Ever wanted to see Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world? It’s definitely worth the trip to visit Cusco in Peru before heading to the ancient site.
The number of tourists visiting Peru each year has drastically increased over the past decade. In fact, nearly 3.8 million people visited Peru in 2017. But where are people going in Peru? While there is plenty to see and do in the country, almost every visitor has one stop in common: Cusco. Cusco is the most popular tourist destination in Peru for a reason. In fact, there are many reasons. Keep reading to learn why you should visit Cusco on your next South American vacation!
1. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a must-visit location for anyone traveling in Peru. It is an Incan citadel set way up in the Andes mountains. It was built in the 15th century but was later abandoned, leaving it to be a complete mystery. But the mystery behind Machu Picchu is part of the allure— no one knows how it was built, why it was built, and why it was later abandoned. But one thing is for certain: it’s mind-blowingly beautiful. And not just the structure itself, but the views you get from atop the Andes mountains make the trek well worth it.
2. The Rich History
The rich history of Cusco extends well beyond Machu Picchu. By simply walking around the town, you’ll be surrounded by ancient ruins and buildings infused with the town’s culture. Take a trek up to Sacsayhuaman, which is an ancient citadel overlooking the town of Cusco.
3. The Delicious Cuisine
Everyone who enjoys foreign cuisine has tried and fallen in love with Peruvian food. But getting authentic Peruvian food in Cusco is another level of deliciousness. Some dishes you need to try while visiting include Ceviche, Lomo Soltado, and Aji de Gallina.
4. Incredible Nature and Animals
In Cusco, it’s not uncommon to see natives walking around with alpacas and llamas. In fact, you’re likely to face a ton of animals you’ve never encountered before, including condors, penguins, and even a jaguar if you’re lucky (or unlucky). In addition to wildlife, Cusco and the surrounding areas have some incredible views and nature experiences to offer. You can go hiking in the Andes, visit Humantay Lake, or check out Montana de Siete Colores. But the best way to experience Peruvian nature and wildlife is to do an all inclusive tour.
5. Friendly People
If you’re a well-traveled person, you know that not every destination is very welcoming to tourists. But Cusco is home to some of the most friendly people in the world, and that will make your experience even more enjoyable. You’ll have the opportunity to meet people from an entirely different culture and walk of life. If you make the effort, you can learn a lot about what it’s like to actually live in Cusco, and maybe even get some tips on local spots that most tourists don’t know about.
If you’ve been itching to take a trip to South America, it’s time to visit Cusco, Peru and experience all of the wonders the town has to offer. Looking for more travel tips? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog!