The tourist visiting Cusco City, should keep in mind the following recommendations:
When to go there.- The highest tourist season in Cusco is the one running from June to August that coincides with the dry station, and this is the best time to go there if you are interested in carring out adventure trips as the Inka Road, river rowing, etc. The disadvantage is that during this season the costs are the highest. Tourists visit Cusco along the whole year, although in the humid months from December to April, the rain makes the walks difficult, although it rains rarely for more than some few hours and there is still a lot of sun to enjoy.
Altitude desease.- The city altitude in certain cases makes people not to get adapted good enough to it, so getting into health problems as a consequence of oxygen scarce since in this case an inverse relationship happens: to more altitude less oxigen quantity in the atmosphere. Oxygen shortage produces what is known as altitude desease or "soroche" that is manifested by diverse ways like drowsiness, headaches, deficiency in breathing and nausea. For certain people, it may take days or weeks to adapt themselves to certain altitudes. It is advisable that just arriving to the city to take a rest along a couple of hours, previously to drink a coca maté.
Money Exchange.- The official currency in the Peru is the Nuevo Sol. The foreign easiest currency to change to national currency are the American dollars. Being Cusco a city with enough tourist affluence many of the tourist services have their prices based on American dollars. You can use the American dollar freely to purchase or to pay any service. The prices will be calculated based on the exchange rate of the informal market that is of public knowledge. There is people exchanging money in the streets but it is advisable to carry out the exchange in the hotels and/or in money exchange houses attending in many places throughout the city. S /. 2.80 = 1 US Dollares (aprox.) to May 30, 2010.
Credit Cards.- The broadly accepted credit cards are Visa and MasterCard. American Express and Diners cards are accepted in smaller scale, but the credit cards imply 8% commission unless you use them to make a cash retirement (in Peruvian currency) in a bank. There are automatic cashiers in Cusco admiting almost all the credit cards. Ask in your bank for a listing of foreign towns from where cards are accepted.
Traveler Check.- The travelers checks are hardly accepted in most commercial establishments, because it is difficult to cash them by third persons. In case of using them, it is better you to change them in some bank and to get cash (it means a 2% to 5% calculated loss, of the mount of money that is a commission charged by the bank).
Services dealing.- There are people that works waiting the tourists on their arrival ponit to this city in the airports, bus stations and train stations, to offer them lodging places, trips, etc. If you decide to accept some service from these people you got to take care when dealing with them, you must never pay them for the lodging, instead you should pay directly to the inn or hotel where you have been taken into; likewise, to hire some trip it is preferable to make it in the office or travel agency, not in the hotel or inn. And don't forget to always request a voucher of the payment that it is being made and check that the address appearing in the voucher coincides with that of the office where this service is being hired. We recommend you to use this page to be contacted directly with travel agencies, lodging establishments, etc; because de ones appearing here are quite guaranteed.
Security.- Cusco is a very safe city, the tourist visiting us should take the appropriate cautions the same that in all other places of the world. Don't take more money than you can use occasionally, it is preferable that all the objects of value including passports, jewels and money to be left deposited in security boxes offered by the hotels. The cameras (photographic and videotape ones) as well as handbags and personal backpacks should be held by the shoulder and taken ahead instead of on the back.
Taxis.- In Cusco a taxi trip costs S /. 2.50 and S /. 3.00 inside the city depending on the distance, from airport to the city and vice versa S / .5.00, the person hiring this service, shouldn’t pay bigger sums for this. For wisdom, don't request neither accept lodging recommendations from taxi drivers.
Electric energy voltage.- It is 220V, 60 Hz. European and american plane plugs require adapters.