The high Andean city of Cusco is the gateway to Machu Picchu but has abundant architecture, cultural sites, cuisine and shopping to charm visitors on its own terms.
And don't forget dessert – churros con chocolate, of course.
The Peruvian city of Cusco is home to half a million residents but attracts four times as many visitors each year.
Rich cultural influences, astounding local produce and top-drawer chefs are bringing Peruvian cuisine to the world.
Cuzco's historical heart is a great place to spend an afternoon people-watching while you acclimatise to the city's 3300-metre altitude.
The toxic cooking stoves used in the village of Huilloc are being replaced by healthier ones that still do a fine job of roasting a guinea pig or four.
Arequipa is a colourful, cosmopolitan World Heritage site surrounded by volcanoes.
Much more than the famed Incan citadel that features on everyone's bucket list, Peru's sights are as rich and varied as the colourful garb adorned by its people. To the south, bewildering geoglyphs, the continent's largest lake and spectacular canyons, and to the north, its ancient cities tempt. Pique your palate with ceviche or Amazonian chocolate from its unique cuisine, and graze at extensive markets.