Cusco was once the capital of the Inca Empire and is famous for being the entryway to the modern world wonder Machu Picchu. Almost every traveler on his way to Machu Picchu passes through Cusco at some point, and most end up falling in love with this city full of interesting architecture and picturesque city scenes. By night, Cusco is one of the liveliest cities in Peru and travelers will find plenty of bars and nightclubs to suit every taste. However, travelers should know there is much more to Cusco after dark than hanging out at a local watering hole. Here are the top three activities to keep you busy after the sun sets.
Cusco is home to one of the most spectacular theater groups in all of South America, Kusikay. Their current show, Paukartanpu, is receiving accolades from across the globe and you don’t need to speak Spanish in order to enjoy it. The performers use a combination of acrobatics, dance, theater, and circus tricks to tell the story of a motley crew who discovers their Andean roots. A joy to watch, full of laughter, and rated as the number one attraction in Cusco on tripadvisor, this is one show you won’t want to miss.
For an interesting night time excursion before enjoying an evening out on the town, head to the Cusco Planetarium. It doesn’t matter whether you are interested in astronomy or not, because you will find this show interesting. You will first learn about the Incas relationship with the stars in the southern hemisphere, which will help you at Machu Picchu as many of the ruins have astronomical significance. After the 15 minute lecture you will head to the planetarium to see the constellations and learn about their importance to the ancient cultures before viewing the constellations again through telescopes under the night sky.
Or, if you are in the mood for a little exploration, head to the hills. The charming neighborhood of San Blas is home to Cusco’s artists, writers, and musicians. This bohemian quarter boasts quaint cafes, spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, and a fabulous and diverse nightlife. The best time to visit is in the afternoon, when all the artists’ galleries are open and you can browse the winding, cobblestone streets at your leisure. Make sure you grab a table at a restaurant with views to enjoy the Andean sunset with a glass of wine.
This guide to exploring Cusco after dark was written by a Peru travel expert at Peru For Less available to help you custom design your exciting and adventurous Peru vacations.