Peru Useful Information
Machu Picchu and Cusco have developed into a major tourist attraction offered by Perú and Perú has become as one of the most important tourist destination in South America.
Perú is the third largest country in South America, located in a geographical area that belongs to the tropical rainforest, but due to the presence of the Andes Mountain Chain and different factors and conditions, Perú unites in one single place a large part of the riches of the world, being one of the twelve Mega-diverse countries in the world.
The Andes cut Perú into three geographically distinct areas: The rainless coastal deserts, the mountain range towering more than 22,000 feet and the steamy rain forest, including the Peruvian sea as well. All this diversity makes Perú a paradise for birds (1,831 species), butterflies (3,700 species), and orchids. Perú is the third country in mammals, the fifth in amphibians and the eighth in reptiles. Perú has 20% of all the living species of the world. Furthermore, it has 84 of the 104 ecosystems that exist around the globe, 15% of its territory; its mean 19 million hectares, are protected ecological zones such as Manu National Park and the National Reserve of Paracas.
Perú has about 12,000 lakes and lagoons, including the highest navigable lake in the world: Titicaca Lake. It’s here where the great Amazonas River originates, which crosses through the entire continent. Perú also has the deepest canyons in the world, the Colca canyon and the Qotawasi canyon at 3200 and 3300 meters in depth respectively, the ideal place to practice adventure tourism. Perú has everything: beaches, deserts, jungles, mountains and glaciers as well as hundreds of natural spring sources.
All these features, the tourism infrastructure and the favorable political climate make it possible for Perú present itself to the world as a diverse destination for eco-tourism, cultural tourism and alternative tourism.
Perú is the land of the Incas, with more than 8000 years of history and cultural development. At one time it was the most culturally sophisticated civilization in South America. Experience everything from the 5,000 year old city of Caral to the great temples of Chavín, from the finest Paracas mantles ever produced to Nazca and their enigmatic performances, from Tiahuanaco the Wari Empire, from Chimu and the amazing city of Chan-Chan to the Kuelap fortress in the Perúvian jungle and from the formidable Inca temples of Cusco and Machu Picchu to Choquequirao, called the golden cradle of the Incas.
Perú is a multicultural, multilingual and multiethnic country. Art and archeology, pre-Inkan, Incan and colonial architecture, vibrant cultures, pristine nature, ancient traditions, music, dances, celebrations and religious festivals and the exquisite cuisine are waiting for you. As you can see, Perú offers an endless supply of tourist activities, making it the most accessible and most complete tourist destination in South America. We invite you to discover and share the natural and cultural riches of our country in pursuit of the general welfare of its inhabitants.
CUSCO TOURIST TICKET AND OTHER ENTRANCE FEES
Admission to many of the most popular places of interest in Cusco can only be made using a ‘Tourist Ticket’ (Boleto Turistico). This ticket allows you entrance to many sites in and around Cusco.
RATES BOLETO TURISTICO GENERAL CUSCO
- S/.130.00 Soles (approx US$45.00).
- S/.70.00 Soles for students with an ISIC card (approx US$25.00).
The ticket is valid for 10 days and can be bought at the OFEC office at Avenida Sol 103 office 102 (Mon-Fri 8am-6.30pm , Sat 8am-2pm) or at any of the sites included on the ticket below. Official website www.cosituc.gob.pe
Places included on the tourist ticket are:
- Santa Catalina Convent and Art Museum, Museo de Historia Regional (Casa Inca Garcilazo de la Vega), Museo Palacio Municipal.
- Arte Contemporaneo, the Museo Arqueologico Koricancha (but not Koricancha itself), Museo de Arte Popular.
- Pachacutec Monument.
- Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara.
- Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero, Moray. These sites are normally visited as part of the Sacred Valley day tour.
- Urcos: Pikillacta (the only major pre-Inca ruin in the Cusco area) and Tipon (mainly Inca terracing).
Entrance tickets to the Cathedral (US$10.00), Koricancha / Qoricancha /Temple of the Sun (US$5.00), San Blas church, the Inka Museum (US$5.00), Museo de Arte Precolombino (US$5.00), Museo de Arte Religioso del Arzobispado (US$5.00) and La Merced (US$5.00) are sold separately.
MACHU PICCHU INFORMATION
Tickets to enter Machu Picchu can no longer be bought at the entrance to Machu Picchu itself. You now have to buy the entrance tickets at the Machu Picchu Cultural Centre in Aguas Calientes (10m from the main Plaza, opens at 5:15am).
RATES MACHU PICCHU:
The entrance fee in 2011 is S/.160.00 Peruvian Soles (which is approximately US$55.00). There is a 50% discount for students with a valid ISIC card.
They only accept payment in Peruvian Soles and rarely have any change so make sure that you take the exact amount. If you don’t they’ll just tell you to come back when you have the correct change – which can be difficult at 5:15am !! If you can, best to buy the entrance tickets the day before. Alternatively you can buy the tickets in Cusco at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INC) offices which can be found at Calle San Bernado a few blocks from the main Plaza de Armas). The tickets are valid for 3 days from the day of purchase which means you have time to travel to Aguas Calientes, stay the night and enter Machu Picchu the following morning. However once you enter Machu Picchu they are only valid for that day. If you want to return to Machu Picchu the following day then you have to buy another ticket!!
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN CUSCO
Cusco has the potential to offer some top class biking trips. Excellent day trips include Maras & Moray Trail, Sacred Valley biking tour (from Chinchero to Ollantaytambo and from the Inca ruins of Tambomachay to Calca. Both routes are long downhill sections followed by flat sections along the Sacred Valley and are on paved roads.). On the other hand you can ride Lares Downhill or just the half day tour Cusco Valley trail. We provide our bikes, as well as specialized guides, equipment and private transportation or support vehicle.