Standing on the ruins of ancient Inca temples and palaces, the colourful city of Cuzco is a captivating blend of traditional Andean culture, architectural wonders dating from the time of the Incas to the colonial era, and a majestic setting in a highland valley. As well as offering exclusive access to Machu Picchu, Cuzco has a long list of attractions from the charming Plaza de Armas and imposing Catedral to the masterful stonework ruins of the Koricancha Inca complex. The UNESCO-listed fortress of Sacsayhuaman commands an incredible view across Cuzco and is the most impressive of the historical sites dotted across the surrounding hills. The formation of large polished dry-stone boulders is thought to represent the head of a puma and inside the walls are a number of towers and important temples.
South of Cuzco are the impressive Tipón ruins, a complex of Inca temples and aqueducts with amazingly preserved agricultural terraces, watered by channels lined with stone. Hidden in a natural valley shelf, the ruins are practically deserted with no habitation in sight. Perfect as a day trip, on the return journey to Cuzco stop at the traditional village of Saylla and try chicharrones, a delicious local pork dish. Nowhere better will you find such a dish and with barely a tourist in sight, it’s a chance to see the real Peru. Back in town a range of restaurants, from the cheap and cheerful to the more gourmet establishments, serve a delectable variety of traditional Peruvian dishes including Luna Areja where you can grab a Chicha beer and hang with the locals over a plate of homely Andean food.
Here are some popular itineraries for a trip to Cuzco
If you are planning a Cuzco holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Belmond Hotel Monasterio Cuzco
A former monastery and national monument dating back to 1592, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a delightful retreat that combines centuries old charm with luxury hotel service. Guest rooms are all wonderfully unique with rich wood furnishings and architectural quirks that add to the historic atmosphere. The decor is of a Spanish colonial style with luxurious ensuite marble bathrooms. The hotel boasts a number of restaurants including El Tupay where you can enjoy classic international cuisine sourced from local fresh ingredients. Well located in the heart of Cuzco.
Casa Andina Private Collection Cuzco
In a beautiful eighteenth century mansion, the Casa Andina Private Collection hotel invites guests to enjoy the majestic colonial architecture of Cuzco. The traditional, courtyard-facing rooms feature wooden balconies and large beds with tea/coffee making facilities and a safe deposit box. Free WiFi is offered in the common areas including the welcoming lounge and reading room that features a fireplace. The Alma Restaurant combines the best of Peruvian cuisine with international favourites and within the hotel is a 24 hour snack bar.
Jose Antonio Hotel Cuzco
The recently built Jose Antonio Cuzco Hotel is the ideal blend of modern architecture and fine colonial details. The comfortable guestrooms are a welcoming palette of neutral and earthy tones with excellent amenities. Discover Andean and Peruvian cuisine at the El Rejo restaurant or sip on a flavoursome cocktail at the spacious El Molino bar. The hotel also boasts its own Jacuzzi and sauna, perfect for a soak after a long day of sightseeing.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Cuzco Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Cuzco.