Tucked away in the Peruvian Andres is the charming and vibrant city of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a rich history dating right back to the ancient Incas and boasting an abundance of architectural wonders. Whilst Cusco is the gateway to some of Peru’s most fascinating archaeological sites including the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the renowned Machu Picchu, it is also a wonderful City in its own right and well worth taking the time to explore. Cusco features prominently on all our Peru itineraries usually with a stay of between 2 and 4 nights.
Cusco is located at an elevation of over 11,200 feet and it is very common for visitors to experience symptoms of altitude sickness such as head-aches and mild sickness. Where possible we plan itineraries to spend time first in the Sacred Valley (which is lower than Cusco), then Cusco and then Machu Picchu to better acclimatise to the altitude.
The Plaza de Armas is in many ways the heart of the city, with plenty of places to eat and drink and fascinating historic monuments. Cusco is easy to explore independently at your pace, but a guided tour does provide significant added context to the historial sights such as the Koricancha temple and the Inca era Sacsayhuamán fortress.