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10 Amazing Things to Do in Cusco, Peru

10 Amazing Things to Do in Cusco, Peru


Cusco is likely one of the hottest cities in the world to go to, and it’s simple to see why. There are so many actions and issues to expertise that it’s arduous to do every thing in one journey. Peru is dwelling to a number of the most stunning folks, landscapes, and historical past in the Western Hemisphere. 

There’s nothing higher than exploring every thing this nation affords, occurring a shocking hike, and enjoyable afterward with a contemporary pisco bitter. I’ve traveled all through Peru for just a few months, and Cusco is one among my favourite locations.  So, seize a espresso, sit again, and calm down as I’m going over the perfect issues to do in Cusco! 

The Best Things to Do in Cusco

Is Cusco Worth Visiting?

Peru is the land of journey, and Cusco is likely one of the greatest spots for this in the complete nation. It additionally used to be the capital of the Incan Empire and has a whole lot of historical past. This is why it’s the nation’s hottest place to go to, and it might probably generally really feel like a vacationer lure. But visiting Machu Picchu alone is properly well worth the journey right here. Read extra: 42 Amazing Ancient Ruins of the World

If you’re keen on to see historical past and mountains and join with the native tradition, then Cusco is a must-add to any itinerary in Peru! 

1. Machu Picchu

best things to do in cusco machu picchu
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I’m certain most individuals, particularly those that love to journey, have heard of the sacred web site of Machu Picchu. It grew to become a UNESCO World Heritage web site in 1983 and was declared one of many Seven New World Wonders in 2007.  Machu Picchu was mentioned to be a non secular web site or royal property for Incan leaders. 

A visit to Machu Picchu isn’t the most cost effective exercise in Cusco. You first have to get to the city of Aguas Calientes, which is a four-hour journey. 

Cusco is usually used as the bottom when visiting Machu Picchu however you’ll keep in Aguas Calientes for an evening or two. 

It is all value it if you make it up to the precise web site and see the sweetness for your self. It’s really one of the vital exceptional belongings you’ll ever see. Plan your journey to Machu Picchu with this information: How to Plan a Trip to Machu Picchu

2. Hike to Laguna Humantay

things to do in cusco laguna humantay
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Laguna Humantay is likely one of the most stunning lake hikes in the area and even the nation! It’s a part of the Salkantay Trek, which showcases the great thing about the encircling areas of Cusco. 

You can do that hike by yourself, which is able to prevent cash, or you may e book one of many many obtainable excursions. 

Doing this hike independently might sound too difficult for some nevertheless it’s additionally an journey. Here’s how to get to the trailhead independently: 

Get a Colectivo from Cusco to Mollepata for round 20 soles. These might be discovered on the Mapsme app or ask round to discover this colectivo
Take a taxi from Mollepata to Soryapampa. This is the place you’ll start the hike to Laguna Humantay. I recommend downloading Mapsme to use offline maps when climbing. 
You’ll pay an entrance price in Mollepata of round 10 soles (costs could have modified barely)

If that is too difficult for you, you may go to the lake with a tour group for round $25-$30 USD. The hike is simple however might be troublesome for some. Read my full information right here.

Laguna Humantay sits at round 4200 meters and a few may expertise altitude illness. So, go at your personal tempo! 

Distance: This hike is round a 2.6-mile loop hike. This varies barely relying on the path you are taking early on.
Duration: On common it is going to take folks 2 hours to end. This relies on health degree and time on the laguna.
Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as reasonable to troublesome due to the altitude and elevation acquire.
Incline: The elevation for this hike is round 1302 toes or 396 meters.
Hiking Guide: A information will not be wanted for this hike and is well accessible by the general public.

3. Explore the City Center and Take a Free Walking Tour

things to do in cusco free walking tour
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It’s arduous to miss the town middle of Cusco when visiting. It’ll all the time be full of life; even into the evening, there’s all the time one thing to see and do. 

A free strolling tour is a well-liked exercise for individuals who need to expertise the historical past of Cusco whereas being proven it by an area. You can take a look at Free Walking Tours Cusco to e book a time.

Some of the belongings you’ll see are: 

Arms sq.
Cathedral
The firm of Jesus
The final avenue – Inca Street Loreto
The coricancha or Temple of the solar
The Palace of Pachacutec
Inca Roca Palace
The 12-angle stone
The San Blas neighborhood

Remember that simply because it’s referred to as a “free” strolling tour doesn’t make it free. Please tip your guides! 

4. Grab a Beer and Look Over Cusco

what to do in cusco city views
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One of my favourite actions to do wherever, particularly once I first arrive, is to discover a good bar overlooking the town. And it’s no completely different in Cusco. 

What we did was go to a bar after climbing up to Cristo Blanco. There are many to select from, and so they will also be stumbled upon. 

Some standard ones are Ivin Inka Beer and Santo Resto Lounge. You may even get to hangout with a cat! Read extra about eating in Cusco at 5 Authentic Cusco Restaurants Where you Can Eat Like a Local

5. Take a Tour to Rainbow Mountain

things to do in cusco rainbow mountain
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One of Cusco’s fastest-growing actions during the last decade is visiting the gorgeous Rainbow Mountain. Be warned, there will probably be lots of people doing this exercise with a number of tour firms. 

You’ll attain an elevation of round 5,000 meters (16,400 toes), so be ready! You should take a tour to attain Rainbow Moutain.

A tour right here prices round $30, which incorporates breakfast and lunch. It is a full-day tour that can take round 12 hours to full. Plan your journey to Rainbow Mountain right here: What To Expect When Hiking Rainbow Mountain Peru

Alternative to Rainbow Mountain – Palcoyo Mountain

best things to do in cusco Palcoyo Mountain of colors
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If you’re like me and don’t love massive crowds, particularly throughout a hike, there’s an analogous exercise with fewer folks.  Palccoyo is in the identical space as Rainbow Mountain however doesn’t have practically the identical variety of folks climbing there. Look into this trek to escape the crowds and see one thing barely completely different! This extremely rated tour takes you on a full-day trek to Palcoyo Mountain of colours.

6. Visit the Cristo Blanco Viewpoint

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Seeing a brand new metropolis from a beautiful viewpoint is a staple of my itinerary in every single place I’m going. It helps provide you with a perspective of your new vacation spot and can also be enjoyable as heck! 

The Cristo Blanco statue is likely one of the best and greatest viewpoints in city. This massive statue might be seen from afar the nearer you get.  It’s additionally a unbelievable spot to watch the sundown! After visiting Cristo Blanco, you may stroll down the steps down the road to the East.  Tjere are many bars and hostels with superb views of Cusco! Grab a drink and calm down. 

7. Explore the San Blas District

best things to do in cusco san blas district
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The San Blas district is barely out of the city middle and has many retailers and eating places! 

Here you may get pleasure from a whole lot of purchasing and purchase souvenirs just like the well-known alpaca sweaters and lots of others. 

Take a break whereas having fun with a espresso at one of many cute cafes! There’s a lot to do right here, you may lose monitor of time. 

8. Hike to Salkantay Trek

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If you need a distinctive journey whereas trying to attain Machu Picchu, I extremely recommend climbing the Salkantay Trek! 

The Salkantay Trek is a 5 day hike by way of the mountains with the tip aim of reaching Machu Picchu. It was by far the perfect exercise I did in Peru! 

The five-day itinerary will look one thing like this: 

You will probably be picked up out of your lodging and pushed to Soryapampa, the place you’ll start your hike to Laguna Humantay. Afterwards, spend the evening right here! 
Hike by way of the Salkantay Pass and spend the evening in the city of Colpapampa
Wake up and hike by way of the canyon and occasional plantations to attain the city of Lucmabamba. 
Day 4 is all about reaching the city of Aguas Calientes, the bottom of Machu Picchu. During this present day you’ll attain viewpoints the place you may see Machu Picchu from afar.
On the final day, you’ll get up early to go to Machu Picchu earlier than heading again to Cusco. 

Salkantay Trek Details

Distance: To attain Machu Picchu, this hike is a 46-mile loop. Just the Salkantay Pass is 12.3 miles from level to level.
Duration: On common, it is going to take folks 5 days to end. This relies on health degree and time on the laguna.
Difficulty: I’d rank this hike as troublesome due to the altitude, elevation acquire, and size.
Incline: The max elevation for the Salkantay trek is 4,630 meters or 15,190 toes.
Hiking Guide: A information will not be wanted for this hike, however it’s accessible to the general public.

9. Visit Sacsayhuaman

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Sacsayhuaman or Saqsaywaman, is likely one of the hottest actions in Cusco, and it’s situated immediately inside the town! 

This is an previous Incan archeological web site made of enormous stones. This historical civilization put these stones collectively with out mortar.  

To entry this web site, you’ll have to purchase a ticket, which is expensive however properly value it! A basic vacationer ticket prices round 130 soles and provides you entry to 16 completely different websites. 

With a lot to see, it’s a fantastic value for such a historic landmark.

10. Explore the Markets and Try Street Food

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Cusco is thought for its superb markets, just like the San Pedro Market. You can buy fruits, greens, meats, and even completely different souvenirs right here! 

Also, you may’t go to Peru with out attempting a few of its native dishes! Try an Alpaca burger, or when you’re up for it, strive the Guinea Pig! Check out Peruvian Food: 20 Traditional Peruvian Dishes You Have to Try

If these choices don’t attraction to you, there are many different choices at eating places all through the town and close to the town middle. If you need to get monetary savings on meals, enterprise farther from the town middle for higher costs and a extra genuine contact! Try some avenue meals. It’s scrumptious and low cost! 

Things to Know Before Visiting Cusco

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How to Get from Cusco from Lima

Most folks will discover getting to Cusco from Lima simple. The best approach is to take a aircraft, however this isn’t the most cost effective choice. 

If you will have time and wish to get monetary savings, taking the bus from Lima to Cusco is a viable choice. However, the bus trip is in a single day and 20+ hours lengthy. 

Flights are round $40 USD, however that’s and not using a bag. A carry-on bag will practically double this value, and a checked bag will price much more. 

Here is what to do if you would like to take the bus:

If you don’t need to go to the bus terminal, you may order your ticket on Redbus. This is the go-to for on-line bus tickets in Peru.
Julio Ceasar is likely one of the highest-rated bus firms however they’re all fairly good.

 I recommend paying for VIP or first-class tickets. It doesn’t price rather more however you’ll be far more comfy. I did this for each bus I took in South America that was 5+ hours (if it was obtainable)

Terminal Plaza Norte and La Victoria are two good stations. The web site and/or ticket will inform you which bus terminal you will need to go to. 
Take a taxi/Uber to whichever bus terminal it states

Best Restaurants in Cusco, Peru

How Many Days to Spend in Cusco?

The quantity of days it is best to spend in Cusco will differ from individual to individual. If you’re restricted on time, I’d recommend staying for 3 days in the town.

This doesn’t embody your time visiting Machu Picchu or any multi-day trek you need to take. Check out: Top Three Little Known Hiking Day Trips in Cusco, Peru

I’d recommend round per week if time isn’t a giant deal. There’s a lot to do right here and out of doors of city, together with day journeys. 

Remember, Cusco used to be one of the vital essential cities in the complete Western Hemisphere. There are limitless quantities of issues to see and do. 

Final Thoughts about Cusco

Peru is a magical nation the place journey meets historical past, and Cusco is on the middle of this. There’s a lot to see and do right here that it’s not possible to do every thing in one journey. Take every thing in because it comes and be current. I like this metropolis a lot that I plan to return sooner or later quickly. There are many extra hikes to go on and adventures to be had! 

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