Top attractions 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.
Originally an Incan courthouse, this museum is dedicated to artifacts and artwork from all regions of pre-Columbian Peru.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most fascinating of the Inca ruins, Moray’s gigantic terraced circular depressions are truly a sight to behold.
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, it is the icon of the Inca civilization.
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.
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.
Fly into Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, located on the edge of the city.
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.
- LanguageSpanish, Quechua and Aymara
- CurrencyPEN (S/.)
- Time ZoneUTC (-05:00)
- Country Code+51
- Best time to visitTo 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
At first I was a little iffy about getting this because I had a meeting schedule at 6 and I wasnt sure if we would get back on time but we did. We were back in Cusco by 5:00 pm. Everything was very well organized. They were very punctual at picking me up and we were the first group in the Lagoon. The food that was included was good. Our tour guide Freddy was amazing, he was very patient and funny. Going up the lagoon I would definitely recommend getting a horse it goes from 70-80 soles. It would only take you up the mountain because the incline is so high its dangerous to go down in a horse. Walking down the mountain will take you about an hour but it doesnt feel like it. Just be very careful because it does get slippery. Mornings are really really cold but once the sun comes out you will start to take layers off. The lagoon is magical. Totally worth it. If i wouldnt have come, i would definitely be upset and regretting it.
We would recommend this tour to especially older folks because nothing was left to chance. We had all our entry tickets given to us at the beginning of our tour and all drivers and guides very kind and super knowledgeable on the way. Excellent service and we enjoyed our group of two and the convenience. Many thanks!
- Great pick up from the hostel (very punctual and tremendously safe driver) - Awesome organizational process from start to end - Not the cheapest way but definitely the most convenient way to experience Machu Picchu (all relevant aspects included like transfers from accommodation, train ticket, bus ticket, Machu Picchu ticket and tour guide, so you really do not have to worry about anything prior to that day) For me it was definitely worth the money especially if you do not have so many days in Cusco / Peru.
This hike was wonderful. It was a rather tough climb up 2500 hundred stairs -- not fit for someone having trouble with the altitude or not capable of a strenuous hike! But it was an amazing view once we got to the top and worth every step.
Thank you so much for such an amazing adventure. From start to finish, going over and above expectations to provide a service equal to none. The adventure itself exceeded all expectations. The first day of trekking with amazing views and historical sites was amazing. It was made even more ‘real’ with the wealth of historical knowledge and passion for his culture, that our guide Carlos shared in such an interesting and an engaging way. The second day visiting Machu Picchu was also amazing and once again the insights that Carlos shared, made the experience perfect. It was great to know that the company has an environmental focus and also gives back to local community through sustainable initiatives, with an education focus. I can not recommend this company highly enough and would without hesitation use them in the future.