Complete travel guide to Cusco

Complete travel guide to Cusco

Cusco, more than a city, is a cultural treasure that fascinates each visitor with its architecture and history. Declared a World Heritage Site, this city captivates with archaeological wonders such as Sacsayhuamán, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the majestic Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Location and Altitude of Cusco:

Cusco is located southeast of Peru, in the Peruvian Andes. It is located 3,360 meters above sea level, so it is important to be prepared to avoid altitude sickness during your visit to this impressive place.

An additional information

The distance from Lima to Cusco is approximately 1,100 kilometers.

How to get to Cusco?

By plane:

When you are outside of Peru, your entry point will be the Jorge Chávez International Airport in the capital city, Lima. Then, you will take a second flight of approximately 1 hour to the Teniente Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco. Once there, you can choose to take a taxi or use a shuttle to head to the city center. This alternative is agile and comfortable, especially for those arriving from abroad.

By bus:

If you prefer a land adventure, you can arrive by bus from various cities in Peru. The land terminal of Cusco is located 15 minutes from the Historic Center of the city. The roads offer panoramic views of the impressive Andean landscapes. It is a more relaxed option for those who enjoy traveling by land and appreciating the surroundings.

Best Time to Visit Cusco: Climate and Activities

Cusco has a varied climate due to its altitude. Here I explain what to expect in each season:

Dry Season (April to October): During these months, Cusco enjoys sunny days with pleasant daytime temperatures between 18°C and 20°C. Nights can be cold, around 0°C. This time is ideal to visit since it rains less and there are stable conditions.

Rainy Season (November to March): This time brings more rain. The afternoons and nights are cooler, with daytime temperatures around 17°C. The mornings are usually clear, but rain is common in the afternoon and evening. Prepare for downpours if you plan outdoor activities.

What to Do in Cusco: Main Activities

If you have just a few days to explore Cusco, here are some recommended activities:

  • Plaza de Armas: It is the vibrant center of the city. Visit the Cathedral and the church of the Company of Jesus.
  • Cusco Cathedral: Admire its architecture and works of religious art.
  • Stone of 12 Angles: Find this famous carved stone on Hatun Rumiyoc Street.
  • San Blas neighborhood: Explore its cobbled streets and visit the viewpoint.
  • Qoricancha: Discover the Temple of the Sun and its Inca and colonial architecture.
  • Mercado San Pedro: Try fresh juices and local foods.
  • Inka Museum: Immerse yourself in history with its collection of Inca artifacts.
  • Sacsayhuamán and Mirador de Cristo Blanco: Enjoy the panoramic views of the city.

Tours and Activities in Cusco

  • Cusco offers a variety of tours to explore its cultural and natural wealth:
  • Cusco City Tour: Visit the Cathedral, Qoricancha and Sacsayhuamán.
  • Sacred Valley: Explore Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
  • Maras and Moray: Discover the Salineras de Maras and the terraces of Moray.
  • Hikes: From Humantay Lagoon to the Montaña de Colores and the Inca Trail.
  • Tips for Traveling to Cusco

Here are some useful tips for your trip:

  • Acclimatization: Take time to acclimatize to the altitude before strenuous activities.
  • Appropriate clothing: Bring layers and a waterproof jacket, especially in the rainy season.
  • Comfortable shoes: Wear hiking boots to explore.
  • Cultural respect: Show respect for local customs and when visiting historical sites.
  • Local food: Try Peruvian cuisine, including ceviche and lomo saltado.
  • Hydration: Drink enough water due to the altitude and dry climate.
  • Safe transportation: Use reliable transportation services.
  • Travel insurance: Consider getting insurance that covers medical emergencies.
  • Responsible Photography: Please respect local regulations when taking photos.
  • Explore beyond Machu Picchu: Discover other historical and natural attractions.
  • Local festivals: Participate in festivals to experience Cusco culture.
  • Enjoy your trip: Cusco is unique and full of history and beauty. Take the time to enjoy it.
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