If you are planning a trip to Peru you will love to read about my top favorite places where to stay in Cusco.
I was fascinated by the colonial architecture and how many local and international brands managed to transform old colonial homes into luxury properties.
Add the exquisite Peruvian hospitality and you have world-class hotels where you can splurge and relax after a day of exploring.
Cusco is one of the most visited towns in Peru, and probably in South America, and for more than a reason. Mainly known as a departing point for the Inca trail and all the major treks to the spectacular Machu Picchu, Cusco has also a lot of charm on its own where you will want to spend a few days before and after the Machu Picchu tour.
You will also find different gorgeous hotels in Cusco, suitable for different budgets, where to stay and relax after a full day of exploring.
Here below I will share my favorite ones among the Luxury hotels in Cusco, mid-range, and budget hostels. I hope it will help you find your perfect place to stay in Cusco.
The best areas to stay in Cusco
Although the city is pretty wide and stretches out quite extensively within the Valle de Cusco territory towards Cusco Airport and beyond, the most interesting areas are revolving around the historical center and the surrounding neighborhoods (Barrios) of San Blass, Santa Ana, and San Cristobal.
Where to stay in Cusco: Plaza de Armas
Plaza the Armas is the beating heart of Cusco, where the ceremonial center of the Inca empire was located before the Spanish invasion.
It was exactly where the actual cathedral is now, and if you look at it closely you will see some details from the Inca mythology on the walls.
Plaza de Armas and the nearby lanes are lined by beautiful colonial buildings some of which have been turned into beautiful hotels or affordable hostels.
However, keep in mind that being so close to the city center you may find it quite noisy.
Where to stay in Cusco: San Blas
San Blass is considered the artist’s neighbor in Cusco. Revolving around the San Blass Church, it is filled with pretty artisan shops, local vendors, and cobblestone narrow roads.
In San Blas, you will also find pretty shops and trendy coffee shops and restaurants, besides great lookouts from where to enjoy amazing panoramic views of the city.
San Blass is home to spectacular hotels but keep in mind that many of them may be difficult to reach by taxi for the narrow roads and you will have quite a bit of climbing when you go back to your hotel after exploring around.
On the bright side, you may be able to enjoy unbeatable views of the city from your hotel window.
Where to stay in Cusco: San Cristobal
San Cristobal is the oldest neighborhood located at only 10 minutes steep walk from Plaza de Armas. It revolves around San Cristobal Church, where I was watching lamas mating (if you read my post on things to do in Cusco).
The roads are a bit larger than in San Blas and taxis can easily take you and your bags. The walk to the Plaza de Armas and the nearby attractions is very short although steep.
Where to stay in Cusco: San Pedro
San Pedro’s neighborhood revolves around the popular market, noisy, colorful, smelly, and sometimes shocking but worth visiting. Just a few blocks from the market you can find some interesting cheap accommodation in quieter areas and yet not too far from the city center.
If you want to stay in a more authentic area less touristy and budget-friendly, this is where you should look for a place to stay in Cusco.
Where to stay in Cusco – the best luxury hotels
If you are willing to spend on accommodations, staying in one of the luxury hotels in Cusco will be a mystical experience, not only for all the comfort and world-class amenities you will enjoy but because of the magical atmosphere of the spectacular historical buildings turned into exquisite boutique hotels.
If you don’t want to splurge, make sure you visit them or have a coffee in one of their prestigious cafes or restaurants. Here I am sharing the more noteworthy.
1. Casa Andina Premimu Cusco – historic center
Casa Andina is another great option for those travelers in search of a stylish place with all the comfort and some sophisticated charm but without frills.
The cute luxury hotel offers accommodation in central Cusco overlooking Limacpampa Square, with traditional, courtyard-facing rooms.
Located at a short walk from everything. the hotel offers cozy rooms with a private bathroom built around colonial-style courtyards with wooden balconies.
2. Casa Cartagena Boutique hotel and Spa – San Blas
Casa Cartagena is considered one of the best hotels in Cuzco by the reviews of the guest but also by UNESCO who declared the precious luxury property a world heritage site.
Located in the heart of the city, Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa Cusco is the result of years of restoration of the ancient house whose original design has been loyally preserved.
It’s the perfect combination of the Incan elements like the precious stones with the warmth of the colonial style. An intimate refuge consisting of only sixteen ample and homely suites that blend to perfection modern and ancient, luxurious and historical.
The exclusive suites are distributed symmetrically surrounding an inspiring patio. A superb holistic spa is available to rejuvenate and soothe your senses after a full day exploring the region, and a fine dining restaurant to suit the most sophisticated palates.
The hotel is a member of the prestigious Kiwi Collection
3. El Palacio del Inka – historic center
From a Marriott Luxury Collection, you couldn’t expect anything less. Another preferred hotel by the sophisticated traveler who loves to be surrounded by the finest amenities, and a luxurious and comfortable environment even when they set off for an adventure.
Walking around the elegant rooms of the hotel including common areas and the manicured courtyards is like walking into history, with precious stones and antique pieces of furniture contrasting exceptionally modern features and brightly colored walls. Here is where history meets luxury.
4. Belmond Hotel Monasterio – San Blas
Belmond is definitely one of Cusco’s best hotels. Imagine living in a Monastery, surrounded by thick ancient walls impregnated with history and culture and glittered with beauty and luxury.
Belmond is a guarantee of excellence. Be reassured you will have a lifetime experience in their unique hotel in Cuzco. They know how to make it magic. It goes without saying that the dining offer is top-notch as well.
5. JW Marriott El Convento Cusco – Historical Centre
For the stylish and design-sensitive crowd, JW Marriot is a perfect choice. The elegant layout is the result of a perfect blend of modern luxury and the romantic old feeling.
The finest amenities and the exceptional Peruvian hospitality make it the perfect option for the most demanding clientele.
Where to stay in Cusco: mid-range price Hotels
If you are not interested in luxury stays, you will be amazed by the great options of cute boutique hotels available in Cusco with an average rate from 50 to 100 $.
Many of them are located in old buildings that have been remodeled and feature gorgeous decor and modern facilities creating a warm and cozy ambiance for your stay.
Here I have picked my favorite ones.
6. ANAHUARQUE Hotel Boutique – centro historico
Cozy hotel in a precious historical courtyard right behind plaza de Armas and at ridiculously low prices.
The spacious and colorful rooms will allow you to rest comfortably after a day of exploring the city and surroundings. On the historical patio, you will enjoy a delicious breakfast.
7. Andean Wings boutique hotel – between Centro Historico and San Cristobal
I stumbled upon this hotel while checking out others and I couldn’t help but be captivated by its unique style. I love the classic feeling overall and the elegant decorations all taken care of in extreme detail.
The color combinations and vintage furniture with modern touches. The patio is also one of a kind, full of plants and artfully laid out. Guests loved the friendliness of the staff and the attention to detail.
8. Antigua Casona San Blas – San Blas
If you chose to stay in the funky barrio of San Blass, I found this hotel to be the best option, with an old feeling but still very modern and elegant is what I call laid-back luxury. Chic but not pretentious. The austere rooms with parquet floors and raw wooden furniture make your stay comfortable and cozy.
9. Tierra Viva Cusco Saphi Hotel – San Cristobal
Located a couple of blocks from the Church of San Cristobal, Tierra Viva offers spacious rooms with a rustic-chic decor where stone and wood harmoniously fit with more modern finishing and amenities.
Keep in mind that although at only 15 minutes walk from Plaza de Armas the road is quite steep.
10. Tierra Viva Cusco – San Pedro
Located in one of the most vibrant areas of Cusco, at only 300 mt from the market Tierra Viva Cusco is a great choice for budget-conscious travelers who love to sleep in a comfortable and cozy place.
This cute boutique hotel offers spacious modern rooms situated around a private courtyard where guests can enjoy an earthy buffet breakfast or just enjoy peace and tranquillity.
It is also within walking distance from the Plaza de Armas and with little elevation gain.
Budget guesthouses and hostels in Cusco
Budget Guesthouses are not fancy but you can still find comfortable and clean rooms at a ridiculously low price offering incredible value for money accommodation. Here below is what I consider the best budget options in Cusco.
11. Quechua Hostal Recoleta – San Cristobal
12. Tierra del Inka – between San Blas and San Cristobal
13. Hostal tu Hogar – San Blas
Where to stay in Cuzco: Final thoughts
Cusco is the old capital of the Inca empire, and as such, it’s home to many incredible historical buildings and interesting museums where you can learn about the past of Cusco and the entire country, besides understanding the secrets of such ancient civilization and its cultural heritage.
I would spend at least a week in Cusco, besides the Machu Picchu tour, and explore the city’s historical center as much as the incredible sacred valley with Pisac and Ollantaytambo, surrounded by many old archeological sites and full of mysticism.
Make sure you walk around the center of Cusco starting from Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main square, and its magnificent cathedral and moving around towards the pretty neighborhood of San Blass (where you also find spectacular hotels), check out the beautiful colonial mansions, some of which have been turned into luxury hotels.
Try all the incredible restaurants in Cusco and try the delicious local food, including the Cuyo and the Quinoa soup, and obviously enjoy the nightlife in Cusco and toast with Pisco Sour!
You won’t regret spending at least one week in Cusco and you won’t definitely get bored.
Cusco is also a great destination for solo female travelers. I have been traveling alone for 3 weeks there and I can’t wait to go back.
I felt pretty much safe everywhere I went and I also made friends during the tours I took and hung out with them.
Click on the links below if you want to learn more about Cusco.
For further reading
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About the Author
Hello there! This is Isabella, the author of this blog, and a cat lover. I am an Italian expatriate with a Mexican permanent Residence. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my job and explore my beloved Mexico and the rest of this beautiful world, starting from South America, while sharing my travel stories and offering useful travel tips about traveling as a solo female traveler and digital nomad.