The stunning city of Cusco in Peru is a place for all kind of travelers!
Many younger travelers enjoy the adventure tours that are offered in Cusco and the nearby the Sacred Valley. Others decide to learn Spanish in Cusco or to do volunteer work in Peru. Most of them enjoy the bars, the cafes and the nightlife of the former Inca Capital. However, if you want to explore Cusco, you don’t necessarily need to jump off a hill to paraglide over the Sacred Valley or sleep in an overnight bus-seat to make your tight time plan (as many backpackers do….). Cusco is a unique destination for all travelers and how so much to offer to all ages and types of travelers. Here are Six Tips: How to explore Cusco when you’re 60+
Cusco is for everyone! So when you are 60+ or 70+…. Don’t be afraid of the altitude nor think about the ‘backpackers image’, because Cusco is definitely for you! The city and the tourist attractions of Cusco are certainly not only for younger people.
Cusco’s travel industry is prepared for different travelers and time plans. Regarding accommodation, Cusco offers a wide variety! There is an excellent selection of low-budget hostels for the younger crowd, but for the more experienced traveler, there are beautiful high-end international (luxurious) chain hotels as well as charming Bed and Breakfasts and other options to choose from.
So for all of you who are not 18 anymore… here comes the guide with tips to explore Cusco YOUR way or: Six Tips: How to explore Cusco when you’re 55+ or 65+
Tip #1: Altitude Sickness can be a travel killer!
If you don’t want to spend part of your time in Cusco feeling tired and out of breath, take some rest to get acclimatized to the altitude. It is the best way to avoid the symptoms of altitude sickness or “soroche” (in Spanish).
Due to less air-pressure in the Andean mountains (Cusco lies on 3400), you take in less oxygen with each breath; the air is less “dense.” Your body needs to get used to this lower amount of oxygen.
Therefore, you are likely to feel tired, out of breath and a bit dizzy for the first days in Cusco. You might also feel a lack of appetite or a headache.
What can you do to combat altitude sickness?
- Don’t squeeze a lot of activity into the first day(s)!
- Start with “calm” tours like the Cusco city tour or go to visit Cusco’s museums (see tip #4),
- Eat well (but not too late and preferably light meals),
- Drink a lot of water or ‘mate’(herb tea) (no alcohol the first day(s)
- Rest and sleep well!
Tip # 2 : Explore Cusco Ruins and Landmarks
Taking it easy during your time in Cusco, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on anything! Especially not on Peru’s number #1 Landmark: Machu Picchu.
For sure you have heard about people hiking the Inca Trail in Peru to see the famous Machu Picchu. But don’t worry if you are not into hiking (anymore). The train tour to Machu Picchu is a great alternative! There is a lot of impressive landscape to see here, plus: who doesn’t love trains!?
There are different trains to Machu Picchu to choose from. We recommend the Vistadome train. It runs slightly faster than the (cheaper) Expedition Train and it is very comfortable. Also, the departure times are more convenient, and there are beautiful big panorama windows! But if you prefer to save a USD 25, the Expedition Train will bring you there as well without a problem!
However if you feel fit enough to do a hike, go for it! Prepare yourself well, get fit, make sure to be acclimatized and book your trip with a travel agency with a good reputation.
If you have enough time to do more Tours in Cusco besides a Machu Picchu Tour, we recommend:
- the bus tour to the Maras salt terraces and the Moray circular Inca terraces,
- the bus tour to the Sacred Inca Valley to explore the most famous Inca ruins in Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chincheros.
It is recommendable to buy the so-called Boleto Turistico for all these tours in Cusco (and surroundings). This ticket grants you access to almost all the important sites in Cusco. You also need it for the two tours mentioned above (not for the Machu Picchu Tour).
The Boleto Turistico includes many museums and ruins around the city. So, in the end, it is cheaper to buy it, instead of paying separately for each attraction. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Dos Manos Peru.
Tip #3 Learn about Peru’s history: Museums in Cusco
Besides the beautiful and famous archeological sites in Peru, there is a lot more to do in Cusco.
Just to mention a few fun things to do in Cusco you will love:
- see ancient Inca mummies in the Inca Museum (see below),
- See traditional Peruvian dances in Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo (see below)
- make your own chocolate toffees (more below)
- Go the traditional neighborhood of San Blas
- Do a Peruvian Cooking Workshop (see more Tip #4)
- Attend a Weaving Demonstration (see more Tip #5)
- Visit the San Pedro market
- Go shopping in the lovely shops around the Plaza de Armas
- Go for a nice cappuccino
- Have a great meal in one of Cusco’s many cozy restaurants (more: see Tip #6)
• Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo
Centro Qosqo de Arte native is a Peruvian folklore center, located in the Avenida del Sol. They started the center for the conservation and preservation of the folklore of Cusco and Peru.
What activities do they offer for tourists?
It is not a place that you can visit during the day. Every night there is a show of Peruvian music and dances in this center. Also, you can see different typical costumes, from various places in Peru. There is a (small) entrance fee.
• Visit a Museum in Cusco
There are a lot of museums in Cusco. Depending on your interest, the one or the other will be more fun for you. This is our Top 5 best Museums in Cusco selection:
- Inca Museum:
One of the main attractions of the Inca Museum in Cusco are the Incan mummies!
- Museum of the Temple of the Qoricancha:
Qoricancha means “courtyard of gold” in Quechua. Do I need to say more? Qoricancha used to be the central temple of the whole Inca Empire!
- Museo de Coca:
Learn about the history of the sacred coca plant and its importance to the Inca and the local people in Peru.
- Chocolate Museum: see tip # 4
- Centro de Textiles: see tip # 5
All five museums are located in the city center of Cusco.
Tip # 4 : The hands-on way to learn about Peru’s culture!
Explore the Peruvian culture in these fun workshops in Cusco.
- Chocolate Workshop
The Chocolate museum in Cusco is a nice museum to learn about the cocoa plant in Peru, its significance, and processing. They also offer a cool chocolate workshop where you can make your own toffees!
- Spanish, Peruvian Cooking or Salsa Dancing
Besides Spanish courses, AMAUTA also offers Spanish Workshops for Travelers. In a couple of hours, you will learn some tips and tricks to ‘survive’ in Spanish when traveling in Peru. The experienced Spanish teachers include interesting cultural elements. You can also visit the local market or the San Blas neighborhood with your Spanish Teacher.
AMAUTA also offers:
- workshops Peruvian Cooking,
- Peruvian pottery, and
- a (private) Peruvian (salsa) Dancing.
- Weaving or Spinning!
Take a course at the Centro de Textiles (see Tip #5). There are courses weaving, spinning, knitting and braiding on offer!
Tip #5 Shopping for traditional textiles and crafts
Peru is a beautiful country with very colorful traditional clothes and textiles. To learn more about the different textiles and traditional clothes, we recommend you go to the “Centro de Textiles”.
The Centro de Textiles in Cusco isn’t just made to give tourists an insight into the traditional textiles. The Centro also supports the weaving families by paying fair prices for their handicraft and thus helping them to a better quality of life.
What is there to do in the Centro de Textiles for travelers?
- You can find a museum, where they tell you about different kinds of textiles.
- There a store, where you can find original, typical textiles.
- If you are interested in the weaving technics, then you can also join a weaving demonstration in Chinchero, a village 45 minutes away from Cusco.
- If like to learn yourself how to make those textiles, the Centro de Textiles offers different courses:
- knitting and
Duration: three days. Prices: between $135 and $175. All the courses are with indigenous weavers that are linked to the Centro de Textiles. For more information, you can visit their site or contact Dos Manos Peru Travel.
In case you are in Cusco, you can just drop by the Centro de Textiles at Avenida del Sol!
Tip # 6 Round up the day in a nice café or restaurant!
Want to start out the day in Cusco with a delicious breakfast? Try Qosqomaki Panderia. It is a traditional bakery in Cusco with a team of young and passionate bakers. Everything is baked fresh daily!
More tips about Peruvian cafes / restaurants and Peruvian gastronomy in Cusco?
- Want to try the traditional Peruvian cuisine in gourmet? Try Incanto, right at the Plaza de Armas!
- Looking for something more ‘non-Peruvian’? Have some delicious burgers at Papacho’s or pizza at La Bodega.
- Are you vegetarian? No problem at all: Eat out in the Green Point or check out one of the Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Cusco.
- Enjoy the afternoon in these nice little cafés. Try Café Punchay, Café Valeriana or get a cup of coffee and Wifi at Starbucks.
I hope you enjoyed our Travel Guide How to explore Cusco when you’re 60+
And if you are younger and you have enjoyed any of these tips, don’t worry! 🙂
|Our Trip Counselors at Dos Manos Peru are happy to give you advice on our trip to Peru or help you set up a personalized itinerary. Feel free to contact Dos Manos Peru Travel any time!|