Old Town Walking Tour (Text) or Video
Best Inca Ruins (Text) or Video
Best Museums (Text) or Video
Sacred Valley (Text) or Video
Rainbow Mountain (Text) or Video
Best Places to Stay (Text) or Video
Best Restaurants (Text) or Video
Flights Trains Buses (Text) or Video
Cost of Living (Text) or Video
Cusco Peru Flights, Trains, Buses
Machu Picchu is where most people are headed when they come to Peru. Most people fly into Lima and then transfer at the airport to reach Cusco. I was last in Cusco in 2009. Then, most people would just spend a few days in Cusco and then take a train to Machu Pichu. Things have changed.
Cusco has gotten better at keeping people longer before they head to Machu Picchu. The truth is, Machu Pichu is the Diamond of Peru and you must see it. But Cusco has a bunch of other rubies, emeralds, sapphires, gold, and silver you must see. You must see the Sacred Valley along with other archeological sites even closer to Cusco than the Sacred Valley. You also have to consider whether or not you want to see Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon. Plus, if you want to see the most beautiful town in Peru you must see the intellectual capital of Peru, called Arequipa. Have you thought about seeing the Nazca Lines?
Most people are unaware that Peru is full of many other places that will blow their minds. Peru is the cultural capital of South America. You must see Chan Chan, The Lord of Sipidan, the Sun and Moon Temples, and Cajamarca, where the Spanish kidnapped the Inca King.
But this post is about Cusco and Machu Picchu, so I will focus now.
Flights: The international airport in Cusco will not be completed for another few years, so you will need to connect through Lima. You will find the cheapest airfare to Cusco via Lima on Skyscanner. The cheapest day of the week to depart from most places in the world is often Tuesday or Wednesday. When you land in Cusco, make sure to get Peruvian SIM card so you aren’t paying International roaming rates when you use my Google Maps of Peru.
Train: You can purchase your train tickets from Cusco to Macchu Picchu at Peru Rail. You can also purchase tours to Machu Picchu that include everything in a package deal, transfers, food, accommodations, guides, and the train tickets. See my ‘tours’ link below.
Buses: If you are traveling through Peru, like us, you can catch a nice bus from many places in Peru to Cusco. The Oltursa bus company has departures to their Cusco station from all over Peru. For bus times and prices in English, right click on your Chrome browser and select “Translate into English” at the Oltursa website. Grab a seat on the second floor of the bus in the front row so you will see Peru in all its glory as you move about the country.
Uber works in Cusco: An Uber Taxi from the Airport or the bus station in Cusco to your accommodations will be from s/12 to s/20 (4.00 to 6.50 USD).
MiniVan Tours: There are minivan tours to almost all of the significant tourist spots in and around Cusco, Sacred Valley, and Machu Pichu. They can often be significantly cheaper than the buses and trains. Check the tours links below.
If you book my recommended flights, tours, or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but I will earn a small commission. This will help me continue to travel and share with you.
Tours: Here are the tours available in Cusco and Machu Picchu. I recommend using either Viator Cusco Tours or Get Your Guide Cusco Tours. These are tour aggregators. That means they just publish tours conducted by third parties. Some tours are better than others. So you need to read the reviews. Look for a tour that has at least 5 reviews that sound good, and 2 of those reviews should be within the last few months.
Here are the best places to stay in Cusco.
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Warning: I am not offering you these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different if significant inflation or deflation occurs or the market changes after this post. I will not update these numbers until I am on the ground again here, if ever.