WHY VISIT CUSCO?
Cusco is in the Andes of Peru, it had a very important role as the capital of the Inca Empire from the 13th century until the middle of the 16th century. Its popularity among visitors is impressive for many reasons, mainly its location in the sacred valley of the Incas, which makes it a useful base for visiting Machu Picchu and other archaeological and natural centers. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has beautiful cobbled streets and attractive historic buildings at every step.
Are you planning to visit the city of CUSCO?
We can also make tours outside the city to places like Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Maras Moray, Chinchero, Salkantay, Lares, Ausangate and even the Peruvian Amazon, Cusco is full of museums, galleries and other interesting places to visit. Explore its impressive colonial architecture and take advantage of buying souvenirs in one of the many markets, and don’t forget to enjoy a Pisco Sours, the national cocktail of Peru! with the Pumadventures family
The population of Cusco 1,316,729 inhabitants, where 9.6% represents the elderly population (126,379).
Most people speak Spanish, Quechua and English.
The currency is the Peruvian sun. 1 sun = 0.3 USD – ATMs dispense soles or US dollars
ALTITUDE / ELEVATION
At 3,400 m.a.s.l., many visitors experience some symptoms of altitude sickness, so be careful to acclimatize (drink coca tea and plenty of water)
Generally dry, wet and rainy.
Dry season: May-August
Rainy season: December-March
Wet season: September – November
It is generally a safe destination, although be careful in areas far from the city center and other scams by informal tourist companies.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CUSCO
SAN PEDRO MARKET
The San Pedro market is a few steps south of the main square and being in Cusco you must visit this place. Whether you are looking for alpaca wool threads and handmade Peruvian souvenirs, or to try some local foods, you will find what you are looking for in this place. The San Pedro market is open every day from 9 a.m. at 6 p.m. and it is a covered and safe place during the day, so it can also be enjoyed on a rainy day.
Main square of Cusco and always busy, this is a great place to relax and watch the time pass on a sunny day (because of the pedestrian project that was made the main square is safe to walk and rest in Family). Expect to see women in typical clothes carrying llamas and sheep: you can take a picture with them for a small tip, and don’t forget to visit the impressive cathedral and church of La Compañía de Jesus.
CHOCO MUSEUM (chocolate museum)
It is located two blocks from the main square, with beautiful seating on the balcony overlooking the Plaza Regocijo, this museum is the perfect place to enjoy some chocolate products produced by local people. Whether you want to attend one of the chocolate manufacturing workshops or just enjoy the exhibits and spend time in the cafeteria, it has an excellent value for money. We recommend you take
Hot chocolate is unimaginable!
SAN BLAS PLAZOLETA
Head north from the main square through the ancient Inca streets and go through the twelve angles stone to the historic San Blas area of the city. This is the neighborhood of artisans, with beautiful costumes that serve excellent food and many art galleries and craft shops. You will also find the church of San Blas in the small central square, the oldest church in Cusco.
It is one block from the main square, be sure to visit the Inca Museum, one of the museums that to enter has a cost of ten nuevos soles. This museum is in a colonial construction, and the outer courtyard offers excellent views of the city. The museum itself contains Inca jewelry, pottery, textiles and even some ancient mummies.
One of the favorites of most visitors, this modest building houses a beautiful bar and restaurant, as well as a small museum that explores the history of coffee in South America. As you could imagine, coffee is fantastic and they also organize workshops where you can learn more about coffee production and its properties.
CUSCO’S MOST POPULAR TOURS
It is the most popular tour in Cusco – Peru, but throughout South America, Machu Picchu is a must for any visitor who arrives in Peru. There is nothing as impressive as seeing this ancient Inca citadel on the edge of the mountains deep in the rainforest as the sun rises. You can take the train from Poroy, Ollantaytambo or Hidroelectrica and enjoy one of the many trekking routes to this wonder of the world:
The choice is yours!
CHINCHERO, MORAY, MARAS AND SALINERAS
The Chinchero, Moray, Maras and Salineras tour is usually done as a half-day or all-day tour outside the city of Cusco. You will see the picturesque town of Chinchero where there are textiles and its archaeological center, the old agricultural center of Moray, where it was an open laboratory center and the crops grew in rings of concentric circles at different heights, producing different temperatures. After this, head to the salt mines and learn about the life of those residents of the area who work in more than 3000 small wells to obtain the final salt product.
Travel to the Peruvian Amazon on a trip to Puerto Maldonado. With many different and available tour options, you can enjoy staying in an eco-lodge while participating in activities that include nature walks, zip lines, kayaking and more. See the incredible wildlife and experience a unique ecosystem of the Amazon.
WHERE TO EAT IN CUSCO
JACK’S CAFÉ: Choqechaca 509, Cusco Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual atmosphere, Jack’s Café Aruba is a restaurant that you cannot miss. The menu consists of Dutch and international and accessible food.
GREENS ORGANIC: Santa Catalina Narrow 135, 2nd floor Cusco, Peru It is the era of multiple awakenings. People want control of their food and knowledge of the origin of their food. Health is imposed as the right path and the sustainability of the ecosystem is a priority for the current and conscious traveler. It has an organic garden in Lamay – Sacred Valley, the small local producers, the ingredients and superfoods that build a modern, versatile and surprising gastronomic proposal come to your kitchen. In each dish, in each gesture of their kitchen, they try to bring down the myth that the healthy does not surprise or the healthy does not excite. Open your senses to a life of evolution and purity, enjoying every moment with energy, throughout the day.
PACHAPAPA: Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco The power of the Pacha Mama or Mother Earth is manifested in the tables of PACHAPAPA through the nobility of the products she gives us. As an energetic ritual, the moment of the meal becomes a revelation, when from the mud oven in the central courtyard, the aromas of the Andes sprout, or from the clay pots our slow-cooking dishes emerge with their particular generosity. Rustic, country and located in an old house in the traditional neighborhood of San Blas or T’oqokachi in front of the Church of San Blas, the oldest parish in the city of Cusco. Cusco cuisine and more, in an atmosphere of worship of the town, its customs, mysticism and its art that, through the ancestral and culinary crafts, today shine throughout the world.
INKA GRILL: Portal de Panes 115, Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru The first and pioneer of restaurants in the City of Cusco, is an example and inspiration for the rest of the restaurants. With an authentic, inclusive, democratic and innovative culinary proposal, INKAGRILL proposes a menu that crosses the Peruvian with the international, with fantastic results. In addition, it does so from a preferential location in the Plaza del Cusco, the central core of the city. With the efficiency and warmth in the service that satisfies the most demanding cult customer.
Location: Sta Catalina Angosta 115, Cusco, Peru
Papachos is a hipster-style hamburger chain that is located in a couple of cities in Peru. The Cusco branch is a great place if you are looking to spend a little more money and enjoy a gourmet burger. Delicious food and very good cocktails.
IRISH PADDY BAR
Location: Triunfo 124, Cusco, Peru
Right on the corner of the Plaza de Armas, this is a typical Irish pub, which serves ample homemade meals and drinks at reasonable prices. It is famous for being the tallest Irish pub in the world and is a great place to meet other travelers.
SAN PEDRO MARKET
Address: Cascaparo, Cusco, Peru.
The San Pedro market is behind the San Francisco cathedral. Through the arch and towards the small church of San Pedro. There are many stalls that sell fresh fruit, juices and milkshakes, as well as outlets that serve more abundant meals: traditional Peruvian food at low prices, this is where you will find local people sharing.