As well as being the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is also the continent’s oldest, continuously inhabited city. Situated at 3,338m, the majestic Cusco will take your breath away, and that’s not only because of the altitude. A visit to this magnetic city is an essential stop on any holiday to Peru.
Nestled in the Andes mountains, the city of Cusco (also spelt as Cuzco) needs little introduction. It is Peru’s most captivating city, rich in colonial splendour, packed with architectural treasures and the prime gateway to the mighty ruins of Machu Picchu.
Designed by the Incas, the city of Cusco is shaped in the form of a puma and was so solidly built that much of ancient Cusco is still visible today. With its solid Inca walls intertwined with Spanish colonial buildings, the city is packed with cultural heritage. Wandering around the cobbled streets of the old town is a magical experience and a must on any visit to Peru. Stroll around the Plaza de Armas, the main square, explore its renaissance style cathedral filled with exquisite cedar carvings and paintings. Roam the outdoor markets in search of alpaca and llama handicrafts and visit local artisans in the bohemian neighbourhood of San Blas. Mix in its abundance of first-class restaurants, shops and bars, Cusco’s colonial charm merges with a 21st century hustle, making it a bustling and atmospheric city to explore.
On the outskirts of Cusco is the ancient fortress of Sasayhuamán, an impressive complex of different sites, where an array of magnificent towering structures intertwines with the natural landscape. Surrounding Cusco the area is rich in rural countryside comprising of lush green valleys, weaving villages and winding rivers, offering a plethora of activities to enjoy. From horse riding, white-water rafting, bungee jumping, quad biking, mountain biking, and hiking - the list goes on. With so much to do and see, we highly recommend giving Cusco the time it deserves and with its developed tourist infrastructure the city is sprinkled with a range of hotels to choose from, from ultra-luxury hotels to charming and quirky boutiques, there is a bed to suit everyone.