Cusco is regarded as the most popular city among tourists in Peru. The city has a rich history and there is a wide range of thrilling and fun activities that you can try out. It is popularly known as the main hub and gateway if you want to visit the Machu Picchu and other Inca ruins that dotted the sacred valley. Cusco can be found in the Peruvian Andes and it features a moderate climate most days of the year. You will surely be mesmerized by this city once you stepped foot in it. The city houses a diverse cultural and archeological artifact that you can explore. Some of the best things to do in Cusco are listed below.
Top things to do in Cusco
Wander around Plaza de Armas
This is the cultural center of the city and it is dotted by bars, restaurants, and coffee shops to explore. Most of them also offer lovely views of the city and it is a perfect destination to try out people-watching activities in the evening and also to acclimatize to the elevation of the city. You are also going to find a manicured garden and the statue of Incan ruler Pachacuti at the center of the plaza. The highlight of Plaza de Armas is to explore the enormous cathedral of Cusco which is a symbol of the Spanish conquest and it houses a replica of Da Vinci’s Last Supper with a unique Peruvian touch.
Enjoy mind-blowing views of the city from vantage points
One of the best things that you can do while in the city is to enjoy great views of the city from different vantage points. You can head to the Limbus Restobar which features a long outdoor seating area where you can enjoy the views of the city while you drink. If you want more experience, you can go to the View House. This vantage point is located just further up the hill and it offers a cooler and backpacker rooftop atmosphere with panoramic views and strong cocktails. The View House is a great place to go if you do not want to wait because the Limbus is usually crowded.
Visit the Planetarium
Astronomy plays a major role in the Inca culture as it influences the planting and harvesting of crops, architecture, and religious ceremonies. You will be surprised to find out that the Inca calendar was accurate and detailed. One of the best things to do if you are a culture and astronomy enthusiast is to head to this planetarium where you will get an insight into the Inca astronomy and star-gazing. You are going to find this planetarium close to Sacsayhuaman and it offers mind-blowing views of the stars from the high elevation of Cusco.
Wander around Sacsayhuaman
This is an ancient Inca site which is just a 45-minute walk from the center of the city. The trek to this site will surely worth your time as you will enjoy both mesmerizing views of Cusco and also lovely stonework. The site was a religious site and also the spot where Inca forces and the Spanish conquistadors fought. The best way to explore the area is by hiring a guide or buy a city tour that includes the site to get an insight into the history of the area. You are also going to catch a glimpse of the Cristo Blanco which is an enormous statue of Christ that stands above the city.
Explore San Pedro Market
This market is a sight to behold and a great destination to go for food lovers. The market is dotted by fruit, meat, and vegetable stands and also juice stalls that you can explore. The products in the market are displayed in open-air which means that you can get the freshest items early in the morning. The market also hosts varieties of empanada and tamale vendors and also food stalls that serve two-course meals during lunch.
Go sightseeing at San Blas District
This is the artisan neighborhood of San Blas and it is popularly known for its quaint shops and architecture. You can explore the Inca road Hatunrumiyoc where you will find ruins of the past with majestic cobblestoned construction which passes through the neighborhood. You are also going to find small boutique shops and galleries that dot the streets which makes it a perfect destination to buy souvenirs while in Cusco. Some of the places to visit here are Iglesia San Blas, restaurants, and homey shops to explore.