Going on vacation is a time to relax and get away from your day to day lives. You want to have fun and really enjoy the experiences of your chosen destination. But, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind to try to be as responsible about your tourism venture as possible.
Read on to discover the many ways you can be a responsible tourist when visiting our incredible, ancient city of Cusco.
Buy From Local Vendors
All over Cusco, you will find that people are selling their products. Many of them will have factory-made items on offer, but some provide their own handmade pieces. Whenever possible we recommend buying from those who have made the items themselves.
Whether it be a piece of pottery or homemade chocolates, you will be putting money back into the community and helping them grow in their venture. They will really appreciate it and you will be able to tell the story when you go home about how you bought it from the person who made it with their own hands.
Keep the City and Surrounding Area Tidy
Cusco is a beautiful city full of historical sites and some wonderful architecture. We want to keep it looking its best so we need to keep trash off of the streets. You won’t find trash cans on every street corner so it’s a good idea to keep a little bag with you to collect it until you get back to your hotel.
It’s the same when you are on a trek or visiting a historical site. Please keep any trash on your person until you are able to dispose of it correctly. Maintaining the sites in the best condition possible means that we will be able to enjoy our history for many more years to come and protect the surrounding environment and wildlife at the same time.
Respect the Local Culture
There’s no doubt about it. When you come to Cusco and Peru you will notice a whole host of differences from your home country. The way the country looks, the food they eat, and many other aspects of the culture.
Whether you agree with the way of life here or not, it’s always a good idea to be respectful to the locals and their beliefs. You will learn a lot about the lifestyle here and enjoy an eye-opening experience if you are willing to.
Learn Some of the Lingo
You may remember a bit of Spanish from high school, or never learned a word. But just knowing a few greetings and questions to get by when shopping can make a world of difference. The locals will be so happy you’re making the effort and you may even get a discount on your shopping!
Support Local Restaurants
You will find that in Cusco there are some worldwide chain restaurants that you find everywhere you go. If you’re craving it, then go ahead. But, whenever possible, visit the local restaurants run by people from the area and try their delights.
Not only will you get to try some exotic new dishes and the unique Peruvian flavors, but you’ll also be supporting the local community. This is always so helpful to those that can’t compete with the big names but whose food is just as good, if not better.
Ask Before Taking a Photo
Most folk won’t have an issue with it and may well be used to it. But it’s always a good idea to ask a person if you can take a photo before you do. It’s just to be polite and to avoid any potential discussions in a language you aren’t familiar with.
Research Before You Come
Reading up on Cusco and local customs can save you a lot of surprises when you get here. You’ll have a good idea of what to expect and know how to behave when visiting. Just like any place, there are certain ways to do things here, like kissing on the cheek when greeting someone or saying goodbye.
You can also do a bit of research on tipping, bargaining at the markets, and even gestures that may be offensive here. Knowing all of this before you come will leave you well prepared for your time in Cusco.
It doesn’t take a lot. You can see that everything on the list is easy to implement and you’ll be making your time here more valuable and helping out the locals, too. So, enjoy your time in this marvelous city to the fullest, but be responsible about it.
Written by: Liv Palmer