Birthplace of the world
The ancient Andean capital Cusco is the historic center of the Inca empire and thus an ideal place to visit the numerous inca sites in the area.
In order to get an overview, we will start with a visit to the beautiful and picturesque city center of Cusco with its historic center, the Plaza de Armas, La Merced church and the sun temple Coricancha. Later we will guide you to the nearby ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Puka-Pukara and Tambomachay. In the next few days we drive you through the Sacred Valley of the Inca, visit a market in Chinchero, visit the salt terraces of Maras and also drive to the terraced gardens of Moray and on to Ollantaytambo to visit the terraces with temples.
By train, you can spend a couple of pleasant hours from Cusco to Aguas Calientes and enjoy great scenery again. From Aguas Calientes we will visit with you one of the real highlights of all Peru tours, the Machu Picchu. Early in the morning you will be able to absorb the unique and mystical atmosphere of Machu Picchu and we will also have enough time to explore this legendary ancient Inca city more closely.
How to get to Cusco
Regular flights connect Lima and Cusco, there are plenty options. You have to spend a few days adjusting to the altitude of Cusco. Travelers are more likely to suffer from altitude sickness due to the rapid arrival at this altitude, but this should be alleviated after 2 days at the latest. In contrast, you have a little more time when getting to the bus or car to get used to the altitude.
Many airlines operate flights from Lima to Cusco every day. Some of the best-known are StarPeru, LANTAM, AVIANCA and AeroCondor, amongst plenty of others. Flights can realistically be found from around USD 50 – 150 and flight time is approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
By plane from Lima
By plane from Arequipa
By bus from Lima
- Lima – Arequipa – Juliaca – Cusco
- Lima – Nasca – Puquio – Chalhuanca – Abancay – Cusco
- Lima – Huancayo – Ayacucho – Abancay – Cusco
These three primary bus routes exist between Lima and Cusco. The shortest, goes via Nasca and Abancay. Barring problems, this winding route through the andean highlands can be done in approximately 23 hours. However, as with many roads in Peru, bad weather can lead to mudslides which are in turn followed by road works, all of which can easily add a few more hours onto the trip.
Reputable companies offering the journey include Cruz del Sur, Oltursa, Movil Tours and Tepsa. All of these run reliable services using modern and comfortable buses and offer an online booking service.
A direct bus from Cusco to Lima takes around 23 hours without stops and so we always recommend breaking up the journey with other stops along the way. All public buses from Cusco to Lima cross right through the often dangerous andes mountains. It is always recommended to go the slightly longer route via Arequipa or break up the journey with other stops in the south of Peru. Flights between Cusco and Lima can be expensive, especially considering the location of Lima airport, which is quite far from the main hotel area of Miraflores, although the new airport express Lima Bus now offers a safe and cheap way from Lima Airport.
By bus from Puno
Again, the above-mentioned well-known bus companies offer daily the appropriate bus connections.
However, we would like to pay particular attention to the bus connections of INKAexpress, as it offers a well-designed program in addition to the pure bus ride, which you can use, for example. on the way from Puno to Cusco past the following points:
- Pucará Museum (3.900 m altitude)
- Abra La Raya (4.335 m altitude)
- Marangani Buffet Lunch (3.552 m altitude)
- Raqchi “Temple of Wiracocha” (3.225 m altitude)
- Andahuaylillas “Sistine Chapel of America” (3.122 m altitude)
- Cusco (3.400m altitude)
This offer is also available in reverse order for the trip from Cusco to Puno, which we highly recommend to our customers who do not drive by car.
We offer the detailed plans for this way via Abancay with a night there to get better into this altitude. Another route we give detailed plans is the route Lima via Nasca – Arequipa to Cusco as well as route Lima – Nasca – Arequipa – Puno – Cusco. Just feel free and as us about them. In our very detailed route plans we give you more tipps for points of interest.
– Lima to Cusco 1.153 km
– Ayacucho to Cusco 597 km
– Abancay to Cusco: 198 km
– Arequipa to Cusco 623 km
– Puno to Cusco 630 km
By train from Puno
The train from Puno to Cusco is the Belmond Andean Explorer, a luxury tourist train that will take approx. 10 hours to get to Cusco during a scenic day trip. Fares are quite very luxurious and experience.
Points of interest
Cusco has many points to visit. Please watch the tour packages for more informations.
The food of Cusco takes the andean and spanish tradition in the preparation of their stews. It is a mixture of two trends that combine giving exquisiteness of really delicious dishes. The first one contributes peruvian ingredients such as potatoes, corn, quinoa, guinea pigs, chili peppers and various condiments such as huacatay or pasta del ají panca; and the other the use of meats such as mutton and pork. Also, the methods of boiling when preparing meals are also based on the regional ingredients.
Over the years, many foods have varied, however, the picanterías and the famous chicherías remain over the years. In many restaurants we can find these dishes from Cusco.
Some of them you have to taste
- Chancho al horno o lechón al horno
- Chicharrón a la cusqueña
- Chiri uchu
- Chuño cola o Lawa de chuño
- Cuy a la piedra o cuy chactado
- Lawa Lawa
- Olluquito con charqui
- Pepián de cuy
- Queso kapchi
- Timpu o puchero
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