About Cusco, Peru

Cusco, often spelled as Cuzco, is a city that sits about 3,400 meters above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. It was once the capital of the Inca Empire, enduring the rise of the empire in the 13th century and its fall following the Spanish invasion in the early 1500s.

The city continues to be adorned with Inca palaces and temples, along with Baroque structures from the colonial period, making it the Historical Capital of Peru and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, more and more people are looking to book Cusco tours as the city is more than just a gateway to the popular Machu Picchu.

Let this Cusco travel guide help you get more out of your stay in this historic city.

Getting To Cusco

Flying to Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport from Lima, Peru’s capital city, takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Though it is considered an international airport, the facility services limited international flights, apart from regular domestic flights from other parts of Peru.

Cusco can also be accessed through scenic bus trips from Lima and other main Peruvian cities such as Puno and Arequipa. Several Cusco tour companies have further information on these bus trips, though the ride can take up an entire day depending on the routes.

Best Time For Cusco Tours

The Cusco region has a subtropical highland climate, with two seasons – dry and wet. The dry season spans May to August, while the wet season extends from December to March. Below is a chart estimating the city’s average precipitation per month.

In terms of temperature, Cusco tours can be carried out over the year given the city’s temperate climate. Below is a chart of temperature in Cusco, particularly the city’s estimated average warmest and coldest points monthly.

Based on these information, it’s best to visit Cusco between its dry period of May to August and prepare for a relatively colder weather, as well as the influx of other tourists during this peak season.

Most Popular Sites In And Around Cusco

Cusco tours vary depending on your interests and preferred activities. The city has, over the years, evolved and adapted to modern times while preserving its rich history. It now offers a variety of accommodations to suit different tastes and budgets. Food in Cusco, of course, features authentic Peruvian dishes and other popular foreign cuisines.

Getting down to business, there are several things to do in Cusco and its surrounding areas. Being popular for its historic architecture and landmarks, here are some of the most popular attractions in and around the city:

In Cusco:

  • Museo Machu Picchu – This museum displays several pieces from Machu Picchu.
  • Plaza de Armas – This is city’s main square and is a known stop for photos and sightseeing.
  • Qorikancha – Once a rich Inca temple in Cusco, now forming the base of the colonial Santo Domingo church.
  • Cusco Planetarium – An attraction that features the Inca cosmovision.

Around Cusco:

  • Machu Picchu – The popular Incan citadel and currently one of the world’s greatest wonders.
  • Sachsayhuaman Fortress – An Incan temple-fortress north of Cusco.
  • Sacred Valley  – The valley also houses the Incan citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, along with colonial towns and weaving villages.
  • Rainbow Mountain – One of the rising destinations in the region, featuring multi-colored valleys and a breathtaking landscape.

Where To After Cusco

While Cusco region is, without a doubt, one of the top travel destinations in Peru, many other parts of the country are also worth visiting. Where to go and what to do after your Cusco tour? Here are some of the most notable sights in Peru:

  • Check out Lima’s beaches and ruins
  • Visit the Colca Canyon in Arequipa
  • Surf at Chicama in Peru’s North Shore
  • Cruise over the Lake Titicaca in Puno
  • Trek through Ica’s Cañon de los Perdidos
  • Marvel at the Gocta Falls in Chachapoyas

Peru is home to several natural wonders waiting to be explored. Let Tailor Made Peru customize your dream Peruvian exploration for a hassle-free experience.

This Cusco travel guide is curated by Tailor Made Peru, contact us for any inquiry.

Touring Cusco

It’s important to prepare for your Cusco trip, dress appropriately and have the right gear for your activities, be it hiking the Inca trail or a simple city exploration. The city is a hub to several other locations as many tourists go from Cusco to Machu Picchu or as a stop before Sacred Valley tours. These tours can span from a whole day to several days so carry your own water bottle to have regular access to drinking water.

This travel guide has some helpful tips for the trip:

  • Safety – While the city is regularly plied by tourist police, particularly in popular destinations, it never hurts to be cautious and careful with your belongings.
  • Internet – The city has stable connection. There are enough establishments with Wi-Fi should you need to go online for any reason.
  • ATMs – Cusco has plenty of ATMs where you could withdraw Peruvian soles and US dollars. You can also exchange foreign currency through banks and street money changers.

Trips to Cusco

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