Cusco is a cool city in the Peruvian Andes. It has a lot of history, culture, and beautiful nature. You can visit Ollantaytambo and the Inca Trail from there. The landscapes around the city are amazing and perfect for hiking. If you have three days, you can have an awesome time on the Inca Trail and see the ancient ruins of Ollantaytambo. When you arrive at Cusco airport, take a taxi to your hotel in Ollantaytambo.
The air is fresh and the mountains look great. Remember that Cusco is really high up, so take it easy on your first day to get used to the altitude before going to Aguas Calientes. Altitude sickness can happen to anyone, so it’s important to acclimate properly and eat healthy food during your climb. Drink lots of water and avoid heavy meals at the hotel. Take your time to adjust for a few days.
Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of chances later to explore the plaza, find a nice place to stay, and enjoy your hotel. Now that you’re ready, let’s see what you can do in Cusco for the next three days. You can visit Incan ruins, go to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, and relax at a cozy hotel in the main plaza.
Planning Your Cusco Adventure
There are a few key factors to consider. From the best time to visit and transportation tips to safety measures, staying in town and taking these aspects into account will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Additionally, it’s important to note that the cost of accommodation may double during peak season, with prices often exceeding USD.
Best Time to Visit
The timing of your visit to Cusco can greatly impact your experience in the town. If you stay with us, you can enjoy our comfortable rooms starting at just USD double. The dry season, which runs from May to September, is generally considered the best time to stay in town. The rates for accommodations can double during this period, with prices starting at USD double.
During your stay in town, you can expect pleasant weather with clear skies and cooler temperatures. The cost for accommodation may double to around USD double during this period. It’s an ideal time to stay in our town and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and exploring the ancient ruins. Our rates start at just USD double.
On the other hand, it’s advisable to avoid staying in town during the rainy season from October to April, as it can be quite challenging. Additionally, prices for accommodations may increase, with some hotels charging up to USD for a night’s stay. During your stay in town, be prepared for frequent rainfall, which can make hiking trails muddy and slippery.
Don’t forget that the cost of accommodations may double during this period. However, if you’re interested in experiencing traditional festivals and cultural events in our town, staying with us during this time might be worth considering. Our rates start at just USD double. Festivals like Inti Raymi offer a unique opportunity to stay in Peru and witness colorful parades and traditional performances, all for just USD. Immerse yourself in Peruvian culture and make the most of your stay.
Getting around Cusco is relatively easy with various transportation options available. Whether you choose to stay in a hotel or hostel, there are plenty of ways to navigate the city. In fact, the cost of transportation is quite affordable, with prices starting as low as USD double digits. Taxis are a convenient mode of transport within the city, providing a quick way to reach different attractions or navigate through narrow streets in the historic center.
Whether you’re here for a short stay or planning to double your time, taxis in the city will ensure a smooth and efficient journey. Plus, with fares starting at just USD, taxis are an affordable option for getting around. Make sure to negotiate the fare before getting into the taxi or use reputable taxi services recommended by your accommodation to stay safe and avoid paying double the fare in USD.
For those planning to stay in Machu Picchu, booking train tickets in advance is highly recommended. This will ensure that you secure your spot and avoid any last-minute hassles. Additionally, by booking early, you can take advantage of special offers and deals, allowing you to save money on your trip. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to double your savings and make the most of your visit to Machu Picchu.
The train journey from Cusco or Ollantaytambo offers a comfortable and hassle-free ride, allowing you to stay in awe of the breathtaking views of the Andean landscape. With prices starting at USD double, this journey is a must-do for any traveler. There are different train options available depending on your budget and preferences. Whether you have a limited budget or are willing to spend more, there are train options that cater to both. You can find train tickets starting as low as USD 10, or you can opt for luxury trains that offer a double the comfort and amenities for a higher price.
To make the most of your trip and gain insights into local culture and history, hiring a local guide or joining a tour group can be beneficial. Additionally, it is important to consider the budget and plan accordingly, as expenses may be in USD. They not only provide transportation but also offer valuable knowledge and guidance throughout your journey, all for a reasonable price in USD.
A knowledgeable guide can enhance your experience by sharing interesting stories, historical facts, and lesser-known details about the sites you visit. They can also provide valuable insights about the local culture and traditions. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins or vibrant city streets, a guide can ensure that you make the most of your time and USD.
While Cusco is generally a safe destination for travelers, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure a trouble-free trip in terms of USD. Like in any tourist hotspot, pickpocketing can be a concern, especially in crowded areas or around popular tourist sites.
It is important to be cautious and keep an eye on your belongings, especially your wallet with valuable usd currency. Keep an eye on your belongings and consider using a money belt or keeping valuables securely stored in order to protect your valuables while traveling and ensure the safety of your USD.
Day One – Exploring Historic Cusco
Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, is a city filled with history, culture, breathtaking architecture, and vibrant USD. If you have three days to explore this enchanting destination, here are some must-visit places and experiences for your first day in Cusco.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture, or simply enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, Cusco has something for everyone. And the best part? You can do it all without breaking the bank, as most attractions and activities are affordable, with prices ranging from 10 to 50 USD. So grab your camera and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Cusco.
Historic Center Highlights
Start your exploration by visiting the heart of Cusco’s historic center – Plaza de Armas. While you’re there, don’t forget to exchange your currency to usd. This bustling square is surrounded by beautiful colonial architecture and exudes a vibrant atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll around the plaza, admiring the grandeur of buildings such as the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin and Iglesia del Triunfo.
Aside from its architectural beauty, Plaza de Armas also offers an array of shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks to discover. Immerse yourself in the local culture as you browse through artisanal crafts or sample delicious street food from nearby vendors.
Cathedrals and Churches
Continue your journey into Cusco’s rich religious heritage by visiting two iconic landmarks – Cusco Cathedral and Santo Domingo Church. Marvel at their stunning architecture that showcases a blend of Spanish colonial design with indigenous influences.
Step inside Cusco Cathedral to witness its grandeur firsthand. Admire intricate woodwork, religious artifacts, and impressive altarpieces. The cathedral is also home to valuable artworks from renowned artists like Marcos Zapata.
A visit to Santo Domingo Church will take you on a fascinating journey through history. This church was built on top of Coricancha Temple, one of the most important Inca temples dedicated to Inti (the Sun God). Explore this unique fusion of Inca stonework and Spanish Baroque architecture while learning about the religious significance it holds for both cultures.
Museums and Galleries
To delve deeper into Cusco’s captivating past, make sure to visit Museo Inka and Museo de Arte Precolombino. These museums offer a glimpse into the rich heritage of the Inca civilization and the pre-Columbian cultures that thrived in this region.
At Museo Inka, you’ll find a vast collection of artifacts, including ceramics, textiles, and gold and silver pieces. Learn about the daily life, rituals, and achievements of the Incas as you explore the exhibits.
Museo de Arte Precolombino focuses on showcasing ancient artwork from various pre-Columbian civilizations.
Day Two – Venturing Beyond Cusco
After exploring the historic sites of Cusco on your first day, it’s time to venture beyond the city and discover more of what the region has to offer. On day two of your visit to Cusco, immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of the surrounding areas with a Sacred Valley excursion and a journey to Machu Picchu.
Sacred Valley Excursion
Embark on a day trip to the Sacred Valley, a picturesque region filled with ancient ruins, traditional villages, and breathtaking landscapes. Start by visiting Pisac, where you can explore its vibrant market and impressive Inca ruins. Wander through stalls selling colorful textiles, handmade crafts, and fresh produce. Don’t forget to bargain with friendly vendors for unique souvenirs.
From Pisac, continue your journey to Ollantaytambo. This charming town is home to well-preserved Inca terraces and a fortress that offers panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Take your time strolling through the narrow streets lined with Inca walls and soak in the atmosphere of this living Inca village.
As you travel between Pisac and Ollantaytambo, be prepared for awe-inspiring views of the Sacred Valley. The lush green valleys, winding rivers, and snow-capped peaks create a stunning backdrop that will leave you in awe.
If you have some free time in Cusco before or after your Sacred Valley excursion, make sure to visit the local markets for an authentic experience. San Pedro Market is a bustling hub where locals gather to buy fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, and more. Explore its vibrant aisles filled with colorful fruits, aromatic spices, Andean textiles, and unique souvenirs.
Another market worth exploring is Mercado Central. Here you’ll find a wide variety of local products ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to meats, cheeses, and traditional Andean snacks. Indulge in street food like anticuchos (grilled skewers) or try a refreshing fruit juice made from exotic fruits.
Engage with the friendly vendors and practice your bargaining skills to get the best deals. These markets offer a glimpse into the daily life of the locals and provide an opportunity to support small businesses.
Machu Picchu Journey
No visit to Cusco is complete without a trip to Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Day Three – Immersive Experiences
On your third day in Cusco, get ready for immersive experiences that will deepen your connection with the culture and natural beauty of this incredible city.
Embark on a rewarding hike to Rainbow Mountain, where you’ll be greeted by breathtaking natural beauty. The vibrant colors of the mountain will leave you in awe as you make your way along the trail. It’s a challenging hike, but the stunning views at the top are well worth it.
If you’re up for an unforgettable journey, trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This iconic trail offers a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of ancient civilizations. As you hike through lush landscapes and explore ancient ruins, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the history and ingenuity of the Inca people.
For those seeking lesser-known trails, consider hiking to Laguna Humantay or Choquequirao. These hidden gems offer a more off-the-beaten-path experience while still showcasing the natural wonders of Peru. Immerse yourself in nature as you traverse these trails and discover their hidden treasures.
If you’re craving an adrenaline rush, hop on an ATV and explore the outskirts of Cusco. Ride through scenic landscapes, rural communities, and off-the-beaten-path trails. Feel the wind in your hair as you navigate through rugged terrain and experience the freedom and excitement that comes with this thrilling adventure.
Local Life and Traditions
To truly immerse yourself in Peruvian culture, engage with locals to learn about their customs, traditions, and daily life. Interact with community members who are eager to share their stories with visitors. Participate in traditional ceremonies or festivals where you can witness firsthand how these rituals have been passed down through generations.
Visiting local communities is another great way to support sustainable tourism initiatives while gaining insight into the local way of life. Learn about their traditional crafts, taste authentic cuisine, and experience the warmth and hospitality of the Peruvian people.
Photography with Locals
Capture memorable moments by taking photos with friendly locals. Not only will you have a unique memento of your time in Cusco, but you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about their stories, traditions, and unique attire. Remember to always ask for permission before taking pictures and respect their privacy.
Culinary Delights of Cusco
Cusco is not only known for its rich history and stunning landscapes but also for its vibrant culinary scene. From rooftop restaurants with panoramic views to cozy colonial courtyards, there are plenty of dining experiences that will leave you satisfied and wanting more.
There are options to suit every taste and occasion. For a truly memorable experience, head to one of the many rooftop restaurants that offer breathtaking views of the city’s historic center. Imagine enjoying a delicious meal while overlooking the ancient ruins and cobblestone streets below.
If you’re looking for a romantic ambiance, seek out candlelit dinners in cozy colonial courtyards. These intimate settings provide the perfect backdrop for a special evening with your loved ones. The combination of delicious food and an enchanting atmosphere creates an unforgettable experience.
For those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture, themed dining experiences are a must-try. These unique establishments showcase traditional music and dance performances while serving up mouthwatering Peruvian cuisine. It’s like having dinner and a show all in one place!
No visit to Cusco would be complete without sampling some of the local delicacies. Start by trying chicha morada, a refreshing purple corn drink that is popular among locals and visitors alike. Its vibrant color and sweet flavor make it a delightful beverage to enjoy on a warm day.
Another must-try is pisco sour, Peru’s national cocktail made from pisco (a grape brandy), lime juice, simple syrup, egg white, and bitters. This tangy yet smooth drink is perfect for sipping as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cusco.
Cusco has no shortage of delectable options. Treat yourself to picarones, sweet potato fritters drizzled with syrup, or indulge in suspiro limeño, a creamy caramel dessert that will melt in your mouth. These traditional treats are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the local markets for unique snacks and dishes. One popular delicacy is roasted cuy, or fried guinea pig. While it may sound unusual to some, it is a traditional Andean dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Health and Comfort in High Altitudes
Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can be a common concern for travelers visiting high-altitude destinations like Cusco. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience during your 3-day stay, it’s essential to take certain measures to manage altitude sickness and prioritize your health.
Altitude Sickness Management
When you first arrive in Cusco, it’s important to allow your body time to adjust to the high altitude. Take it easy on your first day and avoid strenuous activities. This will give your body the opportunity to acclimate gradually and reduce the risk of experiencing symptoms such as headaches, nausea, or fatigue.
Staying hydrated is crucial at high altitudes. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. Avoid alcohol consumption as it can contribute to dehydration and worsen altitude sickness symptoms. Consider chewing coca leaves or drinking coca tea, which are traditional remedies believed to alleviate altitude sickness symptoms.
Carrying a water bottle with you at all times is essential when exploring Cusco. The high altitude can cause increased fluid loss through respiration and sweating, so staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining your well-being. Drinking electrolyte-rich beverages can help replenish minerals lost due to sweating.
While enjoying the local cuisine might include indulging in delicious coffee or other caffeinated beverages, it’s important not to consume excessive amounts of caffeine at high altitudes. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and may contribute to dehydration. Opt for herbal teas or decaffeinated options instead.
Remember that everyone reacts differently to high altitudes, so listen to your body and take breaks when needed during your activities in Cusco. If you start experiencing severe symptoms of altitude sickness such as persistent headaches or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
In addition to managing altitude sickness, it’s also important to prioritize your overall comfort. Dressing in layers can help you adapt to the fluctuating temperatures often experienced in high-altitude regions. Wearing a hat and applying sunscreen can protect you from the strong UV rays at higher elevations.
Remember that taking care of your health is essential for making the most out of your trip and exploring all the wonders this incredible destination has to offer.
Where to Stay in Cusco
When planning a trip to Cusco, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay. The right accommodation can greatly enhance your experience and make your visit more enjoyable. Here are some factors to consider when choosing where to stay in Cusco for three days.
Cusco offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, boutique hostels, or budget guesthouses, you’ll find something that fits your needs. Luxury hotels provide top-notch amenities and services, ensuring a comfortable stay during your time in Cusco. Boutique hostels offer a unique and stylish atmosphere with shared facilities, ideal for socializing with fellow travelers. Budget guesthouses provide affordable options without compromising on comfort.
When choosing accommodation in Cusco, it’s worth considering staying in the historic center. This area is not only charming but also conveniently located near many attractions. By staying in the historic center, you’ll have easy access to popular sites such as Plaza de Armas, San Blas neighborhood, and the Cathedral of Santo Domingo.
Another important consideration when selecting accommodations is the altitude of Cusco. As it sits at an elevation of over 11,000 feet (3,400 meters), some visitors may experience symptoms of altitude sickness. To mitigate any discomfort caused by high altitudes, look for accommodations that offer oxygen supplementation. These establishments provide additional oxygen tanks or systems in their rooms to help guests acclimate more comfortably.
Proximity to Attractions
To make the most of your three-day visit to Cusco, it’s essential to choose accommodations that are conveniently located near the main attractions. Staying centrally will minimize travel time between sites and allow you to maximize your exploration time.
Consider accommodations near Plaza de Armas—the main square in Cusco—as it serves as a hub for restaurants, shops, and cultural activities. By staying in this area, you’ll have easy access to the vibrant atmosphere of Cusco’s city center. You can explore the local markets, indulge in delicious Peruvian cuisine, and immerse yourself in the city’s rich history.
If you prefer a quieter environment and want to be closer to ancient ruins, consider staying in the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley offers stunning landscapes and is home to famous Inca sites such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Cusco is not only known for its historical sites and natural beauty but also for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment options. Whether you’re a party animal or someone who enjoys cultural shows, Cusco has something to offer for everyone.
Bars and Clubs
If you’re looking to experience the energetic nightlife of Cusco, head over to the bars and clubs around Plaza de Armas. This bustling area is filled with lively establishments where you can dance the night away and mingle with locals as well as fellow travelers. The youthful vibe of these venues creates an exciting atmosphere that will keep you entertained until the early hours of the morning.
As you step into one of the bars or clubs, you’ll be greeted by pulsating music, colorful lights, and an enthusiastic crowd ready to have a good time. Enjoy live music performances ranging from traditional Andean tunes to modern beats that will get your feet moving. Sip on delicious cocktails crafted by skilled bartenders who know how to mix up a perfect drink. Engage in conversations with friendly locals and share stories with fellow adventurers from around the world.
For those seeking a more cultural experience, Cusco offers a variety of shows that showcase Peruvian folklore and traditions. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this ancient city through traditional dance performances featuring vibrant costumes, rhythmic music, and intricate choreography.
Attending a theater production is another great way to explore Cusco’s cultural scene. Local artists and musicians come together to put on captivating performances that depict stories from Peruvian history or present contemporary themes. These shows provide insight into the artistic talent present in Cusco while offering an entertaining evening for all.
One popular show in Cusco is “Qosqo Native Art Center,” where talented performers bring ancient Incan rituals to life through music, dance, and storytelling. The stunning visuals combined with the passionate performances create a memorable experience that will leave you in awe of Cusco’s cultural beauty.
In addition to traditional dance and theater shows, Cusco also hosts various festivals throughout the year. These events celebrate local traditions and provide an opportunity to witness the city’s vibrant culture firsthand. From colorful parades to lively music performances, these festivals offer a glimpse into the heart and soul of Cusco.
Whether you choose to explore the buzzing nightlife or immerse yourself in cultural shows, Cusco has plenty of options to keep you entertained during your visit.
Extending Your Journey
If you find yourself with more than three days to spare in Cusco, consider extending your stay to explore even more attractions and nearby towns. There is plenty to see and do beyond the main highlights of the city.
One option is to visit the Maras Salt Mines, located about an hour away from Cusco. This unique site features thousands of salt pans that have been used since Inca times. Take a guided tour and learn about the traditional methods of salt extraction while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Another interesting archaeological site to visit is Moray. These circular terraces were once used by the Incas for agricultural experiments. The temperature difference between each level creates microclimates that allowed them to grow different crops. Explore this fascinating site and marvel at the ingenuity of ancient civilizations.
For those seeking an adventure, consider embarking on the famous Inca Trail. This multi-day trek takes you through stunning landscapes, including lush forests, mountain passes, and ancient ruins along the way. Reach Machu Picchu on foot just like the Incas did centuries ago and experience a truly unforgettable journey.
If you’re looking to explore more of Peru beyond Cusco, consider combining your trip with a visit to other destinations such as Lima or Arequipa. Lima, Peru’s capital city, offers a vibrant culinary scene, colonial architecture, and world-class museums. Arequipa is known for its beautiful historic center made of white volcanic stone and serves as a gateway to Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world.
While Cusco itself is home to impressive Inca ruins like Sacsayhuaman and Qorikancha, there are also lesser-known sites worth exploring in the surrounding area.
One such hidden gem is Tipon, located about 30 kilometers from Cusco. This archaeological site showcases impressive terraces, fountains, and irrigation channels built by the Incas. Wander through the well-preserved ruins and imagine what life was like during the Inca Empire.
Raqchi is another lesser-known Inca site that is worth a visit. Located about 120 kilometers from Cusco, this archaeological complex features the Temple of Wiracocha, one of the largest Inca buildings ever constructed. Admire the intricate stone masonry and learn about the religious significance of this ancient temple.
Cusco Exclusive Activities
In conclusion, my three-day adventure in Cusco was nothing short of magical. From exploring the historic sites to venturing beyond the city and immersing myself in unique experiences, every moment was filled with awe and wonder. The culinary delights of Cusco tantalized my taste buds, while the comfortable accommodations and tips for dealing with high altitudes ensured a pleasant stay. The vibrant nightlife and entertainment options added an extra layer of excitement to my trip.
As I reflect on my time in Cusco, I am reminded of the rich history and culture that this city has to offer. The Inca ruins, colorful markets, and warm hospitality of the locals truly made this journey unforgettable. If you’re looking for a destination that combines adventure, history, and gastronomy, Cusco should be at the top of your list.
So why wait? Start planning your own Cusco adventure today and immerse yourself in the magic that awaits you in this enchanting city.
What are some must-visit places in Cusco?
Cusco offers a plethora of amazing attractions. Don’t miss out on exploring the historic sites like Sacsayhuaman and Qorikancha, or venturing beyond to visit the mesmerizing Sacred Valley and the iconic Machu Picchu.
How can I prepare for high altitudes in Cusco?
To combat altitude sickness, stay hydrated, take it easy upon arrival, and allow your body to acclimate slowly. Coca tea is a popular local remedy that might help too. Remember to consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication.
Where should I stay in Cusco?
Cusco has accommodations for every budget. For a central location close to the main attractions, consider staying in the Historic Center or San Blas neighborhood. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere, explore options in the San Cristobal or Santa Ana areas.
What are some unique culinary experiences in Cusco?
Indulge in traditional Peruvian dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado, and cuy (guinea pig). For an immersive experience, try attending a cooking class where you can learn how to prepare these delectable dishes yourself.
Can I extend my trip from Cusco to other destinations?
Absolutely! Extend your journey by visiting nearby destinations like the breathtaking Rainbow Mountain or the vibrant city of Arequipa with its stunning Colca Canyon. There is so much more to explore beyond Cusco’s boundaries.