The Best Places to Visit in Cusco Complete Guide
The best Things to Do in Cusco
Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cusco
Cusco, an ancient Inca city, adorned with colonial beauty and the best Inca architecture that still remains in time.
Why Visit Cusco?
Cusco is located high in the Andes and is home to many Inca ruins and monuments, including the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu.
What is Cusco’s Elevation?
The altitude of Cusco is 3400 m above sea level, or 11,150 feet.
It is a beautiful city where you can also experience the effects of altitude sickness, where the air is thinner. The most common symptoms are fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath, but most people get used to it within a few days, while they explore the city.
Wondering what to do around Cusco? Check out our list of the top things to do in Cusco to discover the best Cusco tours, activities and attractions on your trip.
High up in the Peruvian Andes lies Cusco, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is definitely worth a visit, to acclimatize and experience the mix of Inca and Spanish style influences.
Pet a cute alpaca
If you have just arrived in Cusco, have your camera ready, every street you go down in the city you will bump into local ladies typically dressed with baby alpacas offering photos in exchange for a tip. Of course, you can’t miss their adorable alpaca lambs and baby alpacas.
Every day hundreds of photos of them posing with the baby alpacas are uploaded to social media.
If you are a big fan of the alpacas and llamas of Peru, the best place to see them, pet them and take pictures with them is undoubtedly in the Sacred Valley. Follow the link to learn more. Pisac 1 day tour with Alpaca Farm from Cusco
- Inca Museum
- Pre-Columbian Art Museum
- Museo de Arte Natural
- Museo Regional de Cusco
- Koricancha Museum
- Coca Museum
Southern Skies Planetarium Experience
This is more dedicated to astronomy and history lovers. Afternoon free? on a night tour you can visit this amazing place or go on your own, learn about constellations and all about the stars from expert local guides who will show you literally everything about the galaxy from the city of Cusco.
San Blas District
San Blas has a very special charm. During the day it is a very quiet neighborhood, ideal for getting lost in the steep cobblestone streets (many of them pedestrian) and discovering old colonial houses, workshops of traditional artisan families, the oldest church in Cusco and a beautiful square.
At night it is one of the liveliest neighborhoods, with restaurants and pubs where you can eat, drink pisco sour, listen to music and meet people from all over the world.
Qoricancha Temple in Cusco
Koricancha or Qoricancha was the most important and sacred temple to the Incas in which they worshiped the sun god. the Qoricancha is located inside the convent of Santo Domingo. To visit the temple of Qoricancha you have to buy the entrance ticket at the entrance of the temple, the cost of the ticket is 15 Peruvian soles. Outside the temple there are local guides who provide guidance services to the temple. You can also visit the Qoricancha on the city tour provided by the travel agency Come See Peru.
Explore the Sacred Valley
If you are looking to explore Inca sites you can opt for the Sacred Valley tour from Cusco. The Sacred Valley is home to Inca ruins and offers the best local markets to buy souvenirs. Interact with local people and live a unique experience driving through the most beautiful landscapes with the best views of the Andean Mountain range in the distance.
San Pedro Market
A very typical local market located in the city of Cusco. Although the market is quite local or especially for locals, it became a tourist place for tourists. Here you will find the best souvenirs, alpaca clothing, vegetables, fresh fruits among many other things.
There are also rows of fruit bars, offering all kinds of fresh fruit juices. Here you can bargain for anything you want to buy and save a lot of money.
Visit the 12 angles stone
The stone is located in an ancient Inca street called hatunrumiyoc. It was part of the structure of an Inca palace, however at the present the wall constitutes one of the sides of the archbishop’s palace. Hatunruminyoc, according to scholars, means “The street of the big stone” in Quechua. It is one of the best maintained Inca walls in the whole region of Cusco, with colonial structures built on top of it which shows a perfect combination of cultures.
The precision of Inca stonemasonry is remarkable. This is because they set the stones with such precision that it was not necessary to use mortar to stick them together.
Definitely a must see, learn more here.
Go to Museo del Pisco for a tasting and learning experience. The walls are adorned with photos of how Pisco Sour is made, while expert bartenders serve drinks with infused Piscos.
this bar-museum is the best place to drink pisco, combined with a tapas lounge. Grab a spot early and enjoy the live music.
Where To Stay in Cusco
We know how important it is to choose a good hotel in Cusco but also how overwhelming it is to choose a good hotel in Cusco.
Prices of hotels in Cusco vary, depending on categories, locations and services. Here we offer you a list of the best hotels in Cusco. We will start from the cheapest to 5 star hotels in Cusco.
- Hotel Rumi Punku
- Antigua Casona San Blas
- El Mercado
- Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza
- Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
- Belmond Hotel Monasterio
- Palacio del Inka
The Cristo Blanco
The Cristo Blanco or White Christ is a statue of Jesus located atop a hill above the city of Cusco.
If you want to see a beautiful view of the city of Cusco then hike to the Cristo Blanco from Cusco. The statue of the White Christ is one of the best viewpoints in the whole city which offers breathtaking views of the city of Cusco.
Save some energy, take a cab to the statue and walk back to the city.
Visit Inca ruins from Cusco on foot or by cab
Visit ancient and mysterious ruins outside Cusco, here are 4 Inca ruins that you can visit in 1 day on your own or on a tour from Cusco.
Sacsayhuaman ruins: Sacsayhuaman (also spelled Saqsaywaman), in Cusco, is a must-see ruin while exploring the city of Cusco.
You can walk to Sacsayhuaman directly from the Plaza de Armas from Cusco. Sacsayhuaman itself is an outstanding site with three fortified platforms built by the Incas. In addition, Sacsayhuaman is part of the UNESCO sites in the Cusco area, declared it a World Heritage site in 1983.
It is really impossible to imagine how these huge stones were moved and then fitted together so perfectly with basic tools. Discover more about this ancient site with a local guide or on your own or on the city tour.
Tambomachay: Tambomachay is an archaeological site associated with the Inca Kingdom, located near Cusco, Peru. The ruins of Tambomachay are an amazing site to see the aqueducts, carved stone structures made up of irrigation canals and waterfalls that come from nearby springs.
You can take a bus called “Cristo Blanco” (White Christ) which costs 2 soles per person. The entrance fee is included in the tourist ticket which costs 130 soles. The complex is quite small but very well worth it.
Kenko: Archaeologists suggest that it was an important ceremonial temple where sacrifices and mummifications were performed. There is also evidence that the site was used for astronomical observations for agricultural purposes.
The best day tours from Cusco
Sacred Valley tour from Cusco
The Sacred Valley tour is a full day tour from Cusco.
Discover Inca ruins and enjoy beautiful scenery in the distance with snow-capped mountains and lagoons along the way.