- 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
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
Full Ticket $ 22.00
Partial Ticket** $12.50
* Students that have the ISIC carnet and who are
under 28 years.
** This only includes tourist visits inside the
All the tickets are valid for 5 and 10 days.
- We must highlight that there are important
places that are not included in this ticket,
such as: the Koricancha Temple, La Merced Temple
and the Incan Museum, for which you must pay
minimum additional fees:
Koricancha Temple S/.13.00 ó $5
Catedral: S/. 6.00 ó $2
The official currency in Peru is the "Nuevo sol"
and its symbol is S/. We currently have in
circulation the following :
Bills of 10,20,50, 100 and 200 nuevos soles
Coins of 1,2 and 5 nuevos soles and of 5,10,20
and 50 cents of nuevo sol.
The US dollar is by far the easiest foreign
currency to exchange because it will be
difficult to exchange other currencies out of
Lima. Despite of being well accepted, in some
small sites, you will generally have to exchange
it into nuevos soles. The entrance of foreign
currency to Peru is limited. The dollar exchange
rate may vary every day, but it usually changes
between S/.3.40 and 3.60 nuevos soles against
each American dollar. One nuevo sol is worth
.S/.3.25 against the Euro
It is better you take small denomination bills
or pocket money as vendors, shops and taxis do
not often have change. Be careful with bills and
examine that they are not old or broken as
vendors, banks, street money changers, etc. do
not accept damaged bills.
Banks and money exchange offices
All the Bank Branches (situated in provinces)
exchange American dollars and travelers cheques.
The main offices (situated in Lima) and/or
Exchanges money exchange offices accept coins.
In Cusco, you can change your American dollars
in the parallel market where the street
moneychangers located in the Sun avenue
generally offer a favourable exchange rate. They
previously agreed about the rate among them so
you do not need to negotiate.
In general, the exchange rate in these
transactions is lower than the official exchange
rate or the rate in the parallel market.
However, exchanging money in the streets may be
dangerous. Exchanging money in the streets is
legal but not suggested. You may be robbed if
someone looks at you with money. Be careful
about false dollars bills. There have been many
We suggested you to exchange your dollars or
travelers cheques in money exchange offices or
banks located in the first two blocks of The Sun
avenue. You can also exchange your money at
hotels, restaurants and shopping centers but at
Banks are open
from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18.00 hours,
and Saturdays until midday. There are street
moneychangers in the corners of the Sun avenue
as well as many ATMs.
The standard of traveler's checks exchange is of
1% in case of nuevos soles and 3% if dollars.
Although this rate is not so common in the city
(in some banks the exchange means a loss of 2%
and 5% of the total to be exchanged), they can
may be performed in banks and money exchange
discounts 5% of commission for traveler's checks
exchanges. Some travel agencies may exchange
dollars and traveler's checks but they could
charge 4 and 5% of commission.
Traveler's checks cancellation in Thomas Cook:
241-5566 / 444- 5175
American Express: 001-800-8602908
Money Transfers (money order)
Money transfers may be performed through
commercial banks. The transaction for an
international transfer may last 3 days at last
and for national transfers last a full day or
less. It is possible to charge to credit cards
in order to obtain cash.
This is not a common way either, though hotels
and prestigious restaurants and numerous shops
may accept them. The most accepted are American
Express, Visa, Diners, Master Card and Cirrus.
The most accepted credit card in Peru is Visa.
MasterCard is also accepted but Diner's club and
American Express are not well accepted.
We recommend Banco de Credito to withdraw your
cash with a Visa credit card. If you have a
Master card go to Banco Santander Central
Hispano and if it is American Express you find
its main office in Lima Tours situated in Portal
de Arinas 177, Main Square. Telephone 22- 8431.
The disadvantage of using your credit card is
that some shops, hotels and restaurants charge
an 8% commission to the bill. It is best to
withdraw money from the ATMs and pay in cash. It
is safe to have traveler´s checks just in case
though sometimes you will have difficulties to
exchange them. If exchanged, they will offer you
lower rates than in cash.
In case of lost or theft of your Visa credit
card, you are able to cancel it calling to
If any enquires about MasterCard, you may call
to 0-800-49510 or to the 24- 4946. If your
credit card has been issued abroad, contact with
Master Global Service to 0-800-505-87.
The best way to obtain your money is through
ATMs. Most of them work with Plus system but
there are also some that accept Star, Cirrus and
Most of the banks have ATMs from where you can
withdraw money with international credit cards.
They deliver large bills. We suggested asking
for small denomination bills. In Cusco, Banco
Santander ATMs (former Banco Continental) is
situated in the second block of The Sun Avenue.
Despite of the fact you will have to walk some
blocks, it delivers small denomination bills so
you won't have problems while paying. Banco
Santander ATMs is located inside the building so
it is comfortable and safer for clients
especially for users of Visa credit cards.
The telephones system is the most used in Cusco.
Public telephones are easy to find and they
enable the access to local, national and
international dialing and through the operator.
It works with coins (céntimos and nuevos soles)
and with 147 cards. You can purchase them at Av.
El Sol or in the offices of Telefónica.
The Central Office of Telefónica presents the
advantage of making direct international calls
without time limits. You only need to request
the assistance of the person in charge and you
will be able to talk comfortably from your
How to use a public telephone?
Pick up the phone and wait for the tone. In the
upper part of the telephone there will appear
letters on a digital screen indicating that you
have to insert the coins. In order to call
abroad you need 5 soles minimum, the coins of
two or five soles do not work. Calls inside the
city of Cusco cost 50 céntimos. So as to call to
a cell phone you will need one Nuevo Sol.
In the case of 147 Cards, pick up the phone and
dial the number 147; the operator will indicate
you to dial the 12 secret numbers of your card.
Then, the country code, the area and the number.
- For international long distance dial 00 + the
country code + the city code + the telephone
- In the case of direct dialing, dial 0 + the
city code + the telephone number
- If you require an operator for national long
distance, dial 109 and request the call.
- To call to Peru from abroad, dial the access
international code + 51 (Peru code) + area code
(for Cusco it is 084) + the number.
- The post service is reasonably efficient. USA
and Europe letters arrive in one or two weeks.
The stamps for letters addressed to USA, Europe,
New Zealand and Australia cost between $ 0.80
and $ 1.
- USA and Europe letters arrive in one or two
weeks. The stamps for letters addressed to USA,
Europe, New Zealand and Australia cost between $
0.80 and $ 1.
To move within the perimeter of the city of
Cusco, the visitor may choose the public
transportation, which uses buses and minibuses
with a fixed route and which tariff is quite
Regarding taxis, tariffs are agreed before
getting on the vehicle, due to the lack of
If you want to go to Machu Picchu, the visitor
must take the train directly to Aguas Calientes.
From there, take the buses going uphill until
The usual way of reaching Machu Picchu is by
train. There are 112 kilometers between Cusco
and the Puente Ruinas station in Aguas Calientes
at the foot of Machu Picchu.
From the San Pedro Cusco station (next to the
Huánchac market) three train services are
offered daily to join this city with the Machu
Picchu station. This is an incredible travel.
You have to be careful with the things you carry
with you. Services start at 6:00 in the morning.
If you buy the tickets through an agency travel,
you will be picked up from your hotel to go to
the station, and after the visit you will be
taken back to your hotel at dusk.
One of the peculiarities of the travel is that
during the first half hour, the train passes by
the Picchu Mountain through the zigzagging way
until reaching the highest point called "El
Arco" in the northeastern part of the city.
Going on, you go down by the Poroy, Cachimatyo
and Izcuchaca towns towards the Pampa de Anta, a
wide cattle raising area. Running by the narrow
ravine of Pomatales, it glides towards the
Sacred Valley of the Incas to the Pachar station.
You cross the Urubamba River towards the right
bank to reach the Ollantaytambo station and go
ahead to Puente Ruinas, the final destination.
There are three types of services: tourism train
or backpacker, railcar or Vista Dome and the
Hiram Bingham service. They depart very early in
the morning and return in the evening.
Cusco - Aguas Calientes - Cusco Trains:
- Backpacker: Exclusively designed for
passengers who like adventure, who, in turn,
look for comfort and safety.
The Backpacker service has remodeled the seats
with Inca design upholstery, giving them a very
local and indigenous touch, as well as the
comfort to have a wide space for the passengers'
- Vistadome: The fastest and most
comfortable way of visiting Machu Picchu. During
the trip, you may taste delicious snacks and hot
and cold drinks. Coaches recently renewed, which
are supplied with panoramic windows that will
allow you enjoying a spectacular sight and take
- Hiram Bingham: It has 02 coaches and 42
places for passengers and a bar wagon. It
additionally has a kitchen wagon to prepare the
Among many of the exquisite design details of
coaches there are the big and comfortable seats
and extra wide tables. Almost 3 meters long and
30 cm wider than the others in the same route.
These coaches are considered among the widest
and most comfortable around the world. This
service includes: 1 ticket in train, 1 Brunch, 1
Afternoon tea, 1 Cocktail and Gastronomic Dinner,
Water, Coffee and Tea and 1 Tour including the
entrance to Machu Picchu, 1 round trip bus
ticket to the ruins.
Those who have traveled by land the Sacred
Valley and do not want to lose time going back
to Cusco can also take the train to Machu Picchu
at the Ollantaytambo station.
If you have a very short time to visit Peru, the
best way of traveling is by plane. The
International Airport Jorge Chávez in Lima is
the main hub for the local connections of
flights. From Lima to Cusco, there are 1,165 Km
(724 miles) and you need 20 hours by land and 1
hour by plane. The Velasco Astete Airport in
Cusco has received 366,325 foreign tourists in
the year 2002.
Be careful with the altitude sickness or
The "soroche", also known as the Monge sickness,
occurs for the lack of oxygen to people who are
not acclimatized and go up to 2,000 m.a.s.l. in
less than 1 or 2 days.
The tourist who arrives at Cusco by planes is
the most prone to this sickness. The symptoms
appear the first 48 hours after going up (though
they also appear much more later). They can be:
insomnia, headache, nausea, vomits, loss of
appetite, shortness of breath, sleeping problems,
pain in the lumbar area, giddiness, palpitations
and concentration problems, even severe edema
lung, deficiency TIROIDEA or infections.
Women may have amenorrhea or dysmenorrhea.
Although altitude is of the local people as it
empower the heart, strength the lungs and fill
the blood with red cells, for some people it can
mean a disgusting way of ruining their joy.
Previous acclimatization is very important to
enjoy the rest of the trip completely. Getting
prepared during some days will avoid suffering
of "soroche" or altitude sickness. This may
cause little pains but also severe problems such
as lung or brain edemas.
For a better acclimatization you will need about
72 hours. It is necessary to rest the whole
first day, eat little and drink lot of liquid
especially the coca tea. It has medicinal and
digestive properties. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes
and fat food.
To prevent but always taking counter indications
into account, we may have acetazolamida
(125-250mg 2 or 3 times a day orally) 48 hours
before ascending and 48 hours after arriving at
the high area. Taking desametasona ( 4mg every 6
hours orally during 48 hours before ascending
and during the time you are at high altitude) is
In case you have the symtoms despite of the
precautions, take lot of liquid. Paracetamol is
ideal against headache and coramina avoids
Acetazolamida (250 mg, 2 .4 times a day orally,
maximum dose: 1,000mg/day)is very effective
against soroche and increase acclimatization. In
all cases it is better to ask a doctor and
observe the counter indications of the
¿How to acclimatize easily?
- Remember Cusco is at 3,350 m.a.s.l. It is best
to rest some hours after landing, walk slowly
and do not make hard physic effort.
- Visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas helps
us to avoid the disgusting Soroche as it has a
higher temperature than Cusco.
- If you feel short of breath on your arrival,
you can ask for it at the airport or in some
hotels, drugstores and hospitals. If you need
one, ask for the oxygen in a flow of 2-3 l/min.
- If you even have headache, nausea or vomits,
it is possible you suffer from AMS (Spanish
abbreviation for Severe Mountainous Sickness),
look for medical assistance at the nearest
medical assistance office.
- It is recommended to take many lemon candies
as they avoid dehydration and the problems for
Policía Nacional del Perú (National Police)
Túpac Amaru square P - 15.
Telephone: 24-6088 / 25-2222 - anexo 208.
Policía de Turismo (Police of Tourism)
Address: Calle Saphy N° 510.
Emergencias Policiales (Police emergencies)
Unidad de desactivación de explosivos (UDEX)
Unity of explosive desactivation.
Central de emergencia policial (105.) Police
Escuadrón de emergencia (team of emergency)
Telf. 24-6088 / 25-2222 - anexo 208
Address: Esq. Av. 28 de Julio s/n
Address: Av. Tío, third bus stop.
Telephone: 24-9641 anexo 245
Address: Calle Shapy N° 510
Address: Central Av. Garcilaso de la Vega N°
Telephone: 221392 / 22-7211.
In San Sebastián: Telephone: 27-1452.
In San Jerónimo: Telephone: 27-7483.
Defensa Civil (Civil Defense)
Address: Av. Pedro Vilcapaza B- 9.
Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport
Address: Av. Velasco Astete s/n.
Information: Telephone: 22-2611.
Airport chieftainship: Telephone: 22-2601 /
Train to Machu Picchu
Address: San Pedro station s/n.
Train Puno - Arequipa
Address: Estación de Huanchac s/n.
Radio Taxi Telemovil
Telephone: 22-3383 / 25-2944.