What You Need to Know Before Visiting Cusco

Visiting Cusco

If you are thinking about heading to Peru’s most famous city, then you need to know a few things before you book your flight. Cusco is an amazing city to visit, but it does require a little bit of preparation in order to enjoy properly–especially when you are dealing with such a high altitude!

Here’s what you need to know before you visit the former capital of the Inca empire and what you should do to prepare.

Food

Peru has exploded as a culinary hotspot, and the restaurants there are more than worth spending some time checking out. While there are plenty of traditional options that should be visited, Cusco has also developed a number of fusion-based eateries that are worth testing your bravery for. Peru is also a bit cheaper than many destinations, meaning that you’ll spend less for some world-class meals in beautifully-decorated spots. If you were thinking about just visiting for the hikes, think again.

Altitude

You’re going to want to have a day or two where you simply relax and walk around the city. Because Cusco is at such a high altitude, it’s not uncommon for visitors to find themselves sick after just arriving. Some side effects you might experience include a headache, shortness of breath, and nausea. The best way to combat this is to simply take it easy. Avoid alcohol and any strenuous activity for the first few days you are there, and make sure you get a lot of rest. You can even adopt the local custom of chewing on cocoa leaves or having them in tea–it actually works!

Day trips

Cusco is the perfect location to base your day trips to the Sacred Valley and surrounding areas from. You can choose to book in advance if you would like, or you can stop by one of the many tour shops located in the city center in order to book where you want to go. Some of the most popular options include Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca, the ancient city of Pisca, and the salt tables at Maras. With so many things to do while you’re there, factor in several days to enjoy the region and to get to see everything.

Inca Trail

Of course, the most popular reason to visit the Cusco area is to see the famous site of Machu Picchu. If you are planning to take the stunning Inca Trail in order to get there, then you should make sure to book your tickets well in advance. Since officials only let 500 people on the trail per day, this means you will need to acquire your spot several months in advance with a tour company. This assures that you will be able to see Machu Picchu the way the Inca people did– through the incredible Sun Gate.

In summary

Cusco is a must-see on any traveler’s list. By knowing a few tips beforehand, then you can properly enjoy this amazing city and the surrounding area.

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