Things to do in Cusco while acclimating: Ultimate Guide

Reading : 3 min January 3 2024

Embarking on the journey to Machu Picchu is a dream, but acclimating to the altitude in Cusco is a must. Discover a comprehensive guide on the best "Things to Do in Cusco While Acclimating," ensuring a seamless transition to this high-altitude gem. Maximize your experience with these awesome activities!

What will you find here?

  1. Things to do in Cusco while acclimating
  2. Awesome things to do in Cusco while acclimating
  3. Things you MUST NOT do in Cusco while acclimatizing
  4. Frequently Asked Questions


Things to do in Cusco while acclimating

Acclimating to the altitude is crucial, but it doesn't mean you have to stay indoors. Explore the vibrant city of Cusco while adjusting to the elevation with these exciting activities.

  • Drink coca tea at the hotel and rest: Start your acclimation journey by sipping on coca tea at your hotel, known for its altitude-soothing properties. Rest and allow your body to adjust gradually.
  • Go for a walk to the Plaza de Armas: Take a stroll to the heart of Cusco, the Plaza de Armas. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere while acclimating to the elevation.


Awesome things to do in Cusco while acclimating

Make the most of your acclimation days with these awesome activities that showcase the rich culture and history of Cusco.

  • Get acquainted with Cusco via a “free” walking tour: Dive into Cusco's history with a free walking tour. Explore the city's cobblestone streets, and hidden gems, and learn about its fascinating past.

  • Be in awe of Saqsaywaman (Sacsayhuaman): Marvel at the ancient Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Its colossal stones and panoramic views make it a perfect destination for an awe-inspiring acclimation experience.

  • Explore more Inca sites on the Cusco tourist ticket: Make the most of your acclimation days by exploring additional Inca sites covered by the Cusco Tourist Ticket. Uncover the mysteries of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and more.

  • Discover Qorikancha “Gold House”: Delve into the opulence of Qorikancha, the Inca "Gold House." Witness the blend of Inca and Spanish architecture, providing a unique perspective on the city's history.

  • Enjoy Cusco’s stellar Museum of Pre-Colombian Art: Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Cusco by visiting the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. Explore artifacts that showcase the heritage of the region.

  • Stop by the museums on the Cusco tourist ticket: Enhance your acclimation days by visiting museums covered by the Cusco Tourist Ticket. Gain insights into Inca history, art, and culture.

  • Cusco Planetarium, Apukunaq Tianan: Marvel at the night sky with a visit to the Cusco Planetarium, Apukunaq Tianan. Learn about Inca astronomy and enjoy stargazing during your acclimation nights.

  • Take a city tour the day after arrival: Opt for a city tour the day after your arrival to get a comprehensive overview of Cusco's main attractions. It's a perfect way to ease into your Peruvian adventure.

  • Go visit the San Pedro market: Immerse yourself in local culture by visiting the San Pedro market. Experience the vibrant colors, aromas, and flavors of Peruvian cuisine.

  • Go out for coffee or eat at a restaurant in the historic center: Enjoy a relaxed time acclimating at one of the charming cafes or restaurants in Cusco's historic center. Savor local delicacies and aromatic Peruvian coffee.

  • Take a tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas: Plan a day trip to the Sacred Valley to acclimate while exploring breathtaking landscapes and Inca ruins like Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Things you MUST NOT do in Cusco while acclimatizing

While exploring is essential, it's equally crucial to be mindful of activities that could hinder your acclimation process.

  • Avoid strenuous activities: Steer clear of strenuous activities during the initial acclimation days to allow your body to adapt gradually.

  • Limit alcohol consumption: Restrict alcohol intake to support the acclimation process. Alcohol can exacerbate the effects of high altitude.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many days to acclimate in Cusco?
    The recommended duration for acclimating in Cusco is at least two to three days. This allows your body to adjust to the high altitude gradually.

  • Is it necessary to acclimatize to the altitude if I only go to Machu Picchu by train?
    Yes, acclimatization is essential even if you're taking the train to Machu Picchu. The high altitude in Cusco impacts everyone, regardless of their final destination.

  • What are the symptoms of altitude sickness, and how can I alleviate them?
    Altitude sickness symptoms include headache, nausea, and fatigue. Drinking plenty of water, resting, and avoiding strenuous activities can help alleviate these symptoms.



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