“Stefan look: rainbow flags are everywhere…it must be Cusco Pride right?”
Seby wasn’t wrong. One of the first things you notice when walking the streets of Cusco are all the rainbow-like flags flying proudly all across the city. But to our disappointment, it has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community. This is the Inca flag, similar to our Pride rainbow flag, but with an extra blue stripe added. Unless you’re in Cusco in late-June, that’s the extent of any gay Pride you’re going to see happening here…
Cusco was once the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Today it is Peru’s #1 tourist destination, receiving almost 4 million annual visitors who mainly come to visit Machu Picchu. We’ve been to Cusco, loved it so much, we visited a second time a decade later, doing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on both occasions and also exploring the stunning Sacred Valley surrounding the city.
We’re not gonna lie – Cusco is not a party destination, not by a long stretch! It’s a small city, a very beautiful one, but one where you come for the rich cultural heritage and impressive landscapes over anything else. Whilst there is a small gay scene here, we suggest you get all the partying out of your system over in the big coastal capital city, Lima before heading over. Cusco is instead a rewarding cultural journey into Peru’s historic Inca civilisation, one that we loved and would happily return to in a heartbeat!