Cusco
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Top attractions in Cusco

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Top 10 Things to do in Cusco

Small and easy to navigate, the city of Cusco is a destination for the adventurer. It’s jam packed with a fascinating history of the Inca Empire and Spanish conquest that been amazingly well preserved and restored.

Photo: t_y_l@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Museo de Arte Precolombino

Originally an Incan courthouse, this museum is dedicated to artifacts and artwork from all regions of pre-Columbian Peru.

San Pedro Cusco

Feel the living heart of Peru while wandering the colorful Mercado Central de San Pedro. Explore endless aisles of local food, coffee, beer, jewelry, textiles and handicrafts.

Saksaywaman

Laying on the northern edge of Cusco is Saksaywaman, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Find a stunning view of the city from the ancient architectural marvel.

Santo Domingo Church

Incan and Spanish stonework meet in this 17th century cathedral. It is the site of The Temple of the Sun—it was originally lined with about 700 sheets of solid gold.

Huchuy Qosqo

Only reachable by a long hike or horseback ride, Huchuy Qosqo is a prime example of the innovation of the Inca’s irrigation and cooling storage systems.

Tambomachay

A bit closer to the city, and much more accessible, is another site of Inca ancient ruins made up of a string of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls that run through its tiered stone.

Sacred Valley

A great day trip, Sacred Valley was called such by the Inca for its fertile land. Be sure to visit the Inca village and fortress of Ollantaytambo on the way back to the Cusco.

The Inca Trail

Nearly as much of a wonder as the one it leads to, the Inca Trail is not to be taken lightly and the casual trekker should take heed before heading out on this long journey.

Moray

The most fascinating of the Inca ruins, Moray’s gigantic terraced circular depressions are truly a sight to behold.

Machu Picchu

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, it is the icon of the Inca civilization.

Planning Your Cusco Visit

How many days to visit Cusco?

Give yourself at least five days for a trip to Cusco—the first couple to adjust to the elevation and navigate the city, the last few to make it to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

When to visit?

The summer is the best time to visit for the climate, which also makes it peak tourist season. To avoid the crowds, early fall could be nice. Anytime after November and before April, however, is not recommended—Cusco’s rainy season could ruin your sightseeing.

How to get there?

Fly into Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, located on the edge of the city.

Should I worry about elevation?

It is advised to spend at least 3 days in Cusco to acclimate to the high elevation before heading out on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, especially if arriving from sea-level.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish, Quechua and Aymara
  • Currency
    PEN (S/.)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +51
  • Best time to visit
    To avoid the rainy winter and the tourist-packed summer, try to visit in early fall, when the sightseeing is still incredible!

Things to Do in Cusco

Top Attractions in Cusco

Cities in Peru

Other Sightseeing Options in Cusco

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What people are saying about Cusco

It was very nice, we have a very nice guide and it was a.nice group!

The weather was not so good, but that is nature. We enjoyed the tour a lot, the tour guide was very nice and puntual at the pick up time/place. He answered our questions and took care of the group

From Cusco: Humantay Lake 1-Day Trek Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 06/08/2018

Great tour with good value for money overall

Recommended, additional prices are 70 Soles for entrance ticket and 35 Soles for lunch buffet. Places you visit are amazing. Tour guide knowledgeable.

Machu Picchu is awonderful and inspiring place.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Machu Picchu. Edith our guide was excellent, do informative and answered all our questions. Thank you Edith for being so caring and kind.

From Cusco: Machu Picchu Full-Day Tour Reviewed by John, 06/06/2018

Very good tour, guide spoke excellent English.

A representative of the tour group, Joseph, met us at the train station, as we were starting our tour not long after the train arrived. I'm not sure what magic happened behind the scenes, but a staff member from our hotel (Inkaterra Machu Picchu) and the the tour group representative coordinated themselves and met us together. Joseph led us through the small town and waited until the bus arrived. We had purchased our bus tickets to go up the mountain in Cusco. It ended up being a nice small group (our family of 4 adults and a solo traveller,) but this is likely because we were travelling at the end of April which isn't the high season. Our tour guide Katti met us at the entrance. She was friendly and knowledgeable. We learned much about the history and buildings, and her English was excellent. She took us through the site at just the right pace, not too fast or slow, and there was just the right amount of information. We really enjoyed the tour.

Machu Picchu: 2-Hour Small Group Guided Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 05/27/2018

Stunning mountain landscape, Absolutely worth it

Absolutely one of the highlights in Cusco, If you have one day left in Cusco - go to the Humantay Lagoon, The guide Angel was Excellent transportation and food too, definitely this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen,

From Cusco: Humantay Lake 1-Day Trek Reviewed by jasmine, 02/23/2018