Peru 🇵🇪 - Cusco

· 6 min read

Tips 👏

  • It’s very touristic, so expect packs of backpackers and agencies.
  • The old city is the place to be, close to the Plaza de Armas.
  • Take an umbrella if you’re there in December/January.
  • Lavado Al Seco do a good laundry for 5S/kg.
  • Hotels can keep your luggages when you go off for treks or expeditions.
  • Besides Machu Picchu, don’t book anything in advance since you’ll pay more.
  • Cusco elevation is 3300m, so allow some days to get used to the altitude.
  • There’s supermarkets everywhere so if you’re in an AirBnB you can cook at home.

🏠 Accommodation

We stayed at Hotel & Mirador Los Apus and was perfect, see basecamp section.

🚲 Getting there

Flight from Arequipa of 1h with LATAM.

⏱ Duration

We stayed 10 days, including Machu Picchu, and we could have stay more.

The perfect basecamp ⛺️

Cusco is a really good basecamp to go a discover the surrounding areas. The city itself is nice, but doesn’t offer much besides the old centre which can be visited in half a day. We decided to stay 10 days in total, to relax, take time to acclimate to the alitude, and for visit Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountain.

During all our time here, we stayed at the Hotel & Mirador Los Apus and we highly recommend it. The rooms are big, the breakfast is fantastic, the staff is very helpful and the location is perfect. They do you lunch box if you leave too early for breakfast. The best part is they have a little calm rooftop bar at the top to chill after a long tour day.


Rainbow mountain tour 🌈

During one of the relax days, we went around in the city asking prices for the Rainbow Mountain day tour in different agencies. There’s two main sites:

  • Vinicuna: It’s the site where everyone go, more than 3000 people per day, with option to rent a horse. Also come with pick-up at 3AM.
  • Palcoyo: Beautiful views on three different rainbow mountains, short hike of 30 minutes, stone forest, pick-up at 7AM and way less crowded.

We’ve opted for option 2. First because Vinicuna is higher so it was snow-capped, but also because the views seemed better in Palcoyo and we were not disappointed. We booked with the first agency in front of our hotel for 120S each, lunch included, english guide, small group and emergency oxygen. Here’s some tips useful for the tour:

  • Sit on the right side of the van to get the best view during the trip.
  • Take hikking shoes.
  • Bring water, sun cream, hat and wind clothes.
  • Take a coca/muna mate for the altitude.

We got picked-up at the Plaza de Armas at 7:20AM. We’ve hopped in the standard minivan, and started a 2 hours drive to Checacupe. Once arrived, we stretched our legs for 20 minutes, enjoyed a muna tea and walked a bit in the village.


After chilling, we went back in the van for another 90 minutes until the entrance of the park, where we stopped to buy tickets and enjoy the view. This part was very scenic, and the road was following a beautiful red river surrounded by curious lamas.