Cusco is a city full of history, culture, and beautiful natural areas. This charming city was once the capital of the Inca Empire and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the Andes Mountains.
Cusco has a lot of fun things to do and see, so there is something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure seeker, or a food lover, Cusco has something for everyone.
The historic city center of Cusco, also known as the Plaza de Armas, is a popular destination to visit and explore. You can take in the beautiful colonial buildings and the world-famous Cathedral of Santo Domingo. Take a walk down the narrow streets with cobblestones, and you will find cute shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The San Pedro Market is another must-see place, where you can experience the lively local culture and try some delicious Peruvian food.
If you’re planning to visit Peru, here are some amazing things to do in Cusco.
Explore the historical sites in Cusco
Cusco is a treasure trove of historical sites that will take you back in time. The ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu is one of the most famous places in the world. This awe-inspiring archaeological site is a must-see for anyone who goes to Cusco. Take a guided tour to learn about the fascinating history of the Incas and to be amazed by the impressive architecture and breathtaking views.
The Sacsayhuaman fortress is another historical site worth seeing. The Incas built this huge stone fortress, which has a great view of Cusco. Explore the complex stone walls and be amazed by how well the Incas built things.
Another must-see site is the nearby Qorikancha, which is also called the Temple of the Sun. This old Inca temple used to be made of gold and was the most important place of worship in the Inca Empire.
Indulge in Adrenaline-fueled activities
If you like to try new things, Cusco has a lot of activities that will get your heart pumping.
One of the most popular activities is hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This difficult hike takes you through beautiful mountain landscapes, lush cloud forests, and ancient Inca ruins. The stunning view of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate is the reward at the end.
For people who like things to move faster, the Urubamba River in Cusco has exciting whitewater rafting. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Sacred Valley while going through exciting rapids.
Mountain biking through the rough terrain of the Andes is another activity that will get your heart pumping. You will get a rush as you fly down steep slopes and through trails that twist and turn.
Experience Authentic Cultural Activities
Take part in authentic cultural activities to fully immerse yourself in Cusco’s illustrious heritage.
You can also visit a local textile shop and talk to skilled artists about the ancient art of weaving.
One of the best ways to learn about Cusco’s culture is to go to one of the traditional festivals that happen all year.
The Inti Raymi festival, which takes place on June 24, is one of Cusco’s most important and exciting events. See colorful parades, traditional music, and dance shows that show off the region’s rich culture.
Pursue Outdoor Escapades
Cusco is a great location for those who enjoy being outside because of the stunning natural scenery that surrounds it.
One of the best outdoor activities is hiking up Rainbow Mountain. Trek through the beautiful Vinicunca Mountain and see the striped slopes, which are a beautiful natural phenomenon. The hike is challenging, but the reward is well worth the effort.
If you like nature, do not pass up the chance to visit the Sacred Valley. This lush valley is full of charming villages, ancient ruins, and terraced fields. Take a slow walk to the Maras Salt Mines, where you can learn about how salt was mined in the past and enjoy the views.
You can also visit the Moray archaeological site, which has impressive Inca terraces in the shape of a natural amphitheater.
Savor the Gastronomic Delights
Cusco is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of dishes that combine traditional Peruvian flavors with those from around the world.
Start your journey through food by trying some of the local street food. Try tasty snacks like anticuchos, which are skewered meats that are grilled, and empanadas. Visit a chicheria, a traditional place where you can try chicha, a fermented corn drink, for a truly unique experience.
Visit one of Cusco’s many great restaurants to really enjoy the food of the area. Try traditional dishes like cuy (guinea pig) or alpaca steak.
Do not forget to order a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail, to go with your meal. Join a food tour if you want to learn more about Peruvian food. The tour will take you to local markets and restaurants where you can try a wide range of dishes.
Indulge in Retail Therapy
Cusco is a great place to shop because it has lively markets and small shops with a wide range of unique handicrafts and souvenirs. The artisan shops in the San Blas neighborhood are known for their beautiful hand-made pottery, textiles, and jewelry.
Visit Centro Artesanal Cusco, a big market where you can look at a wide range of traditional textiles and crafts.
The San Pedro Market is a popular shopping place for both tourists and locals in Cusco, Peru. It is a vibrant market with lots of stalls selling everything from fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses to Peruvian handicrafts, clothing, spices, and other locally made goods.
Go to the Pisac Market for a shopping experience that is truly authentic. This busy market is in the Sacred Valley. It has a wide range of traditional handicrafts, such as textiles, ceramics, and paintings. Make sure you bargain with the sellers to get the best price.
Live It Up After Sundown
As soon as the sun goes down, Cusco’s nightlife comes to life. Start your evening by going to one of the many restaurants in the city center for a tasty dinner.
After that, go to one of the lively bars or clubs and dance the night away to traditional Latin music or international beats. People who want to learn about Peru’s national spirit and try some of it often go to the Pisco Museum.
Visit one of Cusco’s cozy cafes for a more laid-back evening. Sip a cup of traditional Peruvian coffee or a hot chocolate made with cacao beans grown in the area. Many cafes also have live music, which makes the atmosphere cozy and intimate.
Take Day trips from Cusco
Cusco is a great place to stay while you travel around the area or take day trips to nearby attractions. The Sacred Valley is a popular place to go for a day trip, where you can see the ancient ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
The Maras Salt Mines and the Moray Archaeological Sites are also must-see places. Both give interesting information about Inca culture and farming.
If you have more time, you could go to the beautiful Humantay Lake for a day trip. This turquoise lake is in the Andes Mountains and has some of the most beautiful views in the world.
You can walk to the lake, or if you want to take it easy, you can ride a horse there.
Closing thoughts on things to do in Cusco
Cusco is a truly amazing city that has a wide variety of things to do and see. Cusco has something for everyone, whether they are interested in history, adventure, culture, or food.
Explore the historical sites, go on exciting outdoor activities, eat delicious Peruvian food, and get to know the lively local culture. Cusco is a place that will stick with you forever because it has a unique mix of old traditions and modern pleasures.
Plan your trip to Cusco today and get ready for a fun adventure full of history, culture, and beautiful natural scenery. Do not miss out on the chance to see this fascinating city and all it has to offer. Start planning your trip now!