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Visitors walking through the Plaza de Armas in Cusco, surrounded by colonial buildings.

Cusco Tours

The enchanting city of Cusco sits high up in the Andes mountains at the crossroads between Incan legacy and colonial history. Our custom Cusco tours can be done in private or in small groups, and give you a memorable introduction to the city’s rich Andean culture and historical significance.

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The 10 Best Cusco Tours
for 2022/2023


What to see in Cusco

Massive stone walls at Sacsayhuamán, an important Inca fortress situated above the city of Cusco.

Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman was the largest stone structure that the Inca Empire constructed. Built over 500 years ago it still stands tall today and houses the famous Inti Raymi festival every year in June. The stone boulders show the Inca style of architecture with blocks expertly cut and placed without the use of mortar.

Visitors at the Cristo Blanco, a large, white statue of Jesus overlooking the city of Cusco.

Cristo Blanco

For a moment, you might think you're in Rio de Janeiro when you look at the Cristo Blanco statue of Jesus with his arms outstretched overlooking Cusco city. The White Christ is close to the Sacsayhuaman ruins and is a fantastic lookout point over Cusco city.

A tourist walking past the twelve-angled stone, one of the finest examples of Inca stonemasonry.

Twelve-Angled Stone

The Incas were famous for the way they shaped stones to perfectly fit within one another like a giant puzzle piece. The Twelve angled stone in Cusco city is a 12-sided rock piece that fits perfectly beside the neighboring stones.

Coricancha (the Inca temple of the sun) and the Santo Domingo Convent built on top of it.

The Temple of the Sun: Coricancha

Coricancha (Qorikancha) was a temple dedicated to the Incan sun god Inti and was once the most important temple of the Inca Empire. Builtin the 1400s, this temple is now an example of how the Spanish repurposed Incan architecture for their own purposes.

The Plaza de Armas (main square) of Cusco, surrounded by colonial-era buildings.

The Cusco Main Square

The Cusco Plaza de Armas or Cusco main plaza is a lively gathering place in the heart of Cusco. Here you’ll find the Fountain of Pachacuti, the Cusco Cathedral, storefronts, restaurants, and even McDonalds!

A narrow alley leading past a historical house in San Blas, Cusco's artisan district.

The San Blas Neighborhood

San Blas is the artisan quarter of Cusco city and is only a short walk from Cusco’s main plaza. This neighborhood dates back to the Inca empire and boasts some of the best views of Cusco. Rest at the Plazoleta de San Blas where you’re likely to spot artisans selling their handcrafts.

The multicolored stripes of Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, located a few hours from Cusco.

Vinicunca

The Seven Colored Mountain or Rainbow Mountain is a challenging high-altitude trek that rewards you with views that have made this trek Instagram famous. Colorful minerals in the soil stripe the mountain range in a natural rainbow of red, green, blue, and yellow.

Rooftops scattered throughout a field overlooked by a snow-capped mountain in the Sacred Valley.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley is a lush valley surrounded by the Andes mountains. Incan ruins and off-the-beaten-path adventures await! Top Sacred Valley sights include the Maras salt mines, the Moray concentric circles, the Ollantaytambo ruins, and the luxury hotel properties nestled in serene landscapes.

Various types of potatoes for sale at the San Pedro Market, the largest in Cusco.

San Pedro Market

The bustling San Pedro Market is where you can go to find oddities like love potions, flavorful fruits from all over Peru, Andean textiles and alpaca sweaters. Bring the local currency, the Peruvian Sol, along with you here, bargaining is allowed.

Rock formations and Inca stone walls with a forest backdrop at the Q'enqo archaeological site.

Q’enqo

Qenqo comes from the Quecha word for “zig-zag” and is one of the largest Incan temples. Located near the Sacsayhuamán ruins, this Inca ruin is an impressive example of the Incas ability to carve stone though its purpose is still a mystery.

The stone walls of Puka Pukara, an Inca ruin surrounded by grassy fields and rugged hills.

Puka Pukara

The archaeological ruins of Puka Pukara are close to Tambomachay so these two iconic sites are often paired together on a Cusco City tour. Like most Inca ruins, the purpose of this site is debated, though it is believed to have housed soldiers when the Inca was visiting the baths of Tambomachay.

Visitors on a walkway at the impressive Inca archaeological site of Tambomachay.

Tambomachay

At Tambomachay, terraces take a different spin than the agricultural ones you’ll see in different locations through the Inca Empire. Here they feed water into different pools making archaeologists suspect that this was a type of Inca spa.

Cusco Hotels

A courtyard filled with flowers below a balcony at the Palacio del Inka hotel in Cusco.

Palacio del Inka

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Plazoleta Santo Domingo 259, Historic Center, Cusco

Palacio del Inka is a luxury hotel that is considered a historic landmark in Cusco. Right in the center of Cusco, this 500-year-old historic mansion was built on original Inca foundations. Make this your comfortable home base for Machu Picchu exploration.

Expedia Logo 4.7 | Exceptional
Tripadvisor Logo 4.5 | Excellent
A room looking out at a balcony with impressive views of the city at Casa Andina Premium Cusco.

Casa Andina Premium Cusco

★ ★ ★ ★

Plazoleta de Limacpampa Chico 473, Historic Center, Cusco

Casa Andina Premium Cusco is a modern hotel built in a large colonial house. Located within walking distance of most top-sites in Cusco, this historic, comfortable, and charming hotel is a great place to rest your head each night.

Expedia Logo 4.4 | Excellent
Tripadvisor Logo 4.5 | Excellent
A terrace next to a typical red tile rooftop at the Casa San Blas Boutique in Cusco.

Casa San Blas Boutique

★ ★ ★

Tocuyeros 566, San Blas, Historic Center, Cusco

Casa San Blas Boutique is a charming hotel that fits in perfectly with the surrounding artisan San Blas neighborhood. Rooms showcase Andean textiles and colonial-style furniture, but what really sets this hotel above the rest is the personalized touch you’ll receive during your stay.

Expedia Logo 4.5 | Wonderful
Tripadvisor Logo 4.5 | Excellent
The facade of the Amaru Inca I hotel, with a garden full of various types of plants.

Amaru Inca I

★ ★

Cuesta de San Blas 541, Cusco

Amaru Inca I is located in the heart of the bohemian San Blas district. This comfortable B&B hotel offers a cozy stay for a great value. All rooms surround a beautifully kept courtyard where you’re encouraged to enjoy complimentary coca tea or coffee.

Expedia Logo 4.5 | Wonderful
Tripadvisor Logo 4.5 | Excellent


Peru Highlights

Peru is filled with archaeological ruins, scenic landscapes, and delicious flavors. Must-see places in Peru include:

Peru Highlights

Peru is filled with archaeological ruins, scenic landscapes, and delicious flavors. Must-see places in Peru include:

Inca trail

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in four or two days. The Inca Trail is a 500-year old pathway where the elite Incas once entered into the “Lost City of the Incas”. Plan with your Peru for Less travel advisor in advance, Inca Trail permits tend to sell out even 6-months in advance.

Amazon Rainforest

Step into the lush Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and witness a spectacular array of wildlife in its natural habitat. Lodges in Puerto Maldonado are ideal for excursions and daily activities. Those looking for a more luxurious Amazon experience would love an Iquitos Amazon River cruise. Colorful macaws, giant tarantulas, and playful river otters are among the sights you’ll behold.

Cusco

Cusco city has it all, archaeological ruins, colonial buildings, top-rated restaurants, and countless places to explore. Your Cusco City Tour will take you to the top highlights like Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, the Cusco Cathedral, and more.

Lake Titicaca

Sail on the deep blue waters of Lake Titicaca and step on the reed Uros and Taquile floating islands. Some of the best weavers are found in this area so pick up some Peruvian textiles here for unique souvenirs.

Lima

Lima is a mixture of modern city living and historical significance. Here you’ll find Central restaurant (ranked #6 by 50 Worlds Best), UNESCO World Heritage sites like Historic City Center with the San Francisco Convent, and the best shopping in Peru.

Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are mysterious geoglyphs and geometric shapes drawn onto the desert floor hundreds of years ago by the Nazca culture. Little is known about them nevertheless, the Nazca Lines inspire awe in those who take a flight over them.

Arequipa

Arequipa is a picturesque town and also the second-largest city in Peru. Local markets, beautifully built colonial architecture, and El Misti volcano are among the things you’ll see while walking the cobblestone streets of the white city.

Faqs

Cusco is 11,150 feet (3,400 meters) above sea level. It is high enough to experience symptoms of altitude sickness.

Cusco a large variety of tours for thrill seekers. Options include the vigorous Rainbow Mountain hike, ATV tours, horseback riding, zip lining, mountain biking and river rafting.

The best Cusco tours for couples are a private Cusco City tour, Pisco tasting at Museo del Pisco, and a challenging but scenic hike to Rainbow Mountain.

Cusco offers countless family-friendly tours. A few of the best family tours are chocolate-making workshops, pottery classes, horseback riding near Cusco’s ruins, and Cusco planetarium tours.

1-2 days. Symptoms of altitude sickness generally subside in 12-48 hours. We recommend either two days in Cusco or one day in Cusco and one day in the Sacred Valley to be well acclimated for your Machu Picchu tour.

Drink lots of water throughout your entire time at high elevation. Take it easy on your first day, avoid alcohol and eat light meals. You can also try local remedies like coca tea or candies.

Easy tours in Cusco to do while acclimating to the altitude include: a chocolate making workshop at Chocomuseo or a Cusco City tour. For something more adventurous but not too strenuous, an ATV tour is a good option.

The best time to visit Cusco is during the dry season from May–September. Though temperatures can be lower this time of year, especially at night, you’re more likely to have sunny weather.

Cusco offers an incredibly wide variety of hotel options, from luxurious converted palacios to colorful boutique hotels and budget options. All types of travel styles are catered to. Our Top Cusco Hotels include:

Cusco has many different attractions worth visiting, including Incan ruins, museums and churches. Cusco’s highlights are:

  • Cusco Plaza de Armas
  • Cusco Cathedral
  • Coricancha
  • San Blas
  • Sacsayhuaman
  • Qenqo
  • Puka Pukara
  • Tambomachay
  • Museo del Pisco
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The Regional Historical Museum
  • The Popular Art Museum
  • Qosqo Native Art Center
  • The Monument to the Inca Pachacuti
 

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