The Perfect Weekend in Cusco
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
There's much to see in Cusco and the surrounding area, but you can do a lot if you have three days to explore. Day 1: Visit the Incan ruins at Qorikancha in the morning. After lunch, wander the the Mercado San Pedro, then hike up to Sacsayhuaman for the sunset. Day 2: Take a colectivo to the Sacred Valley, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Visit the ruins at Moray and the salt mines at Maras. Day 3: Watch Andean life go by at Plaza de Armas, then explore the galleries of Las Blas, the arts district.
Santo Domingo s/n, Cusco 08000, Peru
This Cuzco corner presents a notable juxtaposition between ancient Incan and Spanish colonial architecture. Since the Incas worshipped their sun god, Inti, above all others, this temple in their imperial capital was the most important of the...
Calle 26A, Bellavista 07011, Peru
For those of us used to seeing chicken cut into parts, wrapped in plastic, and cooling in supermarket refrigerators, a trip to a local Peruvian market is fascinating and a bit daunting. At the biggest market, San Pedro, just up the...
Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08003, Peru
I planned on grabbing a quick lunch at Pacha Papa, located in San Blas Square, the heart of Cusco's artist and gallery neighborhood. But I ended up spending a couple of hours in the lovely outdoor courtyard, talking to my wonderful server, Ever,...
Plazoleta Nazarenas 223, Cusco 08000, Peru
Like its nearby sister, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio, the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a hotel with ancient roots: the onetime private residence-turned-convent—and now turned hotel—has original Inca walls and colonial-era frescoes.
Coripata, Cusco, Peru
Cherubs hang from the ceiling and flying pigs decorate the bar. Aquarium bathtubs covered in glass are the tables and funky, modern art with Christian themes decorate the walls. Behind the bar a disco ball glitters the rows of liquor bottles and...
Cap your trip to Machu Picchu with a pisco sour on the Orient-Express train ride back to Cuzco. After boarding this luxury train for dinner and the return journey, everyone meets in the bar car for a drink. Live music, the rocking of the train,...
Calle Roca Fuerte 245, Urubamba, Peru
Let the Urubamba River set your course during a thrilling rafting adventure along the Ollantaytambo rapids, available through the Belmond. The river helped form what is now the Sacred Valley, and along the way you'll not only sense its power, but...
PLAZA MAYOR CENTRO DE, Cusco 08000, Peru
Five minutes after settling into my hostel in Cusco and meeting up with an international contingent of newly found friends from the prior week in Lima, we made our way toward the Plaza de Armas, center of the gone but not forgotten Inca Empire. As...
Aguas Calientes, Peru
The 2.5-hour walk to Mandor Waterfalls starts out from the town of Aguas Calientes and follows railroad tracks along a river, past homesteads and orchards to the cloud forest. While the falls are not as dramatically high as some, the hike is easy...
Avenida Berriozabal, Urubamba, Peru
When you’re considering Peruvian souvenirs, things like coffee, pisco, and alpaca scarves come to mind. But Peru is also known for ceramics, and you can find marvelous examples at Seminario’s. Its founders have taken motifs from Peru’s past and...
Plazoleta Nazarenas 337, Cusco 08000, Peru
A dedicated national monument dating back to 1592, this former monastery sits on Inca stone foundations, which were later topped by plenty of Spanish colonial flourishes. Evidence of the hotel’s history is everywhere you look, from the rich...
Plaza Las Nazarenas 211, next to the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art, Plazoleta Nazarenas 211, Cusco 08000, Peru
As you walk through the cobbled Plaza de las Nazarenas to Inkaterra La Casona, there’s almost no sign of what lies behind the hotel’s heavy wood door and stone lintel. Once inside, however, luxury abounds. Cuzco’s first boutique...
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