15 Oct 10 Things You Have To Do In Cusco, Peru
- The old capital of the Inca empire is a must visit Peru. This historical city gained UNESCO heritage in 1983 and it is easy to understand why. Here is a list of 10 things you have to do in Cusco, Peru.
1.Do the Free Walking Tour
Every morning around 10 AM you can get a free walking tour from the middle of Plaza de Armas. It is free, but it is of course expected to tip them at the end. The green ones are supposed to be good. I took the blue one and loved it. Our guide Marco was really passionate about showing Cusco and had a great knowledge and a sense of humour. The free walking tour will explain you the history of Cusco, Callejón de Loreto, Twelve angled stone, San Blas, Plaza de Armas etc. I strongly recommend this tour because you get an insight of the history behind and not just looking at stuff you don’t even know what means. Doing this as soon as possible is ideal.
2.Do the City Tour in the afternoon
To do the afternoon tour, you need the Tourist ticket to visit the places like Sacsayhuamán, Tipón, Tambomachay, Q’enqo and Puka Pukara. You will also visit the Cusco cathedral and a bunch of other sites. Bring some extra cash to the Cathedral and a few other sites. The city tour can be booked just by approaching the sellers near Plaza de Armas or talk to your hostel or Airbnb. No need to book this before getting to Cusco.
3.Watch the sunsets from Limbos Resto-bar
A perfect place to end a day in Cusco, have an early dinner at Limbos with a Pisco sour, locals say that it is best during sunset because you will see the view during daylight and nighttime and both are amazing. Read more about Limbos Resto Bar here.
4.Hang out in Plaza de Armas
I visited Cusco for 4 days and everyday something happened in Plaza de Armas, demonstrations, shows, dancing, military parade etc. Pretty cold there at night, make sure you wear proper clothes like beanie, scarf and a warm jacket you will need it! If you don’t have it don’t worry, the street sellers will offer you a good price for their handmade products. The Plaza is also a centre of one of the best restaurants in Cusco like Barrio Ceviche.
5.Travel to Machu Picchu
Well duh, I think that would be the most important sight in Peru for most of us. Even though it is not in Cusco, it will be there you usually travel from, either by train, day trips or treks. For more information about Machu Picchu, check out this link.
6.Visit the museums and sights in the Boleto Turistico (Tourist ticket)
After doing the city tour you would have some more places to visit on the tourist ticket. Like Moroy (it is best to do a half-day tour because it is hard to get there.) The museums are within a walking distance in Cusco and can be done in a day. You will see opening hours at the back of the ticket.
7.Check out the San Blas area
It is incredible to just walk up the cute streets of San Blas. It is perfect for taking photos, very safe and lots of restaurants and cafe to choose from. I love Jacks cafe and Pachapapa! If you are up for the challenge you can walk up to the Christ looking over Cusco by walking through San Blas.
8.Have a Pisco Sour at Republica del Pisco
An awesome place for a Saturday night with a live band and great drinks made by professional bartenders. They make the drinks pretty strong too, so it is worth every Sole xD. If you are travelling with a big group I recommend ground level at Museo del Pisco where you can have your own big table, great drinks and food, ideal if you want to chat instead of listening to music. Read more about Republica del Pisco and Museo del Pisco here.
9.Eat Ceviche at Barrio Ceviche
For real though, you cant leave Peru without eating Ceviche. Barrio Ceviche is definitely the best place to eat it with a great view of Plaza de Armas. Perfect to eat lunch here after the free walking tour or before the afternoon tour.
10.Do a day trip to Sacred Valley
You can visit some places in the Sacred Valley individually and easily. You can start by taking the bus towards Pisac around 8 am and ask the bus driver to stop at the entrance of Awanacancha textile museum. It is free to visit and you can see how they tint the yarn and do the weaving. Photos are allowed but you are expected to tip them a little. Then you can take the bus from there to Pisac to check out the handcraft market which is not only open on Sundays but every day, later you can have a delicious empanada and then take the bus to Urubamba where you can have lunch at Restaurante Hawa and take a taxi to the terminal terreste and the bus to Ollantaytambo.
- The ruins of Ollantaytambo is on the tourist ticket and it is open until 5 pm. You can then get a bus back all the way to Cusco for 10 Soles. You get it from the main plaza in Ollantaytambo. Moray and Maras should be done with a tour because it is quite hard to get there by yourself. Maras is not on the tourist ticket.
Unsure of what to pack for a trip to Peru? Check out this list.