Getting to Cusco
Cusco can be accessed by plane, by car, by train or trekking. International travellers will need to arrive to Lima international airport and then take an internal flight to Cusco.
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Getting to Machu Picchu
There are two ways to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu Historical Reserve:
- Most visitors choose to arrive by train to Machu Picchu Village (Aguas Calientes), 3 1/2 hours from Cusco or 1 1/2 hours from Ollantaytambo. From Machu Picchu Village you would need to take a 25 minute bus trip to the citadel. The citadel opens from 06:00 to 17:00.
- Alternatively, you may choose to take the one-, two- to five-day Inca Trail hike (camping along the route).
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Altitude sickness prevention
Altitude sickness is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to low air pressure usually above 2,400 meters (approximately 8,000 feet). The main cause of altitude sickness is going too high too quickly; symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, sleep disorder among others. Before your travel to a high altitude destination, avoid eating too much, and on the arrival day itself, also eat less to avoid altitude sickness. If you stay at a high altitude, rest. Limit any walking or activity; you can explore the area, but take it easy especially on the first day. Drink plenty of water and avoid taking alcoholic beverages.
Currency / Foreign Exchange
The official currency is Nuevo Sol (PEN). Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club, American Express and MasterCard, are accepted in many, but not all, establishments. Travelers are advised to have cash on hand. US Dollars are the easiest currency to exchange, and many restaurants, hotels and shops in the main cities accept dollars for payment. Casas de cambio (exchange bureau) often give better rates than hotels and banks, and can be found in the city center as well as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
Health / Insurance
Although no vaccinations are officially required, visitors are advised to take precautions, especially if planning to travel to jungle regions. The most common ailments for travelers are diarrhea and altitude sickness. Health care is limited in these areas, so safety measures must be taken regarding food and alcohol intake. Please see “Altitude Sickness Prevention”.