Cusco or Cuzco (both graphical symbols are acceptable according to the RAE, Real Academy of the Spanish language) is the main destination that you can get to know on your trips through Peru. Learn more about it in this section.The legend tells that Cusco was founded by 2 ancestral patriarchs, who, due to the design of the deity Sun, emerged from the Titicaca lake with the mission of putting in order the Andean men’s life. They would be the beginning of the vast Incan Empire, which as time goes by would reach its maximum glory consolidating as a powerful State. In 1911 the American explorer Hiram Bingham would refind the incan citadel to the world’s eyes with the discovery of Machu Picchu. From that day the growth of Cusco has been exponential, turning to be one of the most visited worldwide tourist destinations and favourite place for national and foreign tourists to “discover” the beauty of the Machu Picchu citadel on its travel to Cusco.
In Cusco, the weather varies depending on the seasons, although in general it can be defined as dry and fresh. It is divided into the dry season, which runs from April to October and has a fairly warm climate, and the rainy season, which runs from November to March and is characterized by the cold and heavy rains that occur in the evening.
Hotels in Cusco
Cusco is a city that does not rest throughout the year. We know that this city receives tourists from all over the world at any time. For this, the hotel sector is well supplied and varied. Cusco, having activity all year round, has a great offer of hotels for all kinds of tourists. If you want to visit this place with the family, you can find hotels in the city center to enjoy the night, the festivities and the places that can be found. For the more adventurous tourists, there are options such as hostels for backpackers, where the price is more comfortable and you can find rooms to share with tourists from other countries.
● Tierra Viva Hotel Cusco centro
- 390 Cruz Verde street, Cusco’s downtown, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 324.00
- Services: It has individual, double, and double deluxe rooms. Wifi. Laundry service. Minibar. 24 reception. Includes breakfast.
● Sonesta Hotel Cusco
- 954 El Sol Avenue, Cusco’s downtown, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 270.00
- Services: It has individual, double, double executive, and triple rooms. Wifi. Room service. Bar. Restaurant. Includes breakfast.
● Inka Home
- 103 Centenario avenue, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 113.00
- Services: It has individual, double, and triple rooms, suite, and executive suites. Wifi. Laundry service. Free parking. Includes breakfast.
● Hawka Inka Hostal
- 388 Ccocacalle street, Cusco’s downtown, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 85.00
- Services: It has individual, double, and familiar rooms. Wifi. Pet friendly. Balcony. Includes breakfast.
● Cooper Hotel Boutique, Cusco
- 364 Santa Teresa street, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 259.00
- Services: It has individual, double, and superior double rooms, and executive suites. Wifi. Bar. Restaurant. Room service. Includes breakfast.
Restaurants & Bars in Cusco
As Cusco has a great presence of tourism throughout the year, it knows that it must offer the widest variety of food for the entire public, this is no exception. In Cusco, you can find places to eat as a family, as a couple, and even with friends. The variety of its restaurants is similar to the variety of places to visit that Cusco has as a city. Visit the city, discover what are the flag dishes and go ahead and try them.
● Inkazuela Restaurant
- 167 Nazarenas Plaza 2nd floor, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 22.00
● Inti Raymi Restaurant
- 259 Santo Domingo Plaza, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 70.00
- 140 Amargura street, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 23.00
- Huaynapata street, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 8.00
- 266 Ataud street, Cusco
- Prices: From S/ 10.00
The most tourist places in Cusco
● Plaza de Armas del Cusco: This place is a large park built by the Incas. Around this square are the most important buildings in the city, such as the cathedral. Nowadays you can also find tourist agencies and restaurants.
● Cusco Cathedral: Very popular among visitors due to its architectural beauty, it is defined by its neoclassical, baroque, and Renaissance style. Here is a famous replica of the "Last Supper", with the difference that there is a roasted guinea pig on the plate.
● The San Blas neighborhood: This neighborhood is very popular among tourists because it seems to have been taken from an old tale. With its old mansions, it seems that it still lives in the previous century. In addition, every Saturday fairs are held here where you can buy local crafts and gastronomy.
● Sacsayhuamán: Located 2 kilometers from the city, it is an Inca building that was built during the Pachacútec Inca government and ended with Huayna Cápac. It receives thousands of tourists annually due to its large size and historical importance.
Important dates in Cusco
● February - Carnival of Cusco: On this date fun and joy prevail because the neighbors play with each other, throwing water and talcum powder, sharing food, and dancing with each other. A very strong tradition of this event is the practice of the yunza, where a tree that has been previously adorned is cut.
● End of May - Feast of the Lord of Qoyllur Rit'i: It is a religious holiday that has been going on for more than 2 centuries. It consists of a perenigration towards the Sanctuary of Sinakara, located at 4600 meters above sea level, where it is danced, sung and fireworks are lit.
● June - Corpus Christi: It is a very old celebration brought by the Spaniards where a procession is made to the saints and virgins of Cusco. The central day is a Thursday, where the 15 images are also taken to tour all of Cusco and bless its inhabitants.
● June 24 - Inti Raymi: Here, the Inti, the sun god, is worshiped. A representation of the Inti Raymi is performed every year in Inca times, an event that attracts thousands of tourists during this date.
How to move around Cusco?
To move around in the city of Cusco, the tourist has 2 options: public bus, commonly regulated by the municipality or the authority in charge, or taxi, driven by a citizen who provides the service.
● Public bus: It is the most popular way of transporting within the city, as well as being very economical. The fare also called a ticket, does not usually go up from S/5 per person. The public bus has different stops where it picks up passengers, so the trip can be a bit slow.
● Taxi: This is the fastest way of transport within the city. It does not have stops, so it goes straight to the desired destination. You can contact it on the avenue or by calling a company or through an application. The rate here is usually higher, usually exceeding S/10.
How to reach Cusco?
Cusco by bus: Arriving in Cusco by bus is possible and many consider it a great experience because it crosses the low jungle of Peru. If your departure is from Puerto Maldonado, the trip can last up to 11 hours.
Gastronomy in Cusco
In the city of Cusco, you will try delicious dishes such as:
- Pepián de cuy.
- Olluquito con charqui.
- Chicharrón a la cusqueña.
Things to buy in Cusco
The most typical souvenirs that you can buy in Cusco are:
- Alpaca clothing
- Burinados Mates
Cusco is a city located in the southeast of Peru. As stated in the Peruvian constitution, it is the historical capital of the country. The city of Cusco is the seventh most populous in Peru and has a population of approximately 437538 inhabitants. Formerly it was the capital of the Inca empire and within the Viceroyalty of Peru, it was one of the most important cities. At the time of the Spanish crown, various works were built such as churches, palaces, and baroque squares, these buildings are the main attractions of the city today.
Cusco is a city that you should definitely visit. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world and there is no reason to don´t see it live and direct. You will be able to know a city rich in culture and with varied gastronomy.