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Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru

Cusco

Sitting at over 3,000 metres, the once capital city of the Inca Empire is a web of elaborate pulpits and gold-leafed altars that contrast with colourful Quechua street vendors, lilting pan-pipe music and frequent parades and festivals.

Of particular interest is the temple of the sun Koricancha (courtyard of gold in Quechua), which was said to be the most sumptuous temple built by the Inca Empire as it was purely dedicated to Inti, the sun.

San Blas, Cusco, Peru
San Blas, Cusco, Peru

Our specialists' 'must do'

As with Machu Picchu, Cusco needs little introduction, but there are many places that are often missed as tourists rush through to Machu Picchu. Head up to San Blas, Cusco’s bohemian district, visiting the Inca Museum and continue further up to pass artisans in their workshops. Stay in a typical Cusquenan colonial house for an authentic experience with fantastic personal service.

Try and coincide your visit to Cusco with the Inti Raymi festival which takes place over the summer solstice in June, re-enacted amongst the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

Discover Peru

ECOAN womens textiles
ECOAN, Peru

Textiles and Embroidery

Take time to visit Cusco’s Textile Museum, which helps continue Peru’s heritage of the ancient technique of back strap weaving. The museum works closely with villages in the Sacred Valley, to which we can organise local artisan visits.

Similarly, the project Polleras de Agustina has taken the world by storm. What started out as an effort to preserve the traditional embroidery techniques of Cusco has become a worldwide style phenomenon.

Highlights of Peru

Experiences

What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Cusco’s Traditional Markets

Explore the cobblestone Indian markets selling local artisan goods and alpaca and llama wool textiles.

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Discover the Inca Empire

Built on Inca foundations, the historic city of Cusco combines stone arches with colonial plazas and is inhabited by locals who still wear their traditional, colourful garments.

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Explore Contemporary Cusco

Visit the Plaza de Armas and discover its plethora of shops, bars and restaurants, a great way to immerse yourself into the atmosphere of this ancient city.

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Visit Qorikancha

Tour what was the most significant temple in the Inca Empire, once lined with 700 solid gold sheets before its dramatic demise.

Need Inspiration?
Browse our Peru holiday ideas.

Our Peru experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

Reaching the sun gate and marvelling over Machu Picchu unveiled one of the most impressive landscapes that Paul has seen in his global travels.

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  • 01285 880 980

James Armitage

Having walked the full Inca Trail and arrived at the Sun Gate, it is in looking down over the mist-shrouded Machu Picchu ruins that James experienced the magic of the Incas.

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  • 01285 880 980

Roxy Dukes

If your passion is the outdoors and you are looking to delve into South American culture, Roxy recommends one of the lodge-to-lodge hiking programmes to explore the Sacred Valley and beyond. Hopping between the quiet mountain towns, meet the locals that live off the grid and immerse yourself in the welcoming spirit of Peru.

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  • 01285 880 980

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

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