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The Perfect Weekend in Cusco

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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.
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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...
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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...
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Sacsayhuaman is an impressive Inca fortress on a steep hill that overlooks all of Cusco. The ruins are humongous, but archeologists believe that the original site was as much as four times larger. What remains today are the impressive outer walls...
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Carmen Bajo 120, Cusco 08000, 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,...
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Pisac, Peru
One of the best things to do while in Cuzco is to visit the Sunday farmer's market in the nearby Andean town of Pisac, taking either a taxi or a more economical bus to get there. The villagers surrounding Pisac come from miles around to sell their...
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Ollantaytambo, Peru
Ollantaytambo’s namesake archaeological site is one of the best examples of Incan architecture in the region. It’s easy to spend a half day exploring the temples and other structures there, especially if you factor in time to hike...
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The stunning landscape of Salineras de Maras features salt pans that are still used exactly as they were at the time of the Incas. As you make your way through the region, you’ll see people doing the backbreaking work of harvesting salt on...
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Maras, Peru
Tours of the Sacred Valley, and the entire Cuzco area, often feature side trips through gorgeous landscapes like Moray, an archaeological site with remarkable concentric agricultural terraces. It’s believed the Incas used these...
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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.

As...
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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...
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Sacsayhuaman, Peru
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,...
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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...
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Triunfo 393, Cusco 08000, Peru
One of the city’s top restaurants, Cicciolina offers Italian-style dishes with a Peruvian flair, such as quinoa-encrusted prawns and osso buco with pumpkin ravioli topped by local cheese and a touch of Andean mint. There’s plenty to...
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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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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...
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Cusco 08000, Peru
In the San Blas area of Cusco, Peru, it can get quite steep. This is one of many streets that is all stairs. Cusco is a magical place!