Cusco is known as the gateway to Machu Picchu, where nearly every tour to the ancient city starts. It’s recommended to stay at least 2-3 days in Cusco before starting most of the hikes in the area to adjust to the high altitude (I highly recommend to follow this advice, as I didn’t in Bolivia and got a really bad altitude sickness…). So you are spending 2-3 days in Cusco. What should you do? Cusco is a surprisingly interesting city. Here are six things I recommend to do in Cusco before you are heading up to Machu Picchu. If you still have more time to kill, there are also several popular day trips from Cusco to the surrounding area.