town at altitude 11,000'. Prices aren't any higher than what you'd pay for Starbucks in the USA, but here in Cusco that's crazy overpriced, not to mention carrying an Sbux cup around immediately paints you as a tourist target. We just went for the cafe del dia and did a little work on a balcony. Easy-peasy.
Note: Santiago, Chile also has excellent Starbucks locations, some with multiple levels and open-air terraces. It seems the US just gets the short straw.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]