Cusco is not only the capital of the Inca Empire and the oldest city in South America but the one to attract limelight among all travel destinations in Peru. As always it needs to be said that new places need you to delve into new etiquettes and special preparations. Getting to know a few important Peru travel tips will do no harm. While you may be setting off to explore the place for the first time, we have listed down a few important things to know about Peru and Cusco. There’s a lot you need to prepare for. Therefore, read further and ensure you are entirely ready for your trip.
Important Things To Know About Peru’s Cusco
1. Be Prepared For Higher Altitudes
Cusco is situated at a height of 10,954 feet which is higher than many of the ski resorts in Europe. Although most of the travelers find no difficulties with the altitude change, others have to suffer various symptoms. These may include dizziness, headaches, feeling of sickness, and restlessness. This happens due to sudden climate change.
You can help this by traveling to Cusco by road. You can stop by at a few towns that are at a lower elevation than Cusco but above sea level. Moreover, if you are flying to Cusco directly, make sure to incorporate suitable changes in your lifestyle. Drink a lot of coco tea and take it easy. If you don’t feel better then it’s worth seeing a doctor.
2. Walking Tours Are Worthwhile
While you should take things easy, however, walking is something very important in Cusco. Although you can easily find taxis and buses to move around, exploring this compact city could be best done on foot. Therefore, make sure you carry a pair of comfortable footwear since your high heels cannot stand on the steep cobblestones.
3. The Weather May Change
October to April is the season for rain in Peru. Therefore, if you’re visiting the place during this time, make sure to carry a rain jacket. From May to September, it’s the dry season here and the sky is usually clear.
While the days are mostly hot, there can be a drop in the temperature, low enough for freezing nights. Considering the fact that this place is situated at a high altitude, the weather here can change irrespective of what time of the year it is. Come prepared with all the suitable clothing and waterproof jackets and footwear.
4. Don’t Head Straight Towards The Inca Trail
As said earlier, you need to take it easy for a few days after reaching Cusco. This means you need to schedule trekking the Rainbow Mountains or the Inca Trail after a few days when you get comfortable in the environment here.
Of course, it may be tempting enough to have a hiking tour booked for the next day. But if your body reacts badly to the altitude change, you may be losing some of the most precious days of your trip. Take no risks and give yourself some time. You can indulge in some other activities all this time.
5. Ask Before Taking Pictures Of The Locals
This could be one of the most important Peru travel tips since your etiquettes at a tourist destination matter a lot. It will take no longer for you to spot traditionally dressed women, with llamas and alpacas decorated with pom-poms. Most of these Andean women are known to make a living by posing for tourist photos.
If you click there photos, they are likely to expect a tip. Do not refuse as this may upset them. Before taking photos, make sure you ask the locals whether they are into this business of taking pictures.
6. Master The Art Of Bargaining
Undeniably, Cusco is an interesting place to buy textiles, art, and jewelry but in order to get it right, haggling or bargaining is important. Shopkeepers here are good at holding their ground. Therefore you need to be really prepared.
The only trick is to move around and get to know the prevailing rates. Do not hesitate in moving out of the store if the deal is out of your way. Moreover, you will know that your expected price was too low if the shopkeeper chases you out of the shop.
7. This Holiday Needs To Be Longer Than You Think
Since most of the travelers have their major focus on the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, they don’t stay too long in Cusco. This is another among the important Peru travel tips that you can miss out on many great experiences if you don’t keep enough time in your hands.
Cusco has to show you a lot more than you think. This place holds on to numerous museums, bars, cafes, colonial buildings, adventure trips, and Inca ruins. This is a fun package for one whole week. You can consider Cusco as one major travel destination.
These are some important things to know about Peru and Machu Pichu that will help you to get comfortable at this incredible place. Plan your trip well.