Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru


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

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


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

Dyeing yarn at CTTC, Chinchero, Sacred Valley, Peru

Cusco’s Traditional Markets

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

Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Cusco, Peru

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Qorikancha Temple, Cusco, Peru

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.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Casa Andina Premium Cusco £££££

  • Peru
  • City

A restored 18th-century colonial mansion, Casa Andina Premium Cusco is situated close to Plaza de Armas and the Temple of the Sun. In addition to offering a gourmet restaurant and drinks lounge with a roaring fireplace, the property benefits from three majestic colonial courtyards that allow guests an authentic Peruvian experience. Its 93 rooms and suites, some with private balconies and antiquated artworks, are arranged around the central courtyards and are decorated in a range of styles – rooms are simple and tidy, while suites are bright and contemporary with more flashes of colour.

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Belmond Palacio Nazarenas £££££

  • Peru
  • Boutique

A former 17th-century palace and convent that became one of Cusco’s most stylish hotels, Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is built on Inca foundations and combines colonial history with contemporary indulgence. Precious Inca stonework, gold-framed paintings and colonial frescoes are offset by an inviting outdoor pool and daring Peruvian cuisine that makes use of indigenous herbs and edible flowers from the garden. Its 55 suites are set around sheltered courtyards, where trickling fountains provide a melodic backdrop. Rooms are enriched with oxygen to assist guests with acclimatisation and each suite is uniquely decorated with Peruvian flourishes and embroidered silk sheets.

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Inkaterra La Casona £££££

  • Peru
  • City

Built within a 16th-century manor house that is positioned atop the former training grounds of an elite Inca army, Inkaterra La Casona is a carefully restored property that reflects the traditions and cultures of centuries of Peruvian culture.

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Belmond Hotel Monasterio £££££

  • Peru
  • City

Once only an ancient San monastery, Belmond Hotel Monasterio sits amongst Cusco’s most cherished landmarks as one of the most handsome and best-preserved architectural and religious buildings in the city. The restored 300-year-old building has become a distinguished and luxurious accommodation option that combines five-star amenities with a delightful sense of both Cusco’s Inca and Spanish traditions. Its 126 rooms and suites are all uniquely decorated, boasting interiors that are full of antiques and artworks. Atmospheric shaded arcades surround the central courtyard, which is scattered with comfortable seating areas and al fresco dining spots, and supplementary oxygen can be infused into the rooms on request.

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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.

Talk with our experts
  • 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.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

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