- Do take it slowly. Cusco is completely walkable but itâ€™s also 3,399 metres (11,151Â feet) above sea level so take it easy on your first day there.
- Do visit the surrounding ruins. If you have time, hike to the ruins of Sacsahuaman and Qenko on the hill above Cusco for great views over the town.
- Do buy aÂ Boleto Turistico if you plan to visit most of the sites in Cusco and Sacred Valley. It costs 155 PEN ($47 USD) and grants access to 16 attractions over a 10-day period.Â Buy it at your hostel or theÂ tourist information point on Avenida El Sol 103.
- Do try the local food. Whether it guinea pig (cuy), alpaca or a less adventurous lomo saltado (steak sautÃ©ed with spicy peppers and onions), Cusco has some delicious dining options.
- Do stay at a local hospedaje. These are usually run by locals and offer comfy accommodation at excellent prices. We stayed at Hostal Nueva Alta.ItÂ got a bit chilly in the evenings but the lovely family more than made up for it.
- Do people watch on Plaza de Armas. Thereâ€™s something deeply relaxing about sitting in the afternoon sun, lazily watching tourists and Peruvians bustling by Catedral del Cuzco.
- Do haggle. Like in many other tourist towns, prices are hiked up so donâ€™t be scared to ask for a discount. Naturally, bear in mind that Peru is relatively poor so offer what you think is fair but no less.
- Do expect rain, common from December to March. April to November offers better weather but do packÂ layers as high altitude means chilly evenings.
- Do learn about the townâ€™s history. Once the capital of the Incan empire, Cusco has a rich and intriguing past.
- Do buy your onward bus ticket from town centre. Our host pointed us to a bus station out of town but there are ticket vendors in the centre. Look out for Cruz del SurÂ which offers a reliable service.
- Donâ€™t buy your outdoor gear in town. If youâ€™re leaving for a trek, buy all your gear beforehand. Fake labelsÂ are common and the real deal usually costs moreÂ than the recommended retail price.
- Donâ€™t ignore the international food. The falafels at Paloma Imbis are just delicious. Order a portion with the spicy sauce and dare yourself to finish it all.
- Donâ€™t take pictures of people without asking. This should be standard procedure anywhere you go but Cusco locals are particularly sensitive to this. Be respectful.
- Donâ€™t buy alpaca wool. â€œBaby alpaca? More like â€˜maybe alpaca!â€™â€ the guides in Cusco are fond of joking. Donâ€™t shop for bargain knits as these are likely fake.
- Donâ€™t visit Pisacâ€¦ unless youâ€™re a shopper. The Sunday market at Pisac, 35km from Cusco, offers an array of sights, smells and colours but itâ€™s not a must-do for the less-keen shopper.