Cusco is the prime destination for Peru holidays and it's unsurprising. Famous as the departure point for treks on the Inca Trail and trips aboard the luxury Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu, the city also boasts a wealth of Inca ruins, impressive colonial architecture, breathtaking scenery, great trekking options, beautiful textiles and handicrafts and some fabulous luxury hotels.
There are more sights than even the most enthusiastic traveller could hope to visit, but the highlights are surely the architecture of Qoricancha, the Inca walls around Plaza de Armas, the crafted pulpit of San Blas, the Cathedral, and the view from San Cristobal.
On a nearby hill are the remains of the ancient fortress, Sacsayhuaman, whose colossal zigzagging ramparts can be scaled. Designed like the teeth of a puma, the site comes alive for the colourful festival of Inti Raymi.
Top itineraries in Cusco
Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, highlights of any visit to Peru, are linked by rail via Cusco along some of the world's highest and most scenic tracks.
Explore the very best of Peru's beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and fascinating culture on this tailor-made journey. Visit Lima, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca before heading to the Andes and the ancient sites of Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
Introduce yourself to Peru’s colonial tapestry with its capital before delving further into the country’s rich history with Machu Picchu – the enigmatic poster child for the Sacred Valley’s lost Incan cities and stunning geography.
Top places to stay in Cusco
The stunning Belmond Palacio Nazarenas enjoys a superb location, tucked away in a peaceful plaza behind Cusco's historic main square. This former palace and convent has been lovingly restored and is now one of the city's most exclusive hotels.
Once occupied by the conquistadors of Peru, this historic gem has been lovingly restored to its former glory.
Located right beside Cusco's lively central square this former monastery and national monument dates from 1592. Owned by leaders in luxury Belmond, it's a sophisticated base in the historic heart of the city.
Our travel specialist Emma recently returned from a nine-day tour of Chile and Peru. Read her in-depth review for an insight into her spectacular trip as well as advice if you're planning your own tailor-made holiday.
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