Guest Blog Edition
Shared by: Erika Perez (@Ekaoninstagram)
Additional Edits: Susi Garcia (@Suzzstravels)
If you are looking for additional information check out our other blog post here.
In order to travel to Peru, U.S citizens must have a passport valid for at least 6 months at the time of entry. A tourist visa is required but it is issued at the port of entry for free. To check other travel requirements click here.
To get to Cusco, we recommend flying into Lima, spend 2-3 days there and then take a direct flight into Cusco for under $100 roundtrip, or under $40 one way. From here, you can make your way to Machu Picchu.
Let’s Talk Money
Peru’s currency is the Sol. While a lot of business in major parts of Peru do accept US dollars, a lot of smaller towns do not. Additionally, you will get more for your money if you exchange it for the local currency. You can exchange your money via your bank ahead of time, once you land in Cusco at a local exchange house or you can withdraw local currency from an ATM. Currently, 1 USD is equal to 3.36 Sols. Remember the XE APP helps you keep track of ongoing rates and helps you with the math in trying to figure out how much something in Sols translates into USD.
Some options you can look into in Cusco:
- Historic Center House avg $25/night
- 1 Bedroom home avg $47/night
- 1 Bedroom Cabin avg $90/night
- 1 Bedroom in the heart of Cusco avg $50/night
- 2 Bedroom home avg $98/night
Some options you can look into near Machu Picchu:
Casa Andina Machu Picchu (stayed here one night)
Beautiful Acienda avg price $60/night
Travelers Home avg price $50/night
What To Do
- Visit Rainbow Mountain: you can do a tour with this company
- Plaza de Armas
- Cusco Cathedral
- Saqsaywaman Ruins (consider buying the Boleto Turistico if you will visit a lot of ruins)
- Mercado San Pedro for shopping
- Visit Humantay Lake (entrance fee $10)
- Tour San Blas District: eat, drink, shop
- Mirador de San Blas
- Museo del Chocolate
- Museo del Cafe
Food & Drinks
- Drinks Paddy’s Irish Pub
- Quinta Waly Restaurant-lunch/dinner
- Republica del Pisco bar and restaurant
- Qucharitas -dessert
- Full House Restaurant
- Limbus Resto Bar
- Marcelo Batata Calle
- The Churro Bar-for the best churros in town
It is recommended you stay in the town of Agua Calientes AKA “Machu Picchu Pueblo” at least for a day if you plan to visit Machu Picchu as it’s just 5 miles away. You can get to Aguascalientes from Cusco by train or bus.
Once you are in Aguascalientes you can take a short 30 minute bus ride along the Hiram Bingham road to Machu Picchu. You can find the ticket booth near the Aguas Calientes train station. Make sure you have your passport, or a copy of it, to purchase your tickets ($24 roundtrip). The first bus departs at 530am and the last one at 3:30pm.
If you are feeling brave and you are in the shape to do it, you can walk there which will take you about 2 hours (it’s a steep mountain).
Important to note: a total of 5,940 people will be able to purchase entrance tickets every day to visit Machu Picchu. Depending on the ticket type you buy you will have a schedule to be able to visit. You can check full details along with a list of prohibited objects here.
We hope this itinerary for Cusco & Machu Picchu help you on your future trip to Peru. If this is helpful make sure you let us know and tag us on those travel pictures. Huge thank you to Erika for paying it forward and sharing with us all!