CUSCO & MACHU PICCHU

The popular Inca capital and the intriguing ruins that surround it are a highlight of Peru.

The Incas used to refer to Cusco in their Quechua language as ‘Qosco’ – meaning the ‘Navel of the World’ – and to this day it sits in the heart of an astounding collection of historical Inca sites. It is possible to visit many of these ruins nearby, the jewel of the crown being Machu Picchu. After a long day exploring, or completing the 4 day hike known as the Inca Trail, Cusco is a welcome sight for many travellers as its cobbled streets are lined with gourmet restaurants, shops and markets selling local handicrafts and boutique hotels with spa facilities. Be sure to visit the many museums here which house impressive pre-Columbian artifacts, or for a fun spin on history, stop by the Pisco museum. There are other interesting activities too – white water rafting on the Urubamba river for example, or making your very own Andean chocolate during a class. There is a popular star gazing excursion, and if you are looking to buy llama or alpaca wool goods – this is the place to do so. Any tailor made trip to Peru should include a visit to this ancient city. Machu Picchu is accessible by bus, train or a 4-day hike. This ancient site looms impressively from the lush green cloud forest and is often shrouded in an atmospheric mist. Admire the precise stone craft that the Incas excelled in and keep an eye out for the friendly llamas that roam this famous landmark. Walking here via the original, or ‘Classic’, Inca Trail is still a firm favourite, although it also possible to hike along other routes include the Salkantay Trek and Lares Trek, all of which are traditionally completed by camping at different locations during the route. Today there are also options allowing visitors to trek between cosy lodges and start or end the trek at luxury hotels, making this all-weather hike much more comfortable.

READ OUR ULTIMATE ‘HOW TO’ GUIDE FOR WALKING THE INCA TRAIL

 

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WHERE TO STAY

Our favourite luxury hotels

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Cusco

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

The Belmond Palacio Nazarenas Hotel is one of the most exclusive hotels in the city of Cusco. Featuring stunning contemporary design mixed with antique furnishings, this hotel is a world leader in cutting edge design.

Hotel Belmond Monasterio Cusco

Belmond Monasterio

A timeless classic that dates back to 1592, this hotel is simply stunning. Combining centuries-old charm with sheer luxury, this hotel will delight guests. Situated in the heart of the glittering Incan capital, this historic hotel blends in with the area perfectly.

Libertador Lux Palacio del Inka

Libertador Luxury Collection Palacio del Inka

Dating back almost 5 centuries, the Palacio del Inka stands in the historic centre of Cusco. Just a short 5 minute walk from the main square, and surrounded by shops, markets and restaurants, this hotel is in a fabulous position.

Salkantay Lodge to Lodge Inca Trail

Now, it is possible to enjoy this ‘bucket list’ activity in relative luxury – staying at small lodges and hotels en route, perfect for the hiker who enjoys some home comforts after a day in the mountains.

Cusco Marriott

Cusco Marriott

Built atop ancient Incan ruins and situated around a 16th-century convent, this JW Marriott property is a veritable museum in the historic city of Cusco. Stylishly decorated, the 153 luxury guest rooms and suites feature amenities like sumptuous marble bathrooms, breath-taking courtyard views, and plush bedding.

El Retablo

El Retablo is a two storey, 17 room art B&B that celebrates Peruvian traditions and the rich cultural heritage of Cusco located just three blocks from the main square.

Belmond Andean Explorer luxury train, Peru

Belmond Andean Explorer Train

The first luxury sleeper train in Latin America, and offering guests an exceptional experience that the Belmond name is synonymous with, a journey on the Andean Explorer is one that won’t be forgotten.

Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

Inkaterra La Casona Cusco

Inkaterra La Casona is a colonial manor house, centrally located on an Incan settlement near Cusco’s present-day main square, later occupied by the conquistadores of Peru and their descendants. Eleven suites surround a sumptuous courtyard, where the patina of time is tastefully preserved.

Lares Adventure Lodge to Lodge Inca Trail

Now, it is possible to enjoy this ‘bucket list’ activity in relative luxury – staying at small lodges and hotels en route, perfect for the hiker who enjoys some home comforts after a day in the mountains.

El Mercado

El Mercado is located in the heart of Cusco. Featuring original and eye-catching interiors and exceptional customer service, this is a charming hotel.

Aranwa Boutique Cusco Peru

Aranwa Boutique

Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is the essence of luxury and comfort in the heart of the Inca city. Built in a colonial mansion of the XVI century, it displays several paintings of the Cuzco school, colonial sculptures and carvings that transport us to the greatness of the time.

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Machu Picchu

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel situated inside the UNESCO world heritage site of Machu Picchu, therefore offering an unrivalled location in this scenic, mountainous area. It offers its guests exceptionally easy access from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses have left.

Sumaq Machu Picchu

Sumaq Machu Picchu is a luxury 5-star hotel located close to the fabulous Machu Picchu. Recently renovated, the hotel maintains close links with the Andean culture while offering all the comforts of modern luxury.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo is set amongst lush rainforest in 12 acres of natural beauty and offers cosy and luxurious accommodation.

Libertador Lux Tambo del Inka

Libertador Tambo del Inka

Only a short distance away from Machu Picchu, the Libertador Tambo del Inka Hotel is ideally located for a holiday to Peru. Trips out to see the surrounding landscapes, ruins, towns and wildlife can easily be arranged as can adventurous activities such as mountain biking and horse riding, by the hotel concierge.

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a contemporary hotel with colonial inspiration, built in the heart of Urubamba Valley, among flowers, mountains and trees. It creates an enabling environment for mental, spiritual and physical rest. The hotel has a design inspired by the architecture of the Cusco region, with an interior design inspired by local materials.

Sol y Luna Lodge Sacred Valley Peru

Sol y Luna Lodge and Spa

Sol y Luna is an award-winning hotel, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In this naturally stunning area, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful surrounding whilst staying in luxury. Situated just 1km from the town of Urubamba, you also have the opportunity to experience authentic town life.

Belmond Rio Sagrado

Belmond Rio Sagrado

Belmond Rio Sagrado is a luxury 5-star hotel in the beautiful Sacred Valley. Located on the banks of the Urubamba river and surrounded by spectacular mountains and verdant fields this is a very special hotel.

Explora Sacred Valley

Just 2 hours from Cusco, a modern architectural masterpiece can be discovered, nestled among some of the most fascinating ancient architecture in the world.