It was the capital of the Inca Empire. It is the base camp and the starting point for all excursions to Machu Picchu. At an altitude of 3,400 m, in the Andes of Peru, Cusco is a destination known for its archaeological remains, but also for its Hispanic colonial architecture. On the Place d'Armes is the magnificent Baroque cathedral, built in the mid-seventeenth century on the palace of the Inca Wiracocha. Also essential is the Compañía church, built by the Jesuits on the former Inca Huayna Capac palace, decorated with Métis art. Also worth seeing is the Coricancha, which was the most sacred temple of the Inca Empire, dedicated to the sun and richly decorated with gold, silver and precious stones. It is said that 4,000 priests lived there. The building was destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors. There are still some original walls, made of large interlocking blocks of stone, in the style of the Incas. On the outskirts of the city, several archaeological sites are worth a visit. Remember to bring your tour guide. You should also visit the Larco de Lima Pre-Columbian Art Museum.

What to visit Cusco?

When to go to Cusco?

When to go to Peru? On the heights of the Andes Cordillera, and particularly in Cusco, the very high tourist season extends from mid-June to the end of August: it is then the best time to visit Machu Picchu and other Inca sites (dry and sunny weather) but there are many people and often the queue for example to go by shuttle to the Machu Picchu site. The best period would therefore be from mid-April to mid-June when the entire Sacred Valley is green and there are fewer visitors. In Peru, there are more than 3,000 traditional festivals; although most of them have been Christianized, the fact remains that pre-Columbian influences are still alive. The only celebration that attracts thousands of foreign travellers, and therefore requires you to book your accommodation well in advance, is the Inti Raymi celebration on June 24 in Cusco. Holy Week and the dates around July 28 and 29, national holiday, are often in high demand.

How to go to Cusco? Our advice & tips

  • Organised trips
  • Going alone
  • Moving around

Tour operators specialized in this region of South America are numerous and know the destination well. By looking at the existing offer you will most certainly find the formula that suits you best, both in terms of travel time, preferred areas and prices. The packages combining flights, accommodation and visits to the main Peruvian sites (Machu Picchu, Cusco, Titicaca) are generally interesting and above all greatly facilitate the organisation of the stay.

Discover our selection of travel agencies for this destination

You will arrive from Europe to Lima airport, so you will need to plan a transfer to Cusco, either by bus or by plane to Cusco airport. The average price of a flight to Lima from France in July (high season) is about €1,000. From about 700 € in low season. It should be noted that the price variation depends on the company borrowed but, above all, on the time required to book. To obtain attractive rates, it is essential to do so in advance, ideally six months before departure! Booking your accommodation in advance can also be a good way to save money.

If you have little time, the poor state of the roads and buses will push you to opt for air travel, as fares are very affordable to connect the main points of the country. Otherwise, you will take the bus, the most common, cheapest and convenient means of transport. The country is criss-crossed in all directions by these public transport systems. A beautiful train trip (Lima-Huancayo) can be made (twice a month between April and November) while the boat will be your essential vehicle in the Amazon: ferries connect Yurimaguas and the Triple Border (Peru-Brazil-Colombia) in 3 to 5 days depending on the direction of the current.

Prepare for your trip Cusco

Transportation
  • Book a ferry
  • Car Rental
  • Taxi
Accommodations
  • Find a hotel
  • Holiday rental
Stays
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

Pictures Cusco

Discover Cusco

Practical information
When to travel?

When to go to Peru? On the heights of the Andes Cordillera, and particularly in Cusco, the very high tourist season e...
Read more about it

Weather forecast

The weather in Peru is pleasant all year round. There are no intermediate seasons; summer and winter cover different...
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Budget

The currency of Peru is the nuevo sol (plural soles) symbolized S/. Even if life has increased c...
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Formalities

For a trip to Peru and a stay in Cusco no visa is required. A 90-day tourist visa will be automatically issued to you...
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Health

To enter Peru and stay in Cusco, no specific vaccine is required if you are coming from Europe, North America, Oceani...
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How to travel by yourself?

You will arrive from Europe to Lima airport, so you will need to plan a transfer to Cusco, either by bus or by plane...
Read more about it

How to get organized?

Tour operators specialized in this region of South America are numerous and know the destination well. By looking at...
Read more about it

Getting around

If you have little time, the poor state of the roads and buses will push you to opt for air travel, as fares are very...
Read more about it