Relative costs in Cusco
Economical room : US$ 15 - 30
Middle Class room : US$ 30 - 50
Luxury room : from US$ 50 and above.
Economical menu : US$ 2 - 5
Middle Class menu : US$ 5 - 10
Luxury menu : US$ 15 and above.
If you have a reduced budget you can get along with US$ 20.00 a day, but if you want to have more comfort and reliability, US$ 40.00 a day should be enough.
The easiest currency to exchange is the american dollar. Other currencies can be exchanged only in the main cities and with a high comission fee. Money can be exchanged in banks, money exchange shops, first class hotels and street exchangers. The money exchange shops are usually the places in which you can exchange money more easily and faster. The street exchangers, who are always placed nearby the banks, hardly ever offer a better rate than the banks and are known to cheat the visitors so it is better to avoid them. The rates change from place to place, but not in a significant way, unless you wish to exchange money in a hotel which will charge a high comission fee.
The traveler's checks are exchanged to a rate a little smaller than the cash. Visa is the most accepted credit card, but credit cards charge 5% to 9% comission fee, unless you make a withdrawal in cash in local currency in a bank or use your ATM card in a cash machine.
The best hotels and restaurants add to the bills a combination of taxes and service charges that could add up to 28% (taxes and service charges) so be ready for it, it should generally appear in the menu if they are charging the IGV (sales tax). Cheaper hotels and restaurants usually do not charge taxes.
Tipping is not expected in cheaper restaurants. A tip between 10 and 15% of the check is appropiate in the restaurants of better category only if the check does not include service charges. There is no tipping in taxis and you should strongly bargain in advance and hold on to the price you are willing to pay. For the local tourist guides a tip of US$ 3.00 to US$ 5.00 daily is appropiate. Bargaining is acceptable and expected in the markets.
When to come
The high touristic season in Perú is from June to August, which is the dry season in the highlands, and this is the best time for those interested in treks like the Inca Trail. Voyagers visit the highlands all year round, although the rainy months, from January to April, make the hiking trips a muddy proposal. Many of the most important festivities take place in the rainy months and do not stop even with hard rain. In the coast, peruvians go to the beach during the southern hemisphere summer which goes from December to March, although very few beaches are particulary attractive. The rest of the year, the coast is generally foggy. In the eastern tropical jungle it rains a lot, naturally. The rainy months go from December to April. However, visitors go there all year long because it very seldom rains more than a few hours and there is always lots of sun to enjoy.
Most visitors do not need visas; being exceptions that outstand those for newzealanders and spanish.
Yellow Fever: It is necessary and an obligation to take a vaccination if you are going to the Amazon jungle, for the Inca Trail it is not necessary, since it is above 3,000 m.a.s.l.
Altitude Sickness: If you experience a sudden altitude change after about 5 hours you will feel dizzy and generally in bad condition, a traditional medicine that works out very well is hot coca tea, you can also take coramin, which is sold in local drugstores.
Colera: Colera has been virtually erradicated from Perú, but you should always take your precautions specially in the coast, in Cusco is very rare.
Other health risks are minimal as long as you take care of yourself.