The Best Hotels In and Around Cusco, Peru

Set between Cusco and the heights of Machu Picchu, homely El Albergue offers mountain views and its own organic restaurant
Set between Cusco and the heights of Machu Picchu, homely El Albergue offers mountain views and its own organic restaurant | Courtesy of El Albergue / Expedia
Photo of A. J. Samuels
30 March 2021

Nestled in a steep valley in the high southern Peruvian Andes, Cusco is the old capital of the Inca empire, the jumping-off point for Machu Picchu, and studded with great places tostay, all bookable with Culture Trip.

Here, streets are lined with old Spanish buildings and ancient Inca walls – their massive stones pieced together without mortar in organically geometric shapes. There are buzzing indigenous markets, modish restaurants, bars, clubs and beautiful views at every turn. And nowhere in Peru has a better choice of hotels.

Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

Hotel
Map View
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Courtesy of Belmond Palacio Nazarenas / Expedia
Set in a Carmelite monastery in the heart of old Cusco, Palacio Nazarenas oozes Spanish-colonial elegance with priceless antiques and a restored baroque chapel. Beds are draped with wispy nets and embroidered Egyptian linens, while colonial art and indigenous crafts adorn the walls. There’s a beautiful pool set among heavy stone cloisters, and the hotel’s Peruvian restaurant, Senzo, is one of the best in the city.
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Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Hotel
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Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Courtesy of Belmond Hotel Monasterio / Expedia
Monasterio is one of the most luxurious classic hotels in South America. It’s housed in the center of old Inca Cusco in a rococo monastery replete with religious art and period furniture. Rooms are gathered in a series of cloisters and decorated with original art; some can be pumped with extra oxygen to help you acclimatize to high-altitude Cusco.
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Palacio del Inka

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel
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Palacio del Inka
Courtesy of Palacio del Inka / Expedia
Locations don’t get closer to the Inca heart of Cusco than this palatial 16th-century mansion overlooking Coricancha – the ancient pre-Columbian temple of the sun and moon looted by Spanish conquistadors. Rooms sit in long cloisters and come in modern rich yellows and magentas, with retro-rococo flourishes. The spa, which has a big heated pool, is one of the best in Cusco – lit in low ambers and starry pin-spots, and faced with polished stone.

Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza

Hotel
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Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza
Courtesy of Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza / Expedia
Casa Andina may lack the colonial splendor of the grand Cusco hotels but for value and location it’s hard to beat. It sits alongside crafts shops and restaurants under the cloistered arches of the Plaza Regocijo, a block from the main city square. Rooms are small and functional in creams and grays, furnished with practical modern workstations and with plenty of light from tall windows leading to Juliet balconies.
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El Mercado

Hotel
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El Mercado
Courtesy of El Mercado / Expedia
A stroll from the main square, Plaza de Armas, and with rooms set in the Colonial-era cloisters of the old market, El Mercado mixes Spanish-era grandeur with modern design from Peruvian architect Jordi Puig. Rooms come in warm creams with abstract textile carpets, Philippe Starck-inspired drapes, and bright modern art on the walls. They sit over a large central atrium with a fire pit and lounge chairs. The best restaurants in Cusco are on the doorstep.
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El Retablo

Hotel
Map View
Superior Deluxe room at El Retablo
Courtesy of El Retablo
Set in a townhouse on a steep cobbled street 10 minutes from the center, El Retablo brims with local character. Rooms and public spaces are painted in the brightly colored floral and organic rococo patterns of traditional Peruvian reredos (portable altarpieces). Walls and beds are adorned with indigenous art. There are bars and restaurants nearby and the welcoming staff are helpful with organizing trips and tours.
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Antigua Casona San Blas

Hotel
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Antigua Casona San Blas
Courtesy of Antigua Casona San Blas / Expedia
Sitting in the steep streets of the arty San Blas neighborhood, 15 minutes’ breathy walk from the colonial center of Cusco, Antigua Casona is an old townhouse with a range of modest-sized rooms in terracotta tile or rich wood and whitewash, furnished with heavy Spanish-era furniture. There’s an attractive atrium garden, an excellent restaurant and the hotel spa has a Jacuzzi, sauna and daily yoga classes.
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Inkaterra La Casona

Hotel
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Inkaterra La Casona
Courtesy of Inkaterra La Casona / Expedia
A refurbished 16th-century colonial mansion, this 11-suite hotel maintains its original atmosphere while introducing luxurious amenities. If you’re looking for a bolthole, you’ll appreciate rooms equipped with fireplaces, cable TV and marble sinks, and the dining room’s delicious Peruvian dishes. La Casona is located minutes from the busy Plaza de Armas, on the smaller Plazoleta Nazarenas, making for a quieter retreat, perfect if you’re getting up early to see Machu Picchu.

Hotel Rumi Punku

Hotel
Map View
Hotel Rumi Punku
Courtesy of Hotel Rumi Punku / Expedia
You enter Rumi Punku through an Incan stone entryway that leads to a colonial-style hotel, emblematic of the mixture of Spanish and Incan influences throughout Cusco. A five-minute walk uphill from Plaza de Armas, Rumi Punku provides clean, comfortable rooms around one of three patios adorned with fountains and plants. Enjoy views of Cusco from the top-floor sauna and gym. They are especially spectacular after the sun goes down.

Niños Hotel

Hotel
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Niños Hotel
Courtesy of Niños Hotel / Expedia
With two locations in Cusco, Niños Hotel is popular with travelers, both for its comfortable amenities at a budget price and its non-profit mission. Proceeds from the hotel go to the Niños Unidos Peruanos Foundation, a Dutch non-profit that takes care of underprivileged children in Cusco. The spirit of social and environmental responsibility pervades throughout, with all food served in the restaurant created from ingredients grown in the hotel garden, including the delicious pumpkin soup.

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  • Pantastico Bed & Bakery

    Bed and Breakfast, Hotel
    Map View
    Pantastico Bed & Bakery
    Courtesy of Pantastico Bed & Bakery / Expedia | Courtesy of Pantastico Bed & Bakery / Expedia
    This bakery-B&B has a hippy vibe, helped by rooms adorned with colorful murals. In the morning, the smell of fresh-baked bread permeates through the hotel, and you can hang out in the kitchen to enjoy complimentary baked goods for breakfast. Located in the artistic San Blas neighborhood, this charming spot with clean, comfortable rooms is geared towards travelers looking to experience Cusco on a budget.

    Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa

    Spa Hotel, Hotel
    Map View
    Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa
    Courtesy of Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa / Expedia
    Casa Cartagena is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing vacation in the Andes, creating a Cusco experience without even leaving the hotel. It sits within the former house of a Cusco mayor, combining ancient stone-carved walls with modern luxury. The house restaurant – La Bodega de la Chola – is one of the best in Cusco. And a slice of luxury comes when you enter its spa, with a hot tub, steam room, massage parlors and hairdressers.

    The Green House Bed & Breakfast

    Inn, Hotel
    Map View
    The Green House Bed & Breakfast
    Courtesy of The Green House Bed & Breakfast / Booking.com | Courtesy of The Green House Bed & Breakfast / Booking.com
    An hour by car from Cusco, The Green House is a four-room bed and breakfast that creates a tranquil alternative if you’re visiting Inca sites. Located near the rural town of Huaran in the Sacred Valley, it’s surrounded by mountains and constructed from adobe and wood, creating a calm, natural setting. Enjoy hiking, horseback riding and classes on Peruvian cooking.

    Amaru Hostal

    Hostel, Hotel
    Map View
    Amaru Hostal
    Courtesy of Amaru Hostal / Expedia
    Amaru is an ideal stop if you’re spending one day in Cusco before heading to Machu Picchu. It is a comfortable alternative to some of the pricier colonial-style hotels in town, with the familiar patio structure. And with free breakfast and complimentary airport pick-up, it really provides bang for your buck. This hotel accommodates single travelers or groups, with reasonable rates and an ideal location two blocks from the center of Cusco.
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    El Albergue

    Hotel
    Map View
    El Albergue
    Courtesy of El Albergue / Expedia
    For comfortable accommodation midway between Cusco and Machu Picchu, stay at El Albergue. Located at the Ollantaytambo train station, this homely hotel has spacious rooms with original hardwood floors, and a restaurant supplied with organic produce from the hotel farm. The property has great views of the mountains and surrounding area, and offers a rustic, comfortable alternative to staying in Cusco proper.

    Hostal Madre Tierra

    Hotel
    Map View
    Hostal Madre Tierra
    Courtesy of Hostal Madre Tierra / Expedia
    Higher-up in the San Blas neighborhood lies Madre Tierra. This guesthouse with seven rooms can accommodate families – with adjoining rooms on the top floor – and has one of the quietest locales in the city. The cozy, rustic atmosphere is pleasant for a weary traveler, and breakfast is included.

    Tika Wasi Casa Boutique

    Hostel, Hotel
    Map View
    Tika Wasi Casa Boutique
    Courtesy of Tika Wasi Casa Boutique / Hotels.com
    High in the Cusco hillside, Tika Wasi greets travelers with a garden and hammocks, pleasant amenities for those adjusting to the altitude. Located in a tannery-turned-house-turned-B&B, Tika Wasi mirrors the emphasis on tourism throughout Cusco. Enjoy quiet surroundings at a comfortable distance from the plaza.

    Alex Robinson contributed additional reporting.

    These recommendations were updated on March 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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