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Cusco-The mountain capital of the Incas

Staying in Cusco will be a memory that will stay with you. This town, situated high in the Andes, has Incan roots entwined with influences of Spanish architecture. The centre is a UNESCO world heritage site with a long and dramatic history.

  • Incan historical sites

  • Architecture, museums & markets

  • Heart of the Andes

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It is thought that 13 Incan Emperors ruled here from the 12th to 15th century until their devastating defeat by the Spanish in 1533. Incan walls thread through this town, due to their construction they weren’t destroyed by the Earthquake of 1650, unlike most of the Spanish architecture which had to be rebuilt.

We recommend you spend several days exploring Cusco, leaving time to acclimatise to the high altitude.  From your hotel room gaze over the layers of orange tiled roofs, have a cup of coca tea and listen to the sounds of the town below.  See the Quechua women sitting outside, wearing vibrant layered skirts, stovepipe hats, with their hair tied into a long plait.

What Places In Cusco Should I Visit?

A great place to start your exploration is the Plaza de Armas.  Sit on a bench and admire your surroundings. Observe Spanish style architecture and arches lining the square with the renaissance style La Cathedral standing over la plaza.  Take a look at Marcos Zapata’s painting of the last supper which has a supper of roasted guinea pig (cuy) and corn drink, a very Peruvian meal!  You will see two flags flying proudly here, the red & white of Peru & the rainbow flag of the Incas.

Head to Coricancha/ the church of San Domingo.  This site was considered the holiest Incan site; each wall was thought to be covered in gold.    All the gold was stripped by the Spanish and the stone was used to build the church of Saint Domingo upon the ancient Incan temple base.  Museo Inka is another worthwhile stop.  It includes artifacts from pre-Incan times, mummies, ceramics, textiles and gold.

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Wander to the bohemian San Blas District. 

This is the traditional, older quarter of Cusco where you will find Incan stone walls and colonial houses.  Artisans thrive here, browse the art galleries and see weavers, craft shops and cafes lining the narrow streets.  I even had a pair of cowboy boots made here! Enjoy a Peruvian coffee and lunch, photograph Iglesia de San Blas, the oldest church in Cusco, built in 1563. Leave room in your suitcase as Mercardo central de San Pedro needs to be perused.  Drink a freshly squeezed fruit juice here.

In the afternoon catch a taxi just outside of Cusco to the Incan site of Sacsayhuaman, a prime example of military architecture.    Walk between these three zigzag terraces with their perfectly aligned stones. Amazing vistas of Cusco from here.

Start your Cusco holiday today. From a Peru escorted tour to a self guided holiday. Have a Peruvian adventure!

Where should I stay in Cusco?

Here are a few of our favourites...

1. Palacio del Inka

This colonial mansion is striking...courtyards, balconies & ceramics.  It's located in the beating heart of Cusco's historic centre, only 5 minutes from Plaza de Armas.  After a day wandering around Cusco relax in the hydrotherapy pool & sauna-or hit the gym!

2. Inkaterra La Casona

This former home of a Spanish conquistador has been carefully refurbished to create a hotel with the wow factor. It's a real fusion of Andean textiles and Spanish wooden furniture.

Enjoy an evening cocktail in the peaceful courtyard or dine out on the terrace.  Inkaterra La Casona is perfect for couples.


We can tailor make a Peru Holiday to suit you. Below is an example...


Enjoy spending time & experiences with a small group of travellers as you unearth the wonders of the Incas and one of South America’s most stunning countries, Peru!

Start the tour in Lima, the capital of Peru. Then fly to Cusco, nestled high in the Andes and the centre of the Inca civilisation. Explore this magical mountain city, then travel to Lake Titicaca. Enjoy a boat trip to several islands before crossing the Peruvian altiplano.  Be amazed by volcanoes, canyons and wildlife! 

Finally end your holiday in the shimmering 'white city' of Arequipa, where most of the buildings are made from a white volcanic stone.

What’s included?

  • International Return Flights (to Lima)
  • 11 nights B&B hotel accommodation
  • Guided Tours of the Sacred Valley, Lima, Arequipa and Cusco
  • A boat trip on Lake Titicaca
  • Entrance fees and trips to Machu Picchu and the fortress of Ollantaytambo
  • Domestic flights
  • All transfers (air-conditioned coach)
  • Tour manager
  • 4 lunches, 11 breakfasts.

Guideline Price: £2400pp


Day 1: Overnight flight to Lima from the UK

Day 2: Arrive in Lima, spend the day at your leisure.  I’d recommend visiting the pre-Incan shrine of Huaca Pucllana found in the middle of the Milaflores area. Discover a seven-tiered ancient pyramid, constructed of millions of clay bricks.

Day 3: Explore Lima on a city guided tour.

Day 4-5: The Sacred Valley

Fly to Cusco and travel to the mystical Sacred Valley.  See the famous fortress of Ollantaytambo and colourful Quechua markets.

Day 6: Machu Picchu

Travel by train to Aguas Calientes, the small gateway town to unforgettable Machu Picchu.  Catch a bus up the zig-zagging road, high in the Andes to this impressive ancient lost city of the Incas.

Your guide will describe the layout of Machu Picchu and the importance of buildings such as the Temple of the Sun.  You will never forget this experience!

Head back to Cusco for your hotel stay.

Day 7: Cusco

On the guided tour you will get the chance to admire some of the Cusco’s most important landmarks!

Day 8: Journey to Puno

Awake early for the long coach journey across the vast Andean plains to Puno.  I loved this journey.  If you would prefer a shorter journey, for a supplement we can book tickets on the Titicaca train.  Spend the next two nights in Puno.

Day 9: Lake Titicaca

This is the highest navigable lake on Earth.  Enjoy a boat trip, visiting the floating reed islands and Taquile.  A fascinating place!

Day 10: Across the Aguada Blanca National Reserve

Board the coach early and voyage west from Titicaca, heading towards scenic landscape of the Aguada Blanca National Reserve.  You’ll drive past herds of vicunas and alpaca and see Inca farming terraces that are still worked today. Enjoy lunch and a visit a natural hot spring.  Spend the evening in the small town of Chivay, your gateway to the stunning Colca Canyon.

Day 11: Colca Canyon

Journey to the Cruz del Condor viewpoint.  Hopefully you will spot an enormous condor soaring on the thermals in the canyon. 

Enjoy a short guided hike into the impressive canyon.

Continue through ancient villages of Pinchollo (pre-Inca terraces), Maca and Yanque (beautiful church).

Arrive in Arequipa, nestled below snow-capped volcanoes.

Day 12: Arequipa

Enjoy a guided tour of Arequipa, with its stunning colonial architecture and impressive cathedral.  Visit the monastery of Santa Catalina, a small town in itself!

In the afternoon head to Arequipa airport for a flight back to Lima.  Spend your last night there.

Day 13: Fly back to UK

Day 14: Arrive in UK

**This is a guideline price and is subject to change

Enquiry Call Back

Peruvian Sol, but also take US dollars

Flight Time

15 hours from the UK


Spanish & Quechua

Time Difference

-5 Hours GMT

When To Visit

We recommend visiting between April to November

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