Cusco – the “middle of the world” in the Andes
Last but not least, Tambomachay, the furthest from Cucso. Here is a decorated fountain, but archaeologists could not find out who was responsible for the plant until today. It is believed that this was once an underground spring, which was to be protected by the “well cover” of dehydration or the poison of hostile peoples.
For three of the four attractions you need the Tourist Ticket. Our advice: take a taxi to Tambomachay and visit the sites in reverse order: downhill is always more pleasant than uphill. You will find ice water at all 4 sites, and you should bring your own sandwiches. In Tambomachay there are very clean toilets that you, as the owner of a Tourist Ticket, can use for free.
Cusco is one of the highest cities in Peru and just when you come from the valleys, it is possible that you suffer from altitude sickness in the first days. The air is relatively thin and this can easily cause nausea, dizziness and discomfort. Quechua, however, has a simple “antidote”: coca. The natural form of cocaine has a mild stimulant effect and is not considered a drug. For example, you can find coca lemonade or sweets that mix with it; the locals also like to chew the coca leaves on their own. Alternatively, drink plenty of water, take it easy and get a remedy at the pharmacy for altitude sickness.
The city is considered relatively safe, but sometimes it is small thefts. Always take only the amount of cash you need and try not to shake the “valuables”, then nothing should happen.
Make sure you try the popular “Sapo” bar game, where you try to put small coins in the mouth of a toad, the Peruvian version of the darts, so to speak!
Mountain sickness can affect anyone, young or old. Altitude sickness threatens from 2,500 meters. Very few travelers to Peru are used to high altitudes. We recommend drinking coca tea on arrival in Cusco, Puno, Chivay, Huaraz or Cajamarca. All restaurants and hotels offer this tea and some hotels even offer it for free. Drink coca tea during the whole stay at high altitude.
Some people like coca tea so much that they want to take it to Germany to feel for a moment the festive feeling or the beneficial effects of coca leaves. However, we must tell everyone that imports are strictly prohibited in Europe, since the consumption of coca or coca leaves in the EU is covered by the Narcotic Drugs Act.
Here you can stay overnight
There are many places to stay in Cusco, and that in all price categories and requirements. From cheap hostels to hosteldejas (small family businesses) to cozy mid-range hotels and some really luxurious boutique hotels. Since 2012, Cusco even has its own JW Marriot Hotel, which is located directly in the historic center of the city and still offers a lot of rest.
A never ending blue sky, modeled by a few clouds of sheep: one would like to undertake a trip to Peru, of course, the best climate. The ideal time to visit the Andes is, therefore, the dry season between May and October. The main season, where many tourists from Europe and America arrive, extends from June to August. However, that also means that most places of interest can be quite full.
By the way, it can also come in the high season to short rains or fog in the early morning, but this is usually not long-lasting.
The rainy season starts in November and lasts until March. And here it means: it’s raining every day, sometimes more, sometimes less. Most of the rain falls in February, then some attractions such as the Inca Trail for visitors are closed. An advantage of the rainy season? The flowers, especially the orchids, are beginning to bloom and it is a truly magnificent sight!