Cusco is perhaps the most famous city in Peru after Lima and that is not surprising. Because every day there are a large number of tourists who go from Cusco to the wonder of the world Machu Picchu. Although Cusco has a lot more to offer than just a trip to Machu Picchu. Read here what to do in Cusco.
What to do in Cusco?
1 Machu Picchu
Although the wonder of the world Machu Picchu is actually in Aguas Calientes and not in Cusco, most tourists take a day trip from Cusco. You can take the bus from Cusco to the train station in Ollantaytambo where you can take the Incarail or Perurail to Machu Picchu. We ourselves find a day trip a bit short because you are soon 3 hours away. As well as this trip is not so cheap! For example, a train ticket + bus ticket + admission ticket will cost you about 200 euros per person.
2 San Blas
The streets of Cusco are very cozy and fun to walk through. Yet according to many, the San Blas district is the district that stands out. And that’s mainly because of the modern shops with handmade clothes and jewelry. In addition, you can also enjoy good food here and sometimes enjoy a local music band that creates a nice vibe. On Saturdays, in the main square of this district you have a small market where you can also buy local handmade stuff.
3 Riding the quad bike
Around Cusco you can find a very beautiful piece of nature that is simply breathtaking and you hardly find anywhere else. Because the combination of mountains and fauna and flora is very impressive here. Exploring this beautiful nature with a quad bike is the ideal way. These tours can be booked both in the city centre and online at GetYourGide. The price for half day with the quad bike is around 30 euros. Highly recommended to do in Cusco.
4 Plaza de Armas
As in many cities in Peru, the central square in Cusco is called Plaza de Armas. On this square you will find not only some historic buildings but also many shops where you can buy handmade sweaters, socks and hats made of alpaca wool. From this square there are also some nice streets and markets where you can find several of these shops. Pay attention! As a tourist you are not left alone here by the sellers and taxi drivers.
5 Ruins of Moray
Not as well known as Machu Picchu but therefore no less special! Because moray is also an archaeological site of the Incas that is worth visiting. This site that was once used to grow crops is very impressive due to its depth and circular construction. Also the scenery around Moray, called the Sacred Valley, makes this trip more than worth it! For an entrance ticket you pay 70 soles (19 euros).
6 Salt Mines Maras
Another fun trip that can be perfectly combined with Moray are the salt mines of Maras. These salt mines, pans, terraces or whatever you call them, are very impressive and well worth a visit. Because besides the 4500 mines themselves that provide a huge production of salt, you also have some local vendors where you can buy this salt. The entrance to these mines is 10 soles. You are not allowed to walk between the salt mines themselves anymore, but you have to stay behind a barrier. This is because there was too much pollution from the tourists. An understandable choice, then.
7 San Pedro market
In the middle of Cusco you will find the busy but interesting covered market of San Pedro. It is open every day from morning to evening and is completely free to visit. In addition to fresh fruit and other foods, you will also find some nice souvenirs and handmade clothes. And often at a much cheaper price than in all other stores in Cusco. Please note that the smell here can sometimes be very pervasive because of the fish and the meat that is also sold here.
8 Sacsayhuaman geldings
Less well known than Machu Picchu but certainly also beautiful are the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. This Inca city on one of the mountains in Cusco is easiest to reach with an Uber or taxi. This site is especially beautiful due to its views over the city and nature, but also by a few constructions that still look impressive. Don’t you stay in Cusco that long? Then you shouldn’t be making this trip. Especially if you head to Machu Picchu afterwards. The entry price for this site is 70 soles.
9 Rainbow Mountain
An outing that is often done from Cusco is the hike to Rainbow Mountain. A very colorful mountain that owes its different colors to different minerals on the mountain. However, a trip to this mountain is not feasible for everyone. Because despite the horses you can hire to go up, there is still a serious height difference of 2000 meters with Cusco. That also itself is already at 3000 meters altitude. This is also the reason we didn’t make this trip. We already had a lot of altitude sickness at 3000 meters, so 5000 meters would have become dangerous. Those who want to do this trip will be rewarded with a beautiful view! The drive from Cusco to the foot of Rainbow Mountain is 3 hours by car.
10 Cristo Blanco of Cusco
Want a beautiful view of the city of Cusco? Then you should definitely take a climb to Cristo Blanco. Because the view from this Christ statue is breathtaking. Also along the way during a climb to this statue you will come across a lot of nice streets and views. Pay attention! This road is very long and also steep! A good condition is definitely required! You can also reach this place by taxi or Uber. Pay a maximum of 10 soles for this!
What to do in Cusco?
Hopefully you will have something to do with this ‘What to do in Cusco’ and have a wonderful holiday in Peru. Do you have any questions? Then reassure them in the comments or on our Facebook page.