Hotel Marcelinos

Av Cultura 1409, Cusco, Peru
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More about Cusco

Photos

Church interiorChurch interior

up can be tough!up can be tough!

Plaza de ArmasPlaza de Armas

Some of the superb stoneworkSome of the superb stonework

Forum Posts

Salkantay tour operators comparison

by DinkaYa

Hi,
I know that Llama path, SAS and Qente charge around 450$ for the Salkantay trek, "Peruvian Highlands" is offering the same trek for 200$...
What will be the difference in the experience? Anyone heard of the company before? Any alternatives?

Re: Salkantay tour operators comparison

by pinilus

You can go on your own, i was planning to do that.. but didn't find any partner..
There's a trekking Guide by Lonely Planet and you can find all the route and many others for Solo travelers. But in Cusco most of the tourist want to trek so can join to you.

Re: Salkantay tour operators comparison

by t-vango

Sorry I'm not familiar with those tour operators.. I can tell you though that I did the Salkantay Trek with Dos Manos Travel and it was a really good one. I paid around the 375 dollars, travelling with a really nice group. Guides were very friendly and spoke really good English.
You're gonna love the trail! It's absolutely amazing :)

Travel Tips for Cusco

Soroche (Altitude Sickness)

by ValbyDK

I’m living in Denmark, which is flat as a pancake – and Cusco is located 3,400 meters above sea level. Therefore I was a little worried about the altitude sickness when I arrived to Cusco by plane from Lima. However, I found some advices on the internet how to avoid the ‘soroche’, and they – besides a little shortness of breath – seemed to be working for me (and my friends).

Relax! We went directly from the airport to our hostel and relaxed a couple of hours before we started to explore the city. Slow down when you are walking the streets of Cusco, some streets are very steep and you will lose your breath very quickly. Drink plenty! Drink a lot of fluids (not alcohol) because dehydration occurs rapidly at high altitude. We mainly drank water, but also many cups of coca tea (‘mate de coca’). Eat lightly! There are many excellent soups or other light dishes - our favourite was the chicken soup.

This is just a few simple advices I followed the first couple of days in Cusco, and that might have helped me during my stay in the Andes Mountains. I hope you will be fine if you are going to Cusco, but if the altitude sickness hits you, you could consider to go to the nearby Sacred Valley, which is located lower than the city of Cusco.

Cuy

by jackfruit

Roasted Guinea Pig served spread eagle style on a plate is the local delicacy. Cuy, as it's called in quechua, is served at celebratory events like weddings and parties but you can find most restaurants serving this dish in Cusco. It is usually served whole - tail, eyes, nose and all and one glance at it all but killed my entire apetite...

This local delicacy has been immortalized by the painter Marcos Zapata (a local artist from the surrounding area) in La Cathedral's "Last Supper" where Jesus and the 12 apostles feed on cuy for thier last meal together!!

Guinea pigs are bred by the locals especially for the dinner table and not as pets, like in the US!

sacred valley i

by willy_wonka

the official geographical region of the sacred valley region (El Valle Sagrado de los Incas) is called the urubamba valley. this fertile valley located north/east of cusco is home to numerous small villages and towns, with amazing incan ruins and beautiful countryside to see. winding its way through the valley is the urubamba river, a picturesque river that has rapids you can white water raft on. the valley is often called the bread basket of peru - it has excellent soils and climates to grow crops, which is what the incan civilisations did themselves.

while you can do a day trip to some of the more popular sites of the sacred valley i would urge you, if you have the time, to leave an extra day or two. there are so many fascinating sites that i didnt get to see due to the rushed nature of our trip. had i know the sacred valley was so fantastic, i would of planned for longer here. its well worth an extra day or two of your time, and i can honestly say it was one of the highlights and my faves of the peru trip!

Sacred Valley - Animals

by Amareyui

The Quechua people mostly depend on agriculture as their main source of income. Therefore, you will get to see domestic animals like sheep, goat, donkey, cows and pigs every two blocks or so. The animals are free to move around, and many of them will be right by the road or even on the road.
Our car was once stucked in a flood of sheep crossing the road. The sheeps, hundred of them, roamed through the hills in a way almost comparable to the famous Marbolo commercial. To them, our appearance was probably as weird as Michael Moore showing up at the Republican Convention. Resigned to this fact, I had no choice but to feel the isolation brought along by this moving blockage of wool.
This was like a safari to see pigs and sheeps.

Transportation from Cusco to MP

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, 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 highlight 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.

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