As well as being a great city in it’s own right, Cusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu.
I used Peruhop, which was easy and convenient. It also has an airport - the cheap airline is called Viva Air, which I haven’t used, but is supposed to be very strict (you have to have a printed copy of your boarding card, costing $15 if you don’t etc.)
Where to stay:
I stayed in El Labrador, which was pretty central and clean ($30 for a private). Friends stayed in Selinas and were happy, especially the nightly BBQ!
What to do:
I did the 2 day, 1 night tour to Machu Picchu with Inka time tours. This includes:
A 6 hour bus to Hidroelectrica - 10k from Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu
You then walk to Aguas Calientes (town below Machu Picchu). Accommodation in Aguas Calientes is included, but you may not be told until you get there (people are calling your name in the main square who know where you’re staying….)
Get up early the next day to either walk or get the bus to Machu Picchu.
A guided tour of Machu Picchu. My guide was poor, so don’t rely on the guide and look up things yourself.
You then walk back to Hidroelectrica for 2/3 pm (2pm if you want food, the buses leave at 3. Leave MP around 11).
Get your passport stamped up there near the main entrance.
Bring a change of clothes for the top, it can get cold after walking up.
The walk to/from Hidroelectrica isn’t that well signposted. Follow the crowd!
You can also get the train to Aguas Calientes, but it’s not cheap.
Now you’re back in Cusco, get a massage! I used relaxing time massage and andina spa - they also cut your hair!
Visit the Rainbow mountain with Rainbow Mountain Travel
What to Eat
Cappuccino café for coffee
Choco museo for a class on chocolate making.
Try Cacao shell tea and hot chocolate from the museo
Go to San Pedro market for local food
Go to Jacks café for western food, great portions
Finally, some photos!