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About Cusco

Often referred to Cusco as the ‘Archaeological Capital of the Americas’ Cusco is a beautiful city riddled with contrasts between the indigenous styles and the modern western world. It is these contrasts that have given Cusco its rare beauty. The city is a bustling, dynamic and friendly place that reverberates with its most important activity, tourism. The name of the city originates from the name of the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. The original Quechua “Qosqo,” meaning navel or center, was transformed into “Cusco” after the Spanish conquest. In June of 1990, by social movement and strong local pride, the City Municipality declared Qosqo as the official name.

Elevation 3360m ,11155 pies
Location Southeast of Perú
Annual average temperature 11° C
Maximum temperature 17° C
Minimum temperature – 2° C
Weather Dry
Rain from November to March

Cusco Travel Information

Shopping

Cusco has a great variety of articles of silver, alpaca wool and pima cotton. Our handicrafts are highly valued worldwide. In our local handicrafts market it is possible barging with the venders. A 15% of discount is usually what you get.

Electricity

In all Peru and in Cusco the current is 220 volts AC. In most places all the plugs are ambivalent, circles ( as in Spain ) or planes (as in America).

Mail

A letter or postcard takes one week in arriving to its destination. Mail boxes and stamps are available in most of the book stores, hotels and in the central post office.

Public Transportation

There are not taximeters in Peru, so for that before getting into a taxi, you must clearly establish the rate with your driver. Remember to take low denomination coins with you to pay this service.

Security Measures

We recommend carry money or credit cards in money belts and don´t carry a purse unless it is absolutely essential. Handbags and photograph and video cameras can be carried if you act prudently, taking care in places with large crows, such as markets, train stations and public plazas.

Health Precautions

Don´t forget to take precautions to avoid altitude sickness ( Cusco 11.200 ft), and be sure to try a hot tea or infusion of coca leaves on the arrival in the altitude, rest some few hours and eat lightly.

Travelers with heart conditions or high blood pressure should check with their doctor before traveling to Cusco.
If you are going to visit areas of the jungle, do not forget that a yellow fever immunization is a prerequisite and must be receive at least 10 days before beginning your trip to this area.

Water And Food

To avoid problems drinking tap water, we recommend that you always drink bottle water. Peruvian cuisine is highly varied and spicy ,we recommend that you take advantage of your visit to enjoy the local and international cuisine prepared in Cusco that is recognized around the world as one of the best.

Clothing And Weather

Here the weather can vary considerably in one day, according to the time day. It can be cold in the early morning and at night, and quite warm at midday. Therefore, it is advisable to dress in layers of clothing that can be easily put or taken off. Sweaters, jackets and long slacks are necessary.

How to Arrive to Cusco

How to travel by Air

The most convenient thing to do in order to travel to Cusco by air is first arrive to Lima, and once there, take another plane or simply a bus. From Lima direct flights leave to Cusco, lasting in general less tan seventy minutes. Also, it is possible to fly from and to Arequipa, Juliaca in Puno, Maldonado Port or Ayacucho.

It is important to remember that a “domestic tax” will have to be paid at the airport for domestic flights and a boarding tax in the case of international flights. It is also possible to access Cusco through the Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport, which has been recently remodeled and modernized. Such airport is located only ten kilometers away from the city, in Quispiquilla. In this case, it is compulsory for all passengers coming from international flights to go through migration office and customs office to show their loading and disembark card, keeping it until they leave the country. Nevertheless, all flights must be confirmed 72 hours before from any agency or by telephone with the number pointed out in the ticket.

How to travel by Land

Although it is possible to access Cusco by land, this isn’t the most convenient thing to, given that the route is long and the journey can be exhausting as it can last about a day and a half.

From Lima, routes 1, 2 and 3 must be followed. Should you travel along route 1, you will arrive first at Arequipa, and from there you will travel to Juliaca, and finally to Cusco.

If you choose to travel along route 2, first you will travel from Lima to Nesca, then to Puquio and afterwards Chalhuanca and Abancay until finally arriving in Cusco.If, on the other hand, you decide to travel along route number 3, the journey begins in Lima, continuing up to Huancayo and then up to Abancay. From there, Cusco is the next destination.

How to travel by Bus

Should you travel by bus from Pisac, Calca or Urubamba, you will arrive to Tullumayo Avenue. If you travel from Oropesa, Urcos or Sicuani, then you will arrive to the covered Coliseum in Manco Cápac Avenue. However, it is important to know that most of the inter-provincial buses arrive to the Tio Bus Terminal and to the Pachacutec Avenue.
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How to travel by Train

 Two train stations can be found in Cusco, given that this means of transport is widely used in the area. Those trains coming from places such as Quillabamba and Machu Picchu will arrive at San Pedro Station. On the other hand, those coming from Arequipa, Puno or La Paz in Bolivia will arrive at the Huanchac Terminal located in Pachacutec Avenue

Nevertheless, as it was previously mentioned, it is a risky journey where thefts are very common and therefore you should be careful and keep an eye on your luggage. If you take a taxi, make sure that the fare is cheaper than two Peruvian Nuevos Soles. Most visitors are keen to get to Machu Picchu, either by trekking for 4 days along the Inca Trail, or by 4 hours in the train, but Cusco itself has a lot to offer the visitor and most travellers usually end up seduced with this vibrant city and stay longer than first planned.

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