Cusco or Qosco means “navel of the world” according to the legendary Incans who ruled this place. Before you head to Cusco to visit the fabled Machu Picchu and trek off along meandering paths there are some things you should know.
Cusco is located at a height of about 3399 meters. The atmosphere will be rarefied and it is best to arrive here and acclimatize yourself for at least a day or two. It goes without saying that if you plan to trek you must be physically fit.
Once you arrive at Cusco find out a nice and neat local Hopedale. These are usually family run and are quite affordable.
If you can, go off on your own and explore the Inca Trail and dozens of other options for trekking such as the Jungle Trek, the Sacred Valley trek (it takes all of one day) and the Santa Theresa trek or the Ausangate and Choquequirao trek. However, if you are here for a short stay then it is wise to join guided local tours in Cusco Peru offered by a local tour company. Make sure you buy the tourist ticket costing $ 45 valid for 5 days and it will give you entry to all the museums, ruins and shows. Along with the museums, you can plan to visit the church of San Blas, Plaza de Armas or the main town square, the historic ruins of Sacsayhuaman the one-time fortress of the Incas from where you have a breathtaking view of the lovely city. There are plenty of places to see so you should plan to stay a few days at the least.
Do not forget to sample vegetarian meals in the city. It is a refreshing change. Of course, there is plenty of international food as well. By some trinkets from artisans but steer clear of alpaca and help yourself to a coffee at any of the small cafes while you are here. You will be amazed by the neatness of this quaint little town that thrives solely on tourism.
Then there are small but important matters. Always carry your passport and important documents along with you instead of leaving them with your luggage. Carry woolens along with you and keep handy some sunscreen cream, sunglasses and rain gear in your backpack. It rains from April to November and December to March. Do not forget to carry a bottle of water and to put on comfortable but tough walking shoes.