cusco peru travel guide

Cusco PeruSource:

Located in the heart of the Andes Mountains, Cusco is a beautiful city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Today, Cusco is a popular destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Peru. In this travel guide, we will explore the top things to do and see in Cusco, as well as provide practical tips for planning your trip to this magical city.

Getting to Cusco

Cusco AirportSource:

The easiest way to get to Cusco is by air. The Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is located just a few miles from the city center and is served by several major airlines. If you’re coming from Lima, you can take a domestic flight that takes approximately one hour. Alternatively, you can take the scenic train ride through the Andes Mountains from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, which is the gateway to Machu Picchu.

When to Visit Cusco

Cusco Peru WeatherSource:

Cusco has a mild climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season (May to October) and the rainy season (November to April). The best time to visit Cusco is during the dry season when the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the busiest time of year, and prices for accommodations and tours can be higher. If you’re looking to save money, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (April to May and October to November), when the crowds are smaller, and prices are more affordable.

Top Things to Do in Cusco

Cusco Peru CitySource:

Explore the Historic City Center

Cusco’s historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to many of the city’s top attractions. Take a stroll around the Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square, and marvel at the impressive architecture of the Cusco Cathedral and the Church of La Compañía de Jesús. Don’t miss a visit to the Inca Museum, which houses a collection of Inca artifacts and exhibits on the history and culture of the Inca Empire.

Machu Picchu PeruSource:

Visit Machu Picchu

No trip to Cusco would be complete without a visit to Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world. Machu Picchu is located just a few hours from Cusco and can be reached by train or by hiking the Inca Trail. Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as they can sell out quickly.

Rainbow Mountain PeruSource:

Hike Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca, is a stunning mountain located just outside of Cusco. The mountain gets its name from the colorful stripes that run across its surface, which are caused by the different mineral deposits in the rock. There are several hiking tours that will take you to Rainbow Mountain, and the views from the top are truly breathtaking.

Sacred Valley PeruSource:

Explore the Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley is a scenic region located just outside of Cusco that is home to several historic ruins and traditional Andean villages. Take a tour of the ruins at Pisac and Ollantaytambo, or visit the traditional weaving villages of Chinchero and Maras. The Sacred Valley is also a great place to sample traditional Peruvian cuisine.

Where to Stay in Cusco

Cusco Peru HotelsSource:

Cusco has a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget, from budget hostels to luxury hotels. If you’re looking to stay in the heart of the historic city center, consider staying at one of the many boutique hotels or guesthouses. Alternatively, you can find more affordable accommodations in the surrounding neighborhoods, such as San Blas or San Pedro.

Practical Tips for Traveling to Cusco

Cusco Peru TipsSource:

Altitude Sickness

Cusco is located at a high altitude, and many travelers can experience altitude sickness when they first arrive. To minimize the effects of altitude sickness, be sure to drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and caffeine, and take it easy for the first few days of your trip.

Money and Currency

The official currency of Peru is the sol, and most businesses in Cusco accept credit cards. However, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you, especially for small purchases or tipping. ATMs are widely available in Cusco.


Cusco is a small city, and most of the top attractions are within walking distance of each other. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or use one of the many local buses that run throughout the city. If you’re planning on visiting Machu Picchu, you’ll need to take a train or hike the Inca Trail.


Cusco is a magical city that offers a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Peru. From exploring the historic city center to hiking Rainbow Mountain and visiting Machu Picchu, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Cusco. Whether you’re a history buff or an adventure seeker, Cusco is a destination that should be on your travel bucket list.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Cusco?
A: The best time to visit Cusco is during the dry season (May to October).
Q: How do I get to Machu Picchu?
A: You can reach Machu Picchu by train or by hiking the Inca Trail.
Q: What is the altitude in Cusco?
A: Cusco is located at a high altitude of 3,400 meters (11,200 feet) above sea level.