How to Spend 24 Hours in Cusco, Peru

Cuscos Paza de Armas
Cusco's Paza de Armas | Mia Spingola / © Culture Trip
Brandon Dupre

Cusco is a city meant to be explored over the course of a week, with many ancient nooks and crannies to be discovered. However, most people when they come to Peru don’t have the time to kick it in Cusco and peruse as they please. Here’s a guide for the travelers who need to get up and out of Cusco in a day, but want to see as much as possible.

Loved by over 40s

Enjoy a coffee and a walk in San Blas

San Blas is the high-end, bohemian district of Cusco. Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with boutique shopping, restraunts and Cusco’s best coffee shops – the cafes in San Blas serve up fresh, Peruvian coffee, not the instant stuff you’ll find everywhere. As you’re walking through the streets, remember the shops you want to peek in later, when you have some more time.

A view of Cusco from a lookout point

Take in the Sacsayhuamán ruins

The best and most important Inca ruins in the area are Sacsayhuamán. The site once served as the military base of the Incas for Cusco, as well as a place for large religious gatherings. The site is massive and while many of the ruins were destroyed by the Spanish during the conquest, what remains is still incredible. The giant rocks that weigh a mind boggling 300 tons line much of the gross and are a living testament to the civil ingenuity of the Incas. There’s also an underground temple that you can explore.

Stop for a spot of lunch

After you walk the ruins of Sacsayhuamán you’re going to be tired and incredibly hungry. Cusco offers some of the more interesting food options in Peru, a mix between ancient cuisine and modern Peruvian dishes. Just walk around the plaza and you’ll find something mouthwatering. A travelers favorite is La Bodega 138, which serves up Cusco’s best and most interesting pizza options.

A look at one of Cusco’s narrow streets

Walk the city and absorb the atmosphere

While there are many things to go and see in Cusco, from ruins to museums, there’s only enough for so much in one day. Cusco itself is a living museum and should be priority number one when visiting. Explore the buildings, wander the tiny Inca streets and marvel at its uniqueness.

Go shopping

While you wander the streets take advantage of Cusco’s famous shopping. Find Andean print blankets and scarfs and even buy a poncho if you’re feeling adventurous. The city is known for its alpaca fibers, and has some of the most shopper friendly prices in the world.

Cusco has some of the country’s best shopping

Raise a glass at Museo Del Pisco

End the night with some cocktails at Cusco’s pisco museum. Light on the museum part and heavy on the drinking side, this spot is more a bar than anything. They have the country’s widest selection of piscos and offer customers private tastings. It’s the best place to get familiar with Peru’s spirit.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.