With all the beautiful places around the world to explore, travelers really have to put some time and consideration into which places have the most to offer. South America has always been a popular destination for a myriad of travelers looking for culture, history, architecture, handicrafts, and breathtaking scenery. One of the most popular Peruvian destinations, Cusco, has been steadily gaining in popularity over the years.
Not only is the city of Cusco built on layers of fascinating history, it features a charming combination of cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, stunning cathedrals, ancient stone walls, and scrumptious restaurants featuring local and cultural cuisine. When it comes to things to do in Peru Cusco, there really is something for everyone:
Plaza de Armas and the Plaza Regocijo
People watching in the Plaza de Armas and the Plaza Regocijo is one of the city’s most fascinating and simple activities. Travellers enjoy sitting back with a cup of fine Peruvian coffee, taking in the sunshine, and observing the culture of the city at play.
The main attractions of the Cusco Cathedral, strolling down the narrow cobblestone lanes laid out by Incan hands, and exploring the Qorikancha Temple never disappoint. Visitors also love experiencing the epic zigzagging stone walls of Sacsayhuaman.
Museums and markets
The museums and markets of Cusco are a category all of their own. Those wanting to take in the history and culture of the city have numerous museums to choose from including the Machu Picchu Museum, the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, and the Center for Traditional Textiles which feature a stunning display of local textiles available to view and purchase.
Some of the most highly-recommended markets to take in are the San Pedro Market (largest around), San Blas Market, and the Centro Artesanal Cusco, a truly unique indoor-market experience.
Exploring the countryside
Once you’ve explored some of what the city of Cusco has to offer, it’s time to expose yourself to the beauty of its surrounding countryside. The Moray Circular Terraces, the Maras salt pans, and the Sacred Valley which includes the Pisac Ruins and the Ollantaytambo fortress all come highly recommended.
Macchu Pichu cannot be overlooked. Not only is it awe-inspiringly beautiful, it happens to be one of the most important archaeological sites in the entire world. The site represents the Incan Empire in the pinnacle of its power. The citadel also represents an engineering and architectural feat as the cut stone is fit together so tightly, without mortar, and has stood the test of time and the crumbling of an ancient empire. Surrounded by the Urubamba River 2,000 feet below, the ruins of Macchu Picchu have a way of making visitors feel empowered by history and the strength of an ancient empire.
Taste the food
In addition to the culture, history, architecture, and stunning scenic beauty, there is most certainly something to be said for the culinary portion of a trip to Cusco. The tastebuds won’t be disappointed with the vast array of tantalizing Peruvian restaurants featuring classic ethnic dishes such as Pachapapa and Nuna Raymi.