Cusco, Peru – Travel Tips by Ivan

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Machu Picchu
What type(s) of travellers would your recommendations for Cusco suit?

My recommendations for Cusco are perfect for solo travellers, adventure seekers and nature lovers.

How long would you recommend for one to spend in Cusco?

5 days 4 nights would be ideal for a rich experience of the ancient ruins of the inca empire.

What are the top things to see in Cusco that you would recommend?
1. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Jungle Trek in Cusco
Machu Picchu Jungle Trek

– Take the 4D3N Jungle Trek for those that like to do different activities (varying from cycling, water rafting, zipline, hiking, hot springs).

– Prices range from USD200-USD350.

– For the fitter ones, we heard the Lares Trek is a pretty challenging one.

– You can easily book a tour at the Cusco City 1-2 days before setting off; of course, booking online would give you the guarantee but at a premium.

– The guide we had is well-experienced and shared with us the rich history of Peru 🙂

2. Cusco City Walking Tour
A market in Cusco City
A market in Cusco City

– We joined the free walking tour and enjoyed the rich history shared by the guide.

– It is always on a tips basis so if you enjoy it, you may tip more.

3. Rainbow Mountain

– We heard mixed reviews of this and decided not to go.

– Highly dependent on the weather!

 

What are the top things to eat that you would recommend in Taichung?
1. Cerviche at San Blas Market
A meal at the Cerviche Sans Blas Market in Cusco
A meal at the Cerviche Sans Blas Market

– There is a local market at Plaza San Blas.

– Serves affordable and good local food

– I personally enjoyed it more than the restaurants.

Any recommendations on where to stay in Cusco?
Mama Simona Hostel, which is of good standards, while hotels have limited added amenities only.
When is a good time of the year to visit Cusco?
August to September is a good period as it is sunny yet cooling.
How should one get around?

Take a taxi into town and anywhere else is pretty much within walking distance; do take the taxi just outside the airport as the ones waiting at the airport has a “surcharge” which is almost 4 times the normal flag-down price.

Are there any local norms/cultures that a tourist should be aware of?
Spanish is commonly spoken, but Cusco locals speak fluent English as tourism is key to their economy!
What are the acceptable payment currencies and modes?

In USD and in Soles; many places accept cards.

Any other tips/things to be aware of?
– Taxis are convenient but they will definitely overcharge. So, do ask your reception what the estimated fare is to get to your destination.
– Tours will include different modes of transport. For the Machu Picchu tour, go with the tour bus for the journey there and try the train rides on the return leg for a different experience.
– You should consider bringing some altitude sickness pills as you may get headaches or breathlessness within 30 minutes of arrival. Alternatively, you may try their local Coca Tea which really helps!
How should one stay connected to the internet?

You may buy a local sim card (Claro generally has better network).

Cost of Trip

Airfare – return ticket at SGD2,200-2,500 from Singapore-Sydney-Chile-Peru; alternatively, KLM or British Airways offer these flights. Flight time differs from 26 hours up to 34 hours.

Accommodation – Mama Simona Hostel, from SGD15 per night.

Food – USD10-20 for a good meal in a restaurant and less than USD5 for a meal at the local market

Transport – Taxi is 10sols (the standard by locals) to and from the airport, however they would try to charge 40sols.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I love outdoors and adventure – whenever possible, I take trips out of the city areas to explore the nature (be it national parks, hiking trails, mountains, to the beach, etc.).