The Peruvian sol is the official currency of Peru. You can come with your local currency and change it to soles in most cities. The first thing to do before travelling to a new country is to know the cost of life, but walking on the streets of that country is the best way to truly know. Here we talk about what you can buy for just one Peruvian sol.
In Cusco, one of the biggest cities in Peru, there is a lot of commercial activity. You can find it in businesses, of course, but also on the sidewalks there are street vendors, who sell everything from clothing to food. For only a few soles you can buy quite a lot in Peru. Here we will talk about what the value of a Peruvian sol is on the street.
VIDEO de lo que SE puede COMPRAR en CUSCO con un SOL
What you can buy with one sol, on the streets of Cusco
The most attractive section of Cusco is centro historico. But if you live far from here and you have not yet acclimatized to the altitude, you can take a bus (colectivo). The priceof a ticket is .80 centavos (a fraction of a sol). It will save your energy, and be faster, so that you can properly enjoy the center.
If you are hungry but you do not want to eat heavy foods, you can get foods offered by the local vendors. They are traditional foods offered, such as churros with manjar or dulce de leche (sweetened condensed milk or caramel). These only cost one sol and are very rich. There is also slices of pineapple, watermelon, or other fruits you can get in many shapes. Outside of Mercado San Pedro you can get a whole pineapple! You have to walk a few blocks outside of the Plaza de Armas to arrive to this market. All days of the week you should be able to find these prices.
If you are okay with walking through the market you can buy a huge variety of fruits and vegetables for only one sol: potatoes, avocados, mandarins, bananas, plantains, onions, many varieties of peppers, apples, sugarcane, and traditional exotic fruits. Some of the local fruits you can find are passionfruit, pepino, lucuma, papaya, dragonfruit, and cocona. You can get a lot of variety and and quantity for very little money.
Kill the Cold with a Peruvian Sol
Cusco is a city at a very high altitude. The temperature can change drastically throughout the day. You might be out and about at the moments that the sun sets, and experience these temperature differences. The nights tend to be cold, if you are walking around the city and night and your jacket isn´t keeping you warm enough, there are lots of tasty warm options. You can buy a tea of an emollient from many street vendors. It usually is a generous serving that comes in a glass cup, and will only cost you one sol.
Getting warm was never as cheap as it is in Cusco. Take advantage! Enjoy a good tea or emollients.
If you want to prepare your own infusions at home, you should go to the market. In any market of the city they sell branches of herbs like the muña (used by the Incas, recommended for when you are in poor health), or valerian (ideal to sleep). It only costs one sol, and they will give you a good bunch of medicinal herbs so that you can prepare a tea. You can also get instant coffee for a sol in any businesses downtown or in neighborhoods.
More food for one sol, on any corner
A daily menú is usually offered in small restaurants in Cusco that only cost 5 to 10 soles, depending on the area of the city. A menú will include a first plate (soup), a second (a dish of your choosing, the principal dish), a drink, and sometimes a small dessert (jello or fruit). These restaurants can be distinguished by their signs outside that will list the principal dishes they are offering that day.
But if you only want to eat something a little lighter (a menu is a surprising amount of food), there are lots of other options. You can get “papita con huevo” small chunks of boiled potato with an egg, or salchicas (fries with hot dog slices), a slice of pizza, a stuffed baked potato, fried yucca, pedazo de torta (fry bread), boiled quail eggs, or olives in a bag.
And you can also get typical drinks for one sol. For example, a glass of chicha morada, chicha de jora, a strawberry, apple, pineapple, passion fruit or fruit juices. There are many options so you will not get bored.
Enjoy your stay in Cusco, and walk the streets to discover other things that you can buy with only one Peruvian sol. There are surprises around every corner!