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Where to Stay in Cusco: 16 Best Luxury, Boutique & Budget Hotels and Guesthouses

Within striking distance of the Sacred Valley and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Cusco is one of Peru – and South America’s – most touristed cities.

It’s also a place in which I lived for seven months while volunteering for a local educational charity – and a city that I quickly fell in love with, thanks to its energy and thrilling blend of indigenous Quechua traditions, Spanish architecture, and modernity. 

The former capital of the Inca Empire is also a really safe city, particularly if you find a place to stay in the main historic center. This is where you’ll find the majority of museums, restaurants, and bars and it’s an area that you can get around on foot easily.

What’s more, whether you’re here for a couple of nights or, like me, hang around for a while longer, there’s always something new to do and see. 

But where should you stay in Cusco? And which neighborhoods are the safest for spending a few days? 

It can feel hard to choose from the plethora of options found online, which is why I put together this guide to help you drill down into which neighborhoods and which Cusco hotels are the best options for your stay.  

The sitting room in Palacio Manco Capac in Cusco, a magnificent boutique hotel with outstanding views of the city
Palacio Manco Capac is tucked in the valley foothills below Iglesia San Cristobál and has incredible views of Cusco. Credits: Ananay Hotels

Best areas to stay in Cusco

Cusco is a sprawling city that extends from west to east, shuttling down the Valle de Cusco to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, Cusco’s airport, and beyond.

Despite this, the main tourist zones are clustered in and around the flat expanse that houses the Plaza de Armas and main downtown district, as well as into the foothills of the valley sides that are known as the San Blas, San Cristobal, and Santa Ana neighborhoods. 

You’ll find the majority of the hotels, hostels and other places to stay in Cusco located in these areas and all are within walking distance of the city’s main sites. 

Where to stay in Cusco: Plaza de Armas and the Centro Historico

The focal point of the historic center, the Plaza de Armas lies on what was formally the Huacapata or ceremonial square in Inca times. 

The Plaza de Armas and the Iglesia De La Compañia De Jesús in Cusco, Peru
The Iglesia De La Compañia De Jesús on Cusco’s splendid Plaza de Armas

While most of the buildings built under the Inca were lost when the Spanish conquered and evangelized the city, the square’s vast size and its fortress-like cathedral and similarly splendid Templo de la Compañia de Jesús make it one of the most striking parts of the city. 

Because this is the very heart of the city, accommodation in this part of Cusco is generally more expensive than in other neighborhoods and is the best place to find luxury hotels in Cusco. 

Unfortunately, if your lodging gives out onto the square, it can be noisy, particularly during festivals (Peruvians love to celebrate religious events with vigor). 

Several chairs surround various tables under a skylight and chandelier in a dining area at one of the best hotels in Cuzco
The surroundings at the MOAF Boutique Hotel encourage a relaxed atmosphere.

However, the bonus of staying in this part of Cusco is that you have a wealth of restaurants and activities right on your doorstep, meaning you never have to go far for entertainment. 

What previous clients have said:

Steph’s help laying out an itinerary for Chile was huge toward us having a great trip.  She listened to our interests and compiled a framework that we could follow to make our plans.  She included many practical tips as well as numerous options. She truly saved us many, many hours of research.

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Where to stay in Cusco: San Blas

San Blas is a picturesque neighborhood northeast of the Plaza de Armas, which you can reach by taking what was once part of the Inca’s famed stone highways, Calle Hathunrumiyoc. This street becomes steps as it climbs into the San Blas neighborhood.

At the top, you reach a pretty place of narrow, cobbled streets, matchbox-sized cafés, and bohemian restaurants. 

It’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cusco and was originally the artisan district. It maintains to this day its bohemian vibe, although you’ll notice the influence of hipster ex-pats in the coffee shops and restaurants now located here. 

Its main attraction is Plaza San Blas, a square packed with vendors selling traditional handicrafts, and the Iglesia San Blas – a church known for its beautiful carved wooden pulpit.

Views across the rooftops from Parque San Marcos in Barrio San Blas, one of the places to stay in Cusco, Peru
Views across the rooftops from Parque San Marcos in San Blas

If you stay in San Blas, make sure you also head up to Parque San Marcos for extraordinary panoramas across the city.

One of the key things to remember about Cusco is that the altitude – 3,399 meters above sea level to be precise – makes walking around the city a far more challenging prospect than at lower altitudes.

When I lived in San Blas, this required over 150 steps from Plaza de Armas to the guesthouse where I lived, and trust me: if you’ve not acclimatized, this can come as quite a shock to the system. 

There are plenty of boutique hotels and cute guesthouses here, with many tucked high up into the valley side and accessed only by steep stone steps.

Therefore, while San Blas is definitely my favorite location for accommodation in Cusco, it’s not one of the best places to stay for those who aren’t ready to put their legs and lungs to good use.

The courtyard of the Antigua Casona San Blas
Many hotels and guesthouses in San Blas, such as the Antigua Casona San Blas have beautiful courtyards where you can relax the day away

The roads here are so narrow that it’s extraordinarily hard to get to most hotels with a taxi, so you can guarantee that you’ll be required to do some climbing uphill at some point. 

However, there is one silver lining: the views across the city’s rooftops from your bedroom are likely to be spectacular. 

Where to stay in Cusco: San Cristóbal

Lying just north (again, up steep flights of steps) from the Plaza de Armas and in the skirts of Sacsayhuaman, the great Inca fortress that dominates the mountain above the city, San Cristobal is another small barrio in Cusco. 

Its central point is the Iglesia San Cristóbal, a key landmark that’s visible from many parts of Cusco because of its high altitude.

The colonial-style buildings of Palacio Manco Capac, a boutique hotel in Cusco
Hotels such as the colonial-style Palacio Manco Capac lie in the hills above Cusco and offer magnificent lodgings away from the hubbub of the city. Credits: Ananay Hotels

From here in turn you can expect glorious views south across the rooftops to the Plaza de Armas and the rest of Cusco as it snakes down the valley. 

Like San Blas, San Cristóbal constitutes one of the oldest of Cusco’s neighborhoods, but the roads here are slightly wider. This means it’s easier to get to your lodgings here by taxi, while you’re also within striking distance (and a fairly short walk) of both the Plaza de Armas and Sacsayhuaman. 

Where to stay in Cusco: Santa Ana

The streets lying northeast of the historic center make up the Santa Ana neighborhood, another of Cusco’s inclined barrios – although the hills aren’t quite as steep here as those in San Blas. 

When I first arrived in Cusco, I stayed in a hostel in Santa Ana and was impressed by its central location. It’s highly accessible to the restaurants and bars in the center but is still quiet enough for sleeping at night. 

The cobbled streets of Santa Ana, one of the main neighbourhoods where to stay in Cusco, Peru
The cobbled streets of Santa Ana, a traditional residential area in Cusco

You’ll find plenty of affordable guesthouses, hostels, and other lodgings located here, many located directly off the gently climbing Cuesta de Santa Ana, the main road that cuts through the neighborhood. 

Where to stay in Cusco: San Pedro

Comprising the streets west of Plaza San Francisco (home to the Iglesia San Francisco, which is worth a visit for its catacombs), the San Pedro neighborhood is close to the main historic center but feels more authentically Cusqueñan (local) than many of the other neighborhoods on this list.

What’ll you’ll quickly notice is how it’s faced far less gentrification for the tourists than the historic center or the hipster San Blas. 

San Pedro’s best-known landmark is the Mercado San Pedro, a colorful, noisy, and downright Peruvian market.

There’s nothing quite like wandering through the cavernous hall between stores packed with everything you never realized you needed and chowing down on dishes of hearty local favorites such as empanadas or chairo (thick soup) and painfully sweet milkshakes. 

Like the Plaza de Armas and the downtown area, San Pedro is mostly flat and lodgings are also cheaper in this part of Cusco, making this a great option if you want to be close to the action but don’t want to blow your budget. 

Some parts are a little sketchier than areas closer to the main square, so check with the staff at your hotel or hostel about whether it’s safe to walk home at night or whether taking a taxi is a better option.

Best luxury hotels in Cusco

Around the Plaza de Armas and historic center

  • Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

For understated, tasteful luxury, few places can top the five-star Belmond Palacio Nazarenas ($595 USD double).

Why stay here

Location just a few minutes walk from the Plaza de Armas

Suites are oxygen-enriched to help you recover from the altitude

Your own personal butler to help organize your time in Cusco

Things to consider

It’s very expensive compared with the rest of Cusco’s hotels

The spa service isn’t as good as others in town

Part of the Belmond chain (who run the luxury train to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, as well as the Andean Explorer from Cusco to Arequipa), this is truly the top of the top when it comes to lodgings in Cusco. 

A white hotel with many arched balconies over looks a dark blue swimming pool in Cuzco
The Belmond Palacio Nazarenas positively drips with luxury.

Built on the foundations of a former Inca palace and with preserved Inca stonework for good measure, this hotel drips with luxury, from the outdoor pool to the spa and oxygen-enriched suites which ensure you’re never short of breath and which include four poster beds and private balconies with city views. 

Each room comes with your own personal butler who’ll book tours of the city, provide room service and even show you how to prepare the ultimate pisco sour.

What’s more, with only 55 suites, it’s slightly smaller than the Belmond Hotel Monasterio next door, ensuring a more boutique feel to your stay. 

  • Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Separated from the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas by a private chapel, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio ($360 USD) offers an equally opulent five-star service.

Why stay here

Oxygen-enriched rooms to aid with altitude

Excellent customer service from professional and helpful hotel staff with a butler available

Beautiful historical building from the 16th Century with its original chapel

Things to consider

A lower value for the price as it does not have facilities like a pool available

Here, rich antique furnishings and high-ceilinged bedrooms decorated with gilt-framed artwork are located in a former monastery just minutes from the Plaza de Armas. 

A simply furnished Cuzco hotel room with elaborate painted decoration around the window
Enjoy a relaxing stay in the Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a converted monastery.

The central courtyard feels like a world away from the bustle of the surrounding city and is the perfect spot for reading a book or taking tea and cake in the afternoon. 

Every part of the hotel is imbued with a tangible sense of the colonial history of Cusco, while the on-site restaurant can provide an excellent introduction to Peruvian cuisine in a charmingly atmospheric setting. 

  • Inkaterra La Casona 

Part of the exclusive Relais and Chateaux chain of international luxury hotels, the five-star Inkaterra La Casona ($440 USD double) is housed in a 16th-century colonial mansion and boats just 11 bedrooms – which guarantees a blissfully tranquil stay. 

Why stay here

Central location in front of its own plazuela

The hotel has retained the architecture and design of the historic, colonial building in which it is located

Peruvian-owned and operated

Things to consider

A little noisy at night due to its central location

All are suites with freestanding bathtubs, heated floors, open fires, and colorful Andean textiles to capture the rich history and culture of the city. 

The front of Inkaterra's La Casona property, a boutique hotel in Cusco and an excellent place to stay
The entrance to Inkaterra La Casona combines history and elegance.

There’s also a spa and restaurant here to ensure absolute comfort during your stay, while a relaxing courtyard provides the opportunity to while away the hours with a book or drink in hand and enjoy the complimentary tea time or happy hour. This is, without a doubt, one of the finest luxury hotels in Peru.

Best boutique hotels in Cusco

Around the Plaza de Armas and historic center

  • Tambo del Arriero

Just four blocks west of the Plaza de Armas, Tambo del Arriero ($180 USD double) is located in an old colonial building (historically used as an inn by mule drivers), with bedrooms clustered around a grassy central patio. 

Why stay here

Central location but on a quiet street

Staff are helpful with setting up guided tours using hotel guides and cooking classes with the restaurant chef

Good value hotel for a central location with a double room under $90 a night for certain dates

Things to consider

Heating is controlled centrally, meaning you aren’t able to increase or decrease the temperature when needed

High-ceilinged bedrooms are decorated with antique, gilt-framed mirrors and beautiful furniture in keeping with the historic nature of the building. 

A comfortable sitting room with sofas provides a place to relax, while staff of this family-run hotel do everything to ensure you have a great stay – including offering a free airport transfer. 

Boutique hotels in San Blas

  • Antigua Casona San Blas

With a great location just off Plaza San Blas, Antigua Casona San Blas ($244 USD double) embodies the historic nature of the neighborhood, with 26 spacious and beautifully decorated bedrooms – think carved, heavy wooden headboards and antique furniture. 

Why stay here

Incredible facilities including it’s own spa, yoga studio and hyperbolic oxygen treatment tank

Luxurious decor that uses beautiful antiques to capture the rich history of the building

Recently renovated restaurant serves delicious meals all day with a true fine dining experience

Things to consider

The spa is very popular, so you’ll want to book treatments well in advance

A boutique hotel bedroom with natural wood furnishings and crisp white walls.
The Antigua Casona San Blas features airy rooms and beautiful historic surroundings.

Rooms have balconies that open onto a manicured patio, where cozy chairs and fire pits make this the perfect place to relax in the evening with a cocktail. Their on-site restaurant, spa, and free yoga classes mean you’ve got access to everything you need in this charming boutique hotel.  

  • Tariq Boutique

Thanks to its location high up in the San Blas neighborhood, Tariq Hotel Boutique ($104 USD double) has some of the best views you’ll find in the city from both its bedrooms and the liberal number of balconies dotted around the hotel. 

Why stay here

Elevated location in San Blas, 4 blocks from the Plaza de Armas, means you have exceptional views of Cusco

The on-site concierge service is popular with guests, helping to book onwards travel and local tours

The breakfast is generous, with a full buffet available, plus eggs to order

Things to consider

 The hotel is set back from the road so guests need to walk up a pedestrianised road and a further five steps to the front door.

A charming courtyard provides a place to relax after a busy day of sightseeing (the bartender at their on-site bar can rustle up a mean pisco sour!), while the bedrooms blend open brick walls with modern furniture and design, making them comfortable and cozy at the same time. 

  • Quinta San Blas

An old colonial mansion has been lovingly restored to make the beautiful Quinta San Blas ($130 USD double), an understated boutique hotel in a quiet part of the San Blas neighborhood.

Why stay here

Great location near coffee shops and small shops in the pretty area of San Blas

Bright, spacious rooms

Light pretty courtyard with seating, making it a pleasant place to relax in the afternoon

Things to consider

Older buildings so the temperature can fluctuate in the rooms, which can be uncomfortable

Bedrooms have crisp white linens and statement blue decorations and look out onto a sunny courtyard area. 

The interior patio of this boutique hotel is surrounded by light blue walls and natural wood balconies
This sunny courtyard would be a lovely space to relax with a good book. Credits: Ananay Hotels

The breakfast isn’t the most complete, but wonderfully hot showers and its location close enough to the main sights of Cusco but far away enough to be quiet and relaxed, are huge bonuses here. 

Boutique hotels in San Cristóbal

  • Palacio Manco Capac

Tucked in the valley foothills below Iglesia San Cristobál, the 22-room Palacio Manco Capac ($134 USD double) is built on the foundations of the former home of Inca ruler (and alleged founder of the Inca civilization) Manco Capac. 

Why stay here

Small on-site spa with sauna

Historic building with history traced back to the Incas

Glass wall in the dining area showcasing the hotel’s stunning views of Cusco and the mountains

Removed location makes the hotel a welcome quiet retreat especially when Cusco is in peak season

Things to consider

The location is uphill, which can be challenging with the altitude, however, taxis can drive up to the hotel’s entrance and are affordable

An elaborately carved and painted bed is the centerpiece of the otherwise simply decorated room in this boutique hotel
The beautifully carved and painted beds add a palatial feel to the rooms. Credits: Ananay Hotels

This beautiful hacienda oozes history thanks to its terracotta roof and beautiful religious artwork in the traditional Cusqueña style.

The lush gardens and bar have views across the city, showcasing the hotel’s privileged setting, just a short walk down to the Plaza de Armas but feeling entirely removed from the busyness of Cusco. 

Best budget hotels and guesthouses in Cusco

Around the Plaza de Armas and historic center

  • MOAF Boutique Hotel

Few places offer the degree of comfort and affordability as MOAF Boutique Hotel ($80 USD). The rooms are bright thanks to plenty of natural light and have modern furnishings and pleasant neutral decoration. This helps to enhance the rooftop views available in some bedrooms, as well as in various communal areas. 

Why stay here

Large, beautiful bedrooms

Attentive staff who will offer packed breakfast for early excursions

Central, accessible location, just a four-minute walk from the Plaza de Armas

Things to consider

The central location can sometimes mean noise at night

A patio garden is surrounded by the brightly lit hallways and balconies of the Cuzco MOAF boutique hotel
This cosy courtyard garden at MOAF Boutique Hotel is a lovely place to relax after a day in the city.

A pretty, shaded courtyard grants outdoor space to residents, while the fantastic staff go out of their way to ensure that your stay in Cusco is unforgettable. 


San Cristóbal

  • Luna House

With a pretty garden and a glorious terrace with views down the valley and across the city, Luna House ($47 USD double) is a relaxed guesthouse with plenty of charm and an affordable price tag. 

Why stay here

Family-run, giving the hotel a really friendly, personal service. There’s also a resident dog

Breathtaking views of the Plaza de Armas from its elevated location

Whatsapp contact available before your stay to help organize your visit

Things to consider

The location is removed from the center and up a steep hill so it requires a taxi or a short but breathless walk to reach

Practically every bedroom has superb views from its large windows, while the general decoration is both modern and understated.

What’s more, Antares, the resident dog, helps the human hosts provide first-class hospitality, while a communal kitchen also makes this ideal for those looking to self-cater. 

The only downside is it’s a bit of a hike up from the historic center – but what else would you expect with views like this?

Santa Ana

  • El Balcón

In a quiet location set away from the city in the barrio of Santa Ana, the gorgeous terraced garden is just part of the attraction at El Balcón ($100 USD double). 

Why stay here

Housed in a beautiful rustic building full of character

Pretty, central courtyard for relaxing with a pisco sour for socializing with other guests

Generous breakfast buffet serving organic, locally-sourced food

Things to consider

Accommodation has no heating; for something a little nicer we recommend the suites, which have balconies with views of the mountains

Rooms are whitewashed and clean, offering superb comfort and pretty hardwood beams, while walls are slung with Andean textiles made by local women (and available to buy as a souvenir of your trip!). 

Massages and a laundry service can be arranged for an additional price, making this a superb place to relax after hiking the Inca Trail or enjoying other nearby adventures. Opt for an upper room for more light and privacy.

Best hostels and shared accommodation in Cusco

Around the Plaza de Armas and historic center

  • Mamá Simona

Expect simple bedrooms with wonderfully comfy beds at the friendly Mamá Simona ($13 USD dorm, $34 USD double).

Why stay here

Private or dorm-style rooms are available; all are comfortable with large lockers in communal rooms for backpacks

A colorful, functional building provides great value for money as a simple place to stay

Continental breakfast available every day included in price

Small kitchen available for guests to use

Things to consider

Communal kitchen is small and gets overcrowded especially when hotel is busy

Rooms aren’t the largest, but have everything you need for a short stay, while dorm rooms include large lockers for your luggage and slouch chairs for relaxing, with a couple of communal living areas thrown in for relaxing and socializing with other guests. 

WIFI isn’t the strongest (it’s only available in common areas), but you’ll find the attention and hospitality of the staff hard to beat. 

  • Nao Victoria Hostel 

Spacious rooms, many of which have striking views across the rooftops towards the Plaza de Armas, make the Nao Victoria Hostel ($15 USD dorm, $70 USD double) an excellent choice for affordable accommodation in Cusco. 

Why stay here

Beautiful historic building with exposed beams

The central courtyard has a glass roof sheltering the armchairs and comfortable seating from the weather

Breakfast is excellent and the restaurant serves great food, too

Very central location just off the Plaza Mayor

Things to consider

The location means it can be noisy at night, particularly at the weekends

Music can be a problem because of bars down the road (so ask for a room at the back of the house), but you can expect a varied buffet breakfast in the morning, which’ll set you up with plenty of energy for the rest of the day. 

It’s popular with couples and travelers in groups, so solo travelers may struggle to connect with others here. 

  • Kokopelli Hostel Cusco

With a great location just a stone’s throw from the Plaza de Armas, Kokopelli Hostel Cusco ($12 USD dorm, $66 USD double) is a great choice for budget travelers thanks to its social atmosphere and spacious if a little tired, dorm rooms with pod-style bunks. 

Why stay here

Spacious and clean communal rooms

Very sociable hostel, so great for making new friends and sharing travel tips

Knowledgeable and friendly staff who will help you plan your trip in and around the Sacred Valley

No kitchen but restaurant on site with budget options of all meals

Things to consider

There is no communal kitchen for guest use

A dozen backpackers chat around a table in the hostel courtyard, they're surrounded by stairs and a wooden balcony.
The Kokopelli Hostel is a welcoming and sociable place to stay.

There are loads of communal spaces for swapping travel tips, although these can get a bit noisy at night time, so this isn’t a great spot if you want to catch some early shut-eye. If you want to hang out at the hostel, they’ve got a great bar on-site that serves up food, plus a laundry service and their own tour agency.

San Blas

  • Backpacker La Bo’M

Attached to the best French creperie in Cusco (if not Peru), there’s a reason Backpacker La Bo’M ($10 USD dorm, $35 USD double) is always packed. 

Why stay here

Part of the brilliant La Bo’M creperie, so expect crepes for breakfast and a 20% discount off their full crepe menu in the adjoining restaurant

Good location in the quiet San Blas neighborhood, which is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and is just a five-minute walk to the center

The atmosphere is very sociable, making it great for meeting fellow travelers

All dormitories have only four beds; each has a large locker, plus an individual plug socket and lamp

Things to consider

Most bedrooms and bathrooms are small

A hammock-slung courtyard and colorfully decorated communal spaces provide plenty of chill-out areas, while dorm rooms have large beds and access to plenty of bathrooms.

Private rooms are small but perfectly formed and the general welcoming ambiance (plus crepes for breakfast!) will leave you wanting to stay far longer than you first intended. 

San Pedro

  • Chusay Rooftop Homestay

Utilitarian dorm rooms give onto colorful communal areas at the excellent Chusay Rooftop Homestay ($6 USD dorm, $20 USD double), where the staff provide the ultimate in warm welcomes and go out of their way to make you feel at home. 

Why stay here

Stunning views of the town of Cusco and the Urubamba Mountains

Good location with the San Pedro Market a six-minute walk away and thirteen minutes to the Plaza Mayor

A budget option that is still well-located and has the use of a kitchen

Things to consider

The hot water supply can be unreliable

Showers are spacious and provide plenty of hot water (quite the luxury in Cusco!), while a shared kitchen and enclosed terrace with city views offer plenty of spaces for those wanting to self-cater. Opt for a room away from the main common areas to ensure a sound sleep! 

Looking for what to do during your stay in Cusco? We’ve got a full range of itineraries for exploring Cusco, as well as a guide to what to do (and where to stay!) in the Sacred Valley. Heading onwards to Machu Picchu? Read our guides to the Inca Trail and the alternative Machu Picchu trek, the Salkantay.