The Ultimate 5 day Cusco Itinerary
Are you travelling to Peru any time soon, or are you planning a trip to Peru?
In this blog, we have designed The Ultimate 5 day Cusco Itinerary for you, allowing you to experience the stunning city to the fullest. From here, you can continue your trip in Peru to explore more regions, like Lima, Puno, Arequipa or travel to Bolivia.
What to do in Cusco?
Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu, has it all: culture and history, nature and archaeological sites, adventure tours, restaurants, cafés and shops. There are some very nice backpacker hostels and beautiful luxurious hotels that are ideal for spending a few nights and enjoy this amazing city. In this article, The Ultimate 5 day Cusco Itinerary, you will find the information you need to plan the perfect trip that sticks to your budget.
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N.b. We have similar itineraries for Lima, Arequipa, Puno, and other parts of Peru.
Day 1: Acclimatize, Relax and Discover!
Upon arrival to Cusco, you shouldn´t underestimate the effect of the high altitude in Cusco on your body, that can lead to altitude sickness or soroche. If you are not accustomed to high altitudes, you should definitely take it easy on your first day. This will also give you the opportunity to explore the city of Cusco!
Tips for Day One in Cusco:
- Have a relaxing lunch or dinner and drink lots of coca tea! Click here to see a list of great local, organic restaurants and cafes in Cusco!
- Visit some Museums in Cusco and experience Peru´s culture and history! Visit the Inca Museum, where you can look at a real mummy, or take a tour in the Chocolate Museum and learn how to make your very own chocolates.
- Explore the local Peruvian markets of the city: Cusco has a couple of nice local markets such as the San Pedro market. You might want to do some shopping here, or just have a look around and admire all the Peruvian fruits and vegetables.
Go to bed early on your first day in Cusco. You will need your energy for the upcoming days of sightseeing, so rest is important.
Day 2: Explore the Cusco monuments & the surroundings!
Now that you explored the city a bit yesterday we recommend the Cusco City Tour for today! This classical tour of Cusco will detail the city´s impressive history, churches, plazas and ancient ruins, Sacsayhuamán, Q´enqo and Tambomachay. You will be amazed at the amazing Inca structures! The Cusco city tour is cheap and gives you the opportunity to see all the highlights in one afternoon. The beautiful Cathedral of Cusco as well as the Temple of the Sun, Kkorikancha in Quechua.
Tip: you do need the Boleto Turistico for this half-a-day tour.
As the City Tour takes place during the afternoon, we recommend some Shopping in the San Blas area during the morning, and/or a nice cup of coffee overlooking the Plaza de Armas of Cusco from one of the balconies.
|Tip: make sure you plan your trip to Peru ahead and bring an appropriate Travel Kit to Peru. This will allow you to maximize your time in Peru, a country with much to offer! December and January are busy tourist months in Cusco, so don’t wait too long to start planning.|
Day 3: Discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas
The Sacred Valley of the Incas provides the perfect opportunity to get out of the city. This valley was densely populated by the Incas, showing their ancient ruins and terraces, which you can explore in a half day or full day tours. Explore the great circular terraces near Moray, visit the great Salt Mines, experience the ruins in Ollantaytambo or explore the traditional markets in Pisac. The Sacred Valley is just full of history and culture.
Tip 1: Travelers do need Boleto Turistico for this one day tour.
Tip 2: if you follow our suggestion of Day 4, you might as well decide to take an overnight in the Sacred Valley in order to avoid moving back and forward to and from Cusco. However, you can also take the tour of day 4 from Cusco. There are many different accommodation options in Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.
Day 4: You didn´t forget about Machu Picchu, did you?
Peru is famous for the ancient World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu! There are a variety of possibilities to reach Machu Picchu. Doing a 4 or 5 day trek such as the Inca Trail is a popular route to Machu Picchu.
However, the fastest way is to take the bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and then the train to Machu Picchu, with beautiful scenery along the way. You will arrive in the little town of Aguas Calientes, where you can take the bus up to Machu Picchu. If you want to get back to Cusco on the same day, you should take the train back in the late afternoon.
Avoid the hassle of booking all the separate tickets and transportation. Dos Manos Peru offers complete train tours to Machu Picchu that include the transfers, the train ticket, the bus ticket, the guided tour, Machu Picchu entrance ticket. There are one and two day train tours to Machu Picchu, departing and/or ending from both Cusco and Ollantaytambo.
Day 5: Ready for some adventure on the last day?
Your last day in Cusco! Ready for some adventure? Cusco and the surrounding countryside are perfect for diving into nature and doing some awesome adventure tours in Peru. Whether you are a fan of extreme sports or more relaxing adventures, this list of outdoor tours has an activity for you! The activities include a painting tour in the Sacred Valley, mountain-biking, horseback riding, Ziplining, ATV tours, and rock climbing.
If you prefer a more relaxing end to your Cusco trip, Cristo Blanco, the big white statue above the city, is a great option! Spend some time in the green meadows above Cusco, enjoy the great view of the city, eat a traditional Peruvian lunch and enjoy the sunset at Limbo Restaurant.
Whatever you choose for these 5 days in Cusco, it is impossible to miss out on the interesting culture, beautiful nature and captivating history of this beautiful city!
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You will be surprised by our super amazing offer for those 5 days in Cusco!*