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About Cusco

Cusco, often referred to as the ‘Archaeological Capital of the Americas’ 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 3,360m or 11,155ft above sea level
Location Located in the Southern
Annual average temperature 11° C
Maximum temperature 17° C
Minimum temperature – 2° C
Weather Varies depending on season: Dry or Rainy
Rainy Season from November to March

Cusco Travel Information

Shopping

Cusco has a great variety of silver, alpaca wool and pima cotton articles. Our handicrafts are highly valued worldwide. Prices vary in our markets but it is possible bargain with the venders. Typically you can negotiate up to a 15% discount.

Electricity

In Peru the electrical current is 220 volts AC. In most places the plugs are the same as in the United States or what is found on commercial airplanes.

Mail

A letter or postcard generally takes one week to arrive its destination. Mail boxes and stamps are available in most of the bookstores, hotels and in the central post office located on Avenida Sol.

Public Transportation

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

Security Measures

We recommend that you carry money or credit cards in money belts and not purses unless it is absolutely essential. Handbags and photograph and video cameras can be carried if you act prudently, taking care in places with large crowds such as markets, train stations and public plazas.

Health Precautions

Don´t forget to take precautions to avoid altitude sickness ( Cusco 11,155ft), and be sure to try a hot tea or infusion of coca leaves. On arrival you should rest a 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 the jungle, do not forget that a yellow fever immunization is a prerequisite and it must be received at least 10 days before beginning your trip to this area.

Water And Food

To avoid health problems do not drink tap water. We recommend that you always drink bottled 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

In Cusco the weather can vary considerably depending on the time of 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 on 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. From Lima direct flights leave to Cusco, lasting in general less than 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 cases of international flights. The Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport is located only ten kilometers away from the city center. All flights should be confirmed 72 hours before takeoff.

How to travel by Land

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

How to travel by Bus (eliminate this section)

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.

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. 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.

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