All About Cusco – Arrival for the first time in Cusco for a Machu Picchu Trip
Arriving at a new city like Cusco, located at a high altitude, needs planning the itinerary to avoid altitude sickness. In this post, you will find all the relevant information about Cusco and what you need to know about preventing altitude sickness before your trek to Machu Picchu. Also, you will find some exciting things to do in Cusco.
Arriving In Cusco
We advise all guests to arrive in Cusco 2 days before your trip to Machu Picchu with TreXperience. This will give you time to get used to the high altitude. Those who have not had time to acclimatize may struggle with the tours to Machu Picchu.
Cusco has a domestic airport only. Therefore, international visitors typically arrive via Lima first. The easiest and fastest way to get to Cusco from Lima is to take a flight. The bus journey from Lima to Cusco is long (approximately 22 hours). Visitors traveling to Cusco from closer cities in Peru are advised to take a bus. There are several companies in Peru operating very comfortable bus journeys. We encourage you to book your bus journey as tickets sell out.
When booking hotels or Airbnb, try to ensure it has route access; many hotels are located throughout Cusco city, and some might have difficult access. If you require assistance booking a hotel or would like some recommendations of where to stay, please do not hesitate to contact the TreXperience Team.
Weather In Cusco
Cusco is situated high up in the Andes, making the weather very hard to forecast; we have two seasons; the rainy season, which runs from November to March, and the dry season from April to October. We advise all visitors to prepare for all types of weather by carrying the following items: a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and proper rain gear.
Altitude sickness or “Soroche.”
Cusco is 3300 meters above sea level, so the air is thinner and contains less oxygen than you may be used to. Some visitors experience altitude sickness, mainly when they first arrive in the city. We advise all hikers to arrive at least two days before their trek to give themselves time to acclimatize. However, Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes are much lower – at around 2000 meters – therefore, you are less likely to suffer from altitude sickness in these locations. If you do find yourself struggling with the altitude, the following tips should help you:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Rest and relax upon your arrival
- Drinking a lot of water will help you adapt faster
- Coca tea and muña tea from the Andes help to reduce altitude sickness
- Alcohol and drugs are a big no if you are having trouble with the altitude
- Diamox or Acetazolamide (you can find these medications in any drugstore in Cusco, please check with your doctor to ensure you are not allergic to any medicine)
- Supplementary oxygen is provided in every hotel in Cusco. If you don’t have access to supplemental oxygen, then call us, and we will deliver some to you free of charge
How challenging are the treks and tours?
All of our TreXperience tours and treks are designed so that trekkers of all abilities can complete them. Some sections of the trek are challenging, while others are much easier. Remember that nothing is impossible. Our guides are very experienced, they are used to accommodating groups of mixed abilities, and they will be there to help you. We advise you to exercise regularly before your trip and arrive in Cusco at least two days before your trek to acclimatize to the altitude. Tours to Machu Picchu by train are comfortable trips and can be done by anybody.
You may require some additional vaccinations before traveling to Peru. Please don’t forget to consult with your doctor before your trip so they can advise you. Please check the CDC website for suggested vaccinations for visiting us (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/peru)
Planning your Time: Some amazing things to do in Cusco
Planning a perfect trip when you arrive at a new destination can be overwhelming; below are some recommendations on how you should organize your tours better in a way that helps you enjoy your vacations more.
Best hiking tours to Machu Picchu.
Classic Inca Trail Tour
Peru’s best and most popular hike; explore the iconic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, camping in the mountains with comfortable equipment, excellent meals, and top-rated tour guides. TreXperience organizes small all-inclusive group tours to Machu Picchu with all safety regulations for Covid 19.
Ultimate Salkantay Trek
Explore the natural gems of Salkantay Mountain and Humantay Lake. Enjoy the stunning scenery, breathtaking snowcapped mountains, picturesque valleys, beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and rural villages, and camp in a mountain in front of Machu Picchu. Enjoy an authentic camping experience in nature with tents, hot showers, Pachamanca, Coffee Tour.
Short Inca Trail
The Inca Trail hike 2 days to Machu Picchu is a unique opportunity for those who may not have as much time to hike the full version. This trek combines highlights of the Classic 4-day trek with some of the most beautiful Inca ruins nestled in the cloud forest’s dense vegetation. Enter Machu Picchu through the Sungate (Inti Punku) late in the afternoon and therefore have the unique opportunity to see the city almost empty.
Go off the beaten path, where you can meet and interact with members of traditional Andean communities and hike the Andes in solitude. You will learn all about life in these isolated villages, become familiar with their culture and traditions, hike along with llamas and alpacas, and even visit a local school.
Best tour by train to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Full Day Trip from Cusco (Budget tour)
Spend a beautiful day exploring Machu Picchu with a full-day excursion from Cusco. Board the trains from the Andes into the Cloud Forest region and enjoy the mountains’ stunning scenery.
2 Day Tour to Machu Picchu
Board the Andean train from Cusco on an Incredible journey enjoying the beautiful scenery. Spend the night in Aguas Calientes and beat the crowds to Machu Picchu early in the morning.
Best of Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu Tour 4D/3N
Do you have a Short Time in Cusco? Then, this is the perfect tour for you. Explore the best of Cusco, visit the Sacred Valley, explore Machu Picchu, and ride the panoramic train Back to Cusco.
Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu Tour 2 days
Explore the best of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in only two days and one night. You will visit Awanacancha, Pisaq Market, Pisaq Inca Site, and Ollantaytambo while you get to Aguas Calientes and visit early Machu Picchu the next day for sunrise.
Maras Moray Machu Picchu Tour 2 days
Visit Peru’s most exciting and unique Inca archaeological sites, starting in Chinchero, Moray, Maras, Salineras, and Ollantaytambo, and finally arrive at Machu Picchu.
Day tours before Machu Picchu
We recommend arriving in Cusco at least 2 days before your big trip to Machu Picchu; you should rest to adapt to the altitude or explore Cusco city or Sacred Valley.
Cusco City Tour
On a half-day tour, explore the best of Cusco city, the most important streets, plazas, temples, Saqsayhuaman, Quenqo, PukaPukara, and Tambomachay.
Sacred Valley Full-day Tour
The Sacred Valley tour will allow you to spend a beautiful full day exploring Pisaq, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero.
Super Sacred Valley Full-day Tour
On a full-day tour, visit Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Salineras of Maras Moray, and Chinchero.
Maras Moray, Salineras Half Day tour
Visit the Circular terraces at Moray, Maras town, Salineras, and Chinchero for a Textile demonstration to support local women.
Day tours after Machu Picchu
We recommend the following tours after Machu Picchu because they are higher than Cusco city. If you have problems with altitude before Machu Picchu, your trip might be affected, and you might cancel your big trip.
Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley FD
Rainbow Mountain has recently become one of the most popular one-day hikes in the Cusco region. Enjoy our picnic-style breakfast and lunch prepared by our local trekking chefs.
Humantay Lake Tour FD
Marvel at the beautiful lake and mountains and get stunning views. Enjoy our picnic-style breakfast and lunch prepared by our local trekking chefs.
Queswachaca – The last Inca Bridge
Visit the last hanging Inca Bridge, built over the Apurimac River. Qeswachaca is located in the Cusco region in the Qehue district, Canas Province.