The Best Things To Do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru

The Best Things To Do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru

I had such a wonderful time exploring Cusco, Aguas Calientes, and Machu Picchu, Peru with my two friends Rebecca and Marisa. After relaxing in Lima for a few days we were all giddy with excitement as we headed off to see such a famous world wonder. Here’re some wonderful things to do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru that you can do on your next trip.

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Cusco, Peru

The Best Things I Did in Cusco and Machu Picchu PeruSo after enjoying the beaches of Lima, we jumped on a plane and arrived in Cusco. Cusco was absolutely gorgeous! There were many women walking up and down the cobblestone streets dressed in colorful traditional clothes and holding baby lambs. Some even offered to let us pet their llamas and alpacas. We explored Cusco quite a bit for a few days. When in Cusco, make sure you explore the Centro Historico and the Plaza de Armas. The food in Cusco is amazing. Almost every restaurant has healthy vegetarian and vegan options and everything is fresh. We had to be careful of altitude sickness and so we drank lots of agua de coca and took our first few days easy.

Where to Stay in Cusco: Pariwana Hostel

Our hostel, Pariwana, is definitely the best hostel I have ever stayed in. It’s absolutely huge and the building is a two-story square rectangular shape with a beautiful courtyard in the middle. There are paintings and maps on the walls, ping pong, and foosball tables outside and there are so many places to just sit down and relax. They also have beer pong tournaments, salsa lessons, and yoga classes regularly. Breakfast is free and everyone is very friendly. If you ever go to Cusco I would definitely recommend that you stay at Pariwana Hostel.

If hostels aren’t your thing, you can find a ton of other accommodation and hotel options here. 

Things to do in Cusco: Visit the Chocolate Museum

My favorite thing that we did in Cusco was visit the Choco Museo (Chocolate Museum). It was super fun and we even got to take a class and make our own chocolates from scratch. We crushed the cacao beans and everything and got to taste Peruvian hot chocolate. The workshop we did was called the Bean to Bar Workshop.

Cusco’s Choco Museo has a variety of other workshops you can take. Some of these include a Truffle Workshop, a Cooking Class, a Mini Chocolate Workshop, and more. The museum also does birthday parties and a Plantations Tour.

Psssttt, want to find out where the best beaches in Peru are? Check out this post!

Other Things to Do in Cusco

Visit Aguas Calientes

The Best Things I Did in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru

After being in Cusco for a few days we took a train to Aguas Calientes which is the town just below Machu Picchu. It was nothing like what I expected. The town is very hilly and in the middle of a jungle. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes and was unable to find After-bite, so try to remember to bring your own if you can. The hostel we stayed at there was very cool too and was covered in beautiful paintings. It was the SuperTramp Hostel and I would also recommend it. We ended up going to the hot springs on our day there which were super relaxing and very cheap as well. Once again the food was incredible and we all slept well there.

The Best Things I Did in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru

The Highlight of Our Time in Peru: Machu Picchu, Peru

The next day we woke up, ate breakfast at the SuperTramp hostel, and took a bus to Machu Picchu. Marisa and I thought we had bought our tickets online but it turns out the website wasn’t working properly and our tickets were only reservations meaning we hadn’t yet paid. We checked our bank accounts and sure enough, we hadn’t paid. So we were about to enter Machu Picchu after a half-hour bus ride and then realized that the two of us had to go all the way back down the mountain to buy our tickets.

The Best Things I Did in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru

Luckily the staff there were nice enough to help us pay online at the hotel there but it did mean we didn’t get to hike Huayna Picchu with Rebecca. For me, this was okay as the altitude plus my asthma was making it difficult enough to even get to the lookout point at Machu Picchu. Marisa and I walked all through Machu Picchu and it was very surreal, to say the least. I still can’t believe we got to see it. If you ever get the chance to go definitely visit Machu Picchu but make sure you use this website to book your tickets instead of the one we used.

How to Get to Machu Picchu Peru

There are a few different ways that you can get from Cusco to Machu Picchu. We took a bus, stayed overnight in Aguas Calientes, and then took another bus. You can also take a train to Machu Picchu or you can access the historic site by a multi-day hike.

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Best Things to do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru
Best Things to do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru
Best Things to do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru
Best Things to do in Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru


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