Where to Stay in Aguas Calientes

Where to stay in Aguas Calientes, the doorway to Machu Picchu

Aguas Calientes is a small village on the Urubamba river, located in the Cusco region of Peru, South America. The village is mainly known as the tourist resting point upon visiting Machu Picchu. Besides the ancient monuments, the area has plenty of other natural beauty and resources to offer.

Source: Instagram @simply.angella 

How to get to Aguas Calientes

Getting to the village can be achieved in two ways:

  1. By direct train from the city of Cusco or village of Ollantaytambo
  2. By bus to Hidroelectrica, and then on foot or by train to the village

Best areas to stay in Aguas Calientes

The village is small, and wherever you choose to stay, everything you might want to visit should be a maximum of 15 minutes away. The town only has 4,500 residents, but thousands of tourists that come to sightsee are there every day. Here are our favorite neighborhoods:

  • Machu Picchu Station
  • Ave Pachacutec
  • Estación Peru Rail a Hidroeléctrica

Here’s a quick breakdown of why these locations are the best.

Where to stay in Aguas Calientes
Best area for first-timers Machu Picchu Station
Best area to stay on a budget Ave Pachacutec
Best for long-term stay Estación Peru Rail a Hidroeléctrica

Best area for first-timers—Machu Picchu Station

Machu Picchu Station is your likeliest point of entry to the village, as it’s done by railway from Cusco. This is where most visitors decide to stay in. The central area around the station is the most developed for tourists since it has the highest circulation of them. It’s also home to plenty of inner-village attractions like the Cancha Football stadium, and there are plenty of shops and restaurants around the area. As the most developed tourist area, it’s the ideal place for first-time visitors.

Best area to stay on a budget—Ave Pachacutec

Ave Pachacutec is a large street connecting a mostly residential area. It is full of local and family-owned businesses, so the prices for food, accommodation, and basic souvenirs may be lower than in the more touristy parts of the city. This makes it the best location if you’re traveling on a budget. The area is also quieter and less crowded with tourists than the rest of the village.

Best area for long-term stay—Estacion Peru Rail a Hidroeléctrica

If you’re entering the village of Aguas Calientes from Hidroelectrica either by foot or train, this is the area you’re going to end up in first. It is close, as well as connected by road, to the most important monuments that everyone comes to see, such as Machu Picchu, Phutuq K’usi, Chávez Ballon Archeological Museum, etc. It’s also the closest area to the two village’s hospitals and the police station if either is necessary. This, along with its location near major tourist attractions, makes it best for a long-term stay.

What to see and do in the village of Aguas Calientes

The village itself is so small that splitting things to do into areas doesn’t make sense. Everything is within walking distance, so here’s a list of 10 attractions nearby. They are in no particular order, so pick and choose what to see and do as you’d like.

Machu Picchu

If you’ve decided to visit this charming village, there’s a 99% chance Machu Picchu is the #1 reason. Machu Picchu is an ancient settlement of the people known as Inca. The remains of the city are located on the mountain of the same name, at an astounding 2,430m (7,970 ft) above sea level. The city is known as one of the New Seven Wonders of The World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the main reason for tourists to visit Peru and especially Aguas Calientes. Getting to the ancient site can be done in two ways:

  • By bus that runs from the local town, takes about 30 minutes
  • By walking from the village, about a 2-hour hike

Those who are physically capable of making the hike are highly recommended to do so, as the scenery and open-air are much better enjoyed that way. Plus, you get to make stops for some epic views and photographs.

Source: Pixabay

Mercado Artesanal

Mercado Artesanal is a cool marketplace in the center of the Aguas Calientes. The stands are full of mostly handcrafted items, such as statues, bags, clothing, and more. There are also things like tea, spices, and coffee, although not much food. It’s the ideal place to get a bunch of souvenirs from your Machu Picchu trip. Be prepared to bargain, as similar items may vary in price from shop to shop. Other smaller gift shops around the area are also known for housing the same items at lesser prices, so keep that in mind if you don’t mind waiting.

Source: Instagram @miranda_cairn

Inca Trail

What is known as the classic Inca Trail is a set of dirt roads (hiking tracks) that connect most of the ancient Inca sites around the area. Machu Picchu is the most famous, but far from the only monument left by the Incas. Just exploring the dense forests and hilltops in the area is an activity in itself. However, most places are only reachable by foot and recommended to those who can withstand multiple hours of walking through uneven fields. Most sites are a long walking distance away from the village, which is why many tourists go in groups and set up camp to spend the night. If you’re not in the mood for sleeping in a tent, ask for bus tours or bike rides to the locations.

Source: Inca Trail Peru

Patallacta

When translated, the name Patallacta means “Settlement on a platform”. What remains of this ancient village leaves plenty of evidence of it being used for religious and ceremonial purposes. The remains of shrines, temples, and tombs can be found all around the area. Getting to the location from Aguas Calientes may prove difficult on foot unless you’re willing to camp out or settle nearby. If you want to avoid tiring hikes, ask around for sightseeing tours.

Source: Instagram @catalin_mrs

Inca Bridge

Fearless hikers looking for a thrill should look just south of Aguas Calientes for the Inca Bridge. The trail leading to the area gets narrower as you come closer to the middle. Eventually, you end up walking on a less than a meter wide trail on the hillside. It’s definitely not recommended for people who are afraid of heights, as even experienced climbers are left feeling uneasy. Remember, just don’t look down, and you’ll be fine! Those willing to take this road will be rewarded with some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world.

Source: Instagram @amandagooge

Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo is a small village settlement next to an ancient Inca settlement. It served as a royal estate to emperor Pachacuti, who is credited for leading the largest expansion of the Inca empire through his conquests. During the early invasions of the Spanish conquistadores, Ollantaytambo was used as a stronghold and housed the native people’s resistance. Many tourists going to Aguas Calientes will come through Ollantaytambo by train. In case you chose another path, use the same train to visit Ollantaytambo instead. Explore the village to find some local food and souvenirs, then head over to the terraces for a view of the area.

Source: Instagram @renatojaneri

Dead Woman’s Pass

Behind the noticeably sinister name is a rather normal sight to be seen, so to speak. This passageway between two mountain peaks along the Inca Trails got its name because it resembles a typical female body shape when observed from above. The pass is the highest hiking point along the trail, standing at 4,200m (13,780 ft). That’s almost twice as high as Machu Picchu itself! It is a must-see place on all Inca Trails sightseeing tours. Still, it’s a bit far from Aguas Calientes to cover in a single day’s hike, so you will have to settle for camping out or resting at nearby resorts.

Source: Instagram @anitaawu

Putucusi 

Putucusi (Phutuq K’usi) is a mountain peak just west of Aguas Calientes. Getting there takes little time, but it’s not nearly as easy to reach as some of the other mountain peaks. This one is an adventurer’s dream. The pathway leading to it is extremely harsh, and there are no beaten paths to follow. Most of the time, you’ll find yourself walking through the forest.

Eventually, once the mountain gets too steep, the only way up is by wooden ladders and ropes that are set up by the locals. No, that is not a joke. This is a seriously risky path for inexperienced climbers and those with low stamina. However, those who make it to the top are rewarded with a 360-degree view of the mountain surroundings. From the top, you will see Machu Picchu as well as the river valley. Those brave enough to climb it will literally find themselves in the clouds. Going up!

Source: Instagram @sweetspottravels

Temple of the Moon

The name itself holds no intrinsic meaning to the Incas. It was given more or less randomly by modern explorers. Although the exact usage of the temple is unknown, it is speculated that it was used for ceremonial purposes. A giant rock carving in the center of the cave is guessed to be a throne. The remains of the site are located inside a narrow, open-face cave. Evidence around the archeological site suggests it could have been used as a place of worship, a royal residence, or even a tomb. Most likely, it served multiple purposes over time.

Source: Martin St-Amant – Wikipedia – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Los Jardines de Mandor

When translated into English, the name of this site means Mandor gardens. This nature preserve is located about an hour’s walk from Aguas Calientes and can only be accessed by foot for a reason. The land is privately owned, meaning you’ll have to pay to get access to it. There is a reception office along the way. However, by paying to visit the reserve, you aren’t just filling someone’s pockets. The family that lives in and maintains the area has been doing so for three generations and can even be considered single-handedly responsible for the preservation and development of the surrounding flora and fauna. Along the way, you’ll be able to observe many species of plants and animals living peacefully in the gardens. At the end of the hike, you’ll be greeted by a waterfall.

Source: Instagram @jardinesdemandor

Best (and Worst) Coworking Spaces in Cusco

15 coworking spaces in Cusco to visit (and one to skip)

Cusco is the seventh-largest city in Peru, situated at a high elevation in the Andes. The city isn’t big and you can mostly move around on foot if you don’t mind the steep streets. The best time to stay in Cusco is during the winter months (June–September), when there are fewer rain showers and the temperature is pleasant. If you’re a first-time traveler to Cusco, check out this vlog:

There aren’t many coworking spaces in Cusco, but the available ones offer private offices and comfortable chairs. Cafés and restaurants are also popular among digital nomads and expats, with somewhat reliable internet and great coffee. Here are our top picks of coworking spaces.

Selina CoWork Cusco is our favorite place to cowork in Cusco

Image source: Selina CoWork Cusco Website

Selina CoWork Cusco is on Plaza de Armas in the historical center of Cusco, where everything is close by. Artful décor and the fast internet make this coworking place stand out from all others in the city.

We spent hours here in comfortable chairs, enjoying free freshly brewed coffee. The kitchen with a small lounge area found downstairs is great for meeting other coworkers. There are two phone booths you don’t have to book ahead, equipped with standing desks. Keep in mind they’re not soundproofed well, so others may hear your conversation if you speak too loud. 

The food at Selina’s restaurant is 15% off for members of the coworking space. You can also participate in all activities available at the Selina hostel, like on-site yoga. Bringing your dog or cat to work is also an option since the space is pet-friendly. All this and the 24/7 opening hours make Selina CoWork a fantastic choice for remote work.  

Basics
Pricing
  • $9 per day
  • $45 per week
  • $140 per month
High-Speed Internet 100 megabit fiber
Open Hours
  • Monday–Friday: 24 hours
  • Saturday: 24 hours
  • Sunday: 24 hours
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk Yes
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks Yes
Conference Rooms Yes
Private Offices Yes
Phone booths Yes
Coliving Yes

La Oficina Cusco Coworking is our least favorite place to cowork in Cusco

Image source: La Oficina Cusco Coworking Facebook

La Oficina Cusco Coworking is located in the Marcavalle neighborhood, almost an hour away from the city center.

The first thing we didn’t like are the seats at the hot desks being too close to one another, so others can see what you are working on. You can solve this by paying for a private office, but it is available only at a pricey monthly rate. Ergonomic chairs are not available to everyone, and if you pay for a hot desk, you won’t be getting one. We always carry our travel stand desk with us, so that wasn’t a big issue, but it would be annoying otherwise. 

With all this in mind, La Oficina Cusco Coworking is better for companies than for individuals. It may be a good venue for events, meetings, and workshops, but it’s far from a good place to cowork. 

Basics
Pricing
  • $26 per day
  • $66 per week
  • $235 per month
High-Speed Internet 100 megabit fiber
Open Hours
  • Monday–Friday: 9 am–7 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am–1 pm
  • Sunday: Closed
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks Yes
Conference Rooms Yes
Private Offices Yes
Phone booths No
Coliving No

Five coworking spaces in Cusco we also like

If our top pick is not your cup of tea, check out some of these places:  

  1. GenUp Coworking
  2. Ayni Center
  3. Genba Coworking Cusco
  4. Cappuccino Cafe Cusco
  5. Siete & Siete Restocafé

GenUp Coworking 

Image source: GenUp Coworking Facebook

GenUp Coworking is five minutes away from the Paradero Magisterio bus station in the Magisterial neighborhood of Cusco. This coworking space may be on the smallish side, but the owners made sure this two-story business is well furnished.

The moment you walk into this coworking space, you feel like you belong there. We came early to check the conference room and see if it will be alright for the meeting later that day. They gave us everything we needed and even offered to prepare snacks for the meeting, free of charge. 

You’d think that private offices are more comfortable than designated desks, but here it’s the other way around. The office they showed us had four glass tables and chairs with lousy back support. Fortunately, the upstairs area offers hot desks with ergonomic chairs. The space also has personal lockers for storing your things, so you can play foosball or have free coffee on the balcony without worrying about your belongings.

Ayni Center

Image source: Ayni Center Website

Ayni Center is in the quiet Santa Mónica neighborhood surrounded by restaurants and cafés. This space offers three plans—daily, weekly, and monthly—all with different perks. The most expensive one will get you a personal locker, conference room, and access to their coworking network.

Modern design and lodge-like décor in the main room make the place cozy and inspiring for work. Chairs at the hot desks may not be ergonomic, but they will keep you comfortable for a couple of hours. If you need consulting services about your projects, Ayni Center offers legal, tax, and risk management advice—for a fee, of course. The internet is fast, and we didn’t have any problems, even when the space was packed. We heard Ayni organizes yoga classes for the members, but there weren’t any when we were there.       

Genba Coworking Cusco 

Image source: Genba Coworking Cusco Facebook

Genba Coworking Cusco is located in the neighborhood of Santa Mónica. A great thing about this place is that it offers fast internet and comfortable setting. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish since the staff knows English and will always be there to help.

Genba is quite spacious, with lots of room and comfortable chairs, even at hot desks. We decided to try a semi-private office concept, somewhat similar to a cubicle, and we liked it. A large bookshelf serves as the barrier between two desks, although it doesn’t stop the noise from annoying you. We were disappointed that two people can’t use one semi-office for practical reasons, so one of us rented a hot desk. If you are not meeting with clients, having a seat at the hot desk is enough to get the work done, and cheaper.

Cappuccino Cafe Cusco

Image source: Cappuccino Cafe Cusco Facebook

Cappuccino Cafe Cusco is in the Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s main city square, and offers one of the best views over the city. Unfortunately, there are only three tables on the balcony. If you want to work overlooking the cathedral, you should come here early to beat the crowd.

The cafe is not as comfortable as devoted coworking spaces, but the chairs are decent, so you can work for a couple of hours without getting sore. The coffee is better than the internet and worth the trouble. They also serve a variety of teas and food, so it is a nice place to have brunch.     

Siete & Siete Restocafé

Image source: Siete & Siete Restocafé Facebook

Siete & Siete Restocafé is located in San Blas, one of the steeper neighborhoods in Cusco. The most impressive thing about this coffee shop is the Wi-Fi. It’s by far one of the fastest in Cusco. 

The greatest downside of this place is the fact that it is not comfortable enough. The tables are too close to each other, and it gets noisier as the day unfolds. The staff is friendly, but don’t hog the table with one drink if you plan to stay longer. Our advice is to try something from their seven-of-everything menu, like one of seven coffees or pastries.       

Other interesting coworking spaces in Cusco:

Best (and Worst) Coworking Spaces in Lima

5 impressive (and one disappointing) coworking spaces in Lima

Lima is the capital of Peru located on the Pacific coast and surrounded by the desert. It is one of the biggest cities in South America, with springtime temperatures in the summer and misty winters. If it’s your first time here, this vlog offers useful pointers to get by in Lima:

Expats and digital nomads in Lima usually make a base in Miraflores, one of the safest neighborhoods in South America. Cafés and coworking spaces there have the fastest, stable internet in Lima. Although the coworking community is still growing, the city offers sufficient and comfortable spaces for remote work. Check out our top choices!

Residencia Coworking is our favorite place to cowork in Lima

Image source: Residencia Coworking Facebook

Residencia Coworking is in the Leuro sub-district of Miraflores, not far from the beach. You can come here on a rented bike or an electric scooter since there are free parking spots for your ride.

If you like a more laid back vibe and less corporate feel, this is the right coworking space for you. The rooms are spacious and full of natural light, with bean bags on the floor and ergonomic chairs at the desks. A small cafeteria serves free coffee and filtered water, and we suggest trying fresh juice squeezed on the spot.

We loved that the space remained quiet even when most of the seats were occupied. A large outdoor area is also equipped for work, but people mostly go there to chat and hang out. Although we learned some basic Spanish before arriving in Lima, we didn’t need any. Everyone at Residencia Coworking speaks English and will gladly give pointers about the best cafés and eateries. If you are tired of sitting, store your things in the personal locker and use their slide on the roof. It’s fun and will get your spirits up in a matter of seconds.

Basics
Pricing
  • PEN50 per day
  • PEN210 per week
  • PEN750 per month
High-Speed Internet 100 megabit fiber
Open Hours
  • Monday – Friday: 7 am – 11 pm
  • Saturday: 8 am – 2 pm
  • Sunday: Closed
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks Yes
Conference Rooms Yes
Private Offices Yes
Phone booths No
Coliving No

Zona de Mejora is our least favorite place to cowork in Lima

Image source: Zona de Mejora Facebook

Zona de Mejora is located in the Pueblo Libre district, ten minutes away from the closest bus stop. Rooms are small and can’t fit more than a dozen people without turning noisy and crowded.

This coworking space has potential but lacks a better organization of seats and ergonomic furniture. It seemed more like someone’s home than a coworking office, making it a little bit awkward to work in. It’s a good thing we never leave home without our travel stand desk, so the lack of ergonomic chairs didn’t bother us much.

Zona de Mejora is not without charm. If you need a place to work with a team, Zona is decent enough to serve as your office. It has private offices, a meeting room, and a small auditorium. There’s also an outdoor area in front of the coworking space. It’s not as private as we would like, but comfortable enough to have a cup of coffee and chat with other coworkers.

Basics
Pricing
  • $13 per day
  • $53 per week
  • $183 per month
High-Speed Internet 100 megabit fiber
Open Hours
  • Monday – Friday: 9 am – 7 pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs No
Standing Desk No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks Yes
Conference Rooms Yes
Private Offices Yes
Phone booths No
Coliving No

Four coworking spaces in Lima we also love

Lima is blossoming with coworking spaces, and here are the ones that stand out:

  1. Co-Labora Coworking
  2. Work Point Peru
  3. Liberal Coworking
  4. Worx Coworking & Offices

Co-Labora Coworking in Miraflores

Image source: Co-Labora Coworking Website

Co-Labora Coworking is located on the outskirts of Miraflores district, just 15 minutes away from the metro station.

We came to this coworking space for a meeting and liked it so much we stayed to work. Instead of having a meeting in the conference room, we had it on the bean bags in the lounge area. Every desk has an ergonomic chair and enough power outlets to charge several devices at the same time. If you get hungry, there is a cozy café within the Co-Labora serving healthy food and excellent coffee. At the end of every month, this coworking space hosts a party where coworkers can meet and exchange ideas.

Work Point Peru in Santa Catalina

Image source: Work Point Peru Facebook

Work Point Peru in Santa Catalina is a spacious coworking space close to several bus stops and 25 minutes from the metro station.

This coworking space has a lot of options for both individuals and startups. The outdoor terrace is also available to members, and you will often see people working there under the parasols. Not all chairs are comfortable, and if you can’t get an ergonomic one, opt for a bean bag. It’s a better sitting arrangement than plastic chairs at some hot desks. Karaoke, board games, and foosball are a nice way to break the ice and meet other coworkers. Another great opportunity for networking is coming to Work Point’s Friday parties serving beer and food.

Liberal Coworking in Miraflores

Image source: Liberal Coworking Facebook

Liberal Coworking is located in a bustling part of the Miraflores district full of bars and restaurants.

This coworking space paid special attention to details and made a creative environment with positive messages and artful pictures on the walls. The best seats are in the offices overlooking the Kennedy Park on the second and third floors. They are also the most popular, and you need to book them well in advance. It’s a shame that ergonomic chairs are not available in all rooms, although we liked that the space has so many sofas. Desks don’t have a storage area or a drawer, so ask for a personal locker to put away the things you don’t need. Aside from free coffee, you can have detox water infused with fresh fruit and cookies available in the kitchen.

Worx Coworking & Offices in Miraflores

Image source: Worx Coworking & Offices Facebook

Worx Coworking & Offices is another well-equipped coworking space in Miraflores, a minute away from the closest bus stop.

The moment you enter into this coworking space, you notice its contemporary design and lots of natural light. The lower floor is for the reception, lounge area, and hot desks. Private offices and conference rooms are on the upper floor, equipped with big TVs and ergonomic chairs. This is a great coworking space to impress clients and potential partners. Worx is a big space, and you will have to be more straightforward to meet other coworkers. This doesn’t come easy if you are uncomfortable approaching strangers out of the blue. Another downside is that it keeps short opening hours and is closed on weekends. This coworking space does offer 24/7 access, but it’s reserved for members with pricier plans.

These coworking spaces in Lima are also great:

Where to stay in Cusco

Choosing where to stay in Cusco, the roof of the world

Looking for an Inca-worthy adventure? If that’s the case, Cusco in Peru is your ideal travel destination. At 3400 meters above the sea level, Cusco will get you closer to the breathtaking Machu Picchu. The former Inca capital (from 13th to 16th century), Cusco is now a tourist hotspot and a lovely historic town that will leave you awestruck. In order to help you get the most out of your incredible travel experience in Cusco, we have selected the best neighborhoods you can stay in and focus on your explorations.

Image by Jorge Candia from Pixabay 

Transportation in Cusco

Even though you won’t find an elaborate transportation system in Cusco, you’ll still find the transportation option quite effective. Not to mention that both the taxi and bus fares tend to be rather inexpensive. You can also utilize combis and colectivos that pick up passengers randomly by yelling the destination. Of course, you’ll get to experience the city’s true glory by walking. For tours and transfers, check out this website.

Image Source: Pinterest

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Cusco, Peru

The crown of the Southern Sierras mountain range, Cusco is one of the cities at the top of the world, and very often, at the top of every traveler’s bucket list. Even though it may not be the largest place in Peru, its tourist popularity is growing every year. The best neighborhoods we’ve chosen to aid your trip and adventure are all pretty close to each other, with the majority of main attractions. These are the factors we considered for our top picks:

  1. The vibe and atmosphere of the neighborhood
  2. Historical and cultural importance
  3. Fun and interesting things to see and do
  4. Neighborhood safety
  5. Ease of transport
  6. Cost of accommodation
Best neighborhoods to stay in Cusco, Peru
Historic Centre For a first-time visit
San Cristobal For a budget-friendly stay
Plaza de Armas For nightlife fun
San Blas For the cool and boho vibe
Lucrepata For families/long-term stay

Image by renzonapa from Pixabay 

Where to stay in Cusco, Peru for the first time – Historic Centre

Historic Centre is, as the name suggests, at the very heart of Cusco. It’s close to the Wanchaq Train Station and has everything you’d need within a walking distance. This is the ideal area of the city to get the best feel and view of the Inca empire remnants. With a bunch of museums and ancient sites, you’ll have your days planned out completely.

Image Source: whatcatydoes

Where to go in the Historic Centre

  • Enjoy yourself at the San Pedro market
  • Check out historical and cultural treasures

Best for foodies and shopping fun: San Pedro market

San Pedro market located in the Historic Centre will make your visit to Cusco more charming as this is the best place to get local goods. Foodies should definitely try out the local specialty roasted guinea pig. If you want to buy something for yourself as a keepsake, an Alpaca wool jumper is just the thing.

Image source: dreamsbacktotravel

Best for history buffs: Calle Hatunrumiyoc

Historic Centre has many fabulous and mysterious sites from ancient times to tickle your imagination. Check out Calle Hatunrumiyoc Inca walls and take the time to imagine what the stones were used for. Then head over to the Inca Sun temple, Qorikancha.

Image Source: oskarovay

Where to stay in Historic Centre

Airbnb accommodation in Cusco’s Historic Centre usually costs around $40 per night. These are our favorite options:

This cozy budget apartment

This fantastic mid-range loft

This amazing lux apartment

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco on a budget – San Cristobal

A 25-minute walk away from the Wanchaq Train Station, San Cristobal is the hill neighborhood close to the Historic Centre. It’s great for everyone looking where to stay in Cusco, Peru on a budget. The views from the hill are amazing and allow you a clear sight of the ancient ruins. This is where the most famous Inca ruin, Sacsayhuaman, is located, and it’s free to enter before 7 am.

Image Source: fernando.teixeira_

Where to go in San Cristobal

  • Enjoy the nature and views
  • Wander ancient sites and churches

Best for outdoor lovers: Christo Blanco

If you want to witness some of the world’s most amazing views, head to the Christo Blanco statue of Jesus Christ at the very top of the hill. Many visitors don’t know about this, but the San Cristobel area also has a lovely little park great for relaxation and immersing yourself in natural beauty called Qolqanpata Historical Park.

Image Source: papayatogo

Best for history buffs: Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman is the most popular and well-known Inca ruin that’s free to explore before 7 am. Just behind it is the Planetarium, which will allow you to admire the clear night sky. You can also get a tour guide to show you around the San Cristobal church.

Image Source: turismoi.global

Where to stay in San Cristobal

There are many popular Airbnb options in this area with an average price of $25 per night. Check out our top picks:

This budget-friendly loft

This modern mid-range apartment

This stylish lux apartment

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco for nightlife – Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas is essentially a part of Historic Center. This is a square at the heart of the tourist area in Cusco. Plaza de Armas is lined with bars, restaurants, and historical sites, which makes it ideal for both sightseeing during the day and partying at night. You’re bound to have some great fun with locals and other international travelers.

Image Source: machupicchu.guide

Where to go in Plaza de Armas

  • Visit a cathedral of Santo Domingo
  • Enjoy the atmosphere and drinks in many bars

Best for history buffs: Cathedral of Santo Domingo

Built in the 16th century, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo is one of the main historical and cultural attractions at Plaza de Armas. The building is beautiful, and you’ll get to marvel at the art too, not just the architecture.

Image Source: tanks_travels

Best for party-goers: Plaza de Armas bars

You can pick and choose where you want to have your next drink in Plaza de Armas. If you crave a refreshing pint of beer, head to Paddy’s Irish Pub. The place for funky shots is at the wall of La Chupeteria. Visit Mama Africa and Norton Rat’s Tavern for a great atmosphere, as well.

Image Source: parttimemuse

Where to stay in Plaza de Armas

There are several Airbnb options in the vicinity of Plaza de Armas at various price ranges, with the average price of $35 per night. These are our favorites:

This lovely budget apartment

This cozy mid-range apartment

This unique lux terrace house

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco, Peru for bohemian vibe – San Blas

Slightly out of the city center is the coolest neighborhood in Cusco, San Blas. The area has a distinctive boho feel to it as well, which makes it an easy choice for where to stay in Cusco, Peru for the more alternative and edgier travelers. This is a great place to do your shopping as you have a great selection of boutiques and cheaper alternatives. You’ll also find amazing local artwork and quaint cafes for all you coffee lovers.

Image Source: viajeroen360

Where to go in San Blas

  • Shop, eat, and taste coffee at local hotspots
  • Explore the gorgeous church called Iglesia de San Blas

Best for coffee lovers: Carmen Alto

At Carmen Alto, you’ll find plenty of cool coffee shops where you’ll be able to taste all of them and find your favorite. To keep your tummy happy amidst all the coffee tasting, head to the Pantastico bakery for some delicious snacks. Complete the experience by browsing the Andean markets.

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Best for fans of history and architecture: Iglesia de San Blas

Iglesia de San Blas was originally built in the 15th century in a distinctly Gothic style. Through years of updates and refurbishments, different styles were added, making this church a true sight to behold. Intricate wood pulpit carved in the Spanish Churrigueresque style adds a true Baroque feel.

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Where to stay in San Blas

Airbnb accommodation in San Blas area goes for around $40 per night. These are our top choices:

This budget apartment with a great view

This charming mid-range apartment

This lux suite with a garden

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Cusco long-term – Lucrepata

Close to the main center but still rather unknown to tourists is the Cusco’s neighborhood of Lucrepata. The transportation lines are great and the area is very peaceful, which makes it perfect for people interested in a long-term stay or those traveling with their families. You’ll still be close to San Blas and Plaza de Armas when you want to spice things up.

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Where to go in Lucrepata

  • Explore the nature and wildlife of the area
  • Relax at the Massage and Healing Center Paramatma Yoga

Best for outdoor lovers: Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain is three hours away from Lucrepata and the trip will be worth it for everyone who appreciates natural beauty. You can also pay a visit to the Zoologico UNSAAC center where you’ll be able to see many wild animals.

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Best for relaxation: Massage and Healing Center Paramatma Yoga

Massage and Healing Center Paramatma Yoga is one of the best places to get a massage and practice yoga in Cusco. If you’re already staying in Lucrepata, don’t miss the opportunity to get a rub-down and enjoy the benefits of professional healing work.

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Where to stay in Lucrepata

Lucrepata has many rather affordable Airbnb options with an average price per night of around $27. Check out our top picks:

This modern budget option

This mid-range wellness studio

This beautiful lux apartment with a balcony

Check out more Airbnb options here.

Where to stay in Lima

Where to stay in Lima, the foodie heaven of South America

If you’re looking for a travel destination in South America that has it all, you can’t go wrong with Peru. In case you’re unsure where to stay in Peru, Lima is a great choice. The rich culture and interesting history together with fun nightlife, parties, and most delicious food all await in this wonderful City of Kings. With more than 10 million residents, Lima is a huge place with a lot to explore. This is why we have decided to make things easier for you and round up the best Lima neighborhoods that will fit all your needs and desires.

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Transportation in Lima

Even though Lima doesn’t have a metro station, the transport between different city areas is made easy thanks to the well-connected bus system. El Metropolitano is the main bus line that gets the passengers from one district to another with almost no traffic jams or delays.

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Lima, Peru

As the second-largest city in the Americas, Lima has a lot to offer to its visitors. The city is divided into 43 districts, all of them very charming and interesting. When you’re looking where to stay in Lima, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. We considered several factors to help you decide on the best neighborhood for you:

  1. The neighborhood vibe and atmosphere
  2. The cultural and historical value
  3. Fun and interesting things to see and do
  4. Safety of the neighborhood
  5. Cost of accommodation
  6. Ease of transportation
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Lima, Peru
Miraflores For first-time visitors
Historic Center For a budget-friendly stay
Barranco For a cool atmosphere and great nightlife
San Isidro For high-class experience
Pueblo Libre For families/long-term stay

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Where to stay in Lima for the first time – Miraflores

Miraflores is one of the safest areas in Lima and known as the traveler’s hub. This is precisely why this is the ideal neighborhood when you’re looking where to stay in Lima on your first visit. Its coast location makes the whole area very popular. Coffee lovers will find their fair share of enjoyment here, for sure. Parque Kennedy, also known as Cat Park, is one of the biggest hotspots of the Miraflores neighborhood, not just because of its feline population but the many cool bars, restaurants, shops, and a movie theater around it.

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Where to go in Miraflores

For a first-time visit, Miraflores won’t leave you with a moment of time to feel bored.

  • Larcomar mall for a unique shopping experience
  • Ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana for some historical and cultural insight

Best for shopping fun: Larcomar

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If you’re looking for a place that can satisfy all of your shopping needs, make it a point to visit the Larcomar shopping mall. Aside from the actual shops, Larcomar will prove to be an unforgettable experience as it’s an open-air mall built into a cliff overlooking the sea. Don’t miss the chance to watch the sunset from the mall’s terrace.

Best for history buffs: Ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana

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The ancient pyramid at Huaca Pucllana is the only pre-Inca ruin that still stands in Lima, which is a sight to behold! It’s thought to have been an administrative and ceremonial center in ancient times and now stands as an important cultural and historical monument. You can take a walking tour, rest at Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, and check out the Larco Museum.

Where to stay in Miraflores

The average price per night of Airbnb accommodation in Miraflores is around $24. These are our favorites:

This lovely house for a very reasonable price

This beautifully decorated studio.

This gorgeous place with the view of the ocean.

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima on a budget – Historic Center

Historic Center of Lima District is also known as El Centro, and it’s the center of the city with many architectural beauties such as Plaza de Armas, Government Palace, Convent of San Francisco, and so on. This entire district is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Not only is this an ideal neighborhood to stay for every history buff, but it’s also very budget-friendly, which is ideal for frugal travelers. Peruvian-Chinese buffets are the best for the ultimate palate satisfaction. Just keep in mind to stick to the main square and streets once night falls.

Image by Patricia van den Berg from Pixabay 

Where to go in Historic Center

The beauty and historical significance of Historic Centre buildings, architecture, and monuments won’t leave you indifferent.

  • Baroque-style churches and convents
  • Mansions that belonged to great people

Best for old-world enthusiasts: churches and convents

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The whole district is a huge historical and cultural treasure, but if you’re mostly interested in religious buildings and their breathtaking baroque-style architecture, make sure to visit Cathedral Basilica of Lima, Basilica and Convent of Santo Domingo, Archbishop’s Palace of Lima, and Basilica and Convent of Nuestra Senora de la Merced.

Best for people interested in olden lifestyle: glamorous mansions

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The glory of old times is not only apparent from important buildings but the actual homes that belonged to fabulous people. Check out mansions such as Casa Aliaga, Casa de Osambela, and Casa de la Riva to learn more about how they lived.

Where to stay in Historic Center

The average price of Airbnbs located in or near the Historic Center is $20 per night. These are our top picks:

This small and cozy budget option

This gorgeous traditional house.

This luxury option.

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima, Peru for nightlife and boho vibe – Barranco

If you’re looking for the coolest place to stay in Lima, Barranco is your neighborhood! Not only is this the area where you want to go to party all night long, but it’s also a place with plenty of soul and strong bohemian spirit. Once a hotspot for artists, writers, and other creatives, Barranco will delight you with amazing music, cozy cafes, and incredible street art.

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Where to go in Barranco

There’s not a sliver of doubt that you’ll find great fun and inspiration in this charming Lima neighborhood.

  • Plaza de Armas for art lovers
  • Cozy cafes and boho bars

Best for people who appreciate street art: Plaza de Armas

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Plaza de Armas is located in the very center of Barranco. This is a great place to hang out with friends and meet new people. You’ll get a chance to see artists and painters at work, together with writers and musical performers. If you’re interested in modern art, you can also head to the Museum of Contemporary Art or enjoy fashion photographs in Mario Testino’s museum.

Best for foodies and party-goers: Tostaduria Bisetti and Ayahuasca

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Tostaduria Bisetti is the spot to go to if you want to taste the finest and most delicious white chocolate and passion fruit mousse pie topped off with a cup of slow-brew coffee. To continue with nighttime partying, head over to Ayahuasca for a cocktail (or more). This is a colonial mansion transformed into a boutique bar with amazing charm and a great vibe.

Where to stay in Barranco

The coolest neighborhood in Lima offers amazing Airbnb options for the average price of $40 per night. Just look at these lovely apartments:

This budget option with a pool

This mid-range apartment with a lovely patio

This sleek apartment for a high-end stay

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima for a high-class experience – San Isidro

San Isidro is Lima’s elite neighborhood and financial center with plenty of fancy hotspots. Glamorous bars and restaurants, top-class golf courses, high-end shops, gorgeous parks, and amazing art galleries in San Isidro will let you taste the luxurious living.

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Where to go in San Isidro

This elite neighborhood can provide great fun even without a high price tag. 

  • Bosque del Olivar for nature lovers
  • Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Santa Cruz for history buffs

Best for outdoor lovers: Bosque del Olivar

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Bosque del Olivar is a gorgeous park in San Isidro with olive trees dating back to the colonial era. Don’t miss your chance to take a stroll through this forest-like park and marvel at the scenery.

Best for people who appreciate history: Huaca Huallamarca and Huaca Santa Cruz

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This archeological site features a pre-Columbian adobe pyramid and museum that’s definitely worth a look. You don’t even need a guide to enjoy a wholesome tour of the past times.

Where to stay in San Isidro

Even though San Isidro is the elite neighborhood in Lima, it’s possible to find Airbnbs for as low as $19, with an average price of $30 per night. Take a look at our favorites:

This cozy and budget-friendly studio

This mid-range apartment in a great location

This design luxury apartment

Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.

Where to stay in Lima long term – Pueblo Libre

International travelers looking where to stay in Peru for a longer period should definitely check out Lima’s neighborhood of Pueblo Libre. Pueblo Libre is rather similar to San Isidor, but not as expensive. This is a quiet, safe, and residential district with a slow-paced lifestyle, museums, and lovely parks, which makes Pueblo Libre ideal for a long-term stay or traveling with your family.

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Where to go in Pueblo Libre

Just because Pueblo Libre is a quiet and residential district doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer plenty of sightseeing opportunities.

  • Simon Bolivar’s mansion for history fans
  • Parque de las Leyendas for nature and animal lovers

Best for people eager to learn more about history: Simon Bolivar’s mansion

Simon Bolivar was a man who liberated a big part of South America. His colonial mansion in Pueblo Libre is now turned into the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology, and History of Peru.

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Best for outdoor and wildlife lovers: Parque de las Leyendas

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Parque de las Leyendas is a fairytale-like zoo park with amazing botanical gardens and more than 2000 animals. The zoo features 4 themes: Coast, Sierra, Jungle, and animals from abroad, which makes things infinitely more fun for both kids and adults.

Where to stay in Pueblo Libre

Pueblo Libre has great Airbnb options for a reasonable price, with $25 per night on average. These are our top picks:

This budget-friendly minimalist apartment

This modern mid-range apartment

This cozy apartment for a lux stay

 Not what you’re looking for? Check out more options here.