As the oldest living city in the Americas, Cusco has been inhabited continuously for over 3,000 years. It was the historic capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th to 16th century until Spanish conquest, and now is a major tourist destination- receiving nearly 4 million visitors per year. The former capital city of the Incas, Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most tourists who come to Cusco head to Machu Picchu and the other nearby Inca centers, but it’s well worth spending some time exploring the city itself to discover its many attractions. Currently, Cusco is the most important tourist destination in Peru. Because of its antiquity and importance, the city center retains many buildings, plazas, streets and churches from colonial times, and even some pre-Columbian structures, which led to its declaration as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983.Luxury travel. Peru has also been experiencing continuous growth in luxury travel, particularly from around 2005 onwards. This niche of tourists arrive seeking high-end hotels and premium experiences in unique destinations, and travel mainly from the U.S. and Europe, but increasingly also from Asian countries, particularly China. The main destinations of interest are Cusco, Urubamba, and Machu Picchu. Recently this segment has been expanding to other areas such as the Puno Region and Lake Titicaca, as well as Iquitos and the Colca Canyon in Arequipa, as the government, local authorities and local and international travel firms have made large investments in hotels, infrastructure, and other tourism development.
THINGS TO DO IN CUSCO, MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN CUSCO
Day Tour to Maras, Moray and Salt Flats from Cusco
Explore the legacy of the Inca and Peru’s indigenous culture during this 6-hour trip to Maras, Moray, and the ‘Salineras’ from Cusco. Walk the streets of Maras and sample some ‘Chicha’ (corn drink), then learn about Inca engineering and agricultural practices at the Moray archaeological site. You’ll also get to see the “Salineras” salt mines. An optional private trip upgrade is also available.
Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park and Cusco Sites
Marvel at the architectural and archaeological majesty of Cusco on a 4-hour tour of the city’s most significant sites. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, visit fascinating ruins of Qenco; the sacred temples of Puca Pucara and the ecclesiastical structure of the Cusco Cathedral. Admire exquisite architecture and gain insight into Peru’s alluring history on this enriching excursion.
Machu Picchu Day trip From Cuzco
Experience the wonder of Machu Picchu during this full-day trip from Cusco. Enjoy a scenic train ride through Andean valleys before enjoying a 2-hour guided tour of this iconic Inca archaeological site. You’ll have plenty of free time to explore before returning to Cusco in the evening. Entrance fees, bus transport,and train tickets are all included.
Sacred Valley Tour Including Buffet Lunch from Cusco
First stop is the Sacred Valley of the Incas routing via Pisac, the colonial town. We will find the indigenous and traditional market, where you will be able to purchase handcrafted goods and souvenirs. After exploring town we then head towards the Pisac Ruins that are beautifully carved into the highest mountains. Then we continue the journey and appreciate the picturesque villages Calca and Urubamba where we will enjoy a buffet lunch with traditional stews. In the afternoon we will visit the village of Ollantaytambo and the Inca Archaeological site of Ollantaytambo which was inhabited 500 years ago and still remains in a pretty good state. Returning to Cusco we will go through Chinchero, one of the most interesting places of the Andes bearing plateaus of multi-colored crop fields, the chain of snow peaks of the Valley and a beautiful sunset.
Private Walking Tour: Cusco City Sightseeing and San Pedro Market
Discover the wealth of history and fascinating modern-day culture of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire, during this 4-hour walking tour with a private guide. Get off the tour bus and out into the streets of this amazing Inca city, following your guide on foot through the city’s main square and past its imposing cathedral. You’ll also check out the impressive ruins of the Incas’ Qorikancha temple and do some shopping for produce and handicrafts at San Pedro Market. This private walking tour also covers all site entrance fees and round-trip hotel transport.
Rainbow Mountain Cusco Full Day Tour
Rainbow mountain awaits travelers, adventurous heart, to surprise them with a dreamlike landscape. This will be a great adventure in full day, the beautiful rainbow mountain awaits all travelers who love the natural landscapes where you can take photos of rivers, mountains, formidable glaciers, families of vicuñas, llamas or alpacas and of course, the incomparable Rainbow Mountain. Dare to take this adventure and you can appreciate this gift of nature alone, with family or friends.
Textile Cultural Tour at Yachaq’s Land Including Lunch
Enjoy a visit to the Yachaq’s Land in Pisac, above 10,550 feet. There are around 190 families that live in the community, with an average of 4 children per family. Even though the community is very close to the cities of Pisac and Cusco, they still preserve their ancestral traditions, such as agriculture, cooking, weaving and music, keeping alive the old dances and songs and winning contests all around Peru. People here are very conscious of the strength of their biodiversity and cultural heritage.
Explore Cusco by Horse Back Tour
Horseback riding is the perfect way to sight see – travel quickly and easily while enjoying the fresh air! On this horseback riding tour from Cusco, see the sights and soak in the mysterious atmosphere of this magical region. After pickup from your hotel, take a scenic 20-minute drive to the horse ranch. Upon arrival, you’ll be assigned a horse and given a helmet (optional) and then your journey will begin! Trot through the breathtaking countryside in the outskirts of Cusco, and soak up the atmosphere of this ancient land. While you ride, imagine just how the Inca people lived centuries ago. Travel through typical Andean-style villages and see locals going about their everyday routines. Make your way to the Temple of the Moon, an ancient Incan ceremonial site, for unbeatable views of the city of Cusco. After exploring the archaeological site near the temple, leave your horse there and head back to your Cusco hotel.
Visit the Planetarium in Cusco
Planetarium Cusco is a perfect attraction for families or groups interested in astronomy, and by pre-booking this Planetarium Cusco admission ticket, you can guarantee your visit and round-trip transport from Plaza Regocijo. Learn all about the universe and Inca astronomy at the planetarium from your guide, and then get dropped back at the city center for more exploring.
ATV Half Day Tour to Moray, Maras and Salt Flat in the Sacred Valley from Cusco
Adventure lovers enjoy convenient pickup at their Cusco hotel. From there, a vehicle transports you to the ATV base camp at Cruz Pata. Your guides get you set up with instructions on operating an ATV (either single or double based on your choice at checkout). Upgrade to include a zip line and/or private tour. Riding an ATV gives you access to Sacred Valley sites that are tough to reach via a traditional tour. Travel a rugged trail through Andean villages to the colonial town of Maras, with rustic homes, stately mansions, and a church. Learn about the town’s history through guided commentary before heading to a Moray archaeological site, where the Inca used the huge holes in the earth’s surface to acclimatize seeds. The day’s last stop is the Maras salt mines to see local people mining salt in the traditional way and learn about salt’s importance to the Peruvian economy from your guide. Tours end in Cusco’s main square.
Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit
Learn to prepare high-end Peruvian cuisine from market to table alongside a professional chef with this Peruvian cooking class. After shopping at a local market with a food-loving guide, head to a colonial-style home to prepare a 3-course lunch or dinner featuring classic items like ceviche, Pisco sours, and quinoa cooked to perfection. Polish off your meal with fresh fruits and local coffee. Duration: 4h
Sacred Valley, Pisac and Ollantaytambo Full-Day Tour from Cusco
Your excursion begins with hotel pickup in Cusco, where you’ll board an air-conditioned coach destined for the highlights of the Sacred Valley. Your first stop is the historic city of Pisac, where you’ll have time to browse Pisac Indian Market for unique souvenirs. If you’re visiting Pisac on a Sunday, you’ll witness the town’s famous Mass ceremony. Following a lunch of classic Peruvian dishes, you’ll continue to Ollantaytambo Fortress, a 15th-century stronghold best known for its monolithic stones known as the Temple of the Sun. Take a guided tour, during which you’ll discover little-known information from a guide, and climb 200 steps for panoramic views. The tour concludes with drop-off at your Cusco hotel.
Day Trip Hike to Humantay Lake in Peru
This full-day tour from Cusco gets you into the Andes to see a picturesque high altitude lake with just a small amount of moderate hiking. Head up the trail to Humantay Lake or rent a horse (additional cost). Along the way, look for views of iconic Andean peaks including Salkantay. At the lake, make offerings to the mountain spirits and take a swim if you dare.
Cusco, Peru: Annual Weather Averages. January is the hottest month in Cusco with an average temperature of 52°F (11°C) and the coldest is July at 45°F (7°C)