Kuoda’s Top Tips For Visiting Cusco on a Luxury Peru Tour in 2023

Kuoda’s Top Tips For Visiting Cusco on a Luxury Peru Tour in 2023

The gateway city to the Peruvian Andes, Cusco, Peru is a fascinating and culturally rich destination that offers a range of experiences for travelers looking to explore ancient Inca ruins, embark on epic adventures, indulge in gourmet cuisine, and experience the distinct culture of the highlands. Cusco may be the gateway to an even greater luxury Peru tour, but rest assured the city itself will be one of the highlights of your luxury Peru tour.

At Kuoda, we’re Cusqueños, locals to the city of Cusco, and can ensure you’ll feel right at home in our birthplace, and while on your luxury Peru tour, with a tailor-made itinerary crafted by one of our local travel experts, who is entirely dedicated to ensuring you have a seamless, comfortable and unforgettable vacation to Peru. Find our most recommended tips for visiting Cusco on a luxury Peru tour this year, and reach out to us today to get specialized recommendations, itineraries, and travel planning with Kuoda for your trip to Peru. 

1. Choose the best time for your interests

Choose the best time for your interests

Inti Raymi Festival is celebrated in June. A tradition full of color, rituals and a lot of history in the city of the Incas.

The best time of year to visit Cusco, Peru depends on your travel preferences and what activities you want to do while you are there. Cusco has a subtropical highland climate, with two distinct seasons: a dry season (May to October) and a wet season (November to April). Here are some factors to consider when deciding when to visit Cusco:

– Weather: The dry season is generally the best time to visit Cusco because the weather is mild and dry, with sunny days and cool nights. The wet season can bring heavy rainfall and occasional flooding, which can impact travel and outdoor activities.

– Crowds: The high tourist season in Cusco coincides with the dry season, especially from June to August. If you prefer to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons, April to May and September to November, when you’ll be sharing the space with fewer visitors, but still experiencing beautiful weather.

– Festivals: Cusco has many festivals throughout the year, including the Inti Raymi festival in June, during Inti Raymi, people in Cusco dress in traditional costumes, participate in colorful processions, and perform ancient rituals at various sacred sites throughout the city to honor the Inca sun god.

2. Stay in a boutique property

Stay in a boutique property, source Palacio del Inka

Palacio del Inca Hotel, a Luxury-Collection Hotel, is a five-century-old mansion that was built upon parts of the Qorikancha Temple.

Cusco offers a number of boutique luxury accommodations for travelers seeking a unique and personalized experience. These hotels typically feature smaller, more intimate settings and a high level of attention to detail, with each room individually designed and decorated. Many of the city’s hotels are housed in beautifully restored colonial buildings and offer stunning views of the city and surrounding Andean mountains.  Though there are a plethora of properties to choose from, we’ve included some of our favorites below: 

– Inkaterra La Casona
Exploring the Peruvian Andes in high luxury style and in the most sustainable way is more attainable than ever before with a stay at Inkaterra La Casona, Cusco’s first boutique hotel built in the 16th Century – which is leading the way for sustainable travel in Peru. La Casona has just 11 carefully designed suites, which keeps the space intimate Each suite is complete with heavy carved wooden doors, a stone fireplace, heated floors, and an extra large bathtub for travelers to soak and relax in.

– Palacio Del Inka

Considered a historic landmark, Palacio del Inka is a five-centuries-old mansion located in the heart of downtown Cusco. The luxury hotel’s unique & captivating design embraces historical aspects of our Peruvian culture while maintaining world-class luxury and modern conveniences. Indulge in a delectable meal at Inti Raymi, the hotel’s on-site restaurant serving an array of epicurean cuisine, or enjoy a selection of wines curated by their Master Sommelier. Harmonize your body and soul with a signature treatment or massage at the hotel’s luxurious Andes Spirit Spa.

– Casa Cartagena
Casa Cartagena is a luxury hotel in Cusco, located in the heart of the city. The building has been recognized by UNESCO as a protected site. An intimate refuge consisting of only sixteen ample and homely suites which combine to perfection modern and ancient, luxurious and historical. The carefully crafted 12 exclusive suites provide privacy and luxury to guests. Guests can also enjoy an on-site restaurant and a gourmet breakfast buffet before exploring Cusco and the surrounding areas each morning.

– Hotel Aranwa
The elegant five-star Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is housed in a converted 16th-century mansion, located just 2 blocks from Plaza de Armas, adjacent to Plaza San Francisco. Featuring colonial gold leaf-plated carvings and sculptures and colonial furnishings on the inside, the exterior is just as outstanding, with one of the best-preserved facades in Cusco. There is also a wellness spa with a variety of treatments, from massages and saunas to steam rooms and hair salons. All this in very easy reach of all the main attractions of Cusco.

3. Travel In Style

Travel In Style, source Belmond Hiram Bingham

The Hiram Bingham train is a luxury train that connects Machu Picchu and Cusco, operated by Peru Rail offering first class services.

You’ve made it to Peru! Now it’s time to sit back, relax and travel through this incredibly magical part of the world in absolute style and comfort – on a luxury train through the most breathtaking region of the Andes Mountains.

The Hiram Bingham train is a luxury train that operates between Cusco and Machu Picchu, offering a unique and luxurious way to experience the stunning scenery of the Andes. Named after the American explorer who rediscovered Machu Picchu in 1911, the train is operated by PeruRail and offers a range of amenities including an observation car, a bar car, and a dining car serving gourmet meals.

The journey takes approximately three and a half hours, passing through breathtaking mountain landscapes and offering panoramic views of the Urubamba River. The train stops at a number of scenic viewpoints, allowing passengers to disembark and take in the stunning vistas before continuing on to Machu Picchu. The Hiram Bingham train offers a truly unforgettable and luxurious way to experience the beauty and grandeur of the Andes and is a must-do for those seeking a unique and indulgent Machu Picchu experience.

4. Immerse yourself in Andean culture

Immerse yourself in Andean culture

Visit archaeological sites like Sacsayhuaman and witness the origins of our living Inca culture.

Andean culture in Cusco is a rich blend of ancient Inca traditions and Spanish colonial influences, expressed through colorful festivals, traditional handicrafts, and a deep connection to the land and natural world.

Experiencing Andean culture is a highlight of any visit to Cusco. Visit a local market such as San Pedro Market and Pisac Market to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of traditional Andean cuisine and handicrafts or attend traditional festivals such as Inti Raymi, Qoyllur Riti, or Corpus Christi, where you can witness ancient Inca rituals and celebrations. Take a tour of ancient Inca ruins such as Machu Picchu, Sacsayhuaman, and Ollantaytambo to learn about the history and architecture of the Inca civilization.

For a more immersive experience, participate in a traditional Andean ceremony such as a despacho offering or coca leaf reading to gain insight into Andean spiritual practices or take a weaving or pottery workshop to learn traditional Andean handicraft techniques from local artisans.

5. Shop for artisan goods

Shop for artisan goods

Support local communities and artisans by purchasing their authentic looms, a meaningful souvenir to take home.

Artisan goods are an integral part of the cultural heritage of Cusco. From textiles and pottery to silver jewelry and wood carvings, the city is renowned for its rich tradition of handmade crafts. These goods are often made using techniques passed down through generations and reflect the unique artistic style of the Andean region.

Local artisans take great pride in their work, and visitors to Cusco can find a wide range of beautiful and high-quality handicrafts in markets and shops throughout the city. Buying artisan goods in Cusco not only supports the local economy and preserves cultural heritage but also provides an opportunity for cultural exchange and a deeper understanding of Andean culture and traditions. Visitors can engage with local artisans, learn about the creative process, and bring home meaningful and authentic souvenirs that serve as a lasting reminder of their time in Cusco.

6. Enjoy once in a lifetime activities

Enjoy once in a lifetime activities

Take a walk over the Peruvian Andes and be surprised with every step you take in the Valley of the Incas.

From helicopter rides over the Andes, to a hot air balloon floating over the Sacred Valley to private cooking classes with celebrity award-winning Peruvian chefs, Cusco is a destination that offers a vast array of once in a lifetime activities that you won’t want to miss. Kuoda hand-selects each of these bucket list adventures and experiences to ensure they are of the highest standard. Be prepared to be “wowed” at every step of the way on your luxury Peru tour, and have an Andean experience unlike any other.

7. Use Cusco as a gateway city

Use Cusco as a gateway city

Immerse yourself in the labyrinth within the lost city of the Incas.

Cusco is considered the gateway city to the rest of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu due to its central location and its status as a major transportation hub. From Cusco, visitors can easily access the many ancient Inca ruins, traditional Andean villages, and stunning natural landscapes that make up the Sacred Valley.

This includes popular destinations such as Ollantaytambo, Pisac, and Chinchero, which Kuoda can arrange for you to visit via a private tour from Cusco. Visiting Machu Picchu is a must when in the region, and the train departs from Cusco and offers several options, including the luxurious Hiram Bingham train.

Book your tour with the people who know the city best

You’re planning on visiting one of the most memorable and breathtaking destinations in the world – so you want to do it right! If you’re seeking a high-end and personalized experience, let the team at Kuoda create custom itineraries and personalized experiences for you. With a focus on luxury accommodations, private tours, and exclusive experiences, Kuoda guarantees personalization and attention to detail offered by a team of travel experts, who work closely with clients to create a tailor-made itinerary that meets their specific needs and preferences.

We’re locals in Cusco, and our tours often include exclusive access to some of Cusco’s top attractions, such as private tours of Machu Picchu and visits to remote Andean villages. We partner with some of the best luxury hotels and lodges in the region, providing clients with access to world-class amenities, gourmet dining options, and exceptional service. Experience a truly indulgent and unforgettable luxury tour to Peru and enjoy personalization, exclusivity, and exceptional service every step of the way on your journey with Kuoda. Send us a message today, and get started planning the trip of a lifetime, with Kuoda.

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