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21 Best Things To Do In Cusco, Peru


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rozanna Erwin


Cusco, Peru is a vibrant and historic city nestled high in the Andes Mountains. Renowned for its rich Inca heritage, Cusco offers a myriad of attractions and activities that captivate the hearts of travelers from around the world. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, adventure seeker, or culture lover, this charming city has something for everyone.

From exploring ancient ruins and walking along cobblestone streets lined with colonial architecture to indulging in authentic Peruvian cuisine and immersing yourself in local traditions, the “Imperial City” never fails to leave a lasting impression. With a plethora of exciting things to see and do, planning your itinerary might seem overwhelming. But fear not! In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 21 best things to do in Cusco, ensuring that you make the most of your visit and create unforgettable memories in this enchanting destination.

Explore the Historic City Center

Immerse yourself in the rich history of Cusco by exploring its historic city center. Marvel at the Spanish colonial architecture, visit the impressive Cusco Cathedral, and stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets lined with shops and restaurants.

Visit the Sacred Valley

Embark on a journey to the Sacred Valley, located just outside of Cusco. This picturesque region is home to stunning landscapes, ancient Inca ruins, and traditional Andean communities. Don’t miss the incredible Pisac ruins and the vibrant Pisac Market.

Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

No visit to Cusco is complete without a trek along the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Andes as you hike through cloud forests, mountain passes, and ancient Inca ruins, culminating in the breathtaking sight of Machu Picchu.

Explore the Ruins of Sacsayhuaman

Discover the impressive ruins of Sacsayhuaman, located just outside of Cusco. These massive stone walls and terraces are a testament to the incredible architectural and engineering skills of the Inca civilization.

Experience the Inti Raymi Festival

If you’re lucky enough to visit Cusco in late June, don’t miss the vibrant Inti Raymi Festival. This ancient Inca celebration marks the winter solstice and includes colorful processions, music, and traditional dances.

Wander through the San Pedro Market

Indulge in a sensory delight at the bustling San Pedro Market. Sample local fruits, vegetables, and street food, and browse through the stalls selling traditional crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.

Discover the Chinchero Ruins

Head to Chinchero to explore the ancient Inca ruins perched high in the mountains. Learn about the fascinating history of this site and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.

Take a Cooking Class

Immerse yourself in Peruvian cuisine by taking a cooking class in Cusco. Learn to prepare traditional dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado, and quinoa soup, and gain valuable insights into the local culinary culture.

Visit the Museo de Arte Precolombino

Delve into the rich pre-Columbian history of Peru at the Museo de Arte Precolombino. This museum houses a remarkable collection of ancient artifacts, including textiles, ceramics, and gold pieces.

Discover the Maras Salt Mines

Visit the fascinating Maras Salt Mines, a series of terraced salt pools that have been in use since Inca times. Learn about the traditional salt extraction methods and enjoy the stunning panoramic views.

Explore the Qorikancha Temple

Marvel at the architectural marvel that is the Qorikancha Temple. Once the most important temple in the Inca Empire, it showcases the incredible stonework and engineering prowess of the Inca civilization.

Take a Bike Tour of the Sacred Valley

Embark on a thrilling bike tour of the Sacred Valley and enjoy the stunning landscapes while cycling through picturesque Andean villages and visiting lesser-known archaeological sites.

Experience the Magic Water Circuit

Spend an evening at the Magic Water Circuit, a dazzling display of water fountains, light shows, and music. This enchanting experience is perfect for a romantic evening or a fun outing with family and friends.

Explore the City Walls

Take a walk along the ancient city walls of Cusco and enjoy panoramic views of the city. These well-preserved walls were built by the Incas and offer a glimpse into their impressive architectural skills.

Visit the Cusco Planetarium

Learn about the Inca’s astronomical knowledge and marvel at the night sky at the Cusco Planetarium. Gain a deeper understanding of the Inca’s connection to the cosmos and their advanced astronomical calendar.

Attend a Traditional Peruvian Dance Show

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Peru by attending a traditional dance show. Watch colorful performances featuring traditional costumes and energetic dances inspired by the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

Explore the Inca Museum

Discover the fascinating artifacts and learn about the history and culture of the Inca civilization at the Inca Museum. This museum houses a comprehensive collection of Inca artifacts, including textiles, ceramics, and mummies.

Take a Horseback Ride in the Sacred Valley

Explore the stunning landscapes of the Sacred Valley on horseback. Enjoy a leisurely ride through scenic valleys, alongside ancient ruins, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region.

Discover the Cusco Cathedral

Marvel at the architectural grandeur of the Cusco Cathedral, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Admire the intricate woodwork, beautiful altars, and stunning collection of religious art.

Visit the Temple of the Moon

Hike to the Temple of the Moon, an ancient Inca site nestled in the hills surrounding Cusco. Explore the ceremonial caves and marvel at the intricate rock carvings that adorn the site.

Shop for Handicrafts at the Centro Artesanal Cusco

Browse through a wide range of handicrafts, including textiles, ceramics, and jewelry, at the Centro Artesanal Cusco. Support local artisans and take home a piece of Peruvian craftsmanship as a souvenir.

There you have it – the 21 best things to do in Cusco, Peru. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie, Cusco has something to offer everyone. Plan your trip and get ready to embark on a truly unforgettable adventure in this enchanting city.


In conclusion, Cusco, Peru offers an abundance of incredible experiences for travelers to enjoy. From exploring mesmerizing ancient ruins to immersing yourself in colorful local markets, Cusco caters to a variety of interests. The city’s rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture make it a must-visit destination for any adventurer.

Whether you’re trekking through the majestic landscapes of Machu Picchu, indulging in traditional Peruvian cuisine, or diving into the vibrant nightlife scene, Cusco has something for everyone. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak up the fascinating history, breathtaking scenery, and warm hospitality that this remarkable city has to offer.

Plan your trip to Cusco today and get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with memorable experiences that will stay with you long after you’ve returned home.


Q: How do I get to Cusco?

A: The easiest way to reach Cusco is by flying into Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, which receives domestic and international flights from major cities around the world.

Q: What is the best time to visit Cusco?

A: The best time to visit Cusco is during the dry season, which spans from May to September. This period offers comfortable weather and clear skies, ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s attractions.

Q: Are there any altitude sickness concerns in Cusco?

A: Yes, as Cusco sits at an elevation of over 11,000 feet (3,400 meters), visitors may experience symptoms of altitude sickness. It is recommended to take it easy for the first few days, stay hydrated, and consult with a healthcare professional prior to your trip.

Q: What are the must-visit attractions in Cusco?

A: Some of the must-visit attractions in Cusco include Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Sacsayhuaman, Qorikancha, and the San Pedro Market.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Cusco?

A: Cusco is generally a safe city to visit. However, like any travel destination, it is important to stay vigilant, take precautions, and be aware of your surroundings. It is recommended to refrain from walking alone at night and to take necessary safety measures to protect your belongings.