Cusco ranked #1 destination to visit in Central and South America

U.S. News releases this years best places to visit! Cusco was ranked #1! Find out the destinations that should be on your bucket list!
Three images together of colorful balconies, Cusco's plaza and cathedral, and a narrow street.
Cusco, ranked #1 destination to visit Photos by Ana Castañeda Cano/Peru for Less

Every year, U.S. News publishes reports and rankings on a variety of subjects such as health, education, and travel. Many of these reports and rankings are “based on user votes, expert opinions and discerning factors such as accommodations, dining, culture and attractions”.

In this year’s ranking, the city of Cusco is the number one destination that should be on your bucket list.

Cusco, Plaza de Armas

Wander the center plaza of Cusco Photo by: Ana Castañeda Cano

Thousands of years ago, Cusco was the heart of the Inca Empire, the most important and powerful civilization of the Americas. In 1983, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also recognized as the Historical Capital of Peru in the country’s constitution. Today, the city attracts millions of tourists every year.

Cusco is located in the Andes mountain range at an altitude of approximately 3,400 meters (11,150 feet) above sea level. The Plaza de Armas (or main square) is at the heart of the city. It is surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings and by the Cusco Cathedral and Iglesia Compania. The cobble streets, accompanied by original Inca stone walls will make you want to wander around in admiration of its architecture. Cusco’s historical and cultural attractions make it a favorite cultural and historical stop during a trip to Peru, and before going to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu

A view of Machu Picchu. Photo by Boris G./Flickr

Machu Picchu also appears in the top destinations list by U.S. News, and it is ranked as the eighth best place to visit. Discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, the ruins are today part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, and since 2007 is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.

Here is the complete list of the best places to visit in Central and South America:

  1. Cusco
  2. Rio de Janeiro
  3. Buenos Aires
  4. Galapagos Islands
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Argentine Patagonia
  7. Bogota
  8. Machu Picchu
  9. Panama City

Central and South America offer many historical, cultural, and natural wonders. There is much to explore from vibrant capital cities and diversified fauna and flora, to immense mountain ranges and growing glaciers. Experience this year’s best destinations across Central and South America. Contact us to speak with one of our expert travel advisors and customize your trip to Cusco, Peru, and beyond.

Read more about Cusco:

Cultural Treasures: Cusco’s traditional dances and music

Top 4 favorite leisure activities in Cusco

Cusco’s Plaza de Armas: A Place of Gathering