Safety Tips in Cusco

  • Effects of altitude sickness on my mother
    Effects of altitude sickness on my...
    by nattybabe
  • mate de coca
    mate de coca
    by Urzu
  • Altitude Sickness - Soroche
    by lashr1999

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Cusco

  • chris_i79's Profile Photo

    Cusco at night

    by chris_i79 Written May 24, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Often tours for MP leave quite early in the morning. Mine left at 5am. When you are waiting for your bus or van to pick you up it is best to wait in large numbers or inside your hostel. This was one of the few times I did not use common sense and waited for my tour van outside my hostel door.... Well I was nearly robbed, lucky for me the van arrived just in time. I was later told there are many scams, and often a person will approach you and take something small, and as you run after him his friends arrive and take your large packs....happened many times but thank god not to me!

    Was this review helpful?

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Make Sure You Know Some Spanish

    by AKtravelers Updated Apr 17, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the Sacred Valley, we didn't find many people who spoke English. Jose and Irene, the owners of our Bed and breakfast spoke excellent English, but we encountered very few others who had any English at all. This is to be expected -- after all, we are in Peru!
    The big lesson here is that even if you arrange ahead for English, you may not get it. For our horseback ride, we paid extra for an English-speaking guide. But, we got Juan Carlos, who didn't know anything more than hello or "thank you". Luckily, Sarah is taking Spanish in high school and we had all picked up enough of the language in Lima to converse in rudimentry Spanish with Juan Carlos. I also carried my trust Spanish dictionary, which proved very useful. So, learn some Spanish grammar and buy a dictionary -- you'll need it!

    Our guide, Juan Carlos, didn't speak any English
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Horse Riding
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • jackfruit's Profile Photo

    Trekking Poles on Camino Inca

    by jackfruit Written Mar 5, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Because of the damage caused to the Inca Trail, poles with graphite or carbide tips which leave marks on the trail are not allowed.

    You are better off purchasing a $1-$2 bamboo pole (or a pair of poles) at the trailhead to aid you during the downhills (pretty steep on day 2!).

    Check with your tour company before you start - especially ask your guide to check your poles at the trailhead before the option of getting the bamboo ones if lost forever!

    But remember that the bamboo poles need to be left behind at the ruins - you cant carry them out unless you manage to sneak them out! It's a shame, because with thier woven woolen colorful caps, I would have loved to kept mine as a souvenir.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Camping

    Was this review helpful?

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Outdoor Eating -- Not a good idea!

    by AKtravelers Written May 21, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Around the Plaza de Armas, there are a few restaurants with outdoor tables that look enticing. The recall lazy hours in Rome sipping coffee on the piazza watching the amourous locals stroll by. However, a quick observation revealed that the scene in Cusco is much different than that. If you dine outside, you will be ceaselessly hounded by beggers and children trying to sell you things (like finger puppets -- see our shopping tip). If you eat inside, the restaurant management will keep those pesky people away.

    Choose indoor eating on Plaza de Armas in Cusco
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Be Careful About Eating Uncooked Vegetables/Fruit

    by AKtravelers Updated Apr 17, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For those of you visiting Peru from the countries such as the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the E.U., I have an important piece of advice that your digestive tract really wants you to know about: Though the fruits and vegetables in the markets may look inviting, be careful about eating uncooked fruits and vegetables. Only eat those items that you can peal (such as bananas). Otherwise, the produce may have been cleaned with the local water and you will experience an intestinal crisis. While such a predicament can make great stories in the right social circles, they are not pleasant to experience.

    You'll be sorry if you eat this stuff raw!
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hethbill's Profile Photo

    BYOTP - Bring your own toilet paper!

    by hethbill Written Aug 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You may read about this in some Peru guidebooks, but it's a good idea to bring your own toilet paper as you are out and about in Cusco, especially sightseeing in the Sacred Valley. .... ....Toilets are interesting in Peru; many of them don't have toilet seats, so be prepared to squat, hover, or fall in, AND, many of them don't have toilet paper. In Cusco proper, in restaurants or museums, you will be ok, they usually do have toilet paper. But away from the city, like at ruins or on the Inca Trail, you will need your own TP. .... ...If you are really away from civilization or on the Inca Trail also be prepared for "Turkish toilets" or "Egyptian toilets" which are just holes in the ground. Yup, just a hole, no bowl. Good luck, ladies!

    Was this review helpful?

  • bicycle_girl's Profile Photo

    Money matters

    by bicycle_girl Written Nov 18, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is a lot of ATMs in Cuzco, so don't worry about not having enough. You can take money out in US dollar or in Soles. Whatever the currency you get, when you exchange in Soles, make sure you get lots of small bills, because the 100 and 50 Soles are hard to change for the locals. It would not be unusual that the clerk in a store or in a craft booth runs out to another business to ask for change.

    Avoid paying with your plastics (credit cards) since you will pay extra just for using your card.

    Certain areas of town are full of pickpockets or very skilled thiefs. Make sure your purse is hidden and your bills are out of sight, out of reach. If someone snatched your backpack, what would you lose?

    The Peruvian Government recommends not giving money to the beggars. It just encourage them to beg more. I hope that people follow these directions, just for the next batch of tourists. If I may suggest to give them food if you can't help yourself giving them something.

    A young peruvian finishing a transaction
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Women's Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • chancay's Profile Photo

    Pickpockets

    by chancay Updated May 5, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Cusco as in Lima you should be in general more careful than in other cities of Peru, the city is very touristic, thatfor there are as well a lot of pickpockets.

    Especially the "Mercado de San Pedro" in front of the same called train station from where you start to Machu Picchu is a place where you must have a very close look on your baggage. They are very tricky and quick, believe me ;-), a friend of mine has had his camera in a trouserpocket of his "cargo-trousers" and didn´t notice when they cut this pocket and stole the camera while he has been strolling around on the market. Minutes later he noticed finally that his camera was stolen.

    You also should be a bit more careful when you go home at night after disco visits, sometimes they follow you waiting for a moment when you are alone in the narrow streets on the way to your hostal to rob you.

    I think I described the worsest cases, it´s neither that dangerous in Cusco, but one has to take care.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Poverty is a Fact of Life, but Not Too Bad

    by AKtravelers Written Jul 30, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We know people who won't visit Peru because they are afraid that they can't take seeing the poverty. However, in Cusco, real grinding poverty is not that evident. Sure, the people are poor and there are beggars, but for the most part you don't see the same desperate poverty that you see in Lima.

    Two poor cuzqueno women chat
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Maillekeul's Profile Photo

    The bus tickets - Les tickets de bus

    by Maillekeul Written Nov 7, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you want to leave Cusco, never buy your tickets in another place than the bus station. A lot of agencies in Cusco will sell you tickets, but they usually lie about the time and they will make you pay more than the regular price.

    Si vous voulez quitter Cusco, n'achetez jamais vos billets ailleurs qu'au terminal terrestre. Des tonnes d'agences a Cusco essaieront de vous vendre des billets, mais ils mentent generalement sur les horaires et vous feront payer bien plus que le veritable prix.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • bicycle_girl's Profile Photo

    Street vendors

    by bicycle_girl Written Oct 30, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is more of an annoyance, the street vendors are everywhere! They find you when you leave your hotel for a tour selling you rain ponchos, and they will ask over and over if you want your shoes shined. (of course the price goes from 1 Soles to 10 in the middle of the process) Other things that they will sell you is finger puppets, belts, hand bags, water, cigarettes, weaved bracelets, or little girls will insist you take a picture of them with a baby lamb or baby llama under their arms, for a fee of course. If you don't want pressured sales, do yourself a favor, say no, gracias! and leave. No eye contact, and say nothing more. They will eventually try somebody else.

    A street vendor  that was successful with me
    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Urzu's Profile Photo

    The sun IS strong!

    by Urzu Written Jul 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When in Cusco or around the area, be careful with the sun! Although the temps might not be too high, think that you'll be at around 3,300 meters above sea level, so the sun hits pretty hard, make sure you put plenty of sunscreen on if you don't want to get a sunburn!

    Was this review helpful?

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    ice cream fix

    by richiecdisc Updated Feb 5, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oddly enough, we found the best Italian gelato place in Cusco. We had to have it at least once and often twice a day. There were great exotic flavors similar to the local fruits so it was still a local treat, if with a continental flair. Cones were too inexpensive which lead to our overindulgence. This photo was from the one time we truly splurged and got an amazing banana split. "I Due Mondi" was the parlor's name and you can find it at Calle Santa Catalina Ancha 336.

    bectha can't eat just one..a day

    Was this review helpful?

  • raraavis's Profile Photo

    Save your coins

    by raraavis Written Dec 2, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One sol coins and smaller coins are handy in tipping, buying bottled water, using the bathroom and other trivial, but essential functions.

    Some bathrooms will actually charge one sol to use it.

    The public toilet at Machu Picchu charges you one sol, so make sure you have change.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Getting spit on - research pays off

    by demulin Written Oct 12, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    So it happened to me just like I read about it happening to others! I was in Cusco from Sept 28, 2007 to Oct 2, 2007. 3 of us were walking on the far side of the bus station near the market. I was in a group of locals in the middle of the day and my 2 friends were about 100m in front of me. I felt somthing wet on my neck, in the first seconds I thought it was bird droppings...but I quickly realized it was SPIT. I turned around and saw an old sweet looking woman pointing up. She triggered a memory of reading about this scam with mustard and ketchup. I walked away quickly and yelled for my friends. I waited until I was in a safe area with police before I washed the spit off my neck. While it was an extremly gross experience....I did NOT get robbed, although I know that is what was coming next if I stuck around. This is a common scam. They work in 2's or 3's and often a sweet old lady is involved. They try to help you clean up while others rob you blind. Women: make sure, if you carry a purse/bag it has a thick bottom, as slitting purses from below is also a common practice. Otherwise my trip to Cusco was amazing and I would definately return in the future.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

Cusco Hotels

See all 171 Hotels in Cusco

Latest Cusco Hotel Reviews

Hatuchay Tower Hotel
163 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 2, 2014
Sonesta Posada del Inca Sacred Valley Yucay
252 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
El Mirador de la Nusta
2 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Casa Andina Cusco Plaza
290 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 9, 2014
Inkarri Hostal
180 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 15, 2014
Hotel Colonial Palace
1 Review & Opinion
Royal Inka I
86 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 15, 2014
Teatro Inka B & B
29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 12, 2014
Casa Andina San Blas
223 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 20, 2014
Hostal Cusco Plaza I
29 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 29, 2014
Piccola Locanda
133 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 16, 2014
San Agustin International Hotel
2 Reviews & Opinions
El Balcon
80 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Hostal Sweet Daybreak
22 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 22, 2010
Home Sweet Home-Mirador
33 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 5, 2014

Instant Answers: Cusco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

79 travelers online now

Comments

Cusco Warnings and Dangers

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Cusco locals.
Map of Cusco
Other Warnings and Dangers in Cusco