Things to Do
Take a taxi to Blanco Cristo: Breathtaking view of the city from above.
Choco Museum: Taste test their different chocolates, liquors, and more, or even take a class to make your own truffles!
Humantay Lake: Beautiful hike and day trip from Cusco to an awesome lake.
Nazareñas: Check out this Inca museum bursting with the rich history of this land and the Inca people.
Plaza de Armas: Main square where the cathedral and government buildings are located. You'll find cafes that overlook the square peppering this area.
Plaza de San Blas: Many quaint water fountains in this smaller plaza, and you'll find plenty of street vendors with beautiful jewelry for sale.
Take a day trip to the Salinas de Maras (salt mines): We recommend combining this tour with Moray via ATVs - it adds excitement!
Rainbow Mountain: About 4-5 hours outside of Cusco, this beautiful mountain is a newer tourist attraction due to the melting ice on the mountains. It's an extremely difficult hike due to elevation, but worth it!
Ruins: Beyond Machu Picchu, there's so many ruins to explore in Peru. Sacsahuaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and others are popular!
Sacred Valley: Tons of cheap handmade goods to buy, and beautiful scenery.
San Pedro Market: The perfect place to buy all your alpaca goods, souvenirs and try out some delicious juices.
Tips for tours: You don't need to book tours in advance! They are much cheaper if you book once in Cusco - that way you can also see other options that you are interested in.
Places to Eat
Acantilado de Barracón: Stunning view of sunset. Known for their Yuca Croquettas and Lomo Saltado.
Avocado, toast & more: An avocado lovers dream. Seriously, have you seen the size of the avocados in Peru?
Barracón Street: Roughly translates to alley, but this pocket is packed with restaurants. An absolutely beautiful strip that only locals frequent. Also, catch a glimpse of the famous bridge.
Chicha: Has a cool, swanky atmosphere and great view.
Ceviche Seafood Kitchen: The name says it all - they make some of the best ceviche!
Cicciolina: Great brunch spot.
El Mesón: Great spot for pizza. The one topped with chorizo and salami and the chicken kebabs were delicious.
Fuego, Burgers, and Barbecue: Perfect spot to try out an alpaca burger!
Jack's Cafe: Aussie restaurant with reasonable prices and huge portions.
Morena: Sister restaurant to the above listed Ceviche Kitchen, and every bit as delicious.
Nuna Raymi: As soon as you walk in you can spot the herbs that they grow for their dishes. Great trout and alpaca steaks.
Plaza de Armas Hotel Cafe: Stellar food -- MUST get the Dulce de Leche Cookie dessert.
Papachos: Succulent burgers great to pair with Cusqueño wheat beer.
Yaku: The attention to detail for the dishes served at this restaurant is outstanding. We liked everything we tried!
Places to Drink
Chango: A nightclub that you can party the night away in - seriously, it's open until 7 AM.
Limbus Resto Bar: incredible views of the city and quality cocktails.
Mama Africa: Multi stories and fun music. Sometimes they offer face painting if you're feeling adventurous!
Ukukus Bar: Live music and a great place to hang!
Wild Rover: An insane party hostel. Even if you're not staying there, you can show your ID to enter. Did someone say free shots?
Places to Stay
Kokopelli Hostel: Simply awesome. One of our favorite hostels in Peru. It's expansive, tons of colorful walls and murals, cozy lounges and upstairs bar with music and drink specials. Plus, enjoy their outdoor garden with plants and bean bag chairs coupled with nightly activities to do every night with a group from the hostel.
Pariwana Hostel: Another Peru favorite! A beautiful courtyard, and nightly events so you can meet people. Great views of the city, laundry service, and a booking desk for tours. Breakfast is also included!
We recommend spending at least a day and a half, or even two, in Cusco before hitting the Inca Trail or Rainbow Mountain so you can get used to the elevation. Cusco is about 11,000 feet, so you want to make sure you’re walking around the city to get adjusted. Make sure you drink lots of water and cocoa tea to help your body acclimate.