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Plaza de Armas

Cusco’s busy main square has been the center of public life for centuries. Enjoy its spacious layout, ancient churches and restaurants.

Head to where the action is at the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, a large landscaped square bordered by shops, restaurants and ancient churches. For more than 500 years, the square has been at the heart of city life. Come to the plaza nowadays and you might see festivals, concerts and religious processions. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, admire the ornate lampposts and colonial archways and relax with a drink.

During the Inca Empire, the square was called “Huacaypata” (Square of Warriors) and extended as far as the adjacent Plaza del Regocijo. Ceremonies and military parades were conducted here and battle victories were celebrated. The Plaza de Armas has also witnessed historic events, including the execution of Túpac Amaru II who led a failed uprising against the Spanish in 1780.

Walk over to Cusco Cathedral on the northeastern side of the plaza. Step inside to view the hundreds of religious paintings. Head to the square’s southeastern side to see the 16th-century Church of the Society of Jesus. At first glance, the two churches look similar. Both have twin towers and comparable architectural designs but the cathedral is much larger and has a grand stone staircase in front.

Stroll under the colonial archways of the covered arcades that surround the square. Here, you’ll find some of Cusco’s finest shops and restaurants. The plaza attracts many street hawkers and persistent vendors. If you don’t wish to buy anything, simply smile and say “No, gracias” (No, thank you).

Plaza de Armas is located in downtown Cusco and easy to get to from all directions. The square is well-served by buses but many people navigate Cusco on foot as its winding, cobblestoned streets are best explored at a slow pace. Return to the square at night to see it beautifully lit up with spotlights. Enjoy the view from a seat by the large fountain or have dinner or a drink in one of the cafés overlooking the square.

You won't believe how many activities there are at Plaza de Armas. Here are some ideas to get you going:

If you're after more options, check out our Cusco things to do page.


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Top Plaza de Armas Hotel Deals

See all 1,051 properties near Plaza de Armas
Antigua Casona San Blas SG$133
Antigua Casona San Blas

Antigua Casona San Blas

Calle Carmen Bajo 243, San Blas, Cusco
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Cusco Historic Center, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of San Blas Church, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. Hatunrumiyoc and Twelve Angled Stone are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 15 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 18 minutes.

    JW Marriott El Convento Cusco SG$222
    JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

    JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

    Esquina De La Calle Ruinas 432, y San Agustin, Cusco, Cusco
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Cusco Historic Center, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of UNSAAC Yale International Center, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. Museum of Religious Art and Hatunrumiyoc are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 15 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 15 minutes.

      Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco SG$208
      Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

      Palacio del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        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 10 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 10 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 14 minutes.

        Hilton Garden Inn Cusco SG$125
        Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

        Hilton Garden Inn Cusco

           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of San Pedro Church, Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral. Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Calle Marquez are also within 10 minutes. San Pedro Station is 10 minutes by foot and Cusco Wanchaq Station is 25 minutes.

          Novotel Cusco SG$130
          Novotel Cusco

          Novotel Cusco

          San Augustin 239 Esquina, Cusco, Cusco
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Cusco Historic Center, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Hatunrumiyoc, Plaza de Armas, and Cusco Cathedral. UNSAAC Yale International Center and Museum of Religious Art are also within 5 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 14 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 15 minutes.

            Sonesta Hotel Cusco SG$111
            Sonesta Hotel Cusco

            Sonesta Hotel Cusco

            Ave. El Sol 954, Cusco, Cusco
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cusco Craft Center and Plaza de Armas. Cusco Cathedral is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) away. Cusco Wanchaq Station is only a 3-minute walk and San Pedro Station is 16 minutes.

              Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco SG$113
              Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco

              Ramada Costa Del Sol Cusco

              Santa Teresa N 344, Cusco, Cusco
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cusco Historic Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Museo de Plantas Sagradas Magicas y Medicinales and Plaza de Armas. Cusco Cathedral is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) away. San Pedro Station is 11 minutes by foot and Cusco Wanchaq Station is 18 minutes.

                Polo Cusco Suites SG$54
                Polo Cusco Suites

                Polo Cusco Suites

                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Cusco Craft Center, Plaza de Armas and Cusco Cathedral. Garcilaso de la Vega Stadium and Centro de Textiles are also within 15 minutes. Cusco Wanchaq Station is 8 minutes by foot and San Pedro Station is 20 minutes.