Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, is a magical city that attracts travelers from all over the world with its rich history, lively culture and magnificent landscapes. Before delving into the charms of its cobblestone streets and marveling at its imposing Inca constructions, it is essential to be prepared with the information you need to make the most of your experience and what better than a Cusco travel guide.
If you are planning to visit the city of Cusco in Peru and get to know its attractions or any of the Machu Picchu Tours or do the incredible Inca Trail, it is advisable that you know the important facts about this impressive destination, from its language and customs to its currencies Knowing these details will allow you to enjoy your stay in the best way and avoid mishaps during your trip.
So, if you’re excited to explore the Imperial City of Peru, join us on this tour of the essential facts that will allow you to make the most of your visit – get ready to fall in love with Cusco and create unforgettable memories in this breathtaking destination!
One of the first things you will notice when you arrive in the city of Cusco is its altitude. Located at approximately 3,400 meters above sea level (11154.86 ft), this charming city is nestled in the Peruvian Andes, making it one of the highest cities in the world. The altitude is one of the distinctive aspects of Cusco and a key factor to take into account in order to enjoy your stay to the fullest.
However, it is important to keep in mind that altitude can affect some people and cause the so-called “altitude sickness” or soroche. Common symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, fatigue, dizziness, lack of appetite and shortness of breath. But don’t worry, there are steps you can take to properly adapt and minimize the impact of altitude on your body.
Remember that everyone reacts differently to altitude, so it is essential to listen to your body and respect its signals. If you experience severe or persistent symptoms of altitude sickness, seek medical assistance immediately.
Acclimatizing to Cusco’s altitude is an important part of fully enjoying all that this wonderful city has to offer. Once you have adjusted, you will be ready to explore its historical treasures, immerse yourself in its living culture and create unforgettable memories in this fascinating destination. Welcome to the heights of Cusco!
Cusco, located in the Peruvian Andes, has a temperate and pleasant climate throughout the year. However, due to its altitude and topography, weather conditions can vary significantly. It is essential to be prepared for the two main seasons that the city experiences: the dry season and the wet season.
Dry Season (April to October): During the dry season, Cusco enjoys sunny days and clear skies. Daytime temperatures are warm and pleasant, but can drop considerably at night. It is advisable to wear light and comfortable clothing for the daytime, such as short-sleeved shirts, shorts, or skirts, and don’t forget a hat and sunscreen to protect you from the sun. However, for the evenings and early mornings, it is important to have coats, sweaters or jackets to keep you warm.
Wet Season (November to March): During the wet season, Cusco experiences a greater amount of precipitation, mainly in the form of rain. Days can be cooler and nights colder. It is advisable to bring waterproof clothing, such as an umbrella or a good raincoat, and footwear suitable for walking on wet surfaces. Also, it is advisable to have a sweater or waterproof jacket to protect you from the rains.
Regardless of the time of year you visit Cusco, it is always advisable to wear layered clothing to adapt to temperature changes during the day. Also, don’t forget to bring comfortable, sturdy footwear, especially if you plan to walk around the city or explore nearby archaeological sites.
Peru’s official languages are Spanish and Quechua which is spoken by the majority of natives residing in Cusco, Sacred Valley of the incas and Machupicchu. In some areas, the Aymara which is the third language officially recognized by the Peruvian State, is spoken in some areas of the country. English is spoken by people who work in tourist services, such as travel agencies, tourist information center and hotel reception. “Spanglish” is a mixture of both languages and will help you quite a lot in your communication with local people in general.
The official currency of Peru is the Sol (PEN). Be sure to carry some cash for small purchases, as not all places accept credit cards.
The city of Cusco is quite compact, which makes it easy to walk to most of the tourist sites. You can also use cabs or private transportation services for longer distances or if you wish to visit nearby places.
Try the delicious Peruvian food while in Cusco. Don’t miss the ceviche, lomo saltado, causa, rocoto relleno and other traditional dishes. Also, be careful with street food and be sure to drink bottled water to avoid stomach problems.
The majority of U.S. and Occidental European citizens do not need a visa to enter Peru. citizens from Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Chile do not need a passaport or visa to go to certain parts of Peru. In these cases, the maximum stay is of 90 days (Which can be prorogated by the immigration service). To Peruvian consulate or embassy in your country.
Drink only bottled or boiled water. Be careful with raw vegetables and fruit and always wash them in abundant running tap water before you peal and consume them. Avoid eating food at street stands and in popular restaurants, without having checked out the kitchen’s hygiene conditions. If you need medical assistance, get in touch with your hotel’s staff or travel agent. If you wish to purchase a traveler’s insurance, please get in touch with the travel agent of your choice.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.
The best season is during the dry season, which covers the months April to the end of September. In October the rains begin and you can find Machu Picchu covered by clouds. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.