We arrived in Cusco a four days before heading off on our Inca Trail hike. Two to three days are recommended to help you adjust to the altitude, however everyone is different. I unfortunately did not adjust well at all!
The first day was hard for everyone; imagine walking up a single normal size flight of stairs and feeling like you have just run a marathon! It was hard. After the first day however the girls all adjusted and even went trekking on horseback around the beautiful mountains. I opted to stay in Cusco and wandered around the area and markets as I still hadn’t adjusted very well to the altitude. I did however treat myself to a massage which was heavenly. I knew straight away that I’d be getting another one as soon as we were finished our hike too. It’s a really nice spot where you feel safe wandering around by yourself. There are fabulous markets to explore here, beautiful hand crafts, a textiles museum and a gorgeous town square. There are plenty of options for dinner and I would highly recommend the local food here.
We used Cusco as a base for a few different trips such as The Inca Trail and our visit to the Amazon Rainforest. You can book the rainforest tour from here and you really do get great value just be sure to shop around. Everywhere has slightly different packages and there are many, many options to choose from.
Before our trek we stayed in a lovely hotel. After the trek we stayed in a crazy fun hostel. Two very different places which means there is something for everyone here. If you are backpacking I would definitely recommend the hostel option! We stayed in Kokopelli and had an absolute ball! Another one that’s supposed to be amazing is The Wild Rover, however you have to book there in advance. Wherever you stay they will always store your luggage securely while you go off on your overnight adventures which is great. Cusco is the perfect base location for exploring.