Cusco Travel Hacks: The Ultimate Travel Checklist & Guide to Traveling to Cusco.
The architectural and historical beauty of Cusco is bound to keep you in awe, as this city 11,000 feet above sea level allow tourists and visitors to Peru to savor the Inca culture as they walk through it. If this is your first time in Cusco, then we’ll suggest that you take it slow and enjoy as the city is like no other on the planet.
Cusco Travel Hacks: What to pack for Cusco
Unlike other places, packing for a trip to Cusco is a little different as the city experiences high humidity due to its position of 11,000 feet above sea level. So if you are coming from below sea level and on the sea level, pack light. Some stuff to have is
- A water bottle – you will be drinking a lot of water
- A hiking backpack, camera, power bank, phone, an adapter, and head torchlight
- Good hiking boots, to see the beauty of Cusco depends on how high and long you can walk
- A pair of jeans, shirt, jacket, hoodie, T-shirts, sandal, sneakers, or flip flops for easy movement around the city
- Underwear, socks, bug spray, repellent cream/lotion, and basic hygiene item
- If you will be camping outside, you can include a sleeping bag to keep you warm during the nights.
- All the necessary travel document (visa, reservation, insurance and health clearance) and motion sickness medication with multivitamins. Cusco is cold at night, as temperatures can drop to 30 and less, so don’t forget to pack a large warp cloth to keep warm.
Cusco Travel Hacks: Don’t mess with the Altitude
The only thing that can stop you from enjoying the beauty of Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lima is a lack of oxygen when trekking through the terrains. At heights of 2500 meters above the sea, Machu Picchu is at a significant high point where most travelers looking to trek the Inca trail suffer from altitude sickness.
So if this is your first time in Cusco, do as the locals do, rest, get used to the environment and then plan a day for your hike. If you are coming to Cusco from Lima airport, you need at least 24 hours before any hiking since Lima is at sea level, but if you are taking the bus; your body will acclimatize to the surrounding during the long ride.
Cusco Travel Hacks: Visiting Time
Cusco is a city that you can visit any time of the year, but if your plan is to see the city, and explore the heights, then avoid the months between November and April. When the heavens let down all the waters it is holding. Best visiting times are early June to early October before the rains.
Cusco Travel Hacks: Getting around the city
Getting around Cusco to see the historical Inca Sites is simpler with a Boleto Turistico, this pass cost almost $50 and gives tourist access to visit most historical attractions throughout Cusco over a ten-day period. Some places to visit are the Plaza de Armas (a significant landmark and piece of history going way back to the Inca Empire). The Machu Picchu is the infamous lost city of the Incas carefully preserved from the Spanish invasion for hundreds of years until recently. Visitors are transported back in time starting with a 20 minutes’ walk from the entrance to the temple and you have to stop at the Nazca lines if you are coming to Cusco by bus from Lima. If you can’t walk around the city, you can use motorbikes to enjoy the sights and sounds of Cusco.
Cusco Travel Hacks: Dining in Cusco
Cusco is filled with deliciousness, whether local or international food. The sauces are wonderful too; you can try the guinea pig dish (cuy), or the steak and spicy onions and peppers. Well, since you are visiting Cusco, you can make your way to Plaza San Francisco on Sunday to enjoy an array of local delicacies, music, interaction with the families which is a better way to enjoy some of the best local food that Cusco has to offer while learning more about the culture.
Other places are places locals go and enjoy good drinks are the popular super café extra, Qenko Chico and El Duende to enjoy delicious herbal drinks flavored with locally produced liquor.
Cusco Travel Hacks: Best Hotel in Cusco
You will probably get all your answers on TripAdvisor concerning hotel and good accommodation when in Cusco, however, some hotels worth lodging in are
The Casa Cartagena – this hotel complete the ambiance of Peru. Located in Cusco, it provides visitors with a full spa service, free buffet for breakfast, WiFi, and airport drop off for guest leaving with plenty of amenities like a bar, lounge, café, fitness center with elegantly decorated room to keep you well-relaxed as you tour the city.
The Royal Inka 1 is another elegant hotel for visitors and guest coming into Cusco. It provides all the services the Casa Cartagena provides except it picks up their clients from the airport and train station if requested by them.
You can also choose to stay at one of the local hospedaje. These are locally ruined accommodation place, with excellent and comfortable live-in spaces at an affordable price too.
Cusco Travel Hacks: Spending in Cusco
Although Peru’s currency is widely accepted and used by locals throughout the cities, the county also accepts the US dollar as a means of exchange. However, to prevent being a target for local criminals, it is advisable to use a traveler’s cheque for visitor’s carrying a large amount of cash, but in Cusco, you can go to a recommended exchange center as the locals won’t accept a traveler’s cheque.
Pictures and Locations
To truly soak in Cusco, you must have a good camera that will capture the beauty at every location you stop for the memories and a bit of history to take home with you. With more than 16 tourists and UNESCO sites to see, culture and traditions everywhere, you will never lack a shot in Cusco.
When taking pictures of the locals, please ask for permission as they don’t like strangers taking their pictures, be nice and you will enjoy Cusco.
Traveling is not about the number of likes a city has or how many pictures you can take; it is about learning about the culture and understanding the DNA that moves the city. Cusco is one of those places in the world that fits this description, and it is only through interaction and association that you will enjoy the beauty of the Inca tribe and how much the millennium heritage still plays a huge role in the culture of Cusco, Peru.