cusco hotels

Where to Stay in Cusco (+ BEST Cusco Neighborhoods)

Cusco, Peru is a bucket list destination for many travelers. While it’s considered to be the gateway to Machu Picchu, there is so much to do and see in Cusco itself. Choosing a Cusco hotel in the best areas to stay in Cusco will help you make the most of your time here.

Whether you’re planning on just staying in Cusco for a night before traveling on to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, or enjoying all this city has to offer, finding the best place to stay in Cusco Peru for you can be challenging. There truly seem to be countless hotels in Cusco at every price point.

This ultimate guide to where to stay in Cusco will help you find the best place to stay in Cusco for your perfect trip. Plus, make sure to check out our recommendations for Cusco hotels near Plaza de Armas (one of the most popular places to stay in Cusco) – and why some of the best places to stay in Cusco might be a little farther from the historic center than you might think.

best places to stay in cusco

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Where to Stay in Cusco

Cusco is divided into many neighborhoods that sprawl out within the valley and up the mountainsides, creating an incredibly picturesque city with incredible views around every corner.

When visiting Cusco, you’ll most likely spend all of your time in the historic center of Cusco – here you’ll find a vast array of restaurants, cafes, hotels, and everything you could ever want as a traveler. You’ll also find the city’s best attractions.

Looking for our top recommendations for the best hotels in the city? Here are our top picks – they’re all located in charming and safe neighborhoods and will provide some of the best experiences the city has to offer.

Best Places to Stay in Cusco

The historic center has the best places to stay in Cusco at every price point – safe places to stay in Cusco and an array of great hotels to choose from spread around the Cusco neighborhoods that make up the historic center.

Read More: 10 Best Cities in Peru for Travelers

Cusco Neighborhoods

As a traveler, the Cusco historic center will be where you’ll find yourself, likely throughout your entire stay in Cusco. Almost all of the sites you’ll want to visit and things you’ll want to do within Cusco are located in the historic center.

The historic center is truly the only place you’ll really want to stay in Cusco – when choosing where to stay in Cusco, you’ll likely just be choosing between the neighborhood within the historic center that seems like the best fit for you:

  • Plaza de Armas – Where to stay in Cusco to be in the center of the charm, history, and action.
  • San Blas – Where to stay in Cusco for cool cafes, great restaurants, and the best shopping.
  • San Cristobal – Where to stay in Cusco for stunning views and historic touches.

Keep reading for more on each of these vibrant Cusco neighborhoods, including our top Cusco hotel recommendations in each area.

Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas area is where to stay in Cusco to be in the center of the charm, history, and action. At the very center of the city’s historic district, the square containing Cusco’s cathedral and historic churches is the heart of activity in the city, with everything radiating outwards from here.

The area just around the Plaza de Armas tends to be the busiest and most bustling area of the historic center. Staying here means being just a few steps from the best the city has to offer but also right in the middle of it all (which I loved as a visitor to Cusco but isn’t for everyone).

Located within the plaza or just a few blocks away you’ll find a great of the city’s most well-loved restaurants, artisan markets, tour providers… as well as some of the best accommodations options in the city. These are the best places to stay in Cusco within just a block or two of the Plaza de Armas.

Where To Stay in Plaza de Armas

La Posada del Viajero ($)

The vibrant and social La Posada del Viajero, just a block away from the Plaza de Armas, is a perfect choice for the backpacker looking to be at the center of the city’s action. Rooms are spotless and recently renovated, and there is a lovely courtyard perfect for meeting other travelers. Luggage storage, if you’re headed out on the Inca Trail or another Sacred Valley hike, is a big plus.

Reviews and Bookings: La Posada del Viajero

Casa Andina – Cusco Plaza ($ – $$)

Casa Andina – Cusco Plaza is a fantastic option for budget travelers in Cusco, and offers great value to travelers. The staff is excellent and helps you get to know the city well – though with such a great location near the Plaza de Armas, it’s easy to explore on your own. Rooms are quite modern, and there is an excellent breakfast spread from the hotel’s cafe, with a great view of the Plaza de Armas.

Reviews and Bookings: Casa Andina – Cusco Plaza

Inkaterra La Casona ($$$)

As Cusco’s first 5-star boutique hotel, Inkaterra La Casona has long been a staple of a stay in Cusco for travelers in the know. A 16th-century manor house just steps away from Plaza de Armas is the ultimate retreat while offering unrivaled access to the best of the city.

If you’re looking for a luxury bespoke travel experience all the way to Machu Picchu, there’s nothing better than traveling with Inkaterra all the way – the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in Aguascalientes is just as magical as its Cusco counterpart.

Reviews and Bookings: Inkaterra La Casona

Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel ($$$$)

Set in a colonial monastery dating from 1592, Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel is more than just the best luxury hotel in Cusco – it is a destination and historical landmark of Cusco itself. Rooms face the monastery’s historic courtyard, and staff can show you the grounds, including a historic chapel with original colonial artwork hanging in the lounges.

Even if you don’t stay here, Monasterio is home to some of the best and most authentic Peruvian restaurants in the entire city, with live music and some of the best food you’ll enjoy on your trip. It’s well worth a visit!

Reviews and Bookings: Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel

Cusco Tourist Pass

You’ll need to purchase the Cusco Tourist Pass to visit almost any of these destinations – especially the sites with ruins! The Cusco Tourist Pass is an excellent deal, and includes admissions to a variety of sites in and around Cusco, over a number of days. Book your Cusco Tourist Pass in advance and start planning your trip!

cusco neighborhoods

San Blas

The Cusco neighborhood of San Blas is where to stay in Cusco for cool cafes, great restaurants, and the best shopping. With winding cobblestone streets, countless artisan shops, and great cafes and restaurants, you’ll want to explore this neighborhood even if you don’t choose to stay here.

Here you’ll find the lovely Iglesia de San Blas and its adjoining plaza, built upon the ruins of an Incan temple and with some of the oldest buildings in the city of Cusco. Also worth exploring in the neighborhood are the nearby Mercado de San Blas for cheap, local food and juices, as well as the Mirador de San Blas (San Blas View Point) with an enviable view over the entire city.

Here are our top recommendations of the best places to stay in Cusco in this charming area.

Where To Stay in San Blas

Hostal El Grial ($)

Located in the best part of San Blas in Cusco’s historic center, Hostal El Grial is regularly named one of the best hostels in the city – and you’re certain to see why. You won’t find traditional bunk beds here, and with the largest room being a triple you’ll have more privacy than you might at other hostels.

Reviews and Bookings: Hostal El Grial

Casona Les Pleiades ($-$$)

Just around the corner from the Iglesia de San Blas and a few blocks from the Plaza de Armas, at Casona Les Pleiades you’ll be close to everything you’d want to do in the city, and in the best part of the San Blas neighborhood. Rooms are plain but cozy and comfortable, and with the views from the rooms and the terrace, you’ll have more than enough to fixate on!

Reviews and Bookings: Casona Les Pleiades

Hotel Rumi Punku ($$)

Built around portions of Incan city walls, you’ll feel the many layers of history in Cusco the second you step inside the courtyard of the gorgeous and historic Rumi Punku hotel. Staff truly go out of their way to help travelers have the best experience. Rumi Punku is truly a hidden gem in Cusco, and one of our top recommendations for where to stay in Cusco!

Reviews and Bookings: Hotel Rumi Punku

Tocuyeros Boutique Hotel ($$ – $$$)

Choose the inviting Tocuyeros Boutique Hotel in San Blas for the perfect mix of luxurious feel with great amenities and service at a fantastic price.

Tocuyeros Boutique Hotel is located in a beautiful section of San Blas – high enough on the hill to enjoy incredible views but not too high up that it’s unwalkable from the rest of town. Rooms are spacious, and each is individually designed to give a personalized touch to this charming location.

Reviews and Bookings: Tocuyeros Boutique Hotel

Machu Picchu Tickets

Order your tickets to Machu Picchu as far in advance as you can! Access is limited to preserve this historic site.

best area to stay in cusco

San Cristobal 

The San Cristobal neighborhood within Cusco’s historic center is where to stay in Cusco for stunning views and historic touches. Centered around the Iglesia de San Cristobal and its adjoining plaza – which was constructed on the ruins of an Incan palace – this neighborhood boasts incredible views of the rest of the city.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed and quiet area to stay in Cusco Peru, this is a fantastic option. Uphill from the rest of the historic center but with wider streets that make it easier to access via taxi than San Blas, San Cristobal is a great option for a getaway within Cusco.

You’ll just be a few minutes away from the Plaza de Armas and the rest of the attractions of the historic center and an easy downhill walk (though you may want to take a taxi back up the hill afterward).

Saqray Hostel ($)

This hostel is one of the best places to stay in Cusco Peru on a budget. Saqray Hostel is just a quick walk from the Plaza de Armas and the center of the historic center, so you’ll be close to everything while enjoying some peace and quiet. Dorms are clean and comfortable, and private rooms are affordable.

Reviews and Bookings: Saqray Hostel

Rumi Wasi ($$)

Rumi Wasi is a lovely historic hotel where you’ll feel both the Incan and colonial history of Cusco. This charming building is nestled on the hillside near the Plaza de Armas, close to everything. The rooms are beautiful, the staff is attentive, and the roof deck has a stunning view of Cusco you’ll never forget.

Reviews and Bookings: Rumi Wasi

Palacio Manco Capac ($$$)

Set within a 17th-century mansion, Palacio Manco Capac is one of those truly special hotels that you will never forget. Overlooking the city, in this historic boutique hotel you’ll find spectacular gardens, plush rooms, and exquisite service.

With only five unique rooms, you know you’ll get personalized service and a totally unique experience. Palacio Manco Capac was rated one of the 25 best boutique hotels in the world, and it’s easy to see why.

Reviews and Bookings: Palacio Manco Capac

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best places to stay in cusco

Cusco Airport Hotels

The Cusco airport (Alejandro Velasco Astete Cusco International Airport ) is only a 15-minute taxi ride from the Cusco Historic Center, meaning that the best hotels in the liveliest part of the city are not far from the airport at all!

Because of the proximity of the airport to the heart of the city, there aren’t really any dedicated “airport hotels” in Cusco.

However, if you’re looking to stay closer to the airport, I recommend sticking to the eastern side of the historic center. On this side of the Plaza de Armas, you’ll be closer to the main thoroughfares to get to the airport – meaning you won’t be cutting through the busiest part of the city.

Consider these hotels on the side of the historic center nearest to the airport:

Each of these hotels is a fantastic, highly recommended place to stay in its own right, regardless of being a bit closer to the airport. You’ll have a great stay in any of them regardless of how long you’re planning to stay in Cusco.

Choosing one of these fantastic hotels east of the Plaza de Armas will cut down on travel time to the airport even further. You shouldn’t be further than 10 minutes to the airport from any of these beautiful hotels!

carley rojas avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.