The following list gives you some indication of what you may wish to plan for during your stay in Cusco. Taxis $0.75; local transport $0.20; a set meal/menu in restaurant $ 2.50; a beer in a nightclub $1.75; a cappuccino in a trendy café/bar $0.75; international phone call $3.00 per minute; laundry service $1.00 per kilo; email service $1.00/hr.
Generally, it'll be no problem to contact home, either by phone, mail, fax or internet. Long distance phone calls are about $ 3.00 per minute. There are lots of cybercafes in Cusco, the price for an hour of internet is about $ 1.00.
No visa is necessary for most countries (check with the Peruvian Embassy in your home country). The tourist visa will allow you 90 days in Peru. You are allowed a maximum of three 30-day extensions for up 180 days (6 months) in Peru. Each extension will cost you about $ 25.00. You might want to consider just crossing the (Bolivian or Chilean) border, if you need more time in Peru. It'll take you about two days and you'll be guaranteed another 90 days.
Transports between Lima and Cusco
The fastest and easiest way to travel between Lima and Cusco is undoubtedly by plane. Flights are between $ 70.00 and $ 90.00 for a one way ticket and run between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. only. Most travellers arriving from Lima do so by air.
If you want to go overland, there are two options. The first route will lead you to Cusco via Ayacucho, Andahuaylas and Abancay and is really beautiful. However, most part of the road is unpaved (and the buses and the hotels bad) and it might be a little too much for the traveller who has just arrived to Peru. All together, it will take you about 48 hours to get to Cusco. There are several bus companies that offer this service throughout the year; however, the route is too dangerous to consider in rainy season.
The second option will go to Arequipa first, and then to Cusco. The Lima - Arequipa part is fast: the majority of the trip is via the Panamerican highway, along the coast. Buses are fine and depart about every half an hour from Lima. Arequipa is a beautiful, colonial city, where the traveller might want to consider staying a day or so before continuing the trip. But if you prefer, there is a direct connection to Cusco that departs between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. The road is not too good, it might be freezing cold at night and the bus crowded. Now you will start traversing the Andes, this is the real side of Peru! You will arrive in Cusco in the early morning, between 4:00 and 8:00.
Travelling in Peru
Generally, it is pretty safe and relatively easy to travel around by yourself in Peru. There are buses, planes, taxis etc. all over the country as well as hotels of all categories. There are all kinds of travellers and tourists around and it will be easy to meet other people.