In Lima this is probably a waste of dough. In Cuzco 130 soles gets you a multi day pass to all the relevant sites including the Sacred valley stuff. If you are just doing a one day adventure since MP is not included in this you can buy one for half as much from most of the guides.
With this you will get into the museums, folk dance sessions among other things.
Favorite thing: In Cuzco it seemed like every 10 feet into a hostal or a restaurant. How they all stay in business is beyond me. With so much to choose from step into the Information office on Av El Sol which is a 2 min walk from Plaza de Armas. Tell them your price range and they can will point out a few good places in your range. We wanted to take a day trip and they gave us the names of three tour operators. The one we used charged us $10 for the day less lunch. The cab driver that brought us into town from the airport wanted $50 for the tour of us in a private car. That is cheap for the day but it did not cover lunch or the entrance price to some of the sites.
When you will arrive to Cuzco, you will have many places to visit (and to pay for visit them!). The best is to buy the Tourist Ticket (US$ 25 more or less in 2006) which let you enter in many places like museums and visit important places. See the picture # 1 to see the picture of this ticket and also you will see all the tourist places (16 in total) you could visit if you buy it. BTW there is place "Pachacutec Monument" that is included in this ticket but you really don't need a ticket to see it because it's located in a main avenue.
There are other tickets for special places too like the Cathedral and Qorikancha (I recommend both, they are really interesting and plenty of history). See the picture # 2
We had agreed with Patricia at the cuzco airport.
Generally I dont prefer travel agents but If you dont know Spanish, it is a must.
She will supply all our transfers
and made a programme with her
1- day half day city tour at 1330 pm, Main Square, Cathedral, Korikancha(Temple of the Sun), Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Sacsayhuman by a guide
2- Cuzco-Macchi Picchu, with a guide by Inca rail , we visit Macchi Pichhu, begis at 0530am
3-Tourist Bus to Puno, at 0700am. Visiting historical places, churches and museums by a guide and an open buffet lunch. Arriving to Puno 1600pm
4-tour in titikaka at 0630 am, A two day excursion boat visiting floating islands and the uros
and staying on a local house in Amanati(an island in Titikaka)
this tour included all accomodation in Hostal Monarca and Puno ,transfers, transportation and entrance fees plus guides
per person 260usd
patricia also speaks English fluently and very clear about the subjects and friendly
her tlf is 9732619/9992300
To access a number of inca sites around Cuzco purchase a Tourist Pass fgrom one of the local suppliers within Cuzco. Access to the following is included"
Museo de Arte y Monasterio de Santa Catalina
Museo Munipal de Arte Contemporaneo
Museo Historico Regional
Museo de Sitio del Qoricancha
Museo de Arte popular
Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo Danzas Folkloricas
This is a monument to the founders of Cusco, located at Avenida del Sol (which connects the train station to Plaza de Armas).
The legend says that the city was founded by Manco Capac (the legendary first inca leader) and his wife Mama Ocllo after God Sun has revealed them the site after a long pilgrimage through the Sacred Valley.
Historians and archeologists, however, point to a slow and organic occupation of the site during the XI and XII Centuries.
There are not many tourists around here, but it didn´t seem a dangerous place to me.
Cusco has 2 very well defined seasons: the DRY and the RAINY seasons.
The DRY SEASON goes from april until october. Days are usually sunny and nights are cold. This is the best time to go to Cusco because the days are clear and there´s no rain.
The RAINY SEASON goes from november until march. Avoid coming during this period.
Fondest memory: Sunny days and blue skies to admire the beauty of this wonderful city!!!
- Do not forget that in order to visit the tourist places of Cusco city it is indispensable to buy the Tourist Ticket. Otherwise, you will have to pay a higher price to have access to the 16 main places of interest inside the city and the surroundings.
Cusco: The Cathedral, Museum of the Municipal Palace, Site Museum of Qoriqancha, Santa Catalina, San Blas, Regional Historic Museum, Museum of Religious Art, Sacsayhuamán, Quenqo, Tambomachay, Tipón, Pikillaqta.
Sacred Valley: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero.
- The Tourist Ticket can be acquired in the following addresses in Cusco:
Av. El Sol 103 of. 102 (Tourist Galleries)
Opening Hours: 8:00 to 18:00
Calle Mantas (El Cuadro building)
Intersection of Garcilaso street and Heladeros s/n (Casa Garcilaso)
- The cost of the Tourist Ticket has different categories:
Full Ticket $10
Partial Ticket** $6
* Students that have the ISIC carnet and who are under 28 years.
** This only includes tourist visits inside the city.
All the tickets are valid for 5 and 10 days.
- I must highlight that there are important places that are not included in this ticket, such as: the Qoricancha Temple, La Merced Temple and the Incan Museum, for which you must pay minimum additional fees:
Qoricancha Temple S/.4.00
Incan Museum S/.5.00
La Merced Temple S/.5.00
Note: I know I included this in my Macchu Picchu section, but I thought it was important enough to share it again!
a.k.a. "Aguas Profundas" by Peru's own Jose Maria Arguedas. I don't know how well this book translates into English, or any other language for that matter. If at all possible it should be read in Spanish since the author writes using Quechua syntax with Spanish grammar...it's an unusual combination. Arguedas is considered to be one of the most respected and important authors in Latin America. His story "Deep Rivers" is ultimately tragic, and really parallels Arguedas' own life. "Deep Rivers" is so named, because it's a story about a boy growing up in Peru, who never really fits into society due to his strange (albeit happy) upbringing by Quechua servants and the Indian culture that he loves so much. Arguedas himself never fully integrated into the Spanish speaking mainstream, continuously haunted by his own rather isolated childhood and the Quechua language which he embraced and loved so much thanks to the Indian servants who watched over him as he grew up. Anyone who is interested in Latin America - especially Peru -and the indigenous Andean cultures that are simultaneously disdained and exploited by what we consider to be our more "evolved" society, should read this book.
I'm still haunted by it.
Arguedas committed suicide in 1969.