28 November 2018
The city of Cusco, know to the Incas as “the Navel of the World”, offers something to please every taste and desire, including many cultural attractions, such as ancient ruins and museums, as well as delectable dining, fine pubs, nightclubs, coffee shops, and handcrafts markets.
The first thing to know about this unique tourism-focused city is that it’s located pretty high up in the Andes, so we recommend you take it fairly easy during your first few days to get accustomed to the altitude. That is, take it kind of slow, avoid heavy physical exertion, and don’t indulge in too much food or alcohol. But please don’t hesitate to take easy strolls to see the sights, and do enjoy delicious light meals.
So, what are some top attractions and activities in Cusco? It all depends on what you enjoy doing, and there really is a lot to do! You might choose to spend several days here to take in all the magic and mystery.
The best way to get to know the city is to take a guided Cusco city tour. There are plenty of options available, easy to find as you wander in the downtown historic district.
Any good Cusco city tour visits the main ancient Inca landmarks scattered throughout the city and surrounding countryside. The most important sites are the temple of Qoricancha, the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, and the shrines of Qenqo and Tambomachay. You’ll need to purchase a multi-site entrance ticket to visit those key Cusco attractions. More sites, including the Cathedral, colonial churches, the San Pedro market and museums, are also well worth your time. Be sure to ask us about all this, we can help you arrange your city tour according to your interests.
Peru is well known for its exceptionally delicious and diverse cuisine, and Cusco is no exception.
There are plenty of dining options, from fine gourmet restaurants to Peruvian-international fusion to vegetarian fare to inexpensive comfort food. Be sure to explore on your own, check the websites, and of course feel free to ask us for recommendations.
For example, we highly recommend you check out Pachapapa, Limo, Incanto and Map, all excellent downtown establishments, members of the Cusco Restaurants group, and where we train the expert cooks who staff the kitchens at our four Ausangate eco-lodges. These eateries tend to be popular and in high demand, so be sure to make reservations, and of course we can help you with that, too.
One final suggestion – if you really want to make the very best of your time in Cusco, we recommend joining one of our all-inclusive acclimatization programs, designed to help you both prepare physically for your trek in the mountains, while also getting to know the wonders of the Imperial City of the Incas. Check out these options here.