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El Balcòn Cusco – a Refuge in the Peruvian Andes

As you meander Cusco, not too far off from the center of town you’ll find narrowing cobblestone streets. At first glance, it appears as though the cobblestone roads continue clear up into the mountains, almost a vertical incline. “Should I explore?” you ponder. Instead, thankfully, you glance to your left and realize you’ve arrived at your charming accommodation: Hotel El Balcón Cusco.

While, El Balcòn, located on a quiet back road… where stones line the exterior walls along the street, appears unassuming at first. Unquestionably, once you step foot through the doorway marked by antique lanterns, you realize you have found your own charming refuge in the Peruvian Andes.

Lodging Type: ★★★ Boutique Hotel

Book El Balcón Cusco: here

A little bit about El Balcón Cusco

El Balcón is a delightful experience for someone who’d enjoy the best of both worlds – staying in a hotel and also calling a large rustic Peruvian house home for a few days. El Balcón Cusco was actually built in the year 1630 on land that was previously Incan terraces!

View of rooftops and cityscape off in the distance, blue skies, white fluffy clouds and a gorgeous rainbow going through the sky
Awe-inspiring view of Cusco from right outside of our hotel room. Look at that rainbow!

Gardens and flowers adorn the pathways around the property. Your hands will slide across a smooth wooden bannister leading you to the intricate hand carved doors to your hotel room. Off in the distance, you’ll see picturesque Andean landscapes and panoramic city views. Truly, El Balcón Cusco does a magnificent job of making you feel immersed in Incan culture, while simultaneously surrounding you with nature.

Where is El Balcón Cusco located?

I appreciated that El Balcón is only a pleasant three block walk from Plaza de Armas. Essentially, Plaza de Armas is the center of town. Particularly if it’s your first time traveling to Cusco, you’ll find yourself tromping around this area quite a bit. There are countless shops, restaurants, places to buy Andean dolls, ceramics, textiles, paintings, jewelry and of course… Alpaca everything.

What to expect and Amenities on site

Undeniably, El Balcón feels like staying at a big, beautiful rustic house. However, there is no shortage of comfort and convenience. The hotel provides:

Three red baskets housing natural leaves of Muña, Lemon Grass and Chamomile tea in red baskets and a large jar of Coca Leaf tea
Undeniably, the tea selection is about as organic as it gets! The jar is filled with Coca Leaf tea

A wonderful daily breakfast included with your stay

Free Wifi

Transfers, if needed

Laundry Service

Concierge services and Tour booking

Complimentary tea and coffee on demand

a beautiful green bush with a multicolored and pink rose growing out of it- a stone and wooden staircase leads to the hotel behind it
There’s a beautiful, well taken care of garden in the courtyard of El Balcón
Thoughtful touches in El Balcón's restaurant, right down to a wooden vintage record player
So many thoughtful touches around El Balcón, right down to a record player in the restaurant

Check in and the Rooms

We stayed in a double with a city view and it was perfect. The size was cozy, the views were spectacular!

Hotel Cost

As with any hotel, the prices fluctuate seasonally. However, what I love about El Balcón Cusco is that you can get a gorgeous second floor room with a view for well under $100 USD per night. Ranging from $70 USD – $95 depending on the days of the week and room type.

For the beauty of the property, quality of accommodations and delicious food offered, El Balcón epitomizes a stay with tremendous value.

Tip: Summer is the busiest time of year to visit Cusco. In particular, many travelers flock to Cusco in the month of June for Solstice, Fiestas of Cusco and the Inca religious ceremony of Inti Raymi. April – May and September – November are great options for fewer crowds and pleasant weather. I visited in October and found the traveler level to be moderate (bustling, but not packed) and the weather was perfect (cool, but sunny)!

Safety and Security

There wasn’t a single moment in time that I felt unsafe at El Balcón… or anywhere in Cusco for that matter. Since Cusco is a major international tourist hub, where many a traveler bases themselves, you will find that all the shopkeepers, sellers, restaurants employees and so forth are ready and willing to help. It is safe to walk around day and night, freely. That being said, exercising travel safety precaution best practices are always recommended.

What’s to eat?

There is an on site restaurant at El Balcón Cusco that specializes in serving fresh, Peruvian gastronomic fare. It’s very convenient to have the restaurant just a stone’s throw from your hotel room after a long day of site seeing. Honestly, the food at El Balcóns restaurant was some of the best I had during my time in Cusco.

A warm wooden wall in the El Balcón restaurant, with large pane glass windows revealing the courtyard. Large wooden baskets house dried delicacies.
View of the courtyard from the restaurant – its of dried delicacies on display

Then, in the mornings, the restaurant transforms into a place for Guests to have their complimentary breakfast that is equally as tasty and high quality.

Know Before you Go

I wish I could share this warning on a megaphone: the altitude in Cusco is no joke. When I arrived at El Balcón, I started feeling increasingly light headed. As I was walking up the stairs to our room, I thought for sure, I was going to pass out. I had to crouch down on the ground next to our hotel room door while my husband hurriedly unlocked the door. As I got inside the room, I started to lose consciousness and plopped on the bed.

Altitude sickness is very common amongst travelers in Cusco. Some ways to help this is to acclimate gradually, stay extremely hydrated, drink lots of Coca leaf tea. If you are particularly concerned or prone to this, talk to your doctor before your trip about options.

Find out if El Balcón Cusco is available during your trip dates:

Tip: I have consistently observed that El Balcón Cuscos rooms seem to be available for significantly cheaper on than other major booking sites.

Headed to Peru?

Check these out!

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Travel Tips & Resources to Help You Plan an Epic Trip!

Going – I’ve subscribed to Going (formerly, beloved, Scott’s Cheap Flights) for awhile now and it’s an amazing resource for finding… did you guess cheap flights? Yes, you can set your preferences from airports to flight class and get destination deals right to your inbox. It’s fab! I use the Premium paid version, but they have a FREE version too. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get Going! – the majority, if not almost all of my stays are booked on It’s a reliable site to book and manage your reservations. It’s a great way to find boutique stays and unique accommodations at the best rates! You can also easily communicate with your accommodation through the app.

Expedia – If I am looking for a flight to a specific destination for specific dates, I find myself booking many flights on Expedia. It’s user friendly and straight forward. I often find the most cost effective rates, while earning points for every flight I book (in tandem with the points I receive from the credit cards I pay with).

Viator – most of the activities, tours and excursions I book for my trips are booked through Viator. Whether you’re seeking a guide for the day, a group tour, a cooking class, Viator has you covered!

Get Your Guide – this is another great marketplace to find tours, excursions and activities to book for your upcoming trip.

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