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How to Spend 1 Day in Cusco

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376 Reviews
How to Spend 1 Day in Cusco
Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, is often overlooked by travelers on the way to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. However, just spending one day in Cusco reveals ancient temples, colorful markets, and some of the best food in Peru. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in Cusco.

Morning: Dive into Local Food Culture
Begin your day the local way at the bustling San Pedro Market. This colorful market sells a huge variety of food and souvenirs and makes for an interesting stroll, especially on a tour designed to introduce you to more unusual products. Travelers with a passion for food can join a morning cooking class, which typically begin at the market and culminate at a local home or cookery school, where you’ll try your hand at creating traditional Peruvian dishes such as ceviche (raw fish marinated in lime and chilli) and lomo saltado (beef stew). 

Afternoon: Explore the City’s Sights
Now, with a full belly, it’s time to embark on a tour of Cusco’s many historic attractions. Sightseeing tours, which are designed with time-pressed travelers in mind, shuttle you between top Cusco sights such as Plaza de Armas, home to Cusco Cathedral (Catedral del Cuzco), and the sacred Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha), which showcases the extraordinary engineering skills of the Incas. Many tours also visit the charming artisans’ quarter of San Blas and include a bus or car ride to the fortified Inca complex of Sacsayhuaman, which lies just outside of the city.

Night: See the City by Night
As night falls and Cusco’s cobbled streets begin to light up, the city takes on an entirely new character. This is a great time to embark on another wander through the city’s streets to browse shops selling handicrafts and sample budget-friendly street food. Evening walking tours lead you to the best markets and provide illuminating insights; some even include a Pisco Sour-making lesson at a local bar. Another evening option is to visit Planetarium Cusco for some stargazing; small-group tours provide a stress-free way to visit and often include dinner and a drink.
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9 Tours and Activities | All Cusco Tours

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Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco

Peruvian Cooking Class and Local Market in Cusco

star-5
Explore a local market in Cusco, then take a workshop on Peruvian cuisine during this 4-hour culinary experience. Learn about the functions of traditional Andean kitchens and local specialties from a professional Peruvian chef. Tastings, meal, and drinks included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.52
From
$70.52
Taking safety measures

Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit

Fully hands-on High End Peruvian Cooking Class & San Pedro Market Guided Visit

star-5
Learn to prepare high-end Peruvian cuisine from market to table alongside a professional chef with this Peruvian cooking class. After shopping at a local market with a food-loving guide, head to a colonial-style home to prepare a 3-course lunch or dinner featuring classic items like ceviche, Pisco sours, and quinoa cooked to perfection. Polish off your meal with fresh fruits and local coffee.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.00
From
$69.00

Cusco by Night: Planetarium Cusco, Dinner, and Pisco Sour

Cusco by Night: Planetarium Cusco, Dinner, and Pisco Sour

star-5
If you’ve already ticked off the sights by day, see a different side to Cusco on a nightlife tour that includes dinner and a drink. In an intimate group limited to eight people, you’ll go stargazing at Planetarium Cusco; admire illuminated landmarks in Cusco Historic Center; and enjoy a traditional Peruvian dinner accompanied by a Pisco Sour cocktail. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included for added convenience.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.00
Price varies by group size
From
$78.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half Day Cusco City Sightseeing

Half Day Cusco City Sightseeing

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the grand colonial majesty of Cusco on a half-day guided sightseeing tour of the city. Wander winding Incan streets to discover the ancient Temple of the Sun, the sacred Convent of Santo Domingo and the colossal Cusco Cathedral. Gain insight into the fascinating history of the city with an interesting and informative guide as you explore one of Peru’s most treasured places on foot.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.60
From
$49.60
Taking safety measures

Group Cooking Class at Marcelo Batata in Cusco

Group Cooking Class at Marcelo Batata in Cusco

star-5
Discover the rich flavors and culinary heritage of Peruvian cuisine during a small-group cooking class at Marcelo Batata Restaurant in Cusco. Shop for traditional ingredients and sample exotic fruits at San Pedro Market; create an array of typical Peruvian specialties such as ceviche, Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, and Pisco Sour cocktails; then sit down to enjoy your delicious home cooked dinner.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.00
From
$90.00

Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer

Cusco Airport Arrival Transfer

star-4.5
Begin your Peruvian vacation with comfort and convenience with a stress-free arrival airport transfer from Cusco. Skip crowded taxi lines and avoid navigating confusing public transport systems with this shared transfer from Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport to your hotel. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, these transfers accurately coincide with your flight and guarantee a tranquil arrival into Peru.
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  • 10 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$8.20
Price varies by group size
From
$8.20
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Temples and Cusco City Tour

Half-Day Temples and Cusco City Tour

star-5
Get a comprehensive overview of Cusco on this half-day guided sightseeing tour. With a guide to provide information through insightful commentary, check all of the city's highlights off your list. Stops include archaeological sites (including Sacsayhuaman), the Convent of Santo Domingo, the Water Temple of Tambomachay, and others. Entrance fees and round-trip transportation from downtown Cusco hotels included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.00
From
$84.00

Half-Day City Tour of Cusco Including Tambomachay

Half-Day City Tour of Cusco Including Tambomachay

star-4
Get a comprehensive tour of the main Incan sites around Cusco on this half-day excursion. Visit all the highlights and landmarks, including Tambomachay, Puccpucara, Quenqo, Sacsayuaman, and Koricancha. Hotel pickup in the historic center of Cusco available; travel via air-conditioned coach.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$20.00
From
$20.00
Taking safety measures

Cusco Night Walking Tour and Pisco Sour Lesson

Cusco Night Walking Tour and Pisco Sour Lesson

star-4.5
Discover the architectural majesty of Cusco and sample Peru’s tantalizing national drink during a night walking tour of the city. Marvel at Cusco’s charming colonial buildings and impressive historical monuments; absorb the bohemian ambience of San Blas Square; and immerse yourself in the convivial vibrancy of a local bar to sample the legendary drink of Pisco. Select your favorite Pisco flavor then combine it with fruity juices and tangy mixers to create your perfect cocktail. A personalized experience is guaranteed on this small-group tour, with numbers limited to 12 people.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$51.00
From
$51.00