14 AMAZING Issues to Do in Cusco, Peru (2023 Information)

When you don’t know the place to start your Peruvian journey, try our record of the 14 most unimaginable issues to do in Cusco, Peru!

Cusco is by far Peru’s hottest metropolis amongst vacationers. And for good purpose, as there are many epic issues to do in Cusco.

Though it has lengthy been a centre for Inca and different Andean natives, the invention of Machu Picchu within the early 1900s put Cusco on the map.

It’s now the primary hub and gateway for visiting Machu Picchu and different Inca ruins scattered all through the Sacred Valley.

Town itself is located excessive within the Peruvian Andes. It lies within the Huatanay River valley and, regardless of its elevation of practically 3,400 meters, has a average local weather most days of the 12 months.

Whether or not arriving by aircraft, prepare, bus or car, anticipate to really feel overwhelmed by the great thing about the encompassing mountains.

Town of Cusco is residence to a wide range of cultural and archeological artefacts as a result of its wealthy historical past.

At one level it was the capital of the Inca Empire. In reality, the Incas constructed the town within the form of a Jaguar, honouring one among their gods.

Nonetheless, because the Spanish conquistadors explored and conquered the South American continent they constructed their very own metropolis as a replacement.

The Spanish changed Inca temples and buildings with their very own cathedrals and authorities buildings, a lot of that are nonetheless intact at the moment.

In some instances, the Spanish buildings have been actually stacked on high of the foundations of the Inca buildings.

A number of earthquakes within the mid-1900s uncovered this overlap and led Cusco to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Web site in 1983.

As you wander the historic neighbourhoods, like Barrio de San Blas and Hatun Rumiyuk, you may additionally discover some individuals within the metropolis nonetheless converse Quechua, the primary language of the Inca Empire.

Some locals will nonetheless stroll by way of the cobblestone streets sporting conventional clothes and provide picture alternatives in alternate for a Peruvian Sol or two.

There are additionally loads of issues to do round Cusco. Historic ruins encompass the town and make for wonderful day journeys.

No matter why you select to go to the traditional metropolis, there are many issues to see in Cusco!

READ MORE: Travelling elsewhere in Peru? Take a look at our final information to the most effective issues to do in Lima!

Things To Do In Cusco Peru
You’ll love this information to the most effective issues to do in Cusco!

Our Checklist of the Finest Issues to Do in Cusco, Peru!

When you’ve ever puzzled what to do in Cusco, Machu Picchu was seemingly on the high of your record. And no journey to Cusco is full with out visiting the traditional ruins of Machu Picchu!

However there may be much more to discover in and round Cusco than simply Machu Picchu.

With mountains in each path, there isn’t a scarcity of journey actions within the space.

You’ll be able to take ATV journeys or go zip-lining, white water rafting or using horses. For these wanting a extra genuine Inca expertise, you possibly can hike a number of days of the well-known Inca Path.

When you’re enthusiastic about extra cultural actions, you’ll discover an abundance of scrumptious native meals to strive. Give guinea pig or alpaca a strive. Or simply guide a tour to learn to make your individual chocolate straight from the cocoa bean.  

When you’re busy maintaining with the entire sights, simply have a number of pisco sours for joyful hour and head out into city for some avenue meals.

One factor is definite: You’ll not shortly run out of unimaginable issues to do in Cusco, Peru!

Gardens Cusco
The gardens and ruins of Cusco, Peru.

1) Buy the “Vacationer Ticket To Cusco”

Sure, it could appear unusual that our high suggestion is to buy a vacationer move. Nonetheless, many of the greatest issues to do in Cusco are free after getting the vacationer ticket.

We’ll record many of those locations under. However know that the Boleto Turistico de Cusco (“Vacationer Ticket to Cusco”) offers you free entry to as much as 16 websites in and round Cusco and the Sacred Valley (excluding Machu Picchu).

10-day passes are round USD$50 and embrace all 16 historic websites. Nonetheless it’s also possible to buy a 1-2 day restricted ticket to pick out websites for round $25 per day.

When you have a number of days within the space we advise you buy the total ticket as lots of the issues we advocate can be free with the total ticket.

We’ll point out in our record which locations are included within the Vacationer Ticket to Cusco.

You should purchase the Vacationer Ticket to Cusco at one of many following places:

The Central Counter Vacationer Workplace

  • Tackle: 103 Avenida del Sol
  • Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 8 AM – 6 PM

Vacationer Info Workplace

  • Tackle: Mantas 109 (1 block from Plaza de Armas)
  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 8 AM – 12 PM, 2 PM – 6 PM

2) Go to the Historic Metropolis of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is the gold commonplace for Inca ruins. And should you’ve come so far as Cusco, you completely should plan to go to the world-famous Inca metropolis.

Initially constructed within the 1400s, the traditional metropolis was deserted across the time the Spanish started to discover South America. Because the Spanish conquered the area within the 1500s, Machu Picchu was missed and unknown. 

It was not till 1911 when Machu Picchu was re-discovered by American historian Hiram Bingham.

Machu Picchu has grown in reputation since then. Consequently, the Peruvian authorities has put very strict guidelines on visiting the positioning.

One of the simplest ways to make sure that you comply with these guidelines is to book an all-inclusive trip from either Cusco or Aguas Calientes.

Nonetheless, it’s attainable so that you can put collectively a visit to Machu Picchu with out reserving a whole tour.

Most individuals who select to do that will take a prepare to Aguas Calientes, a small city on the foot of Machu Picchu. From there you possibly can take a shuttle or hike the brief remaining distance to Machu Picchu.  

However should you do wish to discover the ruins by yourself be sure you know the fundamentals.

  • Along with an entrance payment of round USD$60 additionally, you will have to choose both a morning or afternoon time slot.
  • Additionally, you will have to rent a information (accessible on web site) and could also be herded alongside particular routes and deadlines.

Due to the rising reputation of visiting Machu Picchu, there are additionally different passes that you may buy to go to different parts of the realm.  

Standard aspect journeys embrace hikes up the native mountains of Huayna Picchu and Montana for much more spectacular views of the traditional metropolis.

Machu Picchu is by far the most well-liked vacation spot in South America. You’ll not be alone in your journey there.

However don’t let this discourage you! Machu Picchu is unquestionably at THE TOP of the record of issues to do round Cusco.

READ MORE: Take a look at our weblog publish detailing our 5 days spent exploring Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

3) Orient Your self with the Metropolis from the Plaza de Armas

Like many South American cities closely influenced by Spanish colonial rule, Cusco boasts a phenomenal central park referred to as the Plaza de Armas.

As with a lot of Cusco, the Spanish constructed the Plaza de Armas on the muse of a earlier Inca assembly floor referred to as The Nice Inca Sq..

The sq. is lined with cobblestone and incorporates a water fountain, patches of lush grass and loads of park benches splendid for taking within the surroundings.

When you take pleasure in taking it straightforward, you possibly can decide up a espresso close by and discover a bench to sit down and revel in individuals watching. Or seize a chew to eat at one of many many close by cafes or eating places and look in on the busyness of the park.

The Plaza de Armas additionally boasts wonderful views of different historic buildings such because the Cusco Cathedral and the Museum of Pure Historical past.

This can be a good spot to orient your self. The favored neighbourhood of San Blas connects on to the park.  

And there are many outlets, avenue performers and different leisure in and across the Plaza de Armas.

Plaza De Armas Cusco
All people loves exploring the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.

4) Go to Iglesia de Santo Domingo and Koricancha

The Church and Convent of Santo Domingo is without doubt one of the greatest examples of the overlap between Inca and Spanish structure.

Located within the centre of Cusco, together with the Plaza de Armas, the church is constructed upon the ruins of an vital Inca constructing.

Koricancha was as soon as the Inca Temple of the Solar. Nonetheless, when the Spanish conquered the Inca they destroyed the temple.

As a replacement, and actually constructed upon its basis, lies the Iglesia De Santo Domingo.  

As you tour the church there are locations the place you possibly can see the stones from Koricancha.  

In reality, as you enter the church you possibly can pay for a separate tour of the Koricancha ruins within the centre of the church.  

When you miss enterprise hours for visiting the church, that is additionally one of many extra stunning issues to see in Cusco at night time.

Like many historic church buildings in Latin America, the Iglesia De Santo Domingo continues to be open and has day by day and weekend plenty. So please be conscious of providers while you go to.

*Observe: Entrance charges to Koricancha is included within the Vacationer Cross to Cusco.

  • Tackle: Ahuacpinta 659-A, Cusco, Peru
  • Opening hours : Monday – Saturday 7 AM – 7 PM, Sunday 7 AM – 11 AM, 6 PM – 8 PM
  • Value: Freed from cost (USD$3.50 for Koricancha)

5) Day Journey to the Maras Salt Mines and Moray Ruins by ATV

The salt mining city of Moras is roughly an hour exterior of Cusco and gives a superb day journey alternative.

Located within the Sacred Valley, the salt mines of Maras are operated at the moment the identical as they have been over 500 years in the past.

1000’s of shallow swimming pools are dug into the mountainside. As saltwater fills the pans, ultimately the water evaporates and leaves salt behind.  

Locals then accumulate the salt and promote it within the markets and close by outlets.

Whereas within the space, you should definitely go to the Inca ruins at Moray. This distinctive wreck options sunken terraces all through the countryside.

You’ll be able to mix each actions with an adrenaline-pumping tour that takes you to every place on an ATV!

Discover the huge fantastic thing about the well-known Sacred Valley in a method many individuals won’t ever know!

*Observe: Entrance payment to Moray is included within the Vacationer Cross to Cusco.

Maras Salt Mines
Undoubtedly pay a go to to the Maras salt mines within the Sacred Valley.

6) Stargaze on the Cusco Planetarium

Cusco sightseeing is at its most interesting with a visit to the Cusco Planetarium.

South America boasts a number of the greatest stargazing on this planet. While you’re in Cusco, set a night apart so as to go to the Cusco Planetarium.

Located on a hill simply quarter-hour exterior the town, the Cusco Planetarium gives a nightly present in English or Spanish.

Climate allowing, you should have a possibility to view presently accessible constellations in addition to the Inca constellations and listen to the tales about them.

The planetarium is household owned and operated and you may both reserve your spot straight by way of the planetarium or by way of any variety of tour operators.

Both method, journey to the planetarium is usually supplied with buy. However you possibly can simply and cheaply have a taxi take you up the hill.

Reserve a night for the planetarium, one of many breathtaking Cusco sights.

7) Take a Stroll By the Standard San Blas Neighbourhood

San Blas is probably probably the most iconic neighbourhood and one of many high locations to go to in Cusco.

Situated adjoining to the primary sq. within the metropolis, the steep and slender cobblestone streets are lined with outlets and eating places of all kinds.

Often known as the “balcony of Cusco,” the neighbourhood sits on the high of a hill and overlooks the primary sq. and all adjoining buildings.

Due to the views, you possibly can go to San Blas through the day or at night time and discover it equally stunning and enchanting. The views are a Cusco should see!

No matter while you go to, anticipate to return throughout avenue performers of assorted sorts and decide your favorite spot to drink a pisco bitter and folks watch!   

We advocate you give the Limbus Resto bar a strive. Recognized for its location overlooking the city you possibly can sit and plan out the remainder of your day or night with a number of the greatest views of Cusco.

READ MORE: Don’t miss our full information to backpacking in Peru.

8) Sacred Valley Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero Tour

Ollantaytambo is the positioning of one other of Peru’s most well-known Inca ruins and one other of the extra well-liked issues to do round Cusco.

Situated roughly 2 hours north of Cusco within the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo was as soon as an Inca stronghold and navy base defending Machu Picchu.

At the moment the ruins include a large fortress and temple constructed amongst a sequence of huge terraces. 

Many individuals go to the Ollantaytambo ruins on a day journey from Cusco.  

Nonetheless, the city and ruins are additionally the most well-liked start line for these individuals climbing the Inca Path to Machu Picchu.

If you’re not enthusiastic about reserving a tour from Cusco, it’s also possible to catch the prepare to/from Aguas Calientes in your option to/from Machu Picchu.

Many excursions will even cease at Chinchero, a typical Andean Indian village that offers you a style and really feel of the native lifestyle.  

*Observe: Entrance charges to each Ollantaytambo and Chinchero are included within the Vacationer Cross to Cusco.

Ollaytaytambo Peru
Hanging out at Ollantaytambo.

9) Hike to Sacsayhuaman Fortress

Sacsayhuaman is an historic Inca fortress overlooking Cusco from the north. As it’s simply on the outskirts of city it’s simply accessible.  

Many individuals will go to Sacsayhuaman as a part of a Cusco metropolis tour. However it is just 2.2 km from the Plaza de Armas and makes for an excellent self-guided hike/stroll.

Locals and tour guides will jokingly confer with the ruins as “Horny Human” or “Horny Lady.” The fortress and ruins are nonetheless very a lot intact, although lower than half of its unique construction stays.

You will note massive stones stacked on one another to create the remnants of towers, shrines, roads and houses. It will be straightforward to spend a whole day exploring the ruins, so give your self a number of hours as a minimum.

When you’ve crossed out every little thing out of your record of what to see in Cusco, head to Sacsayhuaman for a enjoyable and informative day journey.

Observe: Sacsayhuaman is situated at a good larger elevation than Cusco metropolis. The hike to the ruins is uphill so think about your health when climbing to Sacsayhuaman. A greater thought could be to take a taxi to the highest of the hill after which hike again right down to the town if you find yourself accomplished exploring the ruins.

  • Opening hours: 7 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Value: Solely accessible with “Vacationer Cross to Cusco”
Sacsaywaman Peru
Sacsayhuaman close to Cusco is value a go to.

10) Hike to the Vibrant “Rainbow Mountain”

Rainbow Mountain, often known as Montana de Siete Colores (Mountain of seven Colors), is a spectacular day journey alternative.

The mountain itself appears as if somebody scattered colored sand in layers throughout the panorama.

It’s actually a singular spectacle shaped as ice melted and combined with numerous minerals to stain the bottom vibrant reds, greens, yellows and purples.

It’s best to book a tour as attending to the mountain entails a 3 hour drive from Cusco.

When you arrive on the base of the mountain you’ll hike for about 10 kilometres to the lookout.

Have a learn of our suggestions for visiting Rainbow Mountain.

This hike in itself is definitely worth the journey as you’ll come throughout wild alpacas. llamas and vicunas as you take pleasure in a panorama view of the encompassing mountains.

You might also come throughout massive condors in flight – a non secular image of excellent fortune to lots of the Andean individuals within the area.

Observe that the length and terrain of the path make it a average to tough hike. This one shouldn’t be for inexperienced persons.

11) Get Your Groove on at Mama Africa

If you’re searching for entertaining nightlife and/or just wish to be taught to Salsa dance, visiting Mama Africa is without doubt one of the greatest issues to do in Cusco.

Situated adjoining to the Plaza de Armas, Mama Africa is a good place to finish your day… or start your night time.

It’s well-liked amongst locals and vacationers alike, so anticipate a good crowd most nights of the week.

Nonetheless, in case you have ever wished to be taught to Salsa dance in a Latin American vacation spot, it doesn’t get extra genuine than at Mama Africa. 

Seize a beer to shake free the nerves. Then shake it on the dance ground! 

  • Tackle: Portal de Panes 109 3th Ground, Portal de Panes 109, Cusco 08002, Peru
  • Opening hours: Opens at 7 PM and closes someday earlier than the solar rises!

12) Store on the Mercado Central de San Pedro

Mercado Central de San Pedro is the busiest market in Cusco and among the finest issues to do in Cusco.

Situated simply 5 blocks from the Plaza de Armas, the Central Market boasts all kinds of things to buy.

Locals buy most of their meat and produce from the market.

Moreover there are numerous outlets that cater to each the useful wants of the traveler in addition to to supply ample alternative to buy souvenirs.

Seize a chew to eat from a meals stall. Or fill up on snacks in your day journeys in and round Cusco.

You’ll be glad you experiences a real native market whereas visiting Cusco. 

  • Tackle: Tupac Amaru, Cusco 08003, Peru
  • Opening hours: each day from 9 AM – 6 PM

13) Hike to the Cristo Blanco Statue Above Cusco

Cristo Blanco (“White Christ”) is a statue of Jesus located on a hill excessive above the city of Cusco.

Like many Latin American cities with deep Spanish roots, Cusco boasts a big statue of Jesus that towers above the town offering a metaphorical reminder to residents of their Catholic heritage.

If you’re not enthusiastic about seeing the statue in particular person and simply wish to see a stunning view of Cusco, the hike to/from Cristo Blanco is tough to beat.

The hike to the statue is roughly 1.5 KM from the Plaza de Armas. When you’re enthusiastic about saving some vitality, catch a taxi to the statue and hike again to the town.

And should you actually desire a spectacular view, take a taxi to the Cristo Blanco statue within the night after the lights of the town activate.  

Nonetheless, should you go at night time be sure you are with different individuals and maintain vigilant of your environment on the high of the hill.

14) Day Journey to as Many Different Inca Ruins as Attainable

When you bought your Vacationer Ticket Of Cusco and you’ve got the additional time, plan to go to as lots of the different locations as you possibly can!

We’ve highlighted only some of the highest issues to do round Cusco. However your Vacationer Ticket will even get you into the next locations for FREE! 

  • Q’enqo – A 40 minute stroll from Plaza de Armas in Cusco, Q’enqo is one other Inca holy place constructed among the many pure rock formations surrounding the town.
  • Puca Pucara – An Inca navy outpost situated round 8.5 km from the centre of Cusco with notable partitions, terrace and standing staircase.
  • Tambomachay – Situated close to Puca Pucara, Tambomachay is a sequence of tunnels, waterfalls and aqueducts used to move water within the Inca civilization
  • Modern Artwork Museum – Situated on the northwest nook of the Plaza de Armas, this museum options trendy artwork in and from the area.
  • Regional Historical past Museum – One other brief stroll from the Plaza de Armas, the museum shares data on the social, geological, architectural, political and historic significance of the realm.
  • Museum of Standard Artwork – One block south of the Plaza de Armas, one other fast museum go to that includes native artwork.
  • Qosqo Native Artwork Middle – Options performances of people dance and musicals from numerous peoples in Cusco amongst different details about the individuals and tradition of Cusco.
  • Monument to the Inca Pachacuteq – Situated on Avenida del Sol, this statue stands out within the metropolis and incorporates a museum constructed right into a several-story tower.
  • Pikillaqta – A Wari wreck from individuals settled within the area previous to the Incas, situated round 20 km east of Cusco.
  • Tipon – An terraced Inca wreck advanced situated close to Pikillaqta seemingly used for agriculture
Inca Ruins Peru
Discover as many Incan ruins as attainable!

Our Cusco Journey Information

That can assist you profit from your journey exploring the most effective issues to do in Cusco, Peru, we’ve put collectively this useful Cusco journey information for you!

Finest Lodging – The place to Keep in Cusco

When you have been questioning the place to remain in Cusco, you’ve gotten many choices. From funds hostels to luxurious lodges, Cusco has all of it.

Whether or not you might be searching for a quiet resort tucked away in a nook of the town, or wish to be nearer to the hustle and bustle, you’ve gotten many choices.

Hostels in Cusco provide an excellent place to satisfy different travellers who’re planning journeys to Machu Picchu and the encompassing areas.

Or, should you favor extra privateness, you’ll find nice funds lodging for your loved ones or important different.

Though Cusco is a busy metropolis, there are nearly all the time locations accessible that can fit your desires and wishes. So don’t fear about the place to remain in Cusco.

As an alternative, fear extra about how a lot time you’ll find yourself spending there!

The Finest Hostel in Cusco – Saqray Hostel

Saqray Hostel is your greatest wager for staying in Cusco. Situated only a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas, Saqray Hostel is about as near the motion in Cusco because it will get.

With choices that vary from 6-bed combined dorms to non-public double mattress rooms you possibly can relaxation in no matter consolation fits your funds.

Rooms are fairly priced, beginning at USD$12.50 for dormitories and $33.50 for personal accomodations.

With a shared lounge, Saqray Hostel is a good place to satisfy different travellers. All rooms embrace free WiFi and an out of doors patio.

You may as well anticipate to have sizzling water all day, lockers in your valuables and cable TV. A complimentary continental breakfast is included in your keep.

The Finest Finances Lodging for {Couples} – Resort Sonnenthal Cusco

Situated within the coronary heart of Cusco, Hotel Sonnenthal Cusco is the best choice for an inexpensive night time’s keep.

Inside strolling distance to public transportation inside and outdoors of the town, you’ll discover every little thing you need in Cusco is a brief distance away.

Rated as one of many high funds lodges,  Resort Sonnenthal Cusco gives a wide range of rooms at extremely cheap costs.

Select rooms with 1 king, 2 single beds or a collection that has each a king and single mattress – all of which have a balcony/terrace.

Breakfast for two and WiFi is included along with your keep. There may be additionally a standard cooking space so that you can put together your individual meals should you select.

All rooms include a personal rest room with complimentary toiletries and on-demand sizzling water 24 hours a day.

The worth doesn’t get a lot better than Resort Sonnenthal Cusco!

Finest Mid-Vary Resort in Cusco – Torre Dorada Residencial

When you’re searching for an excellent deal on a reasonably priced resort with nice location and facilities, Torre Dorada Residencial is your greatest wager.

The resort is situated in Cusco metropolis centre, inside strolling distance to nice eating places, outlets and public transportation. Nonetheless, it’s tucked away in a quieter a part of the neighbourhood.

You’ll be able to reserve a number of forms of rooms with single, double or suite-style setups that embrace as much as 3 completely different beds. This resort is nice for households or for these wishing to have a little bit extra consolation of their keep in Cusco.

All reservations embrace free Wifi and complimentary breakfast for 2-3.

Moreover, the resort gives medical care and has oxygen to accommodate company having issue with Cusco’s elevation.

Resort employees will assist prepare excursions and transportation all through the town and to Machu Picchu.

Finest Luxurious Resort in Cusco – Antigua Casona San Blas

The Antigua Casona San Blas in an distinctive selection in lodging within the historic San Blas neighbourhood of Cusco.

Relating to luxurious, the worth of Antigua Casona stands out amongst different excessive finish chain lodges.

Rooms come as double or triple beds and embrace WiFi, flat display TVs and complimentary breakfast. There’s a widespread patio with a hearth pit and an in-house bar, creating probably the most stress-free experiences you possibly can have in Cusco.

One of many biggest issues about Antigua Casana is the employees. Anticipate superior service and help in planning any journeys or transportation in or round Cusco.

Squares What To Do In Cusco Peru
Hanging out within the squares are simply one of many high issues to do in Cusco, Peru.

Finest Eating places in Cusco

Peruvian meals is at its greatest in Cusco. Listed here are a number of of our favorite eating places within the metropolis.


Rucula serves Peruvian and latin fusion plates sourced domestically. With plates starting from USD$2-6, vegetarian and vegan choices, alcoholic drinks and complimentary WiFi you possibly can’t beat the worth.


The view from close to the Plaza de Armas is almost as nice because the scrumptious choices served up by the Limbus Resto Bar. Cease by within the afternoon or night and revel in a pisco bitter and Peruvian delicacies as you watch the town come alive under.


Inti Raymi Restaurant gives the best Peruvian dishes within the metropolis with high notch service in an expensive  atmosphere. If you would like a real style of Cusco – from potato leek soup, conventional rooster stew and even trout ceviche and seared lamb – there isn’t a finer eating expertise than Inti Raymi.

DISCLAIMER: Among the hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks, which suggests should you guide lodging, excursions or purchase a product, we are going to obtain a small fee at no additional price to you. These commissions assist us maintain creating extra free journey content material to assist individuals plan their holidays and adventures. We solely advocate the most effective lodging, excursions and merchandise that ourselves or our implausible editorial staff have personally skilled, and usually overview these. Thanks in your help, sort good friend!