Where To Stay In Cusco: San Pedro
Comprising the streets west of Plaza San Francisco , the San Pedro neighbourhood is close to the main historic centre but feels more authentically Cusqueñan than many of the other neighbourhoods on this list.
Whatll youll quickly notice is how its faced far less gentrification for the tourists than the historic centre or the hipster San Blas.
San Pedros best-known landmark is the Mercado San Pedro, a colourful, noisy and downright Peruvian market.
Theres nothing quite like wandering through the cavernous hall between stores packed with everything you never realised you needed and chowing down on dishes of hearty local favourites such as empanadas or chairo and painfully sweet milkshakes.
Like the Plaza de Armas and downtown area, San Pedro is mostly flat and lodgings are also cheaper in this part of Cusco, making this a great option if you want to close to the action but dont want to blow your budget.
Some parts are a little sketchier than areas closer to the main square, so check with the staff at your hotel or hostel about whether its safe to walk home at night or whether taking a taxi is a better option.
Recover From A Cusco Trek With A Spa Treatment:
I can basically promise you that youre going to want some sort of spa treatment after any kind of trekking in Cusco. Not only are most treks generally tough, the altitude it what really will get you. After both Rainbow Mountain and the Lares Trek, I indulged in a hot stone massage at Relaxing Time Massage and a Thermal Circuit treatment at Palacio Del Inka Spa. For more information about spa treatments in Cusco, check out my recent post, How to Recover From a Cusco Trek.
Historic Centre Where To Stay In Cusco For First Time Visitors
The citys historic center holds within it many of the most noticeable landmarks and neighborhoods. As the name suggests it is very much a historic sight and not a residential area. A tourist hotspot in every sense of the word.
3S is the main motorway that winds through the city from East to West. It also hugs the edges of the historical center so travelers have easy access to taxis to and from the airport. Once there, you are a mere stones throw away from the most significant tourist attractions in the area.
The Plaza De Armas and the Church of Santo Domingo are two of the most recognizable beacons in the city, Spanish colonial-style buildings. This area is also served by Wanchaq Train Station at the southern end of the neighborhood, so its well connected with other parts of the city.
Here you will find with original Inca walls and the Twelve-Angled Stone, Qoricancha temple the Inca Sun Temple, and San Pedro market.
Theres also a bunch of museums for you to learn more about histories such as the Inca Museum, the Quechua and the Regional Historical Museum of Cusco, Casa Concha Museum, the Museum of Sacred Plants, and the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.
There is a multitude of quaint curio- and clothing shops selling Andean jewelry, alpaca wool items, and other souvenirs. Historic hotels in this area give visitors the unique opportunity to get a peek into life from centuries gone by, all accompanied by modern amenities curated for comfort and style.
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Casona La Recoleta Apartment Style Hotel
An apartment style hotel that is tucked away on Recoleta Street . This place offers a flat walk to the Plaza de Armas ! This is a family style apartment hotel which offers value for money. Rooms are small and decorated in Cusco style, the gardens natural and relaxing! Check here for full property details and current rates.
Cure Your Altitude Sickness With Mr Soup:
It is recommended to keep your diet light and stick to soup during your first few days in Cusco. Soup can typically get a little boring, but I was begging for more after our first visit to Mr. Soup. So good in fact that I went back a second timeI rarely do that when I travel, as there is just so much to experience through food, but it was that good.
The Criolla is a house speciality made with beef, pasta, onion garlic, tomato, egg, oregano and milk that is to die for. I know it doesnt sound particularly light, in fact it was like the soup form of pasta carbonara, but I urge you to try it!!! I wonder if they deliver to Bogota
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Casa Arcoiris Iii Amazing Views Of The Historical Center Airbnb Plus
San Cristobal Cusco· 8 guests · 3 bedrooms · 5 beds · 3.5 baths · ·
If you are traveling with your family or friends this amazing home is the perfect solution for a modern stylish place fully equipped with all the necessary amenities including fully stocked kitchen, washer and WIFI. At only few steps from the center.
Find out more Cusco Airbnb rentals the coolest homes I have selected for you.
Iquitos One Of The Most Unique Places To Stay In Peru
Whilst many people forget that Peru is home to a section of the Amazon rainforest, it is one of the biggest parts of the country! Loreto is the Amazonian section of Peru, and Iquitos is its capital. Iquitos is the largest city on earth that doesnt have a road connection.
This lack of immediate connection makes it a popular destination for those wanting to escape life for a little bit. There are roads within the city itself, and it has a surprisingly colourful nightlife scene. Iquitos is a real melting pot of cultures.
So if you cant drive in how do you get there? Most visitors opt to arrive by plane from Lima or Cusco but there is also a boat that sails down the Amazon! This takes you onwards to Colombia or Brazil where you can explore deeper into the rainforest.
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Safety Tips For Cusco
Cusco is considered a safe town. Thousands of tourists visit each year and keep way too many local families in business for them to want any reputation of crime.
The most common type of crime is pick-pocketing and theft of personal items such as cameras or phones. This being said you should always be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings on your front where you can see them rather than on your back. Particularly on buses keep your backpack on your lap! Do not store it under or overhead, these get snatched often in South America.
As further precautions I would suggest using any safes provided by your Cusco accommodation, being cautious when using taxis late at night, and probably leaving any expensive jewellery at home. I would also recommend using ATMs that are located in banks or vestibules rather than on the street.
Keep your wits about you, use your common sense and you will be just fine.
San Blas Coolest Place To Stay In Cusco
A short quick walk up the hill from the plaza is the barrio of San Blas. Rapidly gaining attention as the coolest place to live, work and play in Cusco, this is also our top pick for you!
Its got a distinctly bohemian feel to the area, possibly due to being that slight bit out of the centre .
Its here youll find boutique clothes stores right alongside the cheaper alternatives so you can buy that nice, well-made alpaca wool garment for your ma, and a few less authentic items for the siblings!
Theres a great little plaza in the middle of San Blas where artisans sell their wares on Saturdays and it has stalls going throughout the week.
If you keep your eyes open, you might find some vegan-friendly treats at Govindas food stall!
Coffee fans, this ones for you! San Blas is home to a whole swag of places that can make a great cup of Peruvian coffee. For a real tour, you can visit Carmen Alto, where youll find four or five grouped together. How about a one-of-a-kind caffeine crawl to determine the greatest!?
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Sip Coffee And People Watch From A Cafe At Plaza De Armas:
Im a sucker for a good cafe, but an even bigger sucker for a cafe with great views. In the bustling Plaza De Armas , head up to one of the many balcony cafes outlining the plaza to escape the many people trying to sell you selfie sticks, tours, and tattoos
Once youre up on the balcony, with your coffee in front of you, overlooking this stunning square, its easy to tune out all of the salesmen and just take in the beauty of this place. With its dominating Cathedral, central fountain, and perfectly manicured greenery, its a place of gathering for both locals and tourists alike, and is a great place to start your day.
Santa Ana Where To Stay In Cusco On A Budget
This small area of Cusco sits between the historic centre and San Cristobal. With a high concentration of hostels in this neighborhood, its one of the best places to stay in Cusco on a budget. Plaza Santa Ana is the central hub of this neighborhood and is about a 20-minute walk from the historic centre.
Be sure to use caution in the areas of San Pedro and the train station, as they are common areas for pickpockets. Stick to well-lighted areas, and use your usual travel smarts as you would anywhere.
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Chiclayo Coolest Place To Stay In Peru
Up on the Northern Coast of Peru, Chiclayo is growing in popularity among tourists heading to the South American country. Often considered a smaller Lima, Chiclayo benefits from the great nightlife and culinary scene associated with Perus metropolitan areas without the stifling crowds. This easily makes it one of the coolest places to stay in the country!
Plazuela Elias Aguirre in particular burst with life in the evenings making this a great spot for some unique nightlife. Chiclayo provides a fascinating insight into colonial culture, with some interesting architecture in the city centre. It is also well known for its bustling markets where you can sample local ingredients.
Chiclayo is on the coast, so there are some great beach towns worth visiting nearby! It is also well connected to Cajamarca, and benefits from daily services to Lima. If you can, aim to spend at least three days here to truly soak up the unique atmosphere.
Siete Y Siete Cafeteria
Remember those charming cafes I was talking about above in the San Blas barrio? Well heres one of them. You will not get to Siete y Siete without breaking a sweat though, as you have to climb up a small hill to arrive here. However the view, and the food, is totally worth it.
At Siete y Siete you can find very reasonably priced salads, soups, sandwiches, smoothies and desserts. One of the benefits of trekking up the hill and away from the tourist spots at the Plaza de Armas is you will get better value here. This cafe has a more local feel, lower prices, and while you may not get much English it is a very well run place.
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Have An Authentic Cultural Experience On The Lares Trek:
I love to hike, but it was also really important to me to get a proper cultural experience in Peru. Thank goodness Amanda of Ayni Peru told me about the Lares Trek, which combines a lot of both over 4 days. Its the perfect mix between adventure, beautiful landscapes, and an inside look at authentic Peruvian life.
From eating freshly prepared home-cooked meals with Andean Mountain families, dressing in traditional clothing of the region, and playing with local school children in the remote Chaywacocha village, it was such an authentic cultural experience.
From trekking multiple summits, exploring an un-trekked part of the Inca Trail, and taking in sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and alpacas grazing, it was also adventurous and full of the great outdoors as well. If youre looking for a balance of the two, the Lares Trek is the way to go. For more photos and more information about my experience on the Lares Trek, check out my post What to Expect On the 4D/3N Lares Trek With Ayni Peru.
Where To Stay In Cusco: Santa Ana
The streets lying northeast of the historic centre make up the Santa Ana neighbourhood, another of Cuscos inclined barrios although the hills arent quite as steep here as those in San Blas.
When I first arrived in Cusco, I stayed in a hostel in Santa Ana and was impressed by its central location. Its highly accessible to the restaurants and bars in the centre, but is still quiet enough for sleeping at night.
The cobbled streets of Santa Ana, a traditional neighbourhood in Cusco
Youll find plenty of affordable guesthouses, hostels and other lodgings located here, many located directly off the gently climbing Cuesta de Santa Ana, the main road that cuts through the neighbourhood.
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Lima Where To Stay In Peru On A Budget
Lima is the nations capital and with over 8.5 million people by far the largest city in the country. If youre arriving by plane theres a good chance you will land here, so why not take a few days to get to know the Peruvian capital? Despite its size, it isnt the most touristy city so prices are very much reasonable in the area.
Lima is a large and eclectic city! There are some great destinations on the coast, but if you head towards Miraflores you will find some of the best culinary destinations in the world. You can eat well for much less in this city than you would spend for basic meals in North America or Europe.
As the capital, Lima is well connected to all of the major destinations in Peru. It is located right in the centre of the coast, so journey times are pretty much the same wherever you are heading towards. Lima has an abundance of museums and art galleries in the city centre, providing a great overview of the country.
Hotel Monasterio San Pedro
This affordable hotel is yet another fusion of old and new. The hotel circles around a courtyard that resembles the nearby Plaza de Armes. The modern structure is interrupted by a towering ancient building made of stone.
Many of the hotels interior walls are made of this warm stone to give the bar and restaurant a rustic feel. The rooms feature stark contrasts. Peruvian red comforters stand out against bright white walls, wood paneling and stone accents.
The grass and stone courtyard is especially beautiful at sunrise, and youre only a 10-minute walk to the Plaza de Armas which is a popular hangout spot for locals.
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Lucrepata Best Neighborhood In Cusco For Families
Right next to San Blas and only a short walk from Plaza de Armas is Lucrepata.
This is a relatively unknown area of town, at least to the tourists.
Weve picked it as the best neighbourhood in Cusco for families as it is right next to the main centre, without being in it. And the transport links are great!
Its a five-minute walk from Wanchaq Station, while the main bus station is right on the southern edge of the neighbourhood.
Lucrepata is also home to a bunch of tour agencies, ready to help you book a day trip for the family.
Rainbow Mountain yep, a mountain coloured like a rainbow is a good one, and youll need a tour as its three hours drive away. Worth it for that view and those photos though!
Lucrepata is a residential area, home to a lot of expat families, so you and your young ones will feel safe and secure, whatever time you need to leave the house. Youre also a little way away from the rowdy bars and clubs that go until the wee hours in Plaza de Armas and San Blas, so youll have a better nights sleep as well!
Cusco Peru Best Places To Stay
This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. I just completed a two-week stay in Cusco, Peru. I hadnt been to Cusco since 2009 and I was amazed at how different it was. Better food, better accommodations, better tours, and better nightlife.
Since I had been to Cusco before I knew I wanted to be within 5 to 10 blocks of Plaza de Armas. You see, I like to be able to walk out my front door and be somewhere interesting. I dont want to have to take a taxi to enjoy my immediate surroundings.
Here are my suggestions of where to stay in Cusco. I will start with cheap recommendations and get more expensive so everyone finds what they need. If you book any of my recommendations, you will pay nothing extra, but they will pay me a small commission. This will help me to keep traveling and keep sharing what I learn. Thank you in advance.
Backpacker Recommendation : This hostel is well reviewed and is in a great location. At Hostel Kokopelli Cusco guests will find a 24-hour front desk, a garden, and a bar. A shared lounge, a games room, and a tour desk are also available.
Moderate Hotel : On the day I was searching for cheap hotels, this one was crazy cheap for such a great location. Rooms are decorated with wooden furniture and wooden floors giving a cozy atmosphere. They are all fitted with a heating system, and private bathrooms have hot showers.
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