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How to get around Cusco?

Cusco is a small city where it is possible to get around on foot. Most tourist attractions are located in the Historic Center. Restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs are also located in this area. Visitors who want to know the Sacred Valley of the Incas or Machu Picchu must take buses or one of the tourist trains.


If you do not want to visit Cusco on your own, choose a tour package that includes the transportation service. For example, the City Tour Cusco includes the minivan transportation service through the archaeological sites of Coricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay.


Walking through the streets of Cusco

  • The Historic Center of Cusco is the area where tourists concentrate as it offers restaurants, cafes, hotels and bars. The main tourist attractions of the city are also located there. To visit this area you only need to walk.
  • Due to Cusco’s high altitude (3,399 meters above sea level), tourists may experience shortness of breath. That is why it is recommended to walk slowly taking the necessary breath and air.
  • You can walk to some of the most amazing places in Cusco such as: Coricancha, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay, the various museums and more .
Walking through Cusco
Walking through the traditional streets of Cusco

Taxi ride through the city

  • In the city of Cusco more than 10 thousand taxis circulate. These run through the Historic Center of Cusco and its surroundings. Most have a visible ‘taxi’ sign.
  • Cusco also has the taxi service by cell phone application: Uber and Easy Taxi .
  • The taxi service can transport tourists to different tourist attractions such as: Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay.
  • Another popular tourist destination is the ‘Real Plaza’ shopping center.
  • Prices vary according to the distance of the tour: from 5 soles ($ 2) to 20 soles ($ 6).

Cusco in panoramic buses

  • One of the best ways to get around the city of Cusco is to get on one of the panoramic buses that take tourists to the most popular places in the city.
  • These buses have comfortable seats on the second floor (without a roof). A tour guide will accompany visitors on the bus explaining some details of Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha and other important places in the city.
  • The service has an approximate cost of 20 soles (6 dollars) per person. The duration of the service is approximately 1 hour .
  • You can request the panoramic bus service in one of the tourism agencies located around the Plaza de Armas of the city.

Cusco by public transport bus

  • Approximately 1200 public transport buses circulate in the city of Cusco. These run around the outskirts of the city as well as around the Historic Center.
  • The different bus routes have a particular name. For example there are different services called: ‘Batman’, ‘Hare’, ‘Roadrunner’. ‘Inka Express’, etc.
  • Traveling by public transport bus will cost 0.80 cents (0.25 US dollars) per person, regardless of the distance traveled.
  • It is unlikely that you will need to get around by bus while visiting Cusco. However, if you must, know that most public transport companies have their whereabouts on Calle Ayacucho (very close to Plaza de Armas).
  • There are buses that go from the city of Cusco to the towns of the Sacred Valley of Cusco: Pisca, Chinchero, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo . These buses leave from the terminals located on Calle Pavitos and Calle Puputi. The service costs between 5 soles ($ 2) and 10 soles ($ 3).

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

  • The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is one of the most popular adventures in Cusco. It is a 4-day walk from a point in the Sacred Valley of the Incas to the Inca city of Machu Picchu . This route crosses ancient trails built by the Incas themselves. In total the Inca Trail runs 43 kilometers.
  • This hiking route covers high mountain landscapes as well as descents through the jungle part of Cusco. At the end of it, the tourist will enter Machu Picchu through the famous Intipunku (Puerta del Sol), the income that the Incas used hundreds of years ago.
  • The Inca Trail cannot be done on your own but by hiring a tourist package. Tours include admission, transportation, food, tour guide service and visit to Machu Picchu. Due to the high demand, tours have to be purchased online approximately 6 months in advance.

The train to Machu Picchu

  • After the Inca Trail, the train trip is the only way to get to Machu Picchu. Also, this trip is the fastest and safest way to go. The trip starts at one of the Cusco stations and ends at the Aguas Calientes station (in Machu Picchu town).
  • The stations to take the trains to Machu Picchu are located in the cities of Poroy and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Depending on the chosen station, the train journey can take 2 or 3 hours.
  • Peru Rail and Inca Rail are the two companies authorized to operate the train route to Machu Picchu. These companies offer different services to tourists, some of which include: gourmet lunch, snacks, drinks, champagne, bar car, observatory car and other services.
  • Train tickets must be purchased online through the Peru Rail or Inca Rail websites. It is recommended to do it 2 or 3 weeks before the trip .
Machu Picchu train
Train to Machu Picchu

How to rent a car in Cusco?

  • If you are one of the people who feels safer in your own hands, then you can rent a vehicle during your trip to Cusco. There are many companies that offer different types of cars to tourists, from motorcycles to trucks.
  • Some of these companies also offer the chauffeur service. Most companies that rent vehicles to tourists are located on El Sol Avenue. Rates vary from $ 30 per day to more (depending on the type of vehicle you choose) . Some of the available companies are: ‘WildLord Rent a Car’, ‘Auto Rent Cusco’ and ‘Cusco Rent a Car’.

 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, April 15, 2020