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Cusco

What can I expect from Cusco?

I’m so excited to tell you about Cusco, I’m feeling lightheaded!  Or, that may be the altitude – at over 11,000 feet above sea level, it may take you a few days to get acclimated, but it’s totally worth it!  Cusco is one of the cultural centers of Peru, with historic churches, squares and restaurants.  It’s also a great starting point for your trip if you’re planning on hiking the Inca Trail, Rainbow Mountain, or one of the many other Incan ruins in the area.  When travelling to Peru, this city is a must see!

See some of our suggestive highlighted and top-rated tours below. Having spent time in Cusco myself, I can personally say these are must do activities. If you’re looking for something specific, Contact me and I’ll will work with our partners to find you what you’re looking for free of charge! Member of the Purple Hood Adventurers Club? Get access to unlimited destination resource pages and guides like this one along with other exclusive travel perks!!

Specialized Excursions from Cusco:

Even More Excursions from Cusco:

Things to See and Do in and From Cusco…

Hike the Inca Trail!
Visit Macchu Pichu
Tour the Manu Rainforest
Hike Rainbow Mountain
Shop In Local Markets
Visit Plaza De Armas
Check Out Planetarium Cusco
Tour Planetarium Cusco
Try a Pisco Sour!

“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.”

-Asian Proverb

What to expect…

Accommodations -Cusco has a ton accommodations options, with plenty of hotels, hostels, and apartments available for rent. While in the city itself, you may want to check Hostel Bayoneta, which is close to the city center with a lot of different room options

Food & Drink – Cusco, and Peru in general, has an incredible array of food and drink options.  Whether you have a more conservative palette, or are up for something exotic, you’ll find it here!  One of the more popular dishes you’ll find is Aji de Gallina, a creamy chicken dish.  It’s often paired with potatoes, such as Papas a la Huancaína, which are potatoes in a spicy cheese sauce.  Thinking about being more adventurous?  Try some guinea pig (Cuy), considered a delicacy in Peru!  Of course, all of this is enhanced with a great pisco sour – a mixed drink made with pisco, egg white, and lime.

Transportation – One of the great things about Cusco is it’s a very walkable city.  The city center, and most major attractions are either within walking distance or a short cab ride away.  There are also plenty of options for shuttles to both the airport and attractions.  Some options are below!  If you need help with transportation, contact me and I will help you get set up!

Suggested daily budget – Depending on your personal choices and spending limits, budget travelers have reported that they spend around S/85 (Peruvian Soles) a day for food and drink.  If you’re a more of a mid range traveler, you can expect to spend about S/120 per day.

As far as accommodations go, basic hotels start at S/150, and can go over S/1,000 for more luxurious stays.  How much you want to spend is ultimately up to you!  No matter what your budget, there will be a wide array of options for you to choose from

See the current exchange rate from soles to USD for the most accurate and up to date conversions!

Money Saving Tips

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Stay in a hostel Hostels are a great way to cut down on accommodation expenses and they are usually conducive for a backpacker of any age! You can not only save money for more important things like NOT sleeping, but you also may gain a few new friends and score some free activities and meals just by staying at a hostel! Also, you'll have a kitchen to cook your own food. Hostels are my favorite type of accommodations for both when I'm solo traveling and also traveling with my husband! Look for accommodation in the area below:
Booking.com
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Travel during the off season There are two general seasons in Peru: The 'high season', and the 'low season'. The high season runs from April to September, and is the prime tourism season for the country. The low season runs from October to March, and while it coincides with the rainy season, you're likely to find great deals from hostels to tours to dining
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Book an all-inclusive pass or excursion I like to book passes and tours which include transportation to numerous places, meals, attractions and sights and sometimes even overnight accommodations. The upfront cost may be slightly higher, but when you factor in the things you get and the unforgettable memories and friends you often make during these types of trips, the pay off is more than worth it! If you're looking for a specific all-inclusive trip or pass, let us know and we will help you find it! Below are some ideas:
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Rent a car and stay outside the major cities like San José Having a car may cost money initially, but it will allow you to not be tied to staying in a central tourist area where general costs of all activities are jacked up! Also, when you drive yourself, you aren't confined to what is within close proximity and you just may find that you enjoy the countryside and small towns even more! And to top it off? You'll be saving on gasoline, food and accommodations all while having the flexibility to do what you ACTUALLY want to do WHEN you want to do it! Search for the best rate on car rentals below:
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Pay in Soles or use credit cards whenever possible While many shops in Peru will accept American dollars, you'll likely end up paying more than if you use local currency. An even better option is to use credit cards where ever they're accepted (assuming you have a card with none of those dreaded 'foreign transaction fees'! While not accepted everywhere, credit card use is becoming more and more common in Peru
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Visit local markets and prepare your own meals Here's, again, where staying in a hostel comes in handy! Having access to a kitchen will allow you to be able to cook your own food (while keeping it healthy!). Also, shopping locally will get you that ``authentic and local`` eating experience you were looking for! There are many local markets throughout Peru that will enable you to create an authentic, homemade Peruvian dish!
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Spend the day walking around the city! One of the great things about Cusco is its compact design. From the central square, most sight seeing opportunities are within walking distance in the city. In addition, walking gives you the opportunity to check out many of the small alleys and walkways that make historic cities like Cusco so unique. Some of the most interesting things you'll see in Cusco could very well be on your walk to one of the 'major' attractions
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Cut down on the drinks! Believe it or not, this saving tip actually has a very important side benefit! While cutting down on the number of alcoholic drinks you have will obviously save you money, it can also help you avoid that dreaded altitude sickness. At over 11,000 feet above sea level, many people are prone to altitude sickness during their first few days in the city. Consuming alcohol during this period actually raises the chances of that happening. So spend the first few days alcohol free, and your body and wallet will thank you!

Need a few light reading materials for the ride there? I always travel with books. You just never know when you might not have cell reception!

Contact us below if you’re looking for something specific. We will help you in finding transportation, tours, flights and anything else you may need for your trip!


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