Peru Travel Tips

BANKS AND CHANGING:

Banks and casas de cambio can be found on the avenida sol and they are open  Monday- Friday  from 8am  to 7pm) and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 1pm so, BCP bank is open to late. There are also ATM`s located close to and on the Plaza de Armas. Although this is generally safe, watch out when taking money out of ATM and don’t forget to take your card after taking the money.

MAKING A PHONE CALL:

Buy a card from international calls such as Tarjeta 147 or Hola Peru, you have to enter the access number and code on the card before dialing the number you want to call.
“Locutorios” are purpose build shops for making long distance calls. Otherwise most internet cafes have a private booth for making calls.
-Area code for Peru is 051-Area code for Cusco is 084-To dial from US. The code is 011 and from Europe 00 In most internet cafe’s you can use Skype. With Skype you can call any other person who has Skype and a headset at home or you can buy credit and make phone calls to fixed or mobile phones in general without delay and with good clear connection.

BOLETO TURISTICO:

To visit a number of places in and around Cusco, and in the Sacred Valley, you must buy the official tourist ticket. The ticket has basically. 
Tourist ticket for the sacred Valley Tour and the City Tour ( the price for adults is $48.00 and students with ISIC student card $26)
There is a partial ticket for 40 soles , which gives you entrance to a selected number of sites and is only valid  for two days.

TRANSPORT :

The safes way to travel by taxi is to always call up a licensed taxi company, this cost 6.00 to 7.00 Peruvian soles. instead   of 5.00 soles , but is much safer than hailing a taxi on the street. Be very aware in combis for pickpockets. Some times people standing in a full combi will pick your pocket or bag without you nothing until they are gone.

STREET CHILDRENT:

Although the children in the plaza the Armas may seen “cute”, be aware that may work in groups robbing tourist, while one child offers you a finger puppets another may be emptying your pockets.

FREE DRINKS:

Watch out for the free drinks that are giving out in bars and discos around the Plaza de Armas, so they are made with the cheapest alcohol possible and often make you ill. Also, like anywhere else, watch out for drink spiking.

DRUGS:

Around the tourist center and in discos all kind of drugs will be offered to you, Drugs are illegal by law in all of Peru and buying even the smallest quantity can end with a prison sentence, there is a very large percentage of foreigners in Peruvian jails for drug related crimes. Ignore people offering drugs at all the time. 

 ALTERNATIVE HIKINGS:

Around Cusco there are several hikes you can do apart from the famous “Inca Trail”. In general (apart from the low season, December and January) this hike is booked far ahead and very well protected.

Santa Teresa hiking:

A cheap way to get Machupicchu in two days, it involves a log bus drive to Santa Maria and along one day hike to the hydroelectric plant where you can take a train to Aguas Calientes town.  

Inca Jungle Trip:

An easy nice hiking to Machupicchu, it takes 4 days of hike where you can do Biking the first (6hours in total) day until Santa Maria, the second day you will hike through the cloud forest where you can see a nice landscape and also enjoy part of the Inca trail. The third day you will reach Aguas Calientes and the four day have the opportunity to see Machu picchu.

Salkantay trekking:

A very impressive 5 day hike over the Salkantay snow Mountain pass (4650masl.) into the cloud forest and end in Aguas Calientes. 

Choquequiraw trekking:

A 4 or 5 hike to visit this spectacular archeological site and walk back through the same way, or  make 8 to 9 days hike and end in Aguas Calientes. 

Lares Valley hiking:

Lares has some amazing thermal baths in a beautiful setting, you can hike different routes from 1, 3 or 4 days. 

Ausangate Trekking:

Ausangate is the highest snow mountain in the south of Peru. It take you a day to the starting point call Tinqui, and a 5 day hike to get around the peaks in a impressive setting, between glaciers and lakes.

Salakantay Trek to Machu Picchu

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