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How to Spend THREE DAYS in Cusco, Peru: An Ideal 3-day Itinerary

How to Spend THREE DAYS in Cusco, Peru: An Ideal 3-day Itinerary

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Cusco is easily one of the best places to visit in Peru. From its Inca Empire origins to its unbelievable landscapes including the infamous Machu Picchu, Cusco will take your breath away (literally, with that high elevation!).

Originally, we planned to stay in Cusco for a few days, which quickly turned into many weeks while we volunteered in the Amazon. We love this city so much that we’ve returned multiple times and we’re never disappointed.

We’ve taken our time getting to know all the exciting things to do in Cusco, and we’re stoked to share our experiences here. Honestly, it’s my favorite city in Latin America!

So, if you’re interested in learning how to make the most of your three days in Cusco, read on!

Don’t have time to read the full article? There are lots of things to do with three days in Cusco. Some of our favorite activities include this sightseeing tour which includes a visit to Sacsayhuamán, a VIP train ride to Machu Picchu, and this half-day tour visiting local ruins. Of course, we can’t forget to mention learning how to make the famous pisco sour.

Day 1

Visit the Sacsayhuamán Fortress and Cusco City tour (morning)

The Sacsayhuamán Fortress in Cusco, Peru
This place is so cool to see, the stonework is fantastic!

One of the most impressive archeological sites located just outside of Cusco is Sacsayhuamán. This fortress was constructed in the 15th century during the reign of the Inca Emperor, Pachacuti, also known as Pachacutec.

The structure is made of limestone which was believed to be moved from areas over 12 miles (20 kilometers) away! Keep in mind that there were no tractors or cranes back then, which means these stones, often weighing over 100 tons, were moved entirely by people using basic tools like ropes and ramps.

Another challenge was keeping the stones intact. Without the use of cement or mortar, these stones were hand-carved to fit perfectly in between each other. The stones range from 6.5 feet (2 meters) to 29.5 feet (9 meters) high, so weight alone was not the only barrier.

Historians believe it took over 20,000 men to construct this fortress and around 90 years to build. Unfortunately, Sacsayhuamán was not invincible, as the Incas were overpowered by Spanish forces during a battle in 1536. The conquistadors removed some of these sacred stones and used them to create buildings in Cusco, but overall, the structure remains intact and is still in use.

The ruins are just 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from the Cusco Main Square. It’ll take about 10 minutes to travel by car, or you can walk here if you prefer. It’s also on a hillside that offers picturesque views of Cusco, so it’s definitely a great place to take some memorable photos.

You’ll need to purchase a ticket if you are traveling on your own, which costs about $20 USD. This ticket also includes admission to Qenqo, Pucapucara, and Tambomachay which are nearby ruins, so it’s a great deal. You can visit Sacsayhuamán every day, and they are open from 7 am to 5:30 pm.

One of our favorite ways to explore new areas is by going on tours. You can take this half-day sightseeing tour which includes entry to Sacsayhuamán, a visit to nearby temples, and a guided walk through the main square in Cusco where you’ll see the oldest surviving painting at Cusco Cathedral. We recommend taking the private tour at 8:30 am, that way you can enjoy the other activities we have listed on this itinerary. Private tours cost $119 USD each for 2 people and cheaper the more you book for. The price includes round-trip transportation from your Cusco hostel or hotel, an expert guide, and all entry fees and you can book your ticket right here.

Rucula Peruvian Restaurant (lunch)

Rucula Peruvian Restaurant meat dish
It’s fancy Peruvian food. @Rucula Peruvian Restaurant
Rucula Peruvian Restaurant meal with a view of Cusco
@Rucula Peruvian Restaurant

After a full morning exploring Sacsayhuamán, it’s time to enjoy lunch at Rucula Peruvian Restaurant.

It’s located close to the main square, so it’s super convenient to get to. We love this place and think it’s one of the best Peruvian restaurants in Cusco.

Rucula is a bright space with traditional art proudly displayed on the walls. They take Peruvian food seriously and use local produce to make their dishes, which are as colorful as they are delicious. On top of having some AMAZING food, everyone working there was so friendly which made our experience so enjoyable.

There are plenty of options to choose from, but we recommend the Papa Rellena to start for sure! It’s a potato stuffed with beef, eggs, and vegetables, and it is so flavorful. We got the Seafood Rice and the Strip Roast Stew which was so tender it was unreal.

There are a lot of unique items like alpaca burgers and they have vegetarian and vegan options as well, so it’s a very inclusive restaurant. One thing you don’t want to do is skip dessert. Be warned, they almost look too good to eat. But you’re going to want to eat them. We got the Cheesecake de Lucuma, and it pains me that I can’t eat it right now, that’s how amazing it was.

There is a bar with plenty of cocktails and wine choices, and their prices are extremely reasonable. Appetizers and desserts are around $8 USD and most of the main dishes are around $15 USD. You can’t beat those prices, especially given the freshness and high quality of the ingredients.

We do want to mention that there are stairs in the restaurant, so this facility is not wheelchair accessible. They do offer takeaway if you’d like to try some of their dishes though.

Rucula Peruvian Restaurant is open every day from 11 am to 10:30 pm, and we suggest making a reservation especially if you want a seat with a view.

Go shopping (afternoon)

Local handmade goods at a street stall in Cusco, Peru
We bought so much stuff in Cusco!

After you fill up on all that Peruvian deliciousness, it’s time to do some shopping. This is one of my favorite things to do in Cusco. It’s like a fun treasure hunt.

There are a lot of artisan markets and street vendors so, you can just start walking around and you’ll find something. Alpaca wool is common here, and there are sweaters, blankets, bags, and other things made out of this soft material. They make for great gifts, and I still wear the alpaca sweater that I bought here.

About a 5-minute walk from the restaurant is Plaza San Blas, where you can find some unique crafts. They usually have markets on the weekends where you can buy jewelry and hand-painted dishware. This place is so fun to people-watch too, and there are a lot of artists that create their goods right on the street, so you’re literally watching the artist make the art.

We also enjoy walking down Avenida el Sol. It’s a main street in Cusco, and one of the artisan hubs, so you’ll have no problem finding souvenirs from alpaca goods to paintings and everything in between. It’s about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) from Plaza San Blas, so you can either get your steps in or drive there.

Another thing worth noting is that it’s perfectly acceptable to haggle here. In fact, we encourage it, as long as you’re kind. It’s commonplace in most of the markets and stalls, and even some of the shops will give you a discount if you’re a good negotiator.

Most markets and shops are open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Some of the more popular ones that cater to tourists might stay open later, and occasionally you’ll find some open on Sundays, but we recommend getting your goodies during the other days of the week.

Hike up to the Cristo Blanco Statue (afternoon)

View from Cristo Blanco Statue on a beautiful day in Cusco, Peru
How nice is the view!

Once you’ve dropped off your new treasures at your accommodation, it’s time for a short hike to get to the Cristo Blanco Statue.

From the Main Square (Plaza de Armas), it’s about a 30-minute walk to get to the statue. While this isn’t an advanced hike, you will be going uphill, so we recommend bringing some water and wearing comfortable walking shoes.

The Statue of Christ stands 26 feet (8 meters) high and features outstretched arms which symbolize protection over Cusco. This piece was given in 1945 as a gift from Arab-Palestinians to show gratitude to Peru for granting them shelter during World War II.

While the statue itself is worth a visit, the other reason we recommend making the trek is because it stands on top of Pukamoqo Hill which offers outstanding views of Cusco. The statue’s placement on this hill was made in honor of the Incas. Legend claims that the Inca planted land here from the four regions of the Empire, making this hill sacred.

The best part about this place, other than the panoramic views, is that it’s completely free to visit and it’s accessible at any time. We recommend visiting at sunset though, because the statue is lit up and you can get a great view of the beautiful city below. Bring your camera because this is another photo for the books.

Go out for a Pisco Sour (night)

Two Pisco Sours on a table in Peru
I must say, we took a liking to pisco sours – maybe a little too much!

You’ve had a busy day! It’s time to wind down and enjoy Peru’s national drink – the pisco sour.

Created in Lima, Peru, the pisco sour dates back to the 1920s and is made from grape brandy (pisco). We will say the smell is strong, but the taste is incredible. Pisco itself has a very unique flavor, almost like a burnt wine, but as long as you’re getting the good-quality stuff, it should be quite smooth.

This popular drink is made with pisco, simple syrup, lime juice, egg whites, and Angostura bitters. The drink is a little tart and a little sweet, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a great way to celebrate your first day in Cusco!

If you’re interested in learning how to make this scrumptious beverage for your friends (or yourself), we highly recommend this Pisco Sour lesson which includes a tour around Cusco and dinner at a local restaurant. This tour starts at 6 pm and lasts about three hours. It costs $99 USD and you can get tickets for this night tour by clicking here.

Related Read: If you end up extending your stay in Peru, check out our Peru Travel Guide first. We’ve spent months in this beautiful country, and we’d love to pass on what we’ve learned.

Day 2

Full-day tour to Machu Picchu

bailey at Machu Picchu
You just HAVE to go to Machu Picchu!

One of the most popular things to do in Peru is visit Machu Picchu. Over 1.5 million people visit this archeological site each year, and in 2007, it was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Cusco is known as the gateway to Machu Picchu since many tourists begin their trek here. Machu Picchu is the most visited attraction in the entire country, so it makes sense that this would be included in our itinerary.

Located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Cusco, this ancient Inca city is a collection of more than 150 stone buildings that have remained largely intact for hundreds of years. Much like the Sacsayhuamán Fortress we mentioned above, these stones were hand-carved to fit perfectly together which is no small feat considering this site was constructed during the 1400s.

Many believe Machu Picchu served as a royal retreat and was used until the mid-1500s before it was abandoned. While the reason for its abandonment remains a mystery, some theories suggest there was not a viable water source to survive there. Fortunately, this precious site remained undetected during the Spanish invasion and went largely unnoticed until 1911 when it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham, a Yale professor who was led by Melchor Arteaga.

Many excavations found skeletal remains, agricultural terraces, walkways, and the southeastern formal entrance that led to the Inca Trail. The city plazas and surrounding buildings are still extremely well preserved to this day, and the entire complex stretches over 5 miles (8 km) and includes thousands of steps that link the levels together.

The site is open daily from 6 am to 5 pm, and you’ll need to bring your passport for entry. You’ll even get a cool stamp for your passport proving you made it to Machu Picchu!

Whether you’re interested in hiking Machu Picchu Mountain or just visiting on a day trip (more on this below), you have to purchase your entrance ticket well in advance. We recommend booking your ticket on Viator for $89 USD since they offer a flexible cancellation policy. You can book on the official website for slightly less, but there are no refunds if you can’t make it. Since this is a very popular place with a limited amount of daily visitors, we personally prefer to book on Viator.

Getting to Machu Picchu on a tour

Morning photo at Machu Picchu, Peru
First thing in the morning, Machu Picchu is so quiet.

While it might be close to Cusco, there are a lot of steps to get to Machu Picchu – figuratively and literally. As we mentioned above, you’ll need to pre-book your entrance ticket which often sells out weeks in advance. Since we’re operating with a limited timeframe, we highly encourage you to take a tour from Cusco to Machu Picchu and we’ll break down some of our top choices below.

1-Day Tours

Machu Picchu Day TripThis train tour is a great option for a day trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu. It includes all your transportation and site entrance fees so you can sit back and enjoy the views. You’ll be picked up from your hotel and drive about 2 hours to the railway station where you can relax for the 1.5-hour ride to get to Aguas Calientes. Once you arrive at the station, you’ll get on another bus to go up a winding path until you reach your final destination of Machu Picchu.

You’ll get plenty of time to explore this legendary site and a local guide will walk you through the ancient ruins, explaining the important landmarks and features along the way. Feel free to ask questions and explore on your own as well.

The voyager, expedition, and executive train options are all $349 USD, and the Vistadome option is $369 USD and includes a glass enclosure (including the ceiling) so you’ll get panoramic views during the entire train ride. For just $20 USD more, we think the Vistadome is the way to go. These tours start between 4 am and 8 am depending on the train ride you select, so don’t forget to set an alarm! You can purchase any of these 1-day tour options right here.

Luxury Train Tour Day Trip – If you’ve saved up for a VIP experience, then we think you’ll love this Hiram Bingham Luxury Train tour. This option includes hotel pickup and drop off followed by a quick 20-minute drive to the train station. Here you’ll receive a welcome drink (cheers!) before you board this elegant train.

On board, you’ll have three hours to enjoy this comfortable ride which includes a 3-course lunch and a wine pairing. There is an observation platform so you can enjoy the scenery during your trip and a bar car to top off your beverage.

Once you arrive at Aguas Calientes station, you’ll board a shuttle bus that is exclusively for Hiram Bingham train passengers (we told you this was fancy!). Once you get to Machu Picchu, your expert guide will walk you through Machu Picchu and explain how this ancient city was created.

Tickets cost $1,130 USD per person, so we know this isn’t an option for everyone. But, if you’ve got the means, then you might as well explore Machu Picchu in style! These tours run every day except Monday and Friday, and tickets can be purchased here.

Bailey poses for a photo with Machu Picchu, Peru

2-Day Tour

If you want to devote more time to exploring Machu Picchu then we fully support that! Just keep in mind that you’ll have to adjust this itinerary to suit your needs.

Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu 2-Day Trip – Our favorite 2-day option is this Machu Picchu train tour. This tour includes traveling to the Sacred Valley (which we’ll touch on below), a train ride from Ollantaytambo, a hotel stay at Aguas Calientes, 1 day at Macchu Picchu, and your return transport.

This is a great option for a limited agenda as it allows you to see multiple ruins, try local food, go souvenir shopping, and see a good amount of this beautiful region without having to make a bunch of different plans. You’ll also get a free breakfast at the hotel before heading to Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise. Sometimes it’s just easier if someone makes the decisions for us.

Once you reach Machu Picchu, your guide will walk you around the site and explain significant areas and their importance to the culture. Tickets cost between $479-$599 USD per person based on your hotel room and train selection (Economy or Vistadome) and this tour can be booked right here.

Getting to Machu Picchu on your own

The train the heads to Machu Picchu, Peru
All aboard!

We understand that going on a tour might not be for everyone, but we really want to emphasize that getting to Machu Picchu on your own for a day trip is EXTREMELY difficult and in our experience, not worth the stress.

The best case scenario is that you take a bus or train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, wait for a public bus to get to Machu Picchu or hike from Aguas Calientes to the entrance of the site, and hope that there isn’t a long wait time between stations. If you opt to walk instead of wait for the bus, we want to inform you that it’s a difficult, uphill trail that is not for beginners.

Keep in mind that you’ll still need to purchase tickets to get into Machu Picchu well in advance as they are not sold at the entrance, and you’ll need money to hire a local guide. Also, it’s important to book your train and bus tickets to and from Aguas Calientes ahead of time as it’s unlikely there will be anything available on the day of. To add fuel to the fire, if you wait for a public bus at Aguas Calientes, it could be hours before you can board as these lines get very long.

Normally we wouldn’t be so adamant, but this is not the place to roll the dice. Take our word for it, when it comes to Machu Picchu, it’s 100% worth it to book a tour. And since we’ve only got three days to work with, we don’t want you to show up and hope for the best.

Or (Optional Day 2)

Visit the Sacred Valley

Tambomachay Ruins in the Sacred Valley, Peru
Tambomachay Ruins in the Sacred Valley, Peru

If you’ve already been to Machu Picchu or are looking for a different day trip, we suggest going to the Sacred Valley.

Sacred Valley is located north of Cusco and is about 62 miles (100 km) long. It’s home to a handful of villages and Inca ruins and is one of the region’s top agricultural areas. The fruitful soil is one of the reasons this valley was inhabited by the Incas, along with its warmth provided by the lower elevation.

This area also offers unbelievable views so a drive here is definitely at the top of our list. Since you’ll only have a day here, we recommend joining a tour of the Sacred Valley from Cusco. There are plenty to choose from, but we recommend this full-day tour of Sacred Valley which includes visiting many local sites, transport, and a yummy buffet lunch.

You’ll get to see the longstanding art form of weaving textiles by a resident of Chinchero, learn about the Spanish invasion while exploring the ruins of Ollantaytambo, and enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. This is a beautiful area that portrays a wonderful culture with unique traditional values. Please note that there is a minimum of 2 people needed to book this tour, but it’s a small group of up to 8 people total. For just $129 USD a person, you can book this full-day tour here.

If you’d rather venture through Sacred Valley on your own, the below places are some of the best day trips from Cusco:

Pisac  

One of the small villages in the Sacred Valley is Pisac. It’s known for the Inca ruins that sit above the town and for its popular markets. The ruins contain houses, ceremonial buildings, agricultural terraces, and hand-carved structures believed to be used for religious and astronomical purposes. You can take a taxi or hike to the Pisac ruins, which will take at least 2 hours, but the views are extraordinary.

On Sundays, Pisac is the hot spot as this is when people come from all over to sell their goods at the market. You can find everything from handcrafted jewelry to original handmade textiles and artisanal pieces, and vendors come to sell their fruits and vegetables too. We recommend going earlier in the morning as the main plaza gets crowded after 10 am. If you’re not around on Sundays, there are a lot of local stores that sell these items so you’ll still have the opportunity to take home some unique souvenirs.

Moray Ruins in the Sacred Valley, Peru
Moray Ruins in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Moray Ruins 

Another interesting stop is the Moray Ruins located just outside of Moras. These man-made circular terraces were built by the Incas hundreds of years ago. Like most of these sites, the exact reason for the creation of these ruins is a mystery, but one strong theory prevails above the best.

Given the location, many historians believe these terraces were built as a farming experiment, by testing the growing patterns at alternating depths and temperatures. It’s highly believed that the Incas were using this area as an irrigation system to help promote food production.

Other than an agricultural site, many people believe this was a ceremonial place as well, given the amphitheater-like shape. Either way, all we know is that this is an impressive place to see up close, so it’s worth adding to the itinerary.

Tambomachay 

The small site of Tambomachay offers another example of important Inca culture. This impressive place was most likely a spa or bath, and it is above all, a water shrine. There are waterfalls, canal systems, and aqueducts that connect to a spring so fresh water glides through the stones consistently. It’s believed that the Incas worshipped water, so it makes sense that they would carve a place to perfectly distribute the flow of water. Talk about impressive!

Ollantaytambo 

Last but not least is a visit to the town of Ollantaytambo. This lovely town can get quite crowded as it houses a train depot for travelers going to Machu Picchu. But, it’s also a great place to shop for souvenirs, grab a bite to eat, and take some amazing photos of the surrounding Andes.

It might come as no surprise that there’s a pretty cool ancient site here as well. The ruins at Ollantaytambo include an Inca Fortress and an unfinished temple that are both worth the hike to see and since this town is the literal end of the road, we figured it’d make a fitting final stop before heading back to Cusco.

Related Read: For even more out-of-this-world Peruvian views, check out Rainbow Mountain!

Day 3

Wander the streets and see Inca Ruins (morning)

The Twelve-Angled Stone in Cusco, Peru
It blows my mind that they carved these stones so perfectly!

The amount of visitors that Cusco receives proves it’s one of the best places to visit in Peru, and a major draw to this city is the collection of ruins that are here. The placement of these ruins makes sense given that Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire, and visiting these sites helps broaden our perspective on just how crucial this area was during this time.

If you want to learn more about these ruins, we recommend going on this half-day tour. A local guide will take you to different sites and discuss the temples and rituals that were performed at each place. You will also get to visit an alpaca sanctuary to learn about the wool that is used to create local goods. This tour costs $40 USD and we recommend signing up for the 10 am option since we have more activities for your last day.

If you’d rather walk around Cusco on your own, we have a few suggestions of our favorite spots that we’ll touch on below.

Calle Loreto  

Just a three-minute walk from Plaza del Armas is Calle Loreto. You’ll only need a few minutes to walk down this narrow street but we recommend taking your time to notice the intricate walls that are made of hand-carved stones from the Incas. This is just another example of the skills this ancient civilization mastered.

Twelve-Angled Stone 

Located just 0.25 miles (400 meters) away is the impressive Twelve-Angled Stone. Aside from having 12 angles, this stone is significant because it was used to form part of a palace wall. These stones were formed so precisely that not even a piece of paper can fit between them, and their perfection has lasted centuries.

This is a popular tourist attraction so we recommend coming here earlier in the day to avoid the crowds. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your camera!

Kusicancha 

Walk another 6 minutes and you’ll arrive at Kusicancha. During the Inca rule, this was a neighborhood with courtyards and houses, most of which were destroyed during the Spanish invasion. Those that weren’t ruined were turned into colonial structures. In recent times, Kusicancha has been partially restored so people can wander around this area and get a feel for what Cusco was like during the Inca Empire.

Qorikancha Temple  

Another must-see in Cusco is Qorikancha. This place is another 5-minute walk away, and housed one of the most sacred temples of the Inca Empire, the “Temple of the Sun.” The name Qorikancha roughly translates to “walls of gold,” which is fitting since the walls and floors were covered in layers of gold and filled with treasures. Sadly, most of these treasures were sent back to the King of Spain, and Qorikancha was largely destroyed.

Like most buildings during the invasion, the Spanish built the Santo Domingo Church on top of this historical site, but the foundations of Qorikancha are still visible. This is a place worth visiting, and it’s only about $4 USD to enter. Qorikancha is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Museo de Arte Precolombino (morning)

Museo de Arte Precolombino 
Some of the clay artifacts are really detailed!

After visiting some of the ancient ruins in Cusco, let’s head over to the Museo de Arte Precolombino (MAP) to learn more about the people who made up the Inca Empire.

There are hundreds of pre-Columbian artifacts that were made by men and women over 500 years ago at this museum. These pieces are made from natural materials like gold, shells, and wood and all are tied to the religious, spiritual, and cultural symbolism of that period.

The artwork here is internationally recognized as being the best of its kind, and the MAP is working to promote the education of Inca culture through art to preserve the history of the native inhabitants of Peru.

Museo de Arte Precolombino Cusco is located in the city center, so it’s very easy to get to. They provide audio guides in English, Spanish, and French, and there’s a gift shop with local Peruvian items as well.

The price of admission is just $5 USD, and this museum is open every day from 8 am to 10 pm.

KUSYKAY Peruvian Craft Food (lunch)

Peruvian inspired salad at KUSYKAY Peruvian Craft Food
@KUSYKAY Peruvian Craft Food
Meal at KUSYKAY Peruvian Craft Food
@KUSYKAY Peruvian Craft Food

A quick 3-minute walk will take you to the location our next destination – KUSYKAY Peruvian Craft Food. That’s right, it’s time for a mid-day break!

KUSYKAY is one of the best Peruvian restaurants in Cusco and they have the reviews to back it up! The food here is so rich and delicious that I doubt there’s a bad option on the menu. Honestly, it’s got to be one of the best restaurants in all of Peru.

We stopped here for a quick bite and got the ceviche, and WOW. It’s no wonder it’s a house specialty. From the striking colors to the fresh flavors to the friendly staff, this restaurant is a must-visit if you come to Cusco. We were also treated to a complimentary tea and dessert! As if we needed more reasons to love this place.

Normally we’d support getting one of everything at KUSYKAY, but our next agenda item is a cooking class, so we do recommend eating a lighter meal or sharing a main dish this go around.

Cooking class (afternoon)

Ingridients on a cooking class in Peru
This was a highlight and a skill I’ll always have!

If you want a non-traditional way to take a piece of Cusco home with you, we suggest participating in this Peruvian Cooking Class.

You’ll meet at the San Pedro Central Market, where your Peruvian chef guide will help you pick out the best local ingredients to prepare your meal. Our chef was wonderful! He is a master of his craft, but he also made the experience less intimidating so I could relax and enjoy the process.

For this meal, you’ll make an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert! Plus you can take that knowledge home and impress all your friends with your Peruvian cooking skills.

This class also includes pisco and chicha tastings, so you’ll get to indulge in the popular drinks here as well. We loved this class and it was such a fun way to learn even more about Peruvian culture.

This amazing experience costs $59 USD per person, and we suggest choosing the 3 pm tour which will give you just enough time to enjoy our final activity of the day. You can book this Peruvian cooking class here.

Cusco Tunupa Restaurant Folk Show with Dinner (night)

Cusco Tunupa Restaurant Folk Show with Dinner
So cool to see the traditional dance!

For our last stop of our 3-day journey, we’re having dinner and a show!

After a long day of walking, we think you deserve to enjoy this dinner and folk show which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, a 3-course meal, and a 1.5-hour folk show filled with dancing and local Peruvian music at Tunupa Restaurant in central Cusco.

It’s a perfect way to wind down and enjoy a local tradition in a comfortable space. The food, described as “Novo-Andean cuisine,” is absolutely delicious, and the restaurant offers some of the best views of the city, so it really helps round out the whole experience. We think it’s a perfect way to reflect on your busy three days in Cusco before heading home.

Tickets cost $49 USD per person, which includes your meal, entertainment, and transportation, but there is a minimum of 2 people needed to make a reservation. You can get tickets for this folk show and 3-course dinner right here.

Related Read: If you’re like us and just can’t get enough of Peru, we took so many fun tours in Lima that you can add to your bucket list!

Where to Stay in Cusco, Peru

the courtyard at Palacio del Inka
This hotel is simply gorgeous! Photo Credit: Palacio del Inka

We recommend planning to stay at least a few days in Cusco because of all the things to do in the city and leaving enough time to explore the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. There are plenty of options for accommodations, from reasonably priced hostels to more luxurious hotels, depending on your budget. These are the places that top our list of recommendations!

Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco – $$$  

If you can spend a bit more during your stay, soak up the incredible architecture and location at Palacio del Inka located in the city center. This luxurious hotel offers delightful amenities like an internal courtyard perfect for stargazing, excellent dining options, and onsite staff who go above and beyond. There is also an indoor swimming pool and fitness center for an additional fee. if you’re feeling the altitude, oxygen and coca tea are available by request.

The price tag here starts at around $325 USD per night. You can check availability and book Palacio del Inka online here.

Casa Matara Boutique – $$  

For a mid-range option, we love Casa Matara Boutique for its central location – it’s within walking distance to the main square and lots of top attractions. The breakfast here is excellent, the staff is amazing and so willing to help with everything, and the whole place gives off a cozy and charming atmosphere.

Rooms here are around $90 USD a night. To snag this deal, check availability and book Casa Matara Boutique online here.

Selina Plaza De Armas – $ 

The Selina Plaza De Armas is a budget-friendly option that offers shared dorm rooms, private rooms, or even unique outdoor tent accommodations. It’s only a short walk from Plaza De Armas and the cathedral, so you’re staying right in the action. The hotel also has a beautiful lobby with a glass-covered patio you can relax in.

Dorm rooms are around $30-$50 USD per night, and the teepee tents are under $100 USD. You can book a stay at Selina Plaza De Armas on HostelWorld.com or through Booking.com.   

Thanks for reading!

Bailey on a hike near Cusco
Thanks for reading!

We did it! If you’ve made it this far, we just want to say thanks for reading our blog. Planning three days in Cusco is not an easy task, but we hope this itinerary has given you some ideas for your travels. From the stunning views and Inca history to the delicious and bright cuisine, we just know you’re going to love Cusco.

If you found this article useful, we hope you’ll enjoy some of our other blogs. We’ve been all over Peru and other parts of South America, and we’d love to share our travel stories with you. We’ve listed some blogs we think you might enjoy below:

12 EXCITING Things to do in Huacachina, Peru & Guide to Visiting

33 BEST Places to Visit in South America

19 Amazing Things to do in Miraflores, Peru & Guide to Visiting