Getting around Cusco
The historic centre of Cusco is compact, so the best way of exploring it is on foot. The complicated bus network is cheap and fast - if you can work out where it's going. Most buses are unregulated and simply chalk their destinations in the window. More useful are the large number of colectivos that run up and down Avenida Sol every couple of minutes, charging a flat fare and stopping wherever you want them to. All you have to do is yell 'baja', meaning ‘let me off’.
You can flag down taxis on most streets, particularly around Plaza de Armas, Avenida El Sol and the central market. Taxis belonging to an official company have a roof light and company phone number and are safer than unregulated cabs, which have occasionally been linked to tourist muggings.
It is safest to order a taxi through your hotel. You can also hire a taxi for a day to visit sites around Cusco, in which case you should pay the driver half the fare at the start of the service and half at the end.
Although driving in Cusco is calm compared with Lima, Peruvian roads will test your nerves as locals tend to speed, brake suddenly and overtake at will. Streets can be slim in places, so watch those wing mirrors, and although there’s much less traffic outside the city, those behind the wheel should to be aware of tight mountainous roads.
You won't need a car in Cusco itself. Should you wish to explore further afield, a decent selection of vehicles are available to hire from Europcar, which has a downtown outlet at Calle Saphy 639 (tel: +51 84 262 655; www.europcar.com). You must be over 21 to drive a hire car and daily rates vary.
Loreto Tours (tel: +51 84 228 264; www.loretotours.com), Calle del Medio 111, rents bicycles and motorbikes by the day.