Cusco is a must-see when traveling to Peru. Well, it actually is a must-see for any South America trip. Cusco is located in the Peruvian Andes and was once the capital of the Inca Empire. The city is most known for its archaeological sites including the world famous Machu Picchu and the Spanish colonial architecture which makes Cusco a beautiful city to visit. Cusco is also known for its indigenous population in traditional clothing.
I love the Plaza de Armas in Cusco which is surrounded by restaurants and cafes with beautiful colonial arcades and wooden balconies. There is a majestic cathedral which you can even see from the Sacsayhuaman archaeological Inca site and a beautiful fountain in the centre of the plaza. You should visit Cusco’s Plaza de Armas at least twice, once during the day and once during the night.
Apart from Cusco’s main attraction, Machu Picchu, the city is in the middle of various Inca sites. So make sure you don’t only focus on Machu Picchu but also plan in a few extra days for exploring Cusco and the surrounding areas. Cusco also has amazing restaurants serving comida peruana. If you ever wanted to eat Cuy, guinea pig, go to Kusikuy. The restaurant also serves very good Pisco Sour. So here are the must-see’s for Cusco.
Top 5 Things to Do in Cusco
1. Machu Picchu
2. Centro Historico de Cusco & Cusco Cathedral
4. Sacred Valley (Pisac and Ollantaytambo)
5. Comida Peruana
And last but not least, Cusco is located 3,400 m above sea level. This means that you may have a few altitude sickness problems. I am generally not really affected by altitude (though I did notice the 5,400 m in Bolivia) so I didn’t have any issues in Cusco. I heard coca tea helps.. or just bring some altitude sickness medication with you just in case. And stay hydrated!