Where Should I stay in Cusco?
While many of you are expert travelers, you will see that planning for this particular journey is a bit more difficult than most. We are here to help every step of the way and may be reaching out to you from time to time with some advice.
To begin with, we have some suggestions on where to stay in Cusco. Cusco is a small city, but they are making more and more streets open to only pedestrian traffic – no cars. So these hotels are all really nice three star hotels that also are accessible for us to drive to for your pickup. These are suggestions only – not mandatory to stay here.
Alpaca Expeditions goes all-the-way to create an experience-of-a-lifetime for every single one of our clients who are trekking or travelling with us. We try to include every possible detail that will enhance your experience so that you can have a seamless and memorable trip. We always try to smooth any potential issues you may have along the way on your expedition. Here is some information of some of the services that we provide:
Cusco is quite a safe city. However, as locals we have experience with some issues which probably are not uncommon in developing countries like Peru, which we would like to make you aware of. Our city Mayor has provided as many police officers as possible, including a special force called “Policia Turistica” (Tourist Police) to provide a high security standard to the people who are visiting our city. However, we would like to ask you to please be aware that there are opportunistic factions which operate, especially in the early mornings or late evenings and in crowded areas and some tourists have experienced pick-pocketing or stolen bags. Unfortunately, occasionally even taxi drivers cannot always be trusted. With this is mind, Alpaca Expeditions want to ensure that you avoid these problems and to that effect, we are now offering to pick our trekkers up from their hotels. Prior to your trek, we will give you a briefing in our office, at which time we will determine what time we will pick you up on the morning your trek starts. Here are our basic guidelines:
Inka Trail 4D/3N pick up will be at 4.15 am to 4.30 am
Inka Trail 5D/4N pick up will be at 5.00 am to 5.15 am
Lares Trek 4D/3N pick up will be at 5 am to 5.15 am
Other tour departures are mentioned on our website or will be confirmed by our front desk staff during your check-in while you are in Cusco.
- PURPLE: $200 or more a night
- BLUE: $100-$200 a night
- TURQUOISE: $75-$100 a night
- ORANGE: $40-$75 a night
- YELLOW: Below $40 a night
After hiking for days and getting up very early to catch mystical Machu Picchu before the clouds burn off and the day tourists arrive, plus the 4-hour trip from Machu Picchu back to Cusco, you will definitely be tired when you return to Cusco, perhaps hoping to jump straight into the shower. You’ll want to arrive back to your hotel as soon as reasonably possible. Alpaca Expeditions has put in place as organized and quick drop-offs to your hotel as possible.
However, we ask that you understand some logistical information which will assist in smooth hotel pick-up and drop-off. Cusco is an ancient, historical city with many very narrow streets, lots of stairs, and areas that cars cannot even access. This is part of its charm, though it doesn’t always make navigation by motor vehicles easy. Recently, they have even passed a law making the Main Plaza a pedestrian-only area, with no through vehicular traffic at all allowed. You can imagine, this complicates people getting dropped off directly to their hotels! We know you want to reach your home-sweet-home away from home as quickly and directly as possible. We therefore make the following recommendations.
In order to make Hotel Pick-Up and Drop-Off as smooth as possible, we highly recommend that you choose one from this list of hotels. This list includes smaller hostels and also larger hotels which have good vehicular access.
|Name||CLASSIFICATION BY STAR:|
|Hilton Garden Inn Hotel|
|Rumi Punku Hotel|
|Casa Andina Hotel|
|JW Marriott Hotel|
|Selina Hotel Plaza|
|San Agustin el Dorado Hotel|
|Andean Wings Boutique Hotel Hotel|
|Terra Andina Hotel Hotel|
|El Mercado Hotel|
|Palacio Del Inca Hotel|
|Tierra Viva Centro Hotel|
|Costa Del Sol Ramada Hotel|
|Cusco Plaza Hotel Hotel|
|Hostel Amaru Hostal I|
|Hostel Atawkama Hostel|
|Hostel Flying Dog|
|Hostel Hitchhikers Cusco Hostel|
|Hostel Mama Simona Hostel|
Due to Cusco’s very narrow streets, our one-way traffic system, and other access limitations, we cannot guarantee that we can do a hotel pick-up/drop-off directly at your hotel or hostel if you choose one that is not on this list. If you are booked in another hotel, we can pick you up, but it will have to be at a pre-arranged location, perhaps a few blocks from where you are staying, and you will have to get there with your packs and/or luggage.
Where do I retrieve my luggage?
Your train from Aguas Calientes will come to the town of Ollantyatambo. As soon as you get off the train, you will exit the train station and a representative from Alpaca will take you to our bus or van. It is a 2-hour drive to Cusco and our final destination is PLAZA SAN FRANCISCO where our staff will be waiting with your luggage, ready to hand it back to you. Because larger buses are not allowed in the city center, you will then transfer to one of our smaller vans to drop you off at your hotels.
NOTE: AE recommends that you plan to stay in the same hotel before and after your trek. All hotels in Cusco know that there is a high likelihood that their guests are going to go to Machu Picchu or another trek, and that there is a limit of weight allowance on the trains and treks. All hotels will offer to store your larger bags during your trek. So returning to the same hotel makes a lot of sense, since your extra luggage will be there waiting for you upon your return.
What happens if I’m staying in the Sacred Valley before or after my INKA TRAIL hike?
We only recommend that you stay in the Sacred Valley for 2, 4 or 5-day Inka Trail treks. Our other treks veer off in other directions and it does not make sense to start them in the Sacred Valley, so we recommend that you plan to stay in Cusco the night before your trek starts.
Alpaca Expeditions can pick you up for your Inka Trail trek from Urubamba, Yanahuara or Ollantaytambo, but before going there, you MUST stop by our office in Cusco to pay your final balance due, review your booking and any equipment rentals with our front desk staff and also to get your duffle bags, in order to pack your 7kg for our Inka Trail porters to carry for you while on your trek.
What happens with my luggage then?
The moment your guide meets you to start the trek you will give him your packed duffel bag and after the trek and your visit to Machu Picchu, he will deliver it back to Cusco and it will be waiting for you once you arrive back to Cusco.
What happens with my luggage if I’m starting in Cusco but I’m staying in the Sacred Valley immediately after my trek?
No problem at all! When our guide picks you up from your hotel to start your trek, give him your luggage. Alpaca Expeditions will deliver your luggage to your hotel in the Sacred Valley at no additional cost to you and it will be there waiting for you when you arrive.
Do I need to bring my items for storage or my pack items to be carried during my trek to the briefing at your office in Cusco?
Not at all, you don’t need to bring anything for the briefing. You will give your items to be stored to your guide when he meets you in the morning of your departure day for your trek/trip. At the briefing you will just receive your duffle bags and information about your trek.
What happens with my duffle bag after the hike?
The last night of the hike, your guide will provide small sacks where you will pack your clothes and put them into your duffel bags. Then you will take them with you in the train and Alpaca bus back to your final destination (usually Cusco). When you arrive in San Francisco Plaza in Cusco you will take the sacks with your clothes and you will return the duffle bags back to us.
Can I leave my duffle bag in my hotel front desk?
No, unfortunately hotel front desk staff have not been very good at ensuring that they return our duffle bags, so we cannot allow them to be left with the hotels.
Can I bring my duffle bag to the office the next day?
Yes, if for any reason you feel you need to take our duffle bag back to your hotel with you, just let your guide know and bring it to our office the next day. We are closed on Sundays.
What happens with my duffle bag if I’m staying extra night in Aguas Calientes after Machu Picchu?
No worries, you will keep the duffle bag until you arrive back in Cusco where you will return to our Alpaca staff before being dropped off at your hotel. Also, if you left your luggage with us for storage during your trek, then we will return it to you on this day.
Alpaca Expeditions really wants the very best for you, to provide the best possible service and that you have an experience-of-a-lifetime during your trek with us!