Cusco is full of Inca history, ancient ruins and archeological sites like Machu Picchu and Sacsayhuaman. It is surrounded by the astonishing sceneries of the Sacred Valley with canyons, dense jungles and snow-glazed mountain ranges. Traditional people and colorful festivities will sweeten your stay. This set of diversity attracts plenty of tourists every year, which of course attracts crime and scams as well. Visiting Cusco? We tell you what you need to be careful about in order to have a great time in the land of the Incas.
Use Your Common Sense
Cusco generally is a very safe place. Tourism is very important to the region, for that reason the city tries to protect people visiting as good as they can. Locals are super friendly and welcoming, and interested in foreigners. You will encounter lots of police throughout the city, ensuring an overall safety. Still it is wise to use your common sense walking through the city. Don’t forget you are in South America.
Leave expensive and personal valuables in your country, only bring a copy of your passport and lock the original safely away in your hotel when you are exploring the surroundings of Cusco. Have an eye on your belongings, best keep them close to you all the time. Pickpockets are around. Don’t carry a lot of cash on you. You should not walk around in the dark by yourself at night time and don’t follow any strangers. Avoid the areas around San Pedro market and the bus terminal at night time.
It is highly recommended to have a travel insurance when you come to Peru. You never know what might happen and in the case of an emergency (knock on wood) it is good to be protected to prevent you from high costs. Consult your doctor about vaccinations you might need, like rabies or yellow fever. Bring a first aid kit and the most important medicine while travelling.
It is wise to have antihistamines, anti diarrhea pills and ibuprofen on you. Maybe even tablets against altitude sickness. Cusco is situated about 3500 meter and 11500 feet above the sea level. Some people might feel dizzy, energyless and get headache. Make sure to acclimatize before hiking sights like Machu Picchu or the Rainbow Mountains, which are located even higher. Drink a cup of coca tea, this ancient practice is supposed to help you relieve from any altitude related symptoms.
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Peru is situated in an earthquake, likewise a volcanic zone. Cusco is not directly endangered by eruptions, earthquakes happen though now and then. The last bigger one in 2014. Inform yourself how to behave in the case of such an event. Especially during the rain season between November and April landslides regularly occur. This might lead to parts of the jungle and some villages being blocked due to damaged roads.
If you rent a car drive carefully!
Where To Book Tours
Inform yourself before you book a tour. Best is to choose online to guarantee an official getaway. Read comments to make sure you are taking an authentic tour and compare prices. Same counts for taxis. Especially on the airport you will encounter drivers who ask for multiples of what you would usually pay. Only use licensed cabs or services like Uber or Easytaxi.
Don’t be worried too much. Cusco is a great place that is overall safe and people here are amicable and extremely friendly. Just don’t do things you wouldn’t do in your home country. If you use your common sense and follow all of those advice you will have a great time in Cusco!