The Best Areas to Stay in Cusco, Peru
The Best Areas to Stay in Cusco, Peru

Best Areas to Stay in Cusco, Peru

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

1. 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 is this a recommended area to stay in Cusco:

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

2. 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 is this a recommended area to stay in Cusco:

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

3. 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 is this a recommended area to stay in Cusco:

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

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|ES|Dónde alojarse en Cuzco, Perú.