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Cusco
Travel Guide

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 colourful 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 colourful outfits and crafts of the locals. Seeing the city on foot is the best way to explore its small neighbourhoods, 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 3400 metres (11 150 feet) 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 travelling through rural Peru is a beautiful experience.

Cusco Travel Guide Video

Top hotels in Cusco

Casa Biru Hotel Boutique
Casa Biru Hotel Boutique
3.5 out of 5
Calle San Agustin 212, Cusco
Free cancellation
The price is SG$53 per night from 27 Mar to 28 Mar
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hatunrumiyoc, Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (21 reviews)

"El servicio del hotel fue muy bueno, muy impecable el lugar. Totalmente, lo recomiendo."…"

Reviewed on 2 Jan,2021

Casa Biru Hotel Boutique
Antigua Casona San Blas
Antigua Casona San Blas
4 out of 5
Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
Get Rates

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

4.9/5Exceptional! (703 reviews)

"Central location in hip San Blas. Hands down most memorable bedding comfort and pillows."…"

Reviewed on 17 Jan,2021

Antigua Casona San Blas
Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
5 out of 5
The price is SG$247 per night from 9 Mar to 10 Mar
Excludes taxes & fees

Located in Cusco Historic Center, this luxury hotel is steps away from Coricancha and Kusicancha. Centro de Textiles and Santa Catalina Convent are also within ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (629 reviews)
Beautiful place to stay close to train and bus

"I think this is the best place to stay in Machu Pichu town. It’s really beautiful and close to everything. We were not there long enough to see the bears but wish we had time to enjoy it a little more. The spa was really nice and I had a great treatment. The breakfast is good and the rest of the ..."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar,2020

Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco
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.

Holiday Rentals in Cusco

Cities Of The World - Hotel Cusco
Cities Of The World - Hotel Cusco
3.5 out of 5
The price is SG$122 per night from 5 Mar to 6 Mar
Excludes taxes & fees

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 23 Mar,2020

Cities Of The World - Hotel Cusco
Inkas Garden Apartment
Inkas Garden Apartment
3 out of 5
The price is SG$26 per night from 5 Mar to 6 Mar
Excludes taxes & fees

Situated in Cusco, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Santiago Plaza, Coricancha and Cusco Craft Center. San Pedro Church and Plaza de Armas are also ...

3.2/5 (43 reviews)

"The outside spiral staircase to reach the room is unique but it's hard to find the property"…"

Reviewed on 18 Apr,2019

Inkas Garden Apartment
Hilaria Apartment Cusco
Hilaria Apartment Cusco
3.5 out of 5
The price is SG$146 per night from 27 Feb to 28 Feb
Excludes taxes & fees

Situated in Cusco, this apartment building is within 2 miles (3 km) of Garcilaso de la Vega Stadium, Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral. San Pedro Market is ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)

"Great apartment for our family of 5. Plenty of room and the right level of amenities for a vacation. The management was fantastic to work with and supportive in every way. The location was away from the central square but close to other restaurants a short walk away, and accessible to the historic ..."…"

Reviewed on 7 Aug,2019

Hilaria Apartment Cusco
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

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
30
5 - Excellent 55.55555555555556%
4 - Good
19
4 - Good 35.18518518518518%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 9.25925925925926%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Oct 2019

Nice city, very safe and friendly locals, good tourism offers

5/5 - Excellent

Ara

10 Oct 2019

It's a hilly town so take it easy and enjoy. Don't forget deep breaths.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

8 Oct 2019

Excellent service, staff friendly and polite definitely 100% recommended.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

4 Oct 2019

rich historical and monumental legacy makes you dazzle with the testimonies of the Inca architecture, admire the artistic wealth of the colonial churches, with a big variety of delisious food.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

30 Sep 2019

Interesting town, though definitely a tourist trap. Shame, as the history is fascinating

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

28 Sep 2019

The hotel ruined our experience