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Best places to visit in Cusco
Where to go in Cusco
Cusco - Perú
Nicole Maxdeo
April 11, 2024

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Best places to visit in Cusco: Tours

There are plenty of tours in Cusco that visit the best of the archaeological sites in the city. However, here are the best 5 ones to enjoy your visit and do not think that you miss something.

City tour

Discover the archaeological sites in the city of Cusco. Visit the Cusco Cathedral, the Qoricancha, and its syncretism, Sacsayhuaman, the impressive ceremonial center, Qenqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay, understanding their importance in Inca times and learning the best of history with a specialized team.

Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley one-day tour has everything you need to get a first look at Cusco: History, tradition, and color in the most picturesque and welcoming Cusco towns: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Urubamba, Chinchero.

Machu Picchu

Starting early in the morning from Cusco, we will head to Ollantaytambo for about 1 hour and 30 minutes to the train station. Then we will board a train to Aguas Calientes, where our staff will meet and take you to the bus station so you can take the last transport to Machu Picchu. After our tour, we will have an optional lunch in Aguas Calientes and return to Cusco by train, ending this incredible day immersed in the wonders of Machu Picchu.

Rainbow Mountain

Be amazed by how its colors rest on a mountain that looks like a hand-painted picture among the mountains, and end this hike with a visit to the Red Valley path. Explore the rainbow mountain!

Humantay Lake

Don't miss the stunning Humantay Lake while exploring Cusco and its surroundings! This natural wonder, located at approximately 4200 meters above sea level, promises you'll enjoy the best of nature.

Best places to visit in Cusco: Walking

The best kind of tourism you can do is walking around the city. Walking in Cusco feels always magical, you will explore the living culture in each corner while you enjoy the best sunsets and streets.

The 12-angled stone

This is a stone located on HatunRumiyoc Street, right in the city center. This stone, as the name suggests, has 12 angles and is a favorite spot for walking tourists. Here you'll find an Inca you can take photos with.

7 little lambs

Famous street on Instagram. It's a street with stairs and its walls and decorations are very picturesque, making it a favorite spot for photos. It is located on the way down to Sapantiana.

Sapantiana

It is a colonial hydraulic architecture built over the P'ujru river, at the end of Choquechaca street in the city center. This place, in the form of a stone arch, is very nice for taking photos.

San Blas

Artisan neighborhood. Here you can find souvenirs, restaurants, and bars to enjoy the afternoon.

La Paccha

A fountain located at the end of El Sol avenue in front of the Sonesta hotel. This structure has a passage through which you can walk "through" the waterfall.

Plaza de Armas

Cusco's Plaza de Armas, formerly known as Haukaypata, is tourists' favorite place to stroll day or night. Here you can find restaurants, bars, and shops.

San Pedro Market: This market, designed by the same architect as the Eiffel Tower, has everything for you: Food, handicrafts, and souvenirs. Many travelers visit this market when they do the walking tour; without a doubt, their favorite will always be fruit juice!

Best places to visit in Cusco: Museums

Due to its cultural history, Cusco has many different options to enjoy the history of the culture in ancient times. From religious to history before the Spaniards and colonial times, here are the best museums in Cusco city:

Inka Museum

This museum is located in an important colonial-Inca mansion that belongs to the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco. This museum is important because it was the residence of the Inca governor Huáscar. It is also known as the Admiral's house since its construction in the early 17th century was the work of Admiral Alderete Maldonado. In its facilities, you can discover large collections from Inca and pre-Inca periods. The most outstanding objects are Inca remains in ceramics, gold, and others. Here you can also see the painting exhibition of the Cusco School, which exhibits portraits of Incas and curacas from the 17th century.

Pre-Columbian Art Museum

Also known as MAP. This museum is located in the Plaza de las Nazarenas, in the heart of Cusco. Here we can denote the mixture between Inca architecture with the traditional republican origin balconies that face the inner cloisters. In addition, you can see a large collection of ceramics, gold, and jewels from Peruvian cultures.

Museum and Convent of San Francisco

During the colonial period, part of the Franciscan congregation managed to settle in a separate area from what is called the San Blas neighborhood. Later, it moved to the Nazarenas square until, finally in 1549 it was located in its current location in the Plaza San Francisco. In this 2-story building, one of the most striking objects for visitors is a large canvas of 100 square meters (approximately 12 m by 9 m) called "The genealogical tree of the Franciscan family."

Qoricancha Temple Museum

Part of the City Tour in Cusco. This museum is located on the exterior part of the Temple of the Sun and is one of the most popular in the city of Cusco. Here we can appreciate one of the most valuable displays of syncretism between the Incas and Spaniards. Throughout the 5 rooms, you can see various pieces and paintings, sculptures, and statues of Inca gods and engravings on wood that tell the evolution of both cultures over time.

Best places to visit in Cusco: Interest places

Besides museums and tours in Cusco, you can also find new opportunities to enjoy the best of all of this Inca City. From chocolate lessons to enjoying a relaxing day at the spa. Here are the best options:

Qosqo Center of Native Art

This is an organization dedicated to the preservation of culture: Music and Native Dances of Cusco and Peru. Nowadays, it has more than 50 dances in its repertoire and over a thousand melodies from Cusco. This cultural center offers daily shows of folk dances from various provinces, districts, and communities of Cusco, as well as a museum of traditional costumes and musical instruments.

Chocolate Classes

In the Cusco area, cocoa is native to the jungle region and its name is Cacao Chuncho. Cultivated by the Matsiguenga community, Cacao Chuncho is one of the finest and originates from the La Convención - Quillabamba valley. Thus, this is the only region where this type of cocoa is grown and it boasts enhanced attributes such as aroma, flavor, and texture. Speaking of chocolate. This is a destination you can't miss!

Right in the city center, we can learn about the complete process of the art of making chocolates. Chocomuseo offers us a different experience, from how cocoa is extracted to how chocolate is made.

Qenqo Eucalyptus Forest

This is another favorite among picnic lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This is a space very close to the archaeological site of Qenqo and is home to a large number of eucalyptus trees. Here, thousands of travelers opt for picnics and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside very close to the city of Cusco.

Huasao Wetland

Huasao is located in the southern part of Cusco, almost 30 minutes from the city. In this attraction, we will have contact with nature where we will find and hear wild birds such as the Andean goose, diving duck, wild guinea pig, in their natural habitat. We also find huge fiber sculptures based on movies like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and the most famous of all: Groot.

White Christ Lookout

This is a statue representing Christ with open arms. It is located near the archaeological complex of Sacsayhuamán and undoubtedly, it offers one of the best views of the city. Its size reaches 8 meters in height and this symbolism of open arms represents the protection of the city of Cusco.

The sculpture was a gift from the Arab-Palestinian colony in 1945. The work was crafted by the Cusco sculptor Francisco Olazo. The materials used were granite, cedar, clay as well as iron and wire.

Pisco Sour Classes - Pisco Museum

Explore Cusco's nightlife: Immerse yourself in the fascinating nightlife of the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, where history and fun come together in a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.

Learn to prepare at the renowned restaurant-bar Pisco Museum, our star cocktail: Pisco Sour. A popular Peruvian cocktail made with pisco (grape brandy), lime juice, syrup, egg white, and bitters. It's a must-try drink that perfectly represents Peru's culinary culture.

Salsa or bachata lessons

In Cusco it is really popular to learn how to dance Salsa or Bachata. This is a fun activity and you can do it in a school like the salsa school located in Qolla Calle street or in Inca Team discotek located in the main square. 

Best Places to Visit in Cusco: Viewpoints in Cusco

Santa Ana Lookout

In the traditional neighborhood of Santa Ana is located the lookout of the same name that offers travelers a privileged view of the city of Cusco. This viewpoint is in a very privileged area, being the highest in the northwest area of Cusco. From here we can visualize the main square of Cusco and the path that leads to the White Christ.

San Cristóbal Lookout

Undoubtedly, this is the favorite of photographers. The San Cristóbal viewpoint offers an excellent option to enjoy the panoramic view of the city of Cusco. It is located near the Plaza de Armas and is considered by many visitors and Cusqueños as the most outstanding viewpoint of the city. During the colonial period, the church was ordered to be built by the Inca Paullo, son of the penultimate Inca emperor Huayna Capac.

San Blas Lookout

As mentioned before, San Blas is a charming neighborhood of artisans that never ceases to amaze us. Located in the heart of the city, we can find one of the famous viewpoints of the city. In this viewpoint, somewhat more modern than the others mentioned, since it was recently renovated. It is a highly visited place by travelers, as it is surrounded by a variety of restaurants, hotels, and other businesses.

Pachacútec Lookout

This is a statue in honor of the Inca governor Pachacútec. Built in 1991 by the Cusco sculptor Fausto Espinoza, it is made of bronze and is 11.50 meters high. It is located in a stone tower that is 25 meters high and nine levels, where a large amount of art related to the history of Cusco is exhibited.

Several options from outdoor locations to archaeological complexes and cultural museums that will undoubtedly leave us amazed. Ready to embark on your visit to Cusco?

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