One of the principle arteries of Cuzco, the cosmopolitan walking street Marques is only two blocks from Cuzco´s main plaza.
It is a popular street since on it are found many different businesses, from restaurants to juice stores, clothing stores, spas, and tattoo parlors. There is also a handicraft fair that is open. Everyday of the week, morning and afternoon, Marques fills with people who are shopping or just people watching.
As the days begin people gather on Marques on both corners where there are two news stands. Local people gather in a circle around them to read what they can of the day’s news.
Because it receives so much traffic needy beggars as well as back-pack carrying tourists will sit there with their instruments and play. They ask for a donation from the population in response to their art. They will play instruments such as flutes (quenas), guitars, charangos, and others.
On the corner of Marques where it opens on the San Francisco plaza you find the fair of the School of Fine Arts. There students show their works. From time to time they turn the street into an art show. Sculptors with works in clay, wood, and stone as well as painters fill the street with colorful and attractive works for passersby to appreciate the good art done in our land.
In the middle of the street tattoo artists offer to perform their art on you, while net to them young women offer therapies of relaxation and massage. And then, of course, you can go for a coffee in the famous Cafe Ayllu or enter one of the restaurants for a good meal, including restaurants specializing in Israeli food.
Marques is one of the main ways to arrive at Cuzco´s Plaza de Armas or to go from there to the San Pedro Market. On this street you can see the full mix of Cuzco’s population with their different social classes as well as all races of human kind since Marques receives people from all over the world.
Marques has a history. It is a street of once elegant palaces, many of which are being restored. Not too long ago it was open to vehicular traffic. Now it only receives foot traffic and people love it. That is also why it is usually full.
In 2008 they found under the street a canal from the epoch of transition from the Inca to the colonial period. It was an example of solid knowledge of hydrological engineering as part of Andean technology. To protect those remains, the municipality and the government decided to cover them when they reworked the street to make it a walking street only.
Marques is a fun street that is always filled with life. It is always worth making part of a visit to our Imperial city.