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.