Cusco Holiday Hostal

Kennedy B No F-2 Wanchaq, Cusco, Peru
Cusco Holiday Hostal
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  • Solo100
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More about Cusco


the iglesia at dusk is photogenic!the iglesia at dusk is photogenic!

Museo de Historia Natural - the condorMuseo de Historia Natural - the condor

Head of the Puma... can you see it?Head of the Puma... can you see it?

The facadeThe facade

Forum Posts

Question about packing and soroche..

by cacosta

Hi all, I'm planning to visit Cusco on a volunteer vacation in April. Can anyone tell me what to pack? Also, I'm a little anxious (mild understatement) about altitude sickness. I'm allergic to sulfa drugs so Diamox etc is not a possibility. I'll be flying from Lima to Cusco. What should I expect? Any advice?

RE: RE: Question about packing and soroche..

by puppis

About the soroche, you may use "Garlic pills". They acted excellent with me in Humahuaca (4300m above level). I bought them at a local Pharmacy, but you can have them before the trip getting them as a dietary complement in a "natural products" shop.

RE: Question about packing and soroche..

by degraaf

Hi There,

Soroche(altitude sickness) is caused by 2 main factors:

Lack of oxygen in the air:

The higher you go the less oxygen you will find per m3 of breathable air. Therefore your lungs will obtain less of this existential gas per each breath taken, while your brain and heart need the same amount. Therefore you need to breath more often to get the same amount of oxygen, which gives you the feeling of being “out of breath” constantly.

Lower outside air pressure at higher altitudes:

Due to the fact that at 3,400m (10,000ft approx.) altitude there is the same amount of meters/ft less air above your head and therefore less air-pressure on your body then at 0m/ft. At sea-level your body has to have built up a certain inside pressure, to withstand that outside air-pressure. This is done through nitrogen bubbles in your bloodstream. These bubbles have a certain size and strength as to create an inner pressure that meets the outside pressure. Once you get to a certain altitude (for me the barrier lies at 3,000m/9,000ft) very quickly (for example in a plane), your body may have difficulties adjusting itself to the sudden difference in outside pressure and for a while (mostly a maximum of 24 hours) your inside pressure may be higher than the outside air-pressure, causing a series of possible discomforts, such as headache, dizziness, intestine unrest, etc. This all has to do with the fact that your body tries to make the nitrogen bubbles in your bloodstream smaller and readjust itself to the outside pressure, but hasn’t gotten there yet.

Normally this is no big problem and you will get over it within 24 hours, then your body will adapt. Just make sure to have a good rest on the first day and drink some coca tea which not only is said to help overcome soroche, but is actually quiet good.

All the best


RE: RE: Question about packing and soroche..

by cacosta

Thanks Bart. I convinced my doctor to give me a trial dose of Diamox just in case I need it in Cusco. So far, I seem to be able to tolerate the medicine eventhough I've had a reaction to sulfa based antibiotics in the past. I haven't decided if I will take the medicine or just try to acclimatize on my own. Either way I do plan on taking it easy the first few days.

Re: Question about packing and soroche..

by cindy0516

My trip to Cusco is in May. Thanks for the input on Diamox. I was planning on using it but am also allergic to sulpha drugs.

Re: Question about packing and soroche..

by cacosta

Have a great trip and good luck with the diamox. My reaction to sulfa antiboitics was not severe which is why my DR agreed to let me try the medication. If you decide to use diamox I would definitely recommend a trial dose at home first.

Travel Tips for Cusco

Cuy (Guinea Pig) is a Time-Honored Delicacy

by AKtravelers

Guinea pig (Cuy in Spanish) has been a delicay in the Andes for over a thousand years. In fact, it is so highly regarded as a food that Cusco painters included cuy at the Last Supper in the large canvas of the event hanging in the Cathedral (see "The Must-See section). So, if you are an adventurous eater, it's something you just have to try the cuy -- preferably right before a Cathedral visit!
Sarah and I ate our cuy at the Inka Grill on Plaza de Armas. So, unlike some photos we've seen, our plate of did not come whole with teeth and a head (too bad) but came in parts as if we had gone to Kentucky Fried Cuy (though it was baked). It also comes with finger bowls, as you are expected to eat it with your hands. I tried to be more civilized about it, but my fork and knife proved to be ineffective weapons against the tough, sinewy flesh, so after cutting off a few tiny pieces, I dropped my utensils and started gnawing away. It tasted okay and, possibly because of its chewiness, it proved very filling. Neither Sarah nor I were hungry until 8 p.m.

Rafting on the Apurimac

by annie_c

Highly recommended for thrill seekers. The class IV and V rapids were wild, my boyfriend fell in and I'm glad it wasn't me because I would have been totally freaked out. I did bodysurf down and class III and it was probably the scariest thing I've ever done in my entire life. The trip starts with a four hour drive along the winding roads of the Andes (another very scary experience) to the river put-in. The campsites were great and the food was delicous. Our guides were very professional and we felt that safety was their number one concern (Eric Adventures - $200) Definietly bring good sandals or water shoes to get a better grip on the raft and the portaging sections.


by Paul2001

Qenko is an Inca huaca located a short walk east from Sacsayhuaman. I saw it on a bus tour from Cusco. The word means "zigzag" in Quechua. Persumably it is called this because of the zigzaging channels cut into the limestone rock. The stone is remarkable for its carvings on the upper west end of the rock. These carvings and channels were used as part of rituals involving the upcoming growing season. Llambas blood would be poured down the channel and depending upon which way it flowed, it would indicate whether or not the locals could depend upon a good growing season or not. Beneath the main rock is a large tunnel where there is a huge rockcut altar. On the northside of the rock there is also a rockcut amphitheatre that was probably used for holding audiences for the rituals.
Qenko is open from 7am to 5pm and admission is included on the Cusco tourist ticket. The site is saturated by bus groups like the one I was on although to be honest it is only a relatively minor attraction.

Transpo from Cusco to Machu Picchu

by smf834

There're several way to get to MP, and one of the cheaper/more enjoyable experience is to take the local autobus or shared taxi.

1) Local autobus: Situated on Ave. Grau, just north of the bridge (puente). It's a small entrance, with a store right next to it. Buy a boleto (ticket) that costs S3.5 to Urubamba (1.5 hours). Once you arrive Urubamba, you'll see mini vans that cost S1.2 that will take you to Ollanta in about 30 min. (Cheapest option). Once you get to Ollanta, a more frequent backpacker/Vistadome train will take you to Aguas Calientes for less than the one from Poroy to AC.

2) Shared taxi (taxi collectivo). Situated on Ave. Grau as well, just negotiate, but should not be more than S10 p/p. It'll take 1.5 hours to get to Ollanta as well. The taxi will wait until they have 4 people until they depart.

Ollantaytambo is one of my fav layover during my trip. It's a small town, with great people, good food. Be sure to check out the food market next to the plaza. Hike up to the Fortress, and also the trail that leads you to the opposite of the fortress with an amazing view of the city.

Chez Maggy - ok

by hethbill about Chez Maggy

Chez Maggy comes highly recommended in many guidebooks, but I think it's just OK. It's caters to tourists, and they have sort of a strange assortment of Italian, Mexican, and local food. A few of my friends has pizza, which they all said they liked - some of us got pasta dishes, which were standard, but I wasn't too terribly thrilled with my pasta carbonara. The bread and garlic sauce was splendid though!
- They did have live music which was neat, it was our first night out with live Andean music. but it was right next to us so it was really loud, and seemed to go on forever! The bread and garlic sauce.


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