The Planetarium Cusco is one of the most unique planetariums in the world. Housed in a humble Andean adobe home, the family-run planetarium sits on a Cusco hillside amid the archeological site Saqsayhuaman and the Llaullipata ecological reserve. From this wonderful locale, you can explore the mysteries of the universe as told through the eyes of the Inca.
In a domed projection room, passionate local astronomers offer deep knowledge and fascinating stories as they guide visitors through the cosmos, explaining how the Inca saw and interpreted the stars. Using the rotating sky to guide their everyday life, the Inca were advanced and creative astronomers, finding Southern Hemisphere constellations like the Southern Cross and Orion's Belt as well as their own personalized groupings such as a baby llama, a puma, a toad, and a condor. After the educational presentation and tour—and depending on the weather conditions—you can peek through powerful telescopes to glimpse stars, planets, nebulae, and constellations.
Travelers have the choice to visit this singular planetarium alone, or as part of an evening tour of Cusco that also includes the San Pedro market, the illuminated historic center, and a restaurant for a traditional Peruvian dinner.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The planetarium is suitable for all travelers, including families with young kids.
- Tours may include round-trip hotel transport, entrance fees, a local guide, and, depending on the tour, dinner and a Pisco sour. Gratuities and other extras aren’t include, and some tours require a minimum of two people.
- Independent travelers will need to self-book in advance so that planetarium staff is prepared.
How to Get There
The Planetarium Cusco is located up a hill, about a 15-minute drive from the historic center. It’s easily accessible by taxi—just ask your hotel. Tours include round-trip transfer from your hotel.
When to Get There
Open year-round, the planetarium welcomes visitors Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4pm.
Expert Inca Stargazers
The science of astronomy was deeply important to the Inca, who worshipped the sun and the moon as gods and connected it to agricultural planning and sacred ceremonies. Their stargazers identified constellations, sorting them in two groups: shapes linked in the classic connect-the-dots way to form “inanimate” animals, Gods, and mythological figures; and those formed by the dark spots of the Milky Way, the so-called “animate” animals.