Hi, we're Clara & Maria.

We're the sisters who founded Across South America 15 years ago... and we're here to help you fall in love with South America just like we are!


South America is filled with breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and undiscovered gems waiting to be explored. If you are looking to immerse yourself in Peruvian culture, Cusco, Peru is definitely the place to go!

As a luxury traveler seeking an authentic and sustainable experience in South America, you’re in for a treat.

It is the heart of the ancient Incan Empire, where time-honored traditions blend seamlessly with modern luxury. Nestled amidst the Andes, Cusco boasts a charming cobblestone-street city with historic colonial architecture, cathedrals, museums, various cafes and restaurants, and ALSO Exquisite properties to stay.

best places to stay in cusco peru

As part of our Luxury and Boutique hotel-Guides, I have written this new Blog Post to bring you the best accommodations in Cusco.

But before we dive in, I think it’s important to mention that our List of the best places to stay in Cusco, Peru is based on Maria’s and my personal preferences and not on a ranking (or an Affiliate program).

We’ve been doing this for more than 15 years. We are constantly researching new charming and unique accommodation in South America for our travelers. (More about Maria and myself here)

We or someone from our team have personally visited them and love them.

That’s why they are on this list.

If you are a distinguished luxury traveler seeking an extraordinary and personalized journey, our curated selection of the best places to stay in Cusco is for you.

You can revel in exceptional service and immerse yourself in the magic of this enchanting city!

Navigate to where you want to go:

1. Finding the Perfect Hotel in Cusco, Peru, for you

2. What are the Best places to stay in Cusco Peru

2.1 Inkaterra La Casona

2.2 Belmond Hotel Monasterio 1.3

2.3 Palacio Nazarenas, a Belmond Hotel, Cusco

2.4 Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique

2.5 Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

2.6 Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa

3. Bonus 1: Exploring Authentic Cusco: Our suggested experiences

4. Bonus 2: How to go Off-the-beaten-path in Cusco

5. Our suggested trip: Peru Authentic Highlights Trip

Have you signed up for our South America travel Blog yet? SIGN UP HERE and get our South America travel Guide with unique experiences you can do on your next trip ❤️

Finding the best Places to stay in Cusco, Peru, for you

With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Cusco attracts travelers worldwide. As a luxury traveler seeking the perfect accommodation to complement your authentic Cusco experience, finding the right hotel is crucial.

Here is a guide to help you find the best hotels in Cusco, Peru.

The perfect Hotel that is perfect FOR YOU.

We use this guide to find the perfect hotel for our travelers. No traveler is the same for us, so learning the preferences about the type of hotel our travelers love is an essential part of our process to design a once-in-a-lifetime trip to South America.

“Do you prefer hotels with a view or to be centrally located, do you like boutique hotels? Do you want the hotel to have a spa? Do you like the type of “all-inclusive Resorts”? These are some of the questions we ask our travelers on our first consultation call with us….

We use this guide to choose the ideal hotel catering to our traveler’s preferences and needs.

✨ Is Location the location in Cusco important for you?

The first step to finding the perfect hotel is considering its location. Look for accommodations situated in or near the historic centre of Cusco. Staying close to the main plaza, Plaza de Armas, ensures easy access to popular attractions, restaurants, and shops. Additionally, a central location allows you to soak in the city’s lively atmosphere and engage with the local culture effortlessly.

✨Do you like hotels with Unique Charm and Architecture?

Cusco is famous for its well-preserved colonial architecture and Incan influence. Seek hotels that reflect this unique charm by opting for boutique or heritage properties. Many hotels in the city have converted ancient colonial buildings or old mansions into luxurious accommodations. Staying in one of these properties allows you to experience the history and grandeur of the city firsthand.

✨Luxury Amenities and Services for me please!

As a luxury traveler, you deserve top-notch amenities and personalized services during your stay. Look for hotels that offer luxurious facilities such as spa services, gourmet dining options, fitness centers, and concierge assistance. Some hotels might also provide guided tours or arrange unique experiences for their guests to explore Cusco in a bespoke manner.

✨Breathtaking Views is a must?

Cusco’s breathtaking landscapes make it a paradise for nature enthusiasts. Consider choosing a hotel with rooms that offer picturesque views of the city, surrounding mountains, or historic landmarks. Waking up to a stunning sunrise over the Andean peaks or enjoying a sunset over the city can elevate your experience to the next level.

✨Are you a foodie looking for Authentic Dining?

Peruvian cuisine is renowned for its diverse flavors and unique fusion of influences. Look for hotels that have on-site restaurants serving authentic Peruvian dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Indulging in Peruvian cuisine is an essential part of your journey to discover the country’s culinary heritage.

✨Customer Reviews and Recommendations

Before making a final decision, read customer reviews and testimonials about the hotels you are considering. Pay attention to feedback regarding cleanliness, service quality, and overall guest satisfaction. Additionally, seek recommendations from friends or fellow travelers who have visited Cusco, as they may offer valuable insights into their experiences.

✨Sustainable Practices: YES. I love traveling with purpose.

Responsible and sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important for conscientious travelers. Look for hotels that prioritize eco-friendly practices, support local communities, and minimize their environmental impact. Choosing a hotel that aligns with your values can make your stay more meaningful and contribute positively to the destination.

Supporting hotels with sustainable practices ensures you positively impact the destination while enjoying the best of what this city has to offer.

best places to stay in Cusco Peru

✨Safety and Security is a MUST.

Finally, ensure that the hotel you choose prioritizes safety and security. Check whether they have 24/7 front desk service, secure room access, and emergency safety measures. Feeling secure in your accommodation allows you to enjoy your time exploring Cusco without worrying.

✨In-Room Amenities to UPGRADE your stay.

Besides luxurious beds and decor, look for in-room amenities to enhance your stay. These may include high-quality toiletries, premium coffee machines, minibars with local delicacies, and high-speed internet access for staying connected.

✨Hotel Ambiance and Atmosphere: What’s your preference?

Each hotel has its unique ambiance and atmosphere, which can significantly impact your overall experience. Some hotels may offer a more intimate and private setting, while others have a lively and social atmosphere. Choose a hotel that aligns with your desired ambiance for a truly enjoyable stay.

✨Accessibility and Facilities Requirements.

Some luxury travelers may have specific accessibility requirements or desire certain facilities during their stay. Look for hotels that cater to your needs, such as wheelchair accessibility, elevators, fitness centers, or spa facilities, ensuring comfort and convenience throughout your stay.

As you can see, finding the perfect hotel for you in Cusco, Peru, requires thoughtful consideration of location, amenities, services, and reviews.

I know, it is not that easy!

BUT no worries we are here to help you.

By opting for a well-located hotel that reflects the city’s unique charm, offers luxury amenities, provides breathtaking views, and serves authentic Peruvian cuisine, you can elevate your Cusco experience to an unforgettable one.

Our curated list of the best hotels in Cusco is made using these factors as a guide.

Let’s dive in.

What are the Best Places to Stay in Cusco Peru

Let us uncover the best luxury hotels and boutique hotels in Cusco that embody the essence of this enchanting city.

1. Inkaterra La Casona

Nestled in a restored 16th-century manor, Inkaterra La Casona is a gem of colonial elegance and refined beauty. Located in the heart of Cusco’s, steps away from the main square, Plaza de Armas, this exclusive boutique hotel offers an intimate ambiance, great service, and unrivaled luxury.

With only eleven suites, each exquisitely decorated with authentic Peruvian antiques, Inkaterra La Casona is among the best places to stay in Cusco Peru – it ensures an intimate and exclusive experience. The hotel features beautifully restored rooms with elegant décor, hardwood floors, and comfortable beds to ensure a luxurious and restful stay.

The attentive staff, providing impeccable service, will cater to your every need, ensuring your stay is seamless. Relax in the serene courtyard or indulge in the soothing treatments at the Andean-inspired spa, immersing yourself in pure relaxation. Inkaterra La Casona sets the tone for a once-in-a-lifetime escape, where history, culture, and luxury harmonize in perfect symphony.

As a sustainability-focused hotel, Inkaterra La Casona engages in various initiatives, including waste reduction, eco-friendly practices, and support for local communities. It’s the perfect place for the eco-conscious traveler looking for an authentic experience in a prime city center.

Sustainable Highlight: Inkaterra La Casona supports local artisans by featuring their crafts and products in the hotel’s design and gift shop, promoting the preservation of traditional craftsmanship.

2. Belmond Hotel Monasterio

A testament to timeless elegance, Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a masterpiece of architecture and history. Housed in a former monastery dating back to the 16th century, this extraordinary hotel exudes an atmosphere of tranquility and grandeur.

Located just steps from Cusco’s vibrant Plaza de Armas, this hotel is one of the best places to stay in Cusco, Peru. It offers convenient access to the city’s treasures. With its historic charm and exceptional service, this luxury collection hotel offers a unique blend of colonial architecture and modern amenities.

Every suite at Belmond Hotel Monasterio is a sanctuary of comfort and style, displaying exquisite details that reflect the region’s rich heritage. Guests can indulge in spacious suites, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and more.

Indulge in the culinary delights of the hotel’s renowned restaurants, serving a fusion of traditional and international dishes. For a truly unforgettable experience, savor a private dining experience in the charming cloisters, surrounded by the monastery’s ancient walls.

Best Places to Stay in Cusco Peru

Belmond Hotel Monasterio’s commitment to sustainability includes efforts to reduce water consumption, energy efficiency, and support for local conservation projects.

Sustainable Highlight: The hotel has partnered with local organizations to preserve the ecosystem and culture of the Andean region, ensuring that your stay contributes positively to the community and environment.

3. Palacio Nazarenas, a Belmond Hotel, Cusco

Step into a world of luxury and sophistication at Palacio Nazarenas. Palacio Nazarenas is a hidden gem in Cusco, in a restored palace dating back to the Inca era.

This stunning hotel, housed in a former palace and convent, is a haven of luxury, meticulously restored to preserve its historic essence. One of the best places to stay in Cusco Peru, the hotel boasts breathtaking views of the Andes and offers an exclusive outdoor pool, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.

This luxury hotel offers guests a range of private rooms and suites with modern amenities and exceptional service. The property boasts a hot tub, private bathrooms, and city views that delight travelers.

Best places to Stay in Cusco Peru

Each suite at Palacio Nazarenas features its private bar, where expert mixologists craft signature cocktails to your taste. The serene Hypnôze Spa offers rejuvenating treatments that blend traditional Incan ingredients with modern wellness techniques. With a dedication to personalized service, Palacio Nazarenas ensures that every aspect of your stay is tailored to your desires.

Palacio Nazarenas is also committed to sustainability, implementing eco-friendly practices to reduce environmental impact.

Sustainable Highlight: The hotel’s efforts in preserving the palace’s ancient architecture and historical significance demonstrate a commitment to the cultural heritage of Cusco.

4. Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique

Set in a 16th-century colonial mansion, Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique is an oasis of luxury in the heart of Cusco. Without a doubt, the hotel is a luxury escape.

The fusion of history and contemporary design creates an enchanting and welcoming ambiance. The hotel’s magnificent art collection, featuring colonial and contemporary masterpieces, adds a touch of cultural immersion to your stay.

Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique embodies Cusco’s allure, where the old world meets the new, offering an unforgettable journey through time. This boutique hotel offers guests a perfect blend of modern comfort and historic ambiance, with comfortable rooms and elegant décor.

Indulge in the Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique’s exclusive gourmet restaurant, presenting a fusion of traditional Andean flavors and international cuisine.

The sumptuous spa offers an array of therapies, including Andean hot stone massages and coca leaf wraps, delivering a truly authentic wellness experience. The hotel’s outdoor pool and spa provide the ultimate relaxation after a day of exploring the city’s narrow streets. Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique actively engages in sustainable practices, including waste management and energy conservation.

Sustainable Highlight: The hotel supports local organic farming and sources ingredients from nearby sustainable producers for its restaurants, ensuring that your culinary experience is delightful and environmentally conscious.

5. Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

Elegance and heritage merge seamlessly at Palacio del Inka, a captivating hotel just a stone’s throw from Cusco’s central square. It is a luxury collection hotel embodying the grandeur of Cusco’s history.

Housed in a 15th-century mansion, the hotel offers guests a taste of opulence with its modern amenities and exceptional service. Its facade exudes the grandeur of Spanish colonial architecture, setting the stage for an enchanting stay in the heart of the Andes.

The meticulously decorated rooms and suites boast a regal ambiance, offering a harmonious blend of history and modernity. Enjoy sophisticated dining at the Inti Raymi restaurant, where innovative cuisine celebrates Peru’s culinary legacy. Palacio del Inka also offers an enriching experience through art tours, uncovering the hotel’s extensive collection of colonial-era artworks and artifacts.

Its prime location in the heart of Cusco allows easy access to the city’s main attractions. Palacio del Inka is committed to sustainable tourism and supports local communities through various initiatives.

Sustainable Highlight: The hotel collaborates with local artisans, showcasing their craft in the property’s décor and promoting cultural preservation.

6. Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa

An exclusive retreat nestled in a former 16th-century mansion, Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa is a captivating blend of luxury and cultural heritage. It is a true haven in Cusco, nestled in a historic colonial building. Its prime location, just a short walk from Plaza de Armas, allows guests to easily explore the city’s treasures.

This luxury boutique hotel is among the best places to stay in Cusco Peru, as it offers elegant rooms, impeccable service, and a tranquil outdoor pool. The suites are an ode to elegance and refinement, featuring elegant marble bathrooms and handcrafted furnishings.

The serene courtyard provides a peaceful escape, while the world-class spa invites guests to indulge in ancient Incan therapies. Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa is a symphony of sophistication, where the essence of Cusco’s past is harmoniously interwoven with modern comforts.

It is the ideal place for a short stay, where you can unwind in the lap of luxury. The hotel’s commitment to sustainability includes efforts to minimize its ecological footprint and support local communities.

Sustainable Highlight: Casa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa invests in eco-friendly practices and supports community projects, ensuring a positive impact on the environment and the people of Cusco.

READ MORE: Best Luxury Hotels to Stay When Visiting Machu Picchu

Exploring Authentic Cusco: Our Suggested Experiences

Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, offers more than just luxurious accommodations. For luxury travelers searching for unique and authentic experiences, the city presents many off-the-beaten-path places and cultural treasures waiting to be discovered.

Beyond the typical tourist attractions, these hidden gems offer a chance to connect with the region’s rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant local culture.

Palccoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain

The Palccoyo Alternative Rainbow Mountain is a secret that promises an awe-inspiring adventure with fewer tourists. Unlike its more popular counterpart, Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, Palccoyo offers a more intimate experience, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Peruvian Andes without the crowds.

Best places to visit in Cusco Peru

The sustainable tourism practices in this region ensure that your visit leaves a minimal ecological footprint. Hiking through the mesmerizing landscapes of Palccoyo, you will witness stunning multicolored rock formations and majestic valleys, making it a photographer’s paradise.

Qoricancha Temple

Step back in time and explore the history of the Qoricancha Temple, a site that perfectly exemplifies the blend of Inca and Spanish cultures. Originally, it was an important Inca temple dedicated to the worship of the sun god Inti. Later, the temple was repurposed by the Spanish conquistadors, who built the Santo Domingo Monastery atop its foundations.

The combination of Inca stone masonry and Spanish colonial architecture creates a unique and fascinating sight. Knowledgeable guides will walk you through this sacred site’s complex history and significance, offering an unforgettable cultural experience.

Coffee on a Balcony

Indulge in life’s simple pleasures by starting your morning with a cup of delicious Peruvian coffee while sitting on a café balcony in Cusco. As the city comes to life, you will have a front-row seat to the captivating morning hustle and bustle.

The picturesque view of the colorful streets and historic buildings provides the perfect setting for relaxation and contemplation. Engage in friendly conversations with locals, and you might gain insights into their unique way of life and the rhythm of Cusco.

Discover the Sacred Valley

Embark on a multi-day tour to explore the wonders of the Sacred Valley, home to some of the best-preserved Inca architecture and breathtaking landscapes in Peru. This ancient valley served as the agricultural heartland of the Inca Empire and is dotted with impressive archaeological sites, including Ollantaytambo and Pisac.

Best time to visit Cusco Peru

Marvel at the intricate stonework, terraced fields, and temples that showcase the engineering brilliance of the Incas. Engaging with local communities and participating in traditional activities will deepen your appreciation for the region’s cultural heritage.

Trendy Local Clothing

Cusco offers a delightful shopping experience for the fashion-forward luxury traveler in its boutique shops and concept stores. Here, you can discover sustainable, fashionable textiles that blend Incan heritage with modern trends.

Local artisans highlight their exquisite artisanship, incorporating traditional weaving techniques and indigenous motifs into contemporary designs. Embrace the opportunity to support the local economy and carry home unique and culturally rich pieces of clothing as cherished souvenirs.

best places to stay in cusco Peru

Cusco beckons luxury travelers with its authentic and lesser-known experiences in the heart of Peru’s Andean region. From the sustainable marvel of Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain to the cultural significance of Qoricancha Temple, this ancient city offers diverse activities beyond the typical tourist trail.

Sipping coffee on a balcony, exploring the Sacred Valley’s architectural marvels, and indulging in trendy local clothing will enrich your understanding of Cusco’s cultural heritage and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure in Cusco

Choquequirao Trek

For those looking for an alternative to the crowded Inca Trail, the Choquequirao Trek is a perfect choice. This challenging hike takes you to the “sister city” of Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca citadel perched on a remote mountaintop. The trek offers breathtaking views of the Andean mountains and an opportunity to connect with nature while exploring lesser-known Inca ruins.

Andean Communities Experience

Immerse yourself in Andean communities’ traditions and daily life by visiting remote villages in the Sacred Valley. You can participate in agricultural activities, learn about traditional weaving techniques, and share meals with local families. This enriching cultural experience provides insight into the deep-rooted heritage of the Andean people.

Moray and Maras

Explore the unique archaeological site of Moray, a series of circular terraces believed to have been an Inca agricultural laboratory. Nearby, you can visit the salt pans of Maras, where salt has been harvested since pre-Inca times. This half-day excursion offers a fascinating glimpse into the ingenuity of ancient civilizations.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

For a truly magical experience, take to the skies in a hot air balloon and enjoy breathtaking views of the Cusco countryside and the Andean peaks. The tranquility of floating above the landscape offers a unique perspective on the region’s natural beauty.

Horseback Riding in the Andes

Explore the countryside and ancient Inca trails on horseback. This adventure allows you to venture into areas not accessible by foot, providing a sense of freedom and connection to the landscape.

Culinary Experiences

Delight in a private Peruvian cooking class, where you can learn to prepare traditional dishes using local ingredients. Engage with expert chefs who will guide you through the nuances of Peruvian cuisine, offering a deeper understanding of the country’s culinary heritage.

These off-the-beaten-path adventures in Cusco are perfect for luxury travelers who seek to venture beyond the ordinary and create unforgettable memories of their journey through South America’s Andean region. Each experience offers a blend of cultural immersion, natural wonders, and personalized service, ensuring a unique and enriching escape.

Cusco, Peru, is a destination like no other, and your stay at any of these luxurious hotels will undoubtedly be an extraordinary experience. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty, while savoring unparalleled service and lavish accommodations.

Your Authentic Trip to Peru Highlights

Are you ready to experience an extraordinary adventure in Peru, complete with one-of-a-kind and genuine experiences and full of charm?⁠

Take a glimpse at our suggested trip: Peru, Authentic Highlight, and let your imagination run wild with the endless possibilities of what’s to come!⁠

With our dedication to crafting bespoke journeys, we invite you to embark on an unforgettable adventure to Peru, where dreams become a reality, and luxury knows no bounds.

Across South America is a luxury boutique travel company committed to helping travelers have a once-in-a-lifetime trip in South America. We curate authentic and sustainable experiences for travelers like you. Cusco, Peru, offers a treasure trove of enchanting places to explore, and the top hotels mentioned in this blog post provide the perfect blend of luxury and sustainability.

Your trip to South America can be more than just a vacation; it can be an opportunity to contribute positively to local communities and preserve this magnificent region’s cultural and environmental heritage.


Across South America Co-founder

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PS –✈️ Book your consultation video call with us if you are ready to book your trip. It all starts there. We will get to know you to design a TRUE custom trip for you. Learn more about our boutique service HERE.

Top Hotels to Stay in Cusco Peru (Updated for 2024)

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