Tours in Cusco – 10 must-see programs in the city

We have selected great tips for those who want to get to know the city and be sure that they will make the itinerary with the best tours in Cusco. Visiting the ancient center of the Inca empire, amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Peruvian Andes, is definitely a trip that should be on your “wish list”.

Cusco is much more than a quick stop before climbing to the biggest tourist attraction in the world. Peru, Machu Picchu, or other famous spots in the country. It is worth dedicating one to two days to acclimatize to the altitudes in Cusco and experience the mix of Hispanic and Inca influence in the center of the city.

Go on day-trips to other ancient Inca monuments, taste the local cuisine at the city's main market or even discover incredible landscapes on a bike ride… These are some of the incredible tips we have in store for you. Check the list below:

In this post you will see:

Best tours in Cusco

1) Choquequirao

Few people have heard of Choquequirao, the sister city of Machu Picchu. This makes the region a hidden gem among the country's historic monuments. The city was an old commercial and religious center of the Inca empire and is much less visited than the famous Machu Picchu.

Tours in Cusco – 10 must-see programs in the city

2) Machu Picchu 

To get to know the postcard of Peru, it is necessary to arrive in Cusco beforehand. After exploring the city, take a train to the lost city or start one of the trails that lead to Machu Picchu. Considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu enchants millions of visitors every year for its energy, stories and fascination.

You can buy the ticket to Machu Picchu online on the Peruvian government website.

Tours in Cusco – 10 must-see programs in the city

3) Cusco Cathedral

Getting to know the crypts inside the huge Cathedral of Cusco is a separate journey. The cathedral, symbol of the Hispanic conquest, contains a typical Peruvian touch in the replica of the “Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci, a guinea pig appears on one of the canvases. Worth noting! The Cusco Cathedral is located in the Plaza de Armas, which we will talk more about in the next item.

4) Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is the cultural center of the city. Restaurants, bars and cafes with a beautiful view of the city surround the square and the monumental Cathedral of Cusco. The establishments there are perfect for spending an afternoon acclimating to the rise of the city.

5) Bike Tour 

A great day-trip to do from Cusco is a bike ride to the Inca ruins of Moray and the salt flats of Maras. The bike tour is an excellent way to get to know the place.

Tours in Cusco – 10 must-see programs in the city

6) San Blas District

The neighborhood of San Blas is one of the highlights of the city for its atmosphere of shops full of handicrafts, in addition to its picturesque architecture. The San Blás district is close to the Plaza de Armas, but be prepared for a long steep climb.

It is worth noting when you are there the remaining Inca road that crosses the neighborhood, Hatunrumiyoc, part of the city's past. Small shops and art galleries line the streets, making it the perfect spot for goodies and authentic souvenirs from the trip (better than the ones you find at Plaza de Armas).

7) Cerro Colorado Vinicunca

Have you ever seen those mountains that look like a rainbow in Peru? They are Cerro Colorado Vinicunca. This natural wonder of South America deserves to be preserved and known by those who love nature. Some agencies specializing in tours in Cusco offer day-tours to the mountain (but be prepared to arrive with a flurry of tourists).

It is also possible to travel by bus, taxi or rented car. Leaving Cusco, it takes 3 hours by road to the beginning of the trail. Then, another 15km walk round trip to get to know the place.

Tours in Cusco – 10 must-see programs in the city

Ausangate's Colored Mountain

8) Sacsayhuaman

A 45-minute walk from the city center, it is worth the visit to discover another stunning Inca monument in the city – which also offers incredible views of the city of Cusco.

Sacsayhuama was a religious site, as well as the scene of a bloody battle between Inca forces and Spanish conquerors. It's worth hiring a guide for a small fee or buying a city tour that includes the site for a full explanation of its history.

9) San Pedro Central Market

Unlike many markets in tourist cities around the world, San Pedro Central Market is not a famous tourist attraction. However, it is worth the visit.

It is just an eight-minute walk from Plaza das Armas and there, you can enjoy authentic Peruvian cuisine, have lunch there, and even find good souvenirs to take back home.

10) Animal Sanctuary of Cochahuasi

Who doesn't dream of meeting a Llama? Even better is if they are rescued from abuse and are protected in an animal sanctuary. If you want more contact with the typical Andean animals, visiting the Animal Sanctuary of Cochahuasi is a good option. The tour is even more suitable for children and families.

Is that you? Do you already know which tours in Cusco you will choose for your trip? Comment here!

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