If you're traveling independently to Tinkuy, here are some tips for going on your own.
You can register for Tinkuy and special workshops here.
Cusco is a high-altitude city (over 11,000 feet), so plan to arrive a day or two early to rest and acclimate. No special visa is required to enter Peru, but you will need a U.S. passport with at least 3 months remaining before it expires.
Airlines That Fly to Lima Direct From the United States
Most flights arrive and leave between 9 pm and 1 am. Be cautious when booking your return flight. If it departs after midnight, be sure you are flying on the right date.
Airlines That Fly Lima to Cusco
LATAM Airlines (formerly LAN Peru) has 17 flights a day, and has been the top airline to Cusco. Tickets for the in-country flight as of now (January 2017) are around $138 round trip. You can fly to Lima on LATAM from New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, or Orlanda and book all the way through to Cusco.
Peruvian Airlines has five flights a day at around $128 round trip.
StarPeru Airlines has three flights a day at around $103.round trip.
Avianca Peru has five flights a day around $140 round trip.
Staying Overnight in Lima
Because of the late arrival time of most flights from the United States, it may be necessary to spend the night in Lima. The best bet is the hotel at the airport, Wyndham Costa del Sol. When booked on-line through www.hotels.com or one of the other sites, a double is around $160. Book early to be sure you get a room. As you depart the Lima airport customs area, turn left and take the escalator up to the second level. Turn left again, and follow the hotel signs across the skywalk to the hotel lobby. While there are a number of suitable hotels in Miraflores, getting there and back will take at least a half hour each way, and taxi fare is expensive.
No prearranged visa is required for U.S. citizens. You will pass through immigration upon arrival in Lima, your passport will be stamped, and you will receive an exit visa for when you depart. Do not lose it!
November is late spring in Peru, and the weather is generally mild and dry, with daytime temperatures in the high 60s and nighttime lows in the 40s. Rain is possib
The elevation of Cusco is 11,152 ft. It’s important to give yourself time to acclimate—a day or two—and to drink lots of water. Most hotels and all restaurants offer coca tea; it is very beneficial in mitigating the effects of the altitude. If you plan to go to a workshop in Chinchero, be aware that the altitude there is even higher—12,300 ft.
Taxis are plentiful and cheap in Cusco. From the airport to downtown, go outside the airport to hail a cab, and ask the fare before you get in. It shouldn’t be more than 8 or 9 Soles (about $3.00 U.S.) Taxis around town for one person are 3 Soles ($1.00).
Speaking of money
The exchange rate of U.S. dollars to Nuevo Soles is generally 1:3, but check before you go. Change some money in the airport at least to cover taxi fare into the city. You will find banks and money changers along Avenida del Sol. Many of the banks have ATMs where you can get soles on a U.S. credit card. Take good care of your money, credit cards, and passport!
Use a trustworthy website such as www.hotels.com to find accommodations. Rates range from around $25 U.S. per night for a basic hostal to $60+ for a 3-star rated hotel (en suite bathroom, breakfast included) to much higher for more amenities. Book a room near the Plaza de Armas or the Convention Center for convenient access to Tinkuy.
Visiting Cultural Sites
The Boleto Turistico, or Cusco Tourist Ticket, is a paid ticket that allows you admission to many of the most popular attractions in Cusco and the surrounding region including archaeological sites and museums. The complete tourist ticket is valid for 10 days, costs 130 soles for adults (Approx. $US46) and 70 soles (Approx. $US25) for students with i.d., and includes entry into the following sites in and around Cusco:
In the city of Cusco:
- Religious Art Museum
- Church of San Blas
- Museum of Regional History
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Koricancha Museum (but not the site itself)
- Museum of Popular Art
- Pachacutec Monument (out of the way and not worth visiting)
- Performance of Andean dance and live music
Just above Cusco and accessible by cab:
- Puca Pucara
In the Sacred Valley
In the Chinchero Valley
Other Tourist Ticket Options:
If you are short on time and won’t be able to visit all these sites you can also purchase partial tickets (boletos parciales) for various combinations of nearby sites.
Where to Buy Your Tickets:
Buy your tickets when you arrive in Cusco at the COSITUC office on 103 Avenida del Sol in the center of Cusco. You can also pick up a good map there. Open Monday – Friday 08:00 – 12:30 and Saturday from 08:00 – 2:00. You can also buy the ticket at any of the sites included in any of the tickets.
Not included in the Tourist Ticket
The boleto turístico does not include the following: Machu Picchu, the Cusco Cathedral, the Pre-Columbian Art Museum (M.A.P), the Inka Museum, the main Incan temple Koricancha or the Casa Concha the Machu Picchu Museum in Cusco. Koricancha and these three museums are all well worth it.
The boleto turístico does not include transportation or guides.
For day trips or overnight trips to Machu Picchu, consult with a local travel agent. To find companies with good reviews who can make arrangements, go to:
Trip Advisor Tour Companies Cusco