Best Areas to Stay in Cusco, Peru

Americas, Cusco, Peru  /   /  By bestdistricts

Where to stay in Cusco – A guide to the Inca capital

Cusco, often spelled Cuzco, is a Peruvian city located in a splendid Andean valley, right in the basin of the Huatanay River, in the southeast of the country.

Cusco is considered the “historical capital of Peru”.

With an average annual temperature of around 13°C (55°F), this Peruvian city has a typical Andean climate. Cusco enjoys two seasons, a wet one from November to March and a dry one from April to October.

Cusco is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in South America, its colonial character, Inca ruins, spectacular natural landscapes and its proximity to the lost city of Machu Picchu make it one of the tourist gems of Peru and one of the most visited cities of the continent.

Among the main points of interest for those who visit Cusco are its cathedral and historic center, full of convents, colonial houses and small and splendid spots, pre-Columbian ruins such as Coricancha and Sacsayhuamán and the views from its many viewpoints.

As it couldn’t be otherwise, Cusco is also the starting point of many tours to visit Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Cusco is the best base from which to explore these iconic places, either with an organized tour or on your own.

Cusco is a compact city, very easy to walk, so it is not too necessary to use urban transport to move around its beautiful historic center. The places farthest from the center are connected by buses. To visit the surroundings, it is advisable to hire private transport and/or an authorized tour guide.

Choosing where to stay in Cusco is not so complicated considering its compact size. The Historical Center should be the first option for all visitors to the city. (See accommodation in Centro Histórico).

This is a guide with the best areas to stay in Cusco, Peru.

The best areas to stay in Cusco, Perú

Our recommended area: Centro Histórico

The Old Town (Centro Histórico) is the best area to stay in Cusco.

Touring the historic center of Cuzco means walking the urban layout designed by the very Incas. It is walking next to colonial buildings built on the foundations of ancient Inca royal palaces. Centro Histórico is a mixture of two architectural styles that make Cusco a unique place in the world.

Its heart, Plaza de Armas, occupies the same space as the old Imperial Inca square. Here, the main imperial palaces and temples once stood. Now it is dominated by the Cathedral, the Church of the Company and several large colonial houses.

The enormous Cathedral of the city is located in what once was the Inca Viracocha’s Royal Palace. The Jesuit church of the Compañía de Jesús, also built on an Inca royal palace, is a colonial church, considered the most beautiful in Cuzco.

The downtown area of Cusco also includes Coricancha and the Santo Domingo church. Coricancha was the main Inca temple, a temple dedicated to Inti (the supreme god – the sun). It is a masterpiece of Inca architecture. With the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, a Catholic temple (Iglesia de Santo Domingo) was built on its place.

The barrio of San Blas is a bohemian neighborhood with narrow streets and beautiful small squares.

The Historic Center is without a doubt the most recommended area to stay in Cusco if you want to experience its enormous historical heritage and, at the same time, be close to all the attractions of the city.

Where to stay in Cusco - Centro Histórico

Where to stay in Cusco – Centro Histórico

Recommended area to stay in Cusco, Peru - Centro Histórico

Recommended area to stay in Cusco, Peru – Centro Histórico

Accommodation in Centro Histórico - Cuzco - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Centro Histórico – Cuzco – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why we love this area for a stay in Cusco

  • Pedestrian-friendly
  • Inca ruins
  • Heart of the city
  • Close to all attractions
  • Plaza de Armas
  • Great food scene

Accommodation in this area

Top Choice

Tambo Arriero Hotel Boutique

This charming colonial-style boutique hotel is located in the Nueva Alta neighborhood, just 5 blocks from Cusco’s main square. It offers spacious rooms and free Wi-Fi.

from US$79
Budget

Casa de Mama Cusco Recoleta

Casa de Mama Cusco-Recoleta offers private rooms with cable TV, a solarium and free Wi-Fi. It is a 5-minute walk from the central Cuzco Plaza de Armas.

from US$27
Luxurious

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

This hotel features stunning interior decor with exposed old bricks, vaulted ceilings and elegantly designed furniture. Cusco Cathedral and the main square are only 3 blocks away.

from US$199

 

 

 

Around Sacsayhuamán Fortress

Located on a hill northwest of downtown Cuzco city is the impressive Sacsayhuaman fortress.

Sacsayhuaman is one of the most amazing buildings in the world.

It is one of the most mysterious places on the planet due to the reasonable doubts about the complex’s real age and its construction process.

The stones that make up its walls are so well fitted that you couldn’t fit a pin between them… all this without using any type of mortar to hold them together.

The area around Sacsayhuaman is high above the city of Cuzco, and from here you can catch incredible views over the Historic Center.

It is a very touristy area, here it is not strange to see typical cholas (indigenous young women) dressed in traditional costume dragging along their alpacas.

Where to stay in Cuzco - Sacsayhuamán

Where to stay in Cuzco – Sacsayhuamán

Accommodation around Sacsayhuamán - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation around Sacsayhuamán – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why we love this area for a stay in Cusco

  • Sacsayhuamán Fortess
  • All kinds of accommodation
  • Cusco city views

Accommodation in this area

Top Choice

Hostal Qolqampata

Hostal Qolqampata in Cuzco has a barbecue area and terrace with panoramic views of the city. It is 300 meters from Sacsayhuaman archaeological site.

from US$48
Budget

Soncco Wasi

Offering views of the mountains, Soncco Wasi is located in Cusco’s downtown district, 300 meters from the Inka Museum and 400 meters from the Sagrada Familia Church. There is free WiFi.

from US$27
Luxurious

Palacio Manco Capac

The Manco Capac Palace offers accommodation in Cusco, in a beautiful colonial establishment with a restaurant. Includes free WiFi. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning.

from US$119

 

 

 

Around Cusco Airport

Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport is the second busiest airport in Peru, behind Lima Airport.

This airport is located in the District of Wanchac-San Sebastián, about 3.7 km (2 miles) east of downtown Cusco.

A secondary hub for Latam Airlines, this air terminal receives flights from most main cities in Peru and also some international flights.

Cusco Airport is the main link between the world and the ruins of the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Near the airport is a good area to stay in Cusco as this district has cheap hotels and budget accommodation while not being that far from the city center.

It is a recommended area to stay in Cusco especially for travelers who need to be near the airport, especially if they have an early flight.

Aeropuerto Internacional de Cusco - Where to stay in Cusco, Perú

Aeropuerto Internacional de Cusco – Where to stay in Cusco, Perú

Accommodation around aeropuerto de Cuzco - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation around aeropuerto de Cuzco – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why we love this area for a stay in Cusco

  • Cheapest hotels in Cusco
  • Near the airport
  • Relatively central

Accommodation in this area

Top Choice

Wayta Inn

Located in Cusco, 3.6 km from the central bus station, Wayta Inn offers accommodation, free WiFi, a restaurant and a terrace. The property houses a restaurant. Free private parking on site.

from US$48
Budget

Hostal Alameda

Hostal Alameda offers free Wi-Fi and is just 5 minutes’ drive from the airport. Offers accommodation in Cusco. All rooms have a private bathroom with free toiletries.

from US$17
Luxurious

Wayqey Hotel

This property is located in the Cusco region, 1.5 km from the central bus station and 5 minutes by car from the airport and the city center. Free Wi-Fi is available.

from US$73

 

 

 

Read in Spanish.

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