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CuscoPeru

Once the capital of the Inca Empire, this historic city is the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and one of the most important sites in indigenous Peruvian culture.

Discover the colorful history of southern Peru in this mountain city. Cusco is the former capital of the Inca Empire, and remnants of the civilization can be seen scattered throughout the town. The city has a vibrant culture that mixes traditional Quechua customs and contemporary Peruvian traditions. On the edge of the Andes Mountains, Cusco is an ideal location to base yourself in as you explore the terrain, including the Machu Picchu citadel and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Cusco’s city center is a charming blend of colonial architecture and Quechua culture. The city’s population is largely indigenous, and walking its cobbled laneways will reveal the colorful outfits and crafts of the locals. Seeing the city on foot is the best way to explore its small neighborhoods, where you’re sure to stumble across groups of men playing Sapo – a traditional coin tossing game – in the windows of Cusco’s many bars and cafes.

Stay on foot to reach the major attractions of the city, including the San Pedro Market, a fascinating and authentic Peruvian experience. Visit the Plaza de Armas for some of the best restaurants and shopping in the city. The city is home to some of the most important cultural institutions in Peru, including the Museo del Sitio del Qoricancha, a museum dedicated to pre-Columbian cultures, and a number of contemporary art galleries. The Saqsayhuaman complex is one of the most important Incan sites in the region, and offer excellent views across the city.

Cusco is located 11 150 feet (3400 meters) above sea level, and so temperatures are frequently very cold in the evenings. Some visitors are likely to experience altitude sickness, and it can take a few days to acclimatize to the thin air. Buses and trains depart frequently to Cusco from within Peru, while some airlines service the small airport on the edge of town. Visitors arriving from international destinations should travel via Lima to the west or Arequipa to the south. While Cusco may not be the most convenient city to reach in Peru, the journey is well worth the effort as traveling through rural Peru is a beautiful experience.

Where to stay in Cusco

La Merced Church which includes a city

Cusco Historic Center

4.5/5Wonderful!(904 area reviews)

A noteworthy feature of Cusco Historic Center is its popular shops. While you're in town, be sure to stop and check out Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral.

Cusco Historic Center

Top Hotels in Cusco

Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Santa Ana, Avenida Abancay 207, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $75 per night from Nov 5 to Nov 6

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Pedro Church and San Pedro Market. Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral are also ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (723 reviews)
Cusco

"Wonderful. Just be prepared Cusco’s altitude is no joke. The hotel will provide oxygen if needed"…"

Reviewed on Mar 16, 2020

Hilton Garden Inn Cusco
Novotel Cusco
Novotel Cusco
4 out of 5
San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $75 per night from Dec 1 to Dec 2

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hatunrumiyoc, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is 0.6 ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (712 reviews)

"Friendly and helpful staff. Good food but pricey to local standard. Nice clean rooms and great service from staff. Not much view from most of the rooms. No gym or swimming pool but a spa. Courtyard is beautiful and more at night with the lighting"…"

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2020

Novotel Cusco
Estancia San Blas
Estancia San Blas
3 out of 5
Calle Siete Angelitos N° 640, Barrio San Blas, Cusco
The price is $34 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Blas Viewpoint, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is 0.8 mi ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (358 reviews)

"Amazing service"…"

Reviewed on Mar 9, 2020

Estancia San Blas
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Cusco

Cities Of The World - Hotel Cusco
Cities Of The World - Hotel Cusco
3.5 out of 5
Calle Tandapata 370, Cusco, Cusco
The price is $115 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Located in the heart of Cusco, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Blas Viewpoint, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is 0.9 ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (11 reviews)

"The staff were fantastic. Reny and Ivan were incredibly helpful throughout my stay and I am very grateful for all of their help and guidance. The accommodations were wonderful and location is convenient. Evenings are a little colder and the bedding provided was perfect. The space heaters worked well ..."…"

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2020

Cities Of The World - Hotel Cusco
Del Niño Apartments
Del Niño Apartments
3.5 out of 5
Calle Almagro 151 - 3er piso, Cusco

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Cusco Museum of Popular Art and Plaza de Armas. Cusco Cathedral and San ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)
Great for a group

"It was a great stay with our group of 4 needing 4 beds... you pay cash in Soles to the owner... Being able to speak Spanish would be helpful.... Snacks and bottled water were left for us on the table....note that there is a karaoke bar below but earplugs are enough to drown it out. Very nice lady ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct 10, 2018

Del Niño Apartments
Samir Apartment - Cuzco
Samir Apartment - Cuzco
Cusco, Cusco (region)
The price is $51 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Situated in Cusco, this vacation home is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Real Plaza Cusco and within 3 mi (5 km) of Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is ...

Samir Apartment - Cuzco
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Cusco

Top things to do in Cusco

Reviews of Cusco

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
840
5 - Excellent 71.67235494880546%
4 - Good
290
4 - Good 24.744027303754265%
3 - Okay
34
3 - Okay 2.901023890784983%
2 - Disappointing
2
2 - Disappointing 0.17064846416382254%
1 - Terrible
6
1 - Terrible 0.5119453924914675%

5/5 - Excellent

Dr.Pimentel

Apr 25, 2020

Cusco is a wonderful city with a great city square.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 27, 2020

Vibrantly colorful city that's fun to explore - great place to acclimatize before treks to higher altitude.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 26, 2020

Very cultural city with brick roads and many open parks with lots of benches

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 23, 2020

I am here at this hotel since March 17 to today due to Peru lockdown. The hotel provides great support, service, and food. All staffs are very nice and helpful. I would have enjoyed more if there will be different situations.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 21, 2020

The only thing I didn’t like was constantly being asked if I wanted a massage, or to buy trinkets — sometimes the same person within 5 minutes. It was annoying.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 18, 2020

Altitude is an issue, need time to adjust.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Cusco

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