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.

Museo de Arte Precolombino
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moray

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

Machu Picchu

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Cusco? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Cusco

Amazing tour but too little information beforehand

The tour itself was very good and went smoothly. The Guide, Johnny, was amazing and gave plenty of time for pictures and breaks. But if we hadn’t emailed the company the days leading up to our trip we wouldn’t have found out that we should meet at 3.15 am and not 5 am, so there’s was a bit lack of communication.

This trip is AMAZING! However don't pre-book! Do it in Cusco.

This trip is an incredible way to arrive at Maccu Picchu. We had a fantastic guide called Guido, who helped us throughout the trek. The activities were super fun, and the people on the tour were like minded and up for a good time. However, it was disappointing to find out we had paid more than half the price of most on the tour. So my advice is to book in Cusco for a cheaper price for exactly the same tour. The hostels are very basic, one room had a hole in the floor. There was a lack of communication at one point regarding what was including in the package (eg. Ziplining) we had bought. This was unnecessary, and disappointing from the tour operator. The communication could have been better from the beginning. Regarding, recieving train/bus tickets at the initial briefing, not the night before. Overall thou, this was a fabulous experience!

From Cusco: 4-Day Inca Jungle Trek to Machu Picchu Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 10/28/2018

Stunning. The lake is absolutely stunning and well worth the trek.

I really enjoyed this trip, although the trek was slightly strenuous on the way up it was easily doable and we were all heavily rewarded with the stunning views of the lake and the glacier. The breakfast and lunch provided were of reasonable quality considering the cost of the trip. Only downside of the trip is that the description states you can swim in the lake (optional) but unfortunately this is actually forbidden, so I was slightly disappointed I wasn’t able to go for a refreshing paddle. All in all, a great experience.

From Cusco: Humantay Lake 1-Day Trek Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 10/05/2018

Breathtaking views. A must-do experience, for sure.

Our guide Freddy was very cheerful and friendly, and the group had an excellent vibe. It was not easy to get to the lake, put it totally paid off.

From Cusco: Humantay Lake 1-Day Trek Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 09/19/2018

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