Frequenly Asked Quetions
We want to welcome you to our website, here you will find all the necessary information required to visit the country of Peru, if you want any information, our company is here to help. Just send us your concerns, MAPI PERU TRAVEL is a Peruvian Travel Agency of the city of Cusco, we are specialized operators in cultural, ecological and adventure tourism, to make your holiday unforgettable (to make your vacation an unforgettable experience) we are located in the center of the world, the city of Cusco. We want to welcome you to our website, here you will find all the necessary information required to visit the country of Peru, if you want any information, our company is here to help.
Do you have questions about your Cusco vacation? Check now for answers to the questions our travelers most frequently ask about visiting Cusco. If you cannot find the answer to your particular question, feel free to contact us directly. Also, check out our tours where we offer even more detailed information to help you organize for your Peru vacation.
What Can You Expect?
Prompt & reliable service – From the moment you make an enquiry with us, you can expect a prompt response by one of our professional travel advisors. You will be provided with a flexible, personalized itinerary that is well organized to suit your needs. When you arrive in Peru, you will be met by a professional English-speaking tour guide who will accompany you on your journey. Your entire package will be fulfilled with 24/7 support from our professional staff.
The Cusco tourist ticket (Boleto Turistico) gets you into 16 of the most important places of interest in and around Cusco, including some of the major draws in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In fact, you cannot get into many churches and museums without it. The Boleto includes admission to the following sights:
- La Catedral
- Museo de Arte Religioso
- Iglesia de San Blas
- Monasterio y Museo de Arte de Santa Catalina
- Municipal Palace Museum
- Museo Arqueológico del Qoricancha
- Museo Histórico Regional
- The Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Q'enko, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Pikillacta, and Tipón.
Access to ATM’s while in Cusco should not be an issue for travelers. ATM’s and money exchange locations can be found throughout the city, especially near the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Blas.
Cusco’s location and altitude result in only two seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season typically lasts from October to March, with the heaviest rains arriving in January and February. April/May, just after the rainy season, or September/October, before the rainy season sets in are the recommended times to visit Cusco. The rainy season tends to be quieter in terms of tourism, with almost daily showers lasting a few hours. During the dry season, rain is virtually nonexistent; Cusco is bathed in sunshine and enjoys blue skies during daylight hours. The minute the sun disappears, however, Cusco becomes bitterly cold, so be sure to pack some warm clothes. During the winter dry season, temperatures can run from anywhere between -1°C (30°F) at night to 20°C (70°F) ) during the day.
The actual name “Cusco”, derived from the Quechua word “Qosqo”, literally means "navel of the world" due to the Incan belief that Cusco was actually the center of the world; not a surprising belief at all if you consider that Cusco once served as a hub for the vast network of roads that linked the quite expansive Inca Empire together.
Peruvian cuisine is excellent and celebrated worldwide, but you may want to mix it up and try something else. Cusco is filled with delectable international restaurants where you can enjoy a nice meal. Right on Plaza de Armas, you can find some excellent restaurants offering French fare alongside the traditional Peruvian dishes, such as Le Papillon or Le Nomade. You can also taste the famous and exquisite Argentinean meat at Tangobeef (Calle Suecia, close to the Cathedral). If you wish to enjoy a nice cold beer and a cheeseburger, you can stop at the highest Irish Pub in the world, Paddy O’Flaherty, on Plaza de Armas.
The main post office is located at the end of the Avenida del Sol. You can also find stamps and mail boxes in many of the shops around Plaza de Armas. A regular letter costs around six soles for Europe and five soles for the United States. Mail takes about 10-12 days to get there.
There are two main tourist information offices located in Cusco. InfoPeru, the national tourist information office, is located on Avenida del Sol, close to the Plaza de Armas. The regional office, DIRTUR is situated on Calle Mantas between the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Francisco.
- Restaurants: Peru is known for its excellent cuisine. In any city you can find a wide range of restaurants offering some of Peru´s finest dishes at very reasonable prices. Check out our Cusco Restaurants – Travel Guide for a selection of restaurants offering local specialties.
- Bars/cafés: Cusco boasts a vibrant nightlife that you can enjoy well into the early hours of the day. See our Cusco Nightlife – Travel Guide for recommended bars and nightclubs to experience a great night out in this historic city.
- Shopping: There are several places in Cusco where you can find various Peruvian goods. The Cusco region is known for its high-quality artwork and handiwork. See our Cusco Shopping – Travel Guide for more information.
A domestic departure tax of $5-10 USD depending on your destination must be paid before boarding at the airport payment teller window. You will be directed to the window at the check in counter. This will mean lining up twice, which is a good reason to arrive early although the airport is rather small and lines are quick. The TUUA may be included in the ticket price so please consult your travel advisor for the latest details.
You can travel to and from Cusco by bus or plane. Flights from Lima, Cusco, Puerto Maldonado and Juliaca (Puno) leave daily; there are no international arrivals. The airport is located about 15 minutes away from the main square by car. A taxi ride will cost about s/.12 but prices are always negotiable.
You can also travel to Cusco by bus from Lima, Cusco or Puno. Peru has an excellent inter-province bus service. Most of the inter-province buses in Cusco leave from the bus terminal “Terminal Terrestre,” which is about a 10 minute ride in taxi from the main plaza in Cusco.
The main means of transport in Cusco are taxis and combis (small buses) that cover the whole town. However Cusco is a relatively small city and you can easily walk to the city center from almost any part of town in 10-20 minutes.
INKA TRAIL QUESTIONS
Hiking the Inca Trail is popular all year, however May to September is considered the 'high' season. This means that permits can be sold out many months in advance, so it is especially imperative to plan ahead of hiking during these months.
Permits to hike the Inca Trail can be sold out for many months in advance, particularly in the high season. We recommend booking as early as possible.
Our cooks prepare excellent high-energy meals appropriate for a trek of this nature. The menu usually includes pasta, rice, chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables and a variety of oatmeal, eggs and other breakfast foods. Vegetarian alternatives are available upon request at the time of booking.
Bottled water can be purchased on day 1 and on the evening of day 3 of the Inca Trail however we discourage trekkers from purchasing bottles as it increases the amount of garbage that must be packed out. We recommend that you bring a refillable water bottle as boiled water will be provided in the morning at breakfast, at lunch and every evening after dinner.
Sleeping bags are not included and so we recommend bringing a compact three-season sleeping bag. A popular alternative is to rent a sleeping bag in Cuzco which can be requested through your representative or tour leader at the start of your tour or by letting us know at time of booking. They are clean, warm and cost approximately USD$15 (for all three nights). Some renters may choose to bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. Foam mats are provided however some travellers also bring their own self-inflating mat (ie. a Thermarest).
Three-person tents are used to accommodate two same-sex travellers. There are a few places where permanent but very basic toilet facilities exist and when they are not available our team will set up portable toilet tents. Trekkers are provided with a bowl of hot water (and a hot drink) every morning in their tent.
The altitude means it can get quite chilly, especially during the Andean winter (May - September) when the temperature can drop to below zero degrees (Celsius) at night. It can still be cool at other times of the year and so we recommend bringing thermal underwear and a warm sleeping bag. You can purchase warm, inexpensive and locally made hand-woven mitts and gloves in Cuzco.
Yes! In Cuzco you will be provided with a large stuff sac in which you can place up to 6kg of personal items. Our porters will carry these bags, along with your tent and sleeping bag while you hike the Inca Trail. (please note they will be weighed before we leave Cuzco). Items not required while on the trail can be stored safely at our hotel in Cuzco. All you will be required to carry is a daypack containing items you will need during the day (Water, camera, sunscreen, rain poncho, etc..).
The time at which you will reach Machu Picchu depends on the campsite assigned for your third night on the Trail. Many groups will reach the sun gate at approximately 6:00am (the hike begins at approx. 4:30am) and will enter the site 45 minutes later but this cannot be determined in advance. After a bit of time to catch your breath and freshen up after the hike you will receive a two hour guided tour followed by some free time to explore the area on your own before the group travels by bus to Aguas Calientes where we catch the train back to Cuzco. Train schedules vary.
Yes! If you do not wish to hike the Inca Trail please advise us at the time of booking (it is very difficult to make these arrangements once you have already confirmed). If you choose not to hike the trail you will spend two nights in Cuzco and then take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes for the third night. You will rejoin your group at Machu Picchu for your included tour of the site. You may also choose to book a trip that includes the slightly higher and scenic Lares Trail. This popular 3-day and 2 night trek, ends in Ollantaytambo where you will catch the train to Aguas Calientes, Spend the night in a simple hotel and catch the early bus to Machu Picchu.