The heart of the old Inca empire has a wealth of Inca ruins, Spanish treasures and historic architecture to explore.
Recommended place to stay:
Inkaterra La Casona
Cusco, Cusco Region, Peru|www.inkaterra.com|
Official star rating:
This 16th Century Spanish-colonial mansion overlooking a plaza in arty, boho San Blas, is so steeped in history you can imagine a conquistador stepping out of the front door, sword in hand.
The house was built over the training ground for Inca officers; Diego de Almagro (the conqueror of Chile) and Simón Bolívar – liberator of Spanish South America – are previous guests.
The original colonial brick masonry has been fully restored, baroque art adorns the walls, statues of saints sit on plinths next to modern sofas-to-sink-into in the lounge. The best rooms are the upper floor balcony suites overlooking the central atrium, with faux-antique furnishings and chunky wooden beds.
The spa is modest, but offers excellent massage treatments for guests who are feeling the altitude.
It’s a perfect Cusco location, on a quiet square behind the cathedral. Arty San Blas – with its restaurants, art galleries and wonderful views – is a few blocks up the adjacent Calle Pumacurco. The Plaza de Armas is a block away.
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Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay
A land of spectacular deserts, high mountains and rainforests that teem with wildlife, Peru is also home to an array of dramatically situated pre-Colombian ruins, including Machu Picchu.