Peru & Cusco Information
eru is a fascinating country because of its history, culture, and its marvelous landscape. You can wander around colonial cities, which have preserved the legacy of the Spanish conquistadors or you can visit the ancient INCA capital Cusco, as well as explore the lost city of Machu Picchu.
Peru has some of the most spectacular and varied scenery in South America. The Peruvian Andes are the most beautiful on the continent and the mountains are home to millions of highland natives who still speak the ancient language Quechua and maintain a traditional way of life. The Amazon which occupies half of Peru is one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity “hot spots”, a species- rich area of tropical rainforest that will make your head spin when you start to learn about its ecology. The coastal deserts are beautiful with huge rolling dunes, farmland oases and fishing villages.
The citizens from the following areas will be issued a visa (30-90 days, usually 90) on arrival: North and South American, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and India. If in doubt, check in the nearest Peruvian consulate. Upon entering Peru, travelers must fill- out a double entry form. The original stays with immigration. The duplicate is given to the visitors and must be surrendered upon leaving. Do not lose it. It costs US$5 to replace.
HEALTH AND VACCINATION.
Before traveling to Peru especially if you want to go to the jungle, you must get a yellow fever vaccination, obtain adequate health insurance and consult your doctor about the necessary immunization regions in the Peruvian jungle. In the Manu, Tambopata, Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado area you should consider taking anti-malarial pills and a yellow fever shot is mandatory. Again, consult your personal physician.
Cholera vaccinations are not necessary. Most cities have doctors who speak English and other European languages. There are also, many private clinics. Before your arrival, SUNRISE PERU TREK needs to know about any medical restrictions or medications you may need. Travelers with bad heart conditions, respiratory problems or high blood pressure must consult their doctors before traveling, as the city of Cusco is situated at an altitude over 3,400 meters above sea level. We recommend that each traveler bring their own basic medical kit.
ABOUT CUSCO CITY
Cusco, sacred city and the capitol of the Inca Empire was the government center of the four big administrative regions named Tahuantinsuyo. This fabulous empire extended to a great part of what today is Ecuador, Colombia, Perú, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. The Inca Empire was a very well structured society. It stands out for having a great knowledge in architecture, hydraulic engineering, medicine and agriculture.
The population in Cusco city by the beginning of the XXI century is projected to be 300,000 inhabitants. The annual growth rate is approximately 4%. In 1821 after 3 centuries of Spanish colonial administration, this city had about 40,000 people. In the Tawantinsuyo’s apogee it should had between 225 to 300 thousand inhabitants.
The altitude is 3,400 meters above sea level (11,150 feet). Some persons not used to the high altitude get problems as a consequence of the oxygen scarcity. It is necessary to be one day at least in city before to make trekking. The latitude is 13° 30′ 45″ it indicates that we should have a tropical or equatorial weather, but it is not like that. Sometimes Cusco is cooler because of its high altitude. The Longitude is 71° 58′ 33″. We are 5 hours later than the Greenwich Mean Time.
It is relatively cool. The annual average in the city is between 10.3° to 11.3° Celsius (50.54° to 52.34° Fahrenheit). Over here there is some uniformity in temperature between summer and winter. Normally it is somewhat cold at nighttime and during the first hours in the early morning while that at midday temperature increases considerably. During the early mornings in June and July temperature frequently drops to 5° and 7°C below zero (23° and 19.4°F). There are just 2 well-defined seasons: a dry season and another rainy one. The dry season is from May to October and the rainy season from November to April.
Probable weather in Cusco and on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.
In Cusco dry season starts in April to October, the days are usually sunny and hot but temperatures drop abruptly after 5-6 pm until 7- am. Weather is very changeable from November to March and heavy rains are expected being the wettest month December to March although is not as cold as it is in the dry season.
The water in Cusco And Machu Picchu
Drinking tap water is not advisable in Peru. Bottled water is a must. Water is available in most hotels and stores all over Peru. 3-4 liters of water per day is enough to avoid dehydration which can be a real problem in high altitudes like Cusco. Other ways you can avoid parasites is to boil and/or filter water or add purification tablets.
Currency and credit cards:
In 1991 the Peruvian government introduced the “Nuevo Sol”, divided in 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and S/.10, 20, 50,100 and 200 banknotes or bills. US dollars are welcome at most shops, restaurants and service stations at the current exchange rate. Most Shops and stores accept the most common credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Diners and American Express.
ATM cards can now be used in city locations: airports, bank machines and shopping centers. The main banking systems are:
It’s possible to obtain Nuevos Soles (sometimes dollars) with your card. Don’t forget there’s always a small service charge when you use credit and ATM cards. The use of traveler’s checks are welcome. When using a credit card make sure you are charged the right amount for your purchase. In case of lost or stolen cards, don’t forget to have the telephone number of the bank in order to cancel your card.
Changing money on the street is very common but risky. Banks or “casas de cambio” are a better choice. Important note: old or damaged US bills (i.e. a very slight tear) either won’t be accepted or will be exchanged at lower rates. When exchanging cash be sure to have crisp, new bills. Bring bills of various denominations.
Taxes in Cusco and Peru:
The price of food and services is included in a 18% national tax (airline tickets, included). In almost all restaurants there is a 10% service charge. However, when in doubt consult your guide. Tax for international flights is $25 and $4.50 for domestic flights, which you will need to pay in cash at the airport.
Browse tour & Treks to Machu Picchu in Cusco – Peru
The wonderful natural and cultural highlights of Machu Picchu provide an unparalleled trips and adventure trekking experience. Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, trek the Salkantay Trek, the Lares Trek, travel by train through the Urubamba canyon, and many other options offer Machu Picchu Trips for your adventure experience that you won’t get nowhere in the world.