Cusco is THE place to visit in Peru. It’s incredible location, diverse cuisine and thousand year long history attract millions of people each year. Especially between April and September, when the magical Andes city gets the most sunshine, it is more alive than during any other months. Which brings a lot of diversity to Cusco and is undoubtedly great for its nightlife, can require a lot of patience visiting the main sights. Here we have some advice on how you still have an incredible stay in the former Inca capital.
Book in advance
Cusco is a small city, which means it has only a limited amount of accommodations available. If you don’t want to stand in front of locked doors, check your stay as soon as possible. Same counts for the main sights and hikes. Between April and September it will be hard to get last minute tickets. So think about what you want your trip to be like and plan ahead.
Take hiking routes that are less used
During the peak season the most popular routes are crowded with people. Especially the world famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is often packed. If you prefer not to fight for a glimpse of the snow-peaked mountain or have a selfie stick in your face, look out for different tours. Of course you still can wander to Machu Picchu and experience the tranquility of the Sacred Valley likewise. Trails like the Salkantay or Quarry Trek are usually way quieter, but at least equally beautiful. So prepare to have the hike you are dreaming of, sleeping under the Andes night sky and conquering the powerful mountain ranges. Without thousands of others.
Get up early
The early bird catches the worm, or in your case the best views. It can be hard sometimes to set your alarm way before the sunrise, but trust us it is worth it. Being one of the first to watch the sunrise over ancient Inca ruins or walking the quiet World Heritage streets of Cusco, will leave you with impressive photos and great memories. Most of the all-inclusive hikes to Machu Picchu take you to the citadel way before the sun rises, which means less people and incredible views over the surrounding landscapes.
Take your time
Staying in Cusco for more than just a couple nights will leave you with enough time to discover the less crowded parts of the Inca town. Check out the markets, visit close by ruins or enjoy the landscapes from one of the plenty lookout points. Additionally it gives you time to acclimatize to the altitude and explore Cusco’s delicacies. Did you know Cusco is world known for its chocolate and coca tea?
Look for unknown sights
Machu Picchu is for sure worth a visit. The aura of the Incas in the infinite seeming Sacred Valleys will make you speechless. But likewise a flood of other people. Have you heard of all the other amazing sights close to Cusco, like the Q’eswachaka bridge, Pongo de Mainique or Tambomachay? No? Well, plenty other people neither. So grab your boots, discover an original Incan rope bridge, explore the beauty of the quiet Andes and stand on ancient ruins, while the others stand on each others foots.
Don’t forget you are in Peru. Especially in peak months pickpockets and scammers try to make profit with tourists. Don’t walk alone in the dark,
leave your important valuables at home and protect your personal belongings. Compare taxis fares and tour prices before you book them. You don’t have to feel unsafe, just be careful. Then you will have a great time for sure!