• info@inkayniperutours.com
  • +51 084 287653
  • +51 933 839 757

Inkayni Peru Tours

Inkayni Peru Tours

From epic adventures to culinary delights: What to do in Cusco before Inca Trail?

What to do in Cusco before Inca Trail? Discover the majesty of Cusco! Located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, this enchanting historic city is a must-see destination for lovers of culture, architecture and adventure. With its ancient Inca ruins, breathtaking mountain scenery and vibrant atmosphere, Cusco will transport you back in time as you explore its cobblestone streets and immerse yourself in its rich history. Whether you wish to marvel at the imposing citadel of Machu Picchu, explore the colourful streets of the San Blas neighbourhood or enjoy the delicious local cuisine, Cusco awaits you with open arms to provide you with an unforgettable experience full of adventure and discovery.

What to do in Cusco before Inca Trail? Cusco at night

Panoramic view of Cusco

Contents ocultar

WHY VISIT CUSCO BEFORE INCA TRAIL?

So, what to do in Cusco before Inca trail? There are many reasons to visit Cusco before Inca Trail. Here are some of the main ones:

Historical heritage:

Cusco was the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and is full of impressive monuments and archaeological ruins. The iconic citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the main attractions, but there are also other fascinating sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Qorikancha and the fortress of Ollantaytambo.

Charming architecture and streets:

Cusco’s narrow cobbled streets are full of charm. Spanish colonial architecture merges with the remnants of Inca culture, creating a unique and picturesque atmosphere. The Barrio de San Blas is famous for its artisan workshops and narrow streets lined with art shops.

Culture and traditions:

Cusco is a place where you can experience the rich Andean culture and traditions. During your visit, you can witness traditional festivals, taste delicious Peruvian food and learn about the ancestral customs that are still kept alive in the region.

Nature and breathtaking landscapes:

Cusco is located in a mountainous region with spectacular scenery. From snow-capped mountains to green valleys and deep canyons, the natural beauty of the area is astounding. In addition, you can go hiking and trekking on the famous Inca Trail or explore other lesser-known trails to enjoy nature at its best.

Chinchero,una joya del Valle Sagrado

A sunset in the Sacred Valley

Hospitality:

The people of Cusco are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness. You will be able to interact with local people, learn about their traditions and customs, and enjoy authentic Peruvian food. In addition, Cusco offers a wide range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to cosy hostels run by locals, allowing you to further immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of the city.

Adventure tourism:

Cusco is an ideal destination for adventure lovers. You can practice activities such as trekking, rafting, mountain biking, paragliding and much more. The geographic diversity of the region offers numerous options to enjoy exciting outdoor experiences.

These are just a few reasons to visit Cusco, but there is much more to discover in this fascinating city. From its history and architecture to its vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes, Cusco awaits you with an unforgettable experience full of wonders.

WHEN TO GO TO CUSCO?

The recommended season to visit Cusco before the Inca Trail depends on your preferences and the types of activities you wish to do. However, in general, the dry season, which runs from May to October, is considered the best time to visit Cusco.

During these months, the weather in Cusco is drier and sunnier, with mild days and cool nights. Rainfall is less frequent, which makes it more pleasant to explore the ruins and do outdoor activities such as hiking the Inca Trail or visiting Machu Picchu. Also, this season coincides with the high tourist season, so you may encounter more visitors and prices may be a little higher.

On the other hand, if you are interested in witnessing traditional festivals, such as Inti Raymi in June or Corpus Christi in June, you may want to visit Cusco during the rainy season, which runs from November to April. Although the weather can be more unpredictable and rainy at this time, you will have the opportunity to be part of cultural and colourful celebrations.

Clima en la ciudad del Cusco

Climate in the city of Cusco

If you prefer a drier, more stable climate and enjoy outdoor activities, I would recommend visiting Cusco during the dry season from May to October. If you are interested in festivals and don’t mind the possibility of some rain, the rainy season can also offer unique experiences. Remember to always check the weather forecast and plan your visit according to your personal preferences.

WHAT IS THE ALTITUDE IN CUSCO?

When you arrive in Cusco, beware of the altitude! Cusco is located at an altitude of approximately 3,400 metres above sea level (11,150 feet). This high altitude is one of the city’s distinctive features and can have an impact on people who are not acclimatised to high altitudes.

Cusco’s altitude can cause so-called “altitude sickness” or “soroche”. Common symptoms of altitude sickness include headache, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness and nausea. It is important to be aware of these symptoms and take measures to acclimatise properly.

HOW MANY DAYS ARE NECESSARY TO ACCLIMATISE IN CUSCO BEFORE INCA TRAIL?

The number of days needed to acclimatise in Cusco can vary from person to person, as each individual will react differently to the altitude. However, it is recommended to dedicate at least two days for proper acclimatisation before engaging in physically demanding activities or travelling to higher altitudes, such as visiting Machu Picchu or the Inca Trail.

During the first days in Cusco, it is advisable to rest, hydrate well, avoid heavy meals and eat light food. It is advisable to avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine, as these can contribute to dehydration.

During this acclimatisation period, you can take the opportunity to explore the city at a leisurely pace, visit museums, enjoy the local cuisine and take short walks to familiarise yourself with the altitude. If you experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness, resting and taking medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin can alleviate them.

It is important to listen to your body and pay attention to any more severe or persistent symptoms of altitude sickness, such as difficulty breathing heavily or persistent vomiting. If you experience these symptoms or if your symptoms do not improve after several days, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

Remember that everyone has a different acclimatisation rate, so it is essential to respect your own limits and adjust your itinerary according to how you feel. Taking the time to acclimatise properly is key to enjoying your visit to Cusco safely and pleasantly.

WHERE TO STAY IN CUSCO BEFORE INCA TRAIL?

We would recommend you to stay in the Centro Historico area of the city. This is the oldest and most traditional part of the city, where you will find most of the tourist attractions and a large number of hotels, restaurants and shops.

The Historic Centre of Cusco has a large number of hotels to suit all budgets, from budget accommodation to luxury boutique hotels. By staying in this area, you will be close to landmarks such as the Plaza de Armas, the Cusco Cathedral and the Qoricancha, which are popular tourist attractions.

In addition, from the Historic Centre it is easy to access other nearby tourist attractions, such as the Sacsayhuaman fortress, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and, of course, the famous citadel of Machu Picchu.

Remember that it is always advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist months such as June, July and August.

Noche en el Centro Histórico del Cusco

Historic Centre of Cusco

What to do in Cusco before Inca Trail and while acclimatising?

During the acclimatization period in Cusco, while you adapt to the altitude, there are several activities you can do to make the most of your time and learn more about the city.

Depending on how many days you are going to stay in Cusco, you can choose the activities you are going to do.

IF YOU HAVE A FREE DAY BEFORE INCA TRAIL

While it is possible to visit Cusco in one day, keep in mind that the city and its surroundings have a wealth of sites and attractions to explore. If your time is limited, here are some recommendations to make the most of your one-day visit:

Explore the historic centre and/or book a tour:

Spend most of your time exploring Cusco’s historic centre. Visit the Plaza de Armas, Cusco Cathedral and the temple of Qorikancha, which are nearby and offer a glimpse of the city’s rich history and architecture.

Cusco Main Square

Cusco was the capital and cultural heart of the Inca Empire, with the city’s modern-day Plaza de Armas serving as one of the empire’s most essential and beloved gathering spots. 

There is some controversy on the former name of this square. Some historians have the following opinions based on extensive research:

  • Gonzales Holguín says that Plaza de Armas was called “Aucaypata,” which means warrior’s place.
  • According to Angles Vargas, Plaza de Armas was called “Huacaypata” which means weeping place.
  • Finally, George Squier says that it was called “Huacapata,” which means a sacred place.

Even though they have different opinions on the name, they all agree that Plaza de Armas was divided in two, being Plaza Regocijo part of Plaza de Armas.

The plaza is surrounded by lovely colonial buildings with balconies that you can sit and enjoy the day. There is a variety of restaurants and tourist stores, gardens, and a fountain with a statue of the Inca Pachacutec in the center of the Plaza. 

Cusco Cathedral: 

The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, also known as Cusco Cathedral, is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cusco. The entire building was built between 1560 – 1654. This Cathedral was built using blocks pilfered from the nearby Inca site of Sacsayhuaman.

The Cathedral is built in Gothic-Renaissance style, with evidence of baroque.

What to do in Cusco before Inca Trail - Cusco Cathedral in the main square of Cusco

Cusco Cathedral in the main square of Cusco

Architecture: 

Cusco Cathedral has a rectangular floor design and has three large wooden doors on its façade. 

The Cathedral has one nave and two aisles: the “Epistle Aisle” toward the east, and the “Gospel Aisle” toward the west. Advancing toward the right side, through the “Epistle Aisle,” one enters the chapel where some Silver objects are displayed. 

The Cathedral has 14 cruciform pillars carved from andesite stone (hard stone), which support 24 ribbed arched or star or shaped ceilings. A point of interest is that one of the paintings in the Cathedral painted by a Quechua artist Marcos Zapata of the last supper features guinea pig. 

The Cathedral is flanked by two smaller churches: Triunfo (church of Triumph) and La Sagrada Familia (the Holy Family).

Triunfo (church of Triumph):

The Church of Triumph was built in 1538. It was built over Suntur Wasi, which was an Inca ceremonial building adjoining the palace of Wiracocha, in a similar way to the way that the Cathedral is now adjoined to the earlier Iglesia del Triunfo.

The name of the Church of Triumph derives from the history of the Spanish settlers in Cusco. At one point, presumably between 1533, and 1536, the Spanish were cornered by a besieging army of Incas, led by Manco Inca. It seemed that they were on the verge of defeat, but the Spanish miraculously managed to drive back the Incas. The devout Catholics believed that Saint James the Greater (the patron saint of Spain) descended from heaven to drive back the Incas. This is why the church is called the Church of Triumph. Now, you will see a statue of St. James atop a horse inside the church, depicted slaying an Inca.

La Sagrada Familia church (the Holy Family church).

Holy Family is a small temple in which construction began in 1723 and finished within 1733-1735. It has images of the Holy Family on the main façade, and its high altar has a Baroque style, which is depicted in altarpieces and paintings. The temple was finally completed in 1737.

  • This temple is composed of a Latin cross nave with a rectangular floor plan with small lateral niches. Walls inside the temple are polished stone with lime plaster. The whole church is also built with andesite.
  • About the roof of the temple, it’s composed of five vaults built with rectangular bricks. In the sector of the presbytery, the altarpiece or baroque altar with two lateral sacristies is located.
  • The Wall of the facade is treated as a rectangular stonework canvas, composed of three bodies. The crowning facade is a valance with circular ornaments with cornice at the top. 

La Compañia de Jesus: (The Church of the Society)

Catedral de Cusco

Cathedral of Cusco

 Location: 

It is located in Cusco Plaza de Armas. It was built upon the palace of Huayna Cápac, the last Inca to rule an undivided, unconquered empire. That palace, named Amarukancha, was awarded to Hernando Pizarro after the Spanish invasion. Later the property was bought from the conqueror’s heirs by Diego de Silva and his wife Teresa Orgoñez, who donated it to the Jesuits after their arrival to this city in 1571; so that they could build the church for their Order. The church was built by the Jesuits in 1576 and reconstructed after the 1650 earthquake.

Architecture: 

  • The architecture of this building exerted a great influence on the development of many Baroque architectures in the South Andes. The church is mainly made with andesites and has the most beautiful and well-made facade among the churches in the city. Over its entrance gate is an Immaculate Conception Virgin carved in Berenguela style(marble looking material). Inside, the church has just one broad nave; at its end is the High Altar that was carved in cedar wood with a hybrid style. That Altar is 21 meters (69 ft.) high and 12 meters. (39ft.) wide; in its central part is the effigy of the Immaculate Conception Virgin, and higher a canvas representing the Lord’s Transfiguration.
  • One important painting you shouldn’t miss is the northern wall that represents the wedding of Spanish Captain Martin Garcia Oñas de Loyola, who was the nephew of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and captor of the last Inca Tupac Amaru I; and Clara Beatriz Qoya, daughter of Sayri Tupac and therefore Tupac Amaru’s niece.

Visiting Hours: Monday – Saturday 9.00 am – 11.45 am, and 1.00 pm – 5.30 pm / Sun 9.00 am – 10.45 am and 1.00 pm – 5.30 pm.

Qoricancha temple

Qoricancha temple / templo de Qoricancha

Qoricancha temple / templo de Qoricancha

This beautiful temple was one of the most important and most sacred temples of the Inca empire. Its ruins are located in Santo Domingo Plaza in Cusco. When the Spanish arrived in Cusco, they destroyed most of Qoricancha, and the Santo Domingo Church was built on the foundations and the remaining walls of the temple, preserving only a small part of its indigenous beauty.

The word “Qoricancha” is formed through a combination of two Quechua words: “Cori” meaning gold, and “cancha” meaning open ground or enclosure. This suggests the idea of “Golden Enclosure.”

Architecture

It was built using the fine masonry skills for which the Inca have rightly become famous, the massive walls of the complex were built from large stone blocks finely cut and fitted together without mortar. Most walls leaned slightly inwards as they rose in height, a typical feature of Inca Architecture. Many trapezoid doorways and windows allowed access and light to enter the interior spaces, and broadband of gold was added mid-way height around the walls. The doors were also covered in gold sheets, as were the interiors and exteriors of the various temples, and the inner side of the perimeter wall was even said to have been studded with emeralds.

Qoricancha nowadays

Little remains today except for some sections of its fine stone walls, which hint at the site’s once-massive size and the legendary stories which tell of the enormous quantity of gold used to decorate the temples and its golden garden. Many structures of the enclosure were destroyed. Today, only some of its constructions are maintained.

Temple of the Sun

Of all of Qoricancha, the Temple of the Sun was the most important. It was the main altar where the god Inti (Sun) represented in the god Wiracocha (main god of the Incas and other Andean cultures) was worshiped. During the Inca period, this enclosure was covered by gold and other precious metals.

Rainbow temple

The rainbow was also worshiped by the Incas and had a dedicated temple as well. The upper part is distinguished by the shape of a rainbow. A phenomenon worshiped by the Incas because it came from the sun.

Solar Garden

The Solar Garden became almost a warehouse for the offerings brought to honor the Sun God. It consisted of many things, such as flowers and other foliage brought from Tahuantinsuyo. Research has suggested that these offerings were made of gold and silver. They were so plentiful that they filled the huge garden. During Colonial time, it became Dominican friars’ garden.

Temple of the Moon

Not far from the Temple of the Sun, rests the Temple of the Moon. Considered to be the wife of the sun, the Moon Temple was an important part of Qoricancha. Sadly, the majority of this temple was also destroyed in order to make room for the Spanish church.

Fountains

In the original Qoricancha, there were five different fountains, and the origin of the water was a secret. Each fountain held a different religious significance, and in true Qoricancha style, were decorated with beautiful metals.

Ray, Thunder, and Lightning Enclosure

This rectangular enclosure has three doors for the ray, thunder, and lightning.

Hall of Sacrifices

This room was named for the rock-carved as a sacrificial table in the lower part.

Gate or the Sacred Alley

A kind of corridor surrounded by two finely carved stone walls. Leads to the main precinct.

Temple of Venus and the Stars

As the Sun was God and the Moon was his wife, so the stars were the daughters of the Inca and servants to the moon. The temple to celebrate the stars were close to the moon but was separated by a small alley, dedicated to Venus. Bone remains of Southamerican camelids were found in a niche, so it is believed that animal sacrifices were made there.

Opening Hours

Admission time to the Temple is from Monday to Saturday 8:30 am -5:30 pm

Sunday 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

San Pedro Market

San Pedro or Central Market of Cusco is five blocks from Cusco Plaza de Armas. It houses a large number of food stalls, with whole sections dedicated exclusively to fruit juices and juices, snacks, and prepared meals.

Visit the museums:

Within Cusco’s historic centre, you’ll find several interesting ones that will allow you to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the region. Here are some museum highlights:

Museum of Pre-Columbian Art:

Located in the Plaza de las Nazarenas, this museum houses an impressive collection of Peruvian pre-Columbian art. On display are a variety of ceramics, textiles, sculptures, and gold and silver objects from different pre-Inca cultures.

Inka Museum:

Located in the Casa del Almirante, next to the Archbishop’s Palace in the Plaza de Armas, the Inka Museum exhibits a wide range of Inca artefacts, such as ceramics, tools, jewellery and textiles. It also has a collection of Inca mummies.

Museum of Regional History:

Housed in the Casa Garcilaso, a beautiful colonial mansion. The museum offers a complete overview of regional history, from pre-Inca times to the Spanish conquest and the colonial era. It exhibits a variety of historical objects, art and photographs.

Museum of Religious Art:

Located inside the temple of the Society of Jesus, this museum houses an important collection of colonial religious art. You will be able to admire paintings, sculptures, ornaments and other objects used in the practice of Catholic worship during colonial times.

These are just some of the museums located within the historic centre of Cusco. Each of them offers a unique insight into the history and culture of the region, allowing you to immerse yourself in the past and better understand the richness of this historic city.

Museos en la ciudad del Cusco

Contemporary Museum of Cusco

Explore the magical streets of the city of Cusco

When visiting Cusco, there are several streets worth exploring to immerse yourself in its historical charm and enjoy the unique atmosphere of the city. Here are some street highlights you should visit:

Plateros street:

This street is known for being home to the Plazoleta de San Blas, one of the most picturesque places in Cusco. Here you will find local artisans’ workshops, art galleries and shops displaying beautiful Cusco handicrafts.

Calle Plateros

San Blas neighbourhood streets

Hatun Rumiyoc Street:

This street is famous for having the famous ” Twelve Angles Stone”, a stone carved with incredible precision that shows Inca engineering. You will also find the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, with its impressive baroque facade.

Calle Hatun Rumiyoc

Twelve Angles Stone

Loreto street:

This is one of the most photographed streets in Cusco due to its beautiful colonial architecture. Here you will find colourful colonial houses, carved wooden balconies and a charming atmosphere.

Calles más fotografiadas de Cusco

Photo of Loreto Street

Triunfo Street:

This street is one of the main access roads to the Plaza de Armas from the Puerta del Sol. Along this street, you will find handicraft shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as historic buildings such as the Iglesia del Triunfo (Church of the Triumph), and a few steps away you will reach the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.

Arch of Santa Clara

The Arch of Santa Clara, in the Plaza San Francisco in the historic centre of Cusco, is a magnificent triumphal arch considered the most beautiful in Peru. It was built in 1835 by Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz to celebrate the union of Peru and Bolivia. Its design, inspired by Roman arches, is the most beautiful according to the architect José García Bryce. Moreover, this arch is located in a corner of the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.

Siete Borreguitos Street:

This is one of the most Instagrammable streets in Cusco. It goes down from the Pumacurco slope to Choquechaca street, and in its short circuit it offers a dreamlike visual attraction. It is also an obligatory stop to visit the Sapantiana aqueduct.

Visiting the San Pedro Market

The San Pedro market is one of the most emblematic and popular places to visit in Cusco, before making the Inca Trail. Here are some reasons why you might consider visiting the San Pedro market:

  • Authentic experience: San Pedro market is a vibrant and authentic place where you can experience the daily life of the locals. It is a local market, with local vendors and local customers, allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of the city.
  • Fresh produce: The market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, from fruits and vegetables to meats, fish and spices. You can explore a wide range of local ingredients and enjoy the quality and freshness of the produce.
  • Local gastronomy: Inside the market, you will find food stalls and small eateries where you can sample traditional dishes from the region. You will be able to taste delicious dishes such as ceviche, rocoto relleno, quinoa soup and other typical dishes of Cusco.
  • Handicrafts and souvenirs: In addition to food products, the San Pedro market has a section dedicated to handicrafts and souvenirs. Here you can find a variety of textiles, ceramics, jewellery and other products handmade by local artisans.
  • Connecting with the community: By visiting the San Pedro market, you will have the opportunity to interact with the vendors and the local community. You can chat with them, learn about their traditions and customs, and share experiences in a friendly and welcoming environment.
  • Affordable prices: Compared to touristy places, prices at the San Pedro market are usually more affordable. This allows you to get fresh produce, try traditional dishes and buy souvenirs without spending a fortune.
El mercado de San Pedro es uno de los lugares más emblemáticos y populares de Cusco

Photograph of a fruit vendor at the San Pedro market.

Taking short hikes

In Cusco, there are several short hikes you can enjoy to explore the surroundings and enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Here are some options for short hikes in Cusco:

San Blas viewpoint:

Head to the San Blas neighbourhood and hike up to the San Blas viewpoint. The hike up to the viewpoint will take you approximately 20 minutes and will give you a spectacular view of the rooftops of Cusco and the surrounding mountains.

Mirador de San Blas

San Blas viewpoint

Huaca Sapantiana:

This vice-royal vestige is in the Sapantiana ravine, at the foot of the Saqsayhuaman hill in the neighbourhood of San Cristobal.

To get there we take as a reference the main square of the city of Cusco, we have to enter through the Triunfo street, passing by the side of the cathedral of Cusco. After a few minutes you reach Hatun Rumiyuq street, where you will also find the stone of the 12 angles. Further on is Choquechaca street, along which you have to walk to the end. As you go up the steps there is a sign and a channelled stream. Exactly, you have to follow the course of the stream, because it is the same one that passes under the arches that support the colonial aqueduct.

Huaca Sapantiana

Huaca Sapantiana

The Mural History of Cusco:

The mural “History of Cusco” is an outstanding work of art that is located on Avenida El Sol, one of the main streets of the city of Cusco, in Peru. The mural, also known as the “Mural of the Cusco Culture”, was created by the renowned Cusco artist Gerardo Ccoa Quispe and was inaugurated in 2009.

The mural “History of Cusco” is an outstanding work of art located on Avenida El Sol, one of the main streets of the city of Cusco, Peru. The mural, also known as the “Mural of the Cusco Culture”, was created by the renowned Cusco artist Gerardo Ccoa Quispe and was inaugurated in 2009.

The mural “History of Cusco” covers a large area of the wall surrounding the Parque de la Madre, in the heart of the city. With approximately 3,000 square metres, it is one of the largest and most representative murals in Cusco.

The work stands out for its detail and colour, representing the rich history and culture of Cusco from pre-Hispanic times to the present day. Through various panels and scenes, the mural narrates the evolution of the city, from the foundation of the Inca Empire to the Spanish conquest and the present day.

In the mural, you can appreciate images of historical figures such as the Incas, the Spanish conquistadors, the independence struggles and significant moments in the history of Cusco. Also included are representations of daily life, traditional festivities, folkloric dances and emblematic cultural elements of the region.

Mural de la Cultura Cusqueña

Mural of the Cusquenian Culture

The Devil’s Balcony (Balcón del Diablo):

The Devil’s Balcony is a very interesting place to relax while in Cusco. It is located a few minutes away from the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, the scenery you will enjoy is truly incredible. To get to the Devil’s Balcony, is a good option to schedule in your plan of activities to acclimatise in this beautiful city.

The Quechua name of the Devil’s Balcony is Chakán and means bridge. This beautiful place is characterised by a large rock with a beautiful view of the landscape, below this imposing rock for the river Chakán, for which in ancient times it received the Quechua name “Chakán”.

Vista del Balcón del Diablo

View of the Devil’s Balcony

Apukunaq Tianan or the Abode of the Gods:

This is a new and interesting tourist attraction in Cusco, the Apukunaq Tianan is located 13 kilometres from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, by the Arch of Tica Tica, in an area called Huayna Corcor, in the town of Sencca, district of Poroy in the city of Cusco.

Morada de los Dioses, conjunto de esculturas talladas en piedras

Abode of the Gods, a group of sculptures carved in stone.

IF YOU HAVE TWO FREE DAYS BEFORE INCA TRAIL, WHICH TOURS SHOULD YOU DO?

If you can afford more than one day in Cusco, do it!

SACRED VALLEY TOUR

A tour to the Sacred Valley is a fascinating experience that allows you to explore the natural, cultural and historical wonders found in this region near the city of Cusco.

Moray:

The first destination is usually Moray, a fascinating archaeological complex. Moray is known for its circular terraces, which form a kind of stepped amphitheatre. It is believed that these terraces were used as Inca agricultural laboratories, as each terrace has a different microclimate. Here you will have the opportunity to explore the terraces, learn about Inca agricultural techniques and enjoy panoramic views of the valley.

Moray, laboratorio de productos orgánicos

Moray, organic products laboratory

Maras:

The village of Maras, famous for the Salineras de Maras. These salt pans are stepped terraces where salt has been extracted since pre-Hispanic times. You can walk along the paths between the salt pans and learn about this ancient method of salt production. You can also enjoy the panoramic views of the illuminated landscape and the village of Maras, famous for the Maras salt pans. These salt pans are stepped terraces where salt has been extracted since pre-Hispanic times.

Las Salineras de Maras cuenta con mas de mil pozos de sal

Salt mines of Maras

Chinchero:

The village of Chinchero, known for its rich history and textile production. You can visit a colonial church built on the foundations of an ancient Inca palace and learn about the traditional weaving technique of the locals. You will also have the opportunity to explore the local market and purchase handmade crafts.

Mágico pueblo de Chinchero

Magical village of Chinchero

Pisac:

It is quite a colourful place, located at 2,974 m.a.s.l. in the Cusco Region, and is a good option to include in your itinerary during your visit to this beautiful city.

According to the history, the origin of Pisaq comes from the replica of a PISAKA (endemic bird of the place) that the Incas made when they observed the Milky Way. In ancient times, it is said that the Incas used to capture in sacred places, everything they could observe in the milky way, that is how PISAQ was born.

You can explore Inca agricultural terraces, temples and breathtaking panoramic views of the valley. There is also a local market in the village of Pisac where you can find handicrafts and local products.

Andenes de Pisaq

Pisac Andean terraces

Ollantaytambo:

The next destination is the impressive archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo. Here you will have the opportunity to explore the imposing terraces, temples and cobbled streets that show the excellent urban planning of the Incas. Ollantaytambo is also known to be a starting point for those wishing to take the train to Machu Picchu.

Complejo Arqueólogico de Ollantaytambo

Archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo

SOUTHERN VALLEY TOUR

Southern valley tour is one of the most frequented and recommended tours in the city of Cusco, besides the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is the South Valley Tour, why? Because this tour allows us to go all over the south of this beautiful city, and you will know an interesting mix of Colonial, Inca and Pre-Inca sites of the history of Cusco in more than 800 years.

Tipon:

The first destination is the archaeological complex of Tipon. Here you will explore the Inca agricultural terraces, irrigation canals and hydraulic systems that show the advanced engineering of the Incas. In addition, you will enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

Complejo Arqueológico de Tipón

Tipon

Pikillacta:

Next, you will visit the archaeological site of Pikillacta. This place was an ancient pre-Inca city built by the Wari civilisation. You will be able to walk through the narrow streets, structures and walls that reveal the urban planning of this ancestral culture.

Complejo Arqueológico de Pikillacta

Archaeological Complex of Pikillacta

Andahuaylillas:

After exploring Pikillacta, you will make a stop in the picturesque village of Andahuaylillas. Here you will visit the famous Church of San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, known as the “Sistine Chapel of America”. This colonial church boasts beautiful frescoes, paintings and impressive architecture.

Capilla Sixtina de América en Andahuaylillas

Sistine Chapel of America in Andahuaylillas

IF YOU HAVE THREE OR MORE DAYS BEFORE INCA TRAIL

Discover a little more of Cusco on your third day, with attractions just minutes outside the city.

Jurassic Park in Oropesa

Would you like to spend a nice day next to dinosaurs of real shapes and sizes? The Jurassic Park of Oropesa awaits you with open arms, to enjoy a day with this incredible model made of fibreglass.

The Jurassic Park of Oropesa is open seven days a week, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Regarding the payment, adults pay S/2.00 and children S/1.50 (less than one dollar). The prices for the moment are quite comfortable, so take advantage and do not stay with the desire to spend a day with the dinosaurs of Oropesa in Cusco.

Parque Jurásico de Oropesa

Jurassic Park in Oropesa

Oropesa, National Capital of bread

Oropesa is a small town located in the province of Quispicanchi, in the region of Cusco, Peru. Although it is a lesser known destination compared to the city of Cusco, Oropesa has a special title: it is known as the “National Capital of Bread”. This distinction is due to the baking tradition that has been maintained for generations in the town.

Oropesa is famous for its delicious bread, which is baked according to traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation. Oropesa’s bread is renowned for its quality, flavour and variety. Some of the most popular bread specialities include chuta bread, corn bread and wood-fired bread.

If you visit Oropesa, you can enjoy the opportunity to taste and buy freshly baked bread, learn about traditional baking processes and immerse yourself in the local culture. In addition, the charm of the village and the beauty of its surroundings make Oropesa a pleasant place to explore and enjoy the tranquillity of the countryside.

Farallones de Tecsecocha (Tecsecocha cliffs)

The incredible Farallones de Tecsecocha in Cusco promises you an unparalleled adventure! In this wonderful place, you will be able to climb the rocky chain of Ccorca, trekking and Zipline. Best of all, it is only 40 minutes away from Cusco!

The Farallones de Tecsecocha, has three slopes of 45, 78 and 100 meters that are used for some adventure sports such as:

  • Rapelling, one of the most popular adventure sports for our visitors.
  • ZipLine, its practice is divided into 3 sections, sliding up to 850m. Becoming the highest in Peru.
  • Trekking, we will start the second part of the trip walking until we reach the “Farallones de Tecsecocha”.

The best time to visit it is in the dry season, this is because during the months of April to October in Cusco the weather is pleasant. The days are sunny with the presence of the blue Cusco sky that adorns the view of every visitor. In addition, during this season the presence of rain is minimal. However, it is recommended to take precautions with the type of clothing to use in these months, because the nights and early mornings in Cusco are cold.

Farallones de Tecsecocha│Tecsecocha cliffs

Farallones de Tecsecocha, Tecsecocha cliffs

Discover a feast for your senses: Explore, taste and enjoy the best restaurants in Cusco.

Cusco is a city famous for its rich culture, history and, of course, its delicious cuisine. Here we introduce you to some of the best restaurants in Cusco:

MAP Café:

Located in the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art (MAP), this restaurant offers an enhanced and contemporary dining experience. It combines local ingredients with modern culinary techniques to create innovative and tasty dishes.

MAP Café (Plazoleta Nazarenas 231)

Chicha by Gastón Acurio:

Gastón Acurio is a renowned Peruvian chef and Chicha is one of his most popular restaurants in Cusco. It offers a fusion of traditional Peruvian cuisine with modern touches. Try dishes such as ceviche, baked guinea pig or aji de gallina.

Chicha por Gastón Acuario, Plaza Regocijo

Cicciolina:

La Cicciolina, this cosy restaurant is located in a colonial mansion in Plaza Regocijo. It offers a variety of international and local dishes, using fresh and high quality ingredients. Don’t miss their homemade pastas and Peruvian tapas.

Cicciolina Restaurant (Calle Palacio 110)

Limo:

This is a Nikkei food restaurant, which combines Japanese and Peruvian influences. Here you can enjoy dishes such as tiradito, sushi and the famous lomo saltado. The fusion of flavours is a unique experience.

 Restaurant Limo

Kion:

This restaurant specialises in Chinese-Peruvian food, known as chifa. It offers dishes such as chaufa rice, stir-fried noodles and various dim sum options. It is popular with locals and tourists alike.

These are just a few examples of the best restaurants in Cusco. The city has a vibrant gastronomic scene and there is a wide range of options to suit all tastes. Don’t hesitate to explore and discover new places during your visit.

KION peruvian chinese

Vegan options in Cusco

Here are some of the best restaurants that specialise in vegan cuisine:

Green Point:

Green Point is a very popular vegan restaurant in Cusco. It offers a wide variety of creative and delicious vegan dishes, from burgers and pizzas to meatless Peruvian food options.

Ceviche al estilo Green Point

Organika Vegetarian Restaurant:

A popular and beloved spot in Cusco for those looking for vegetarian and vegan options. This restaurant is located in the historic centre of the city and prides itself on offering healthy, sustainable and flavourful cuisine.

The atmosphere at Organika is cosy and relaxing, with warm, rustic décor that creates a pleasant atmosphere in which to enjoy your meal. The restaurant strives to use fresh, organic ingredients, many of which are grown in their own organic garden.

Plato vegetariano de Organika Restaurant

What to do in Cusco at night?

Cusco has a vibrant nightlife scene and boasts a variety of bars offering everything from creative cocktails to craft beers.

These are just a few examples of the best bars in Cusco. The city offers a wide variety of options, from relaxed and bohemian venues to modern and lively bars. Explore Cusco’s nightlife scene and discover your favourite place to enjoy a good drink and a fun night out.

Pisco Museum:

This popular bar is located in the heart of the Plaza de Armas and is known for its wide selection of piscos, Peru’s national liquor. The Museo del Pisco offers a wide variety of pisco-based cocktails, such as the famous pisco sour, in a lively and welcoming atmosphere.

Demostración del Pisco Sour

Limbus Resto Bar:

This modern and stylish bar offers a wide variety of drinks and cocktails in a sophisticated atmosphere. Limbus Resto Bar is known for its excellent service and for being an ideal place to enjoy a quiet night out with friends.

Vista Panorámica desde el Limbus Bar

IS IT CUSCO OR CUZCO?

The name of the city can be found written in two ways: “Cusco” and “Cuzco”. Both are accepted and recognised, and the choice between one or the other depends on the preferences of each person or the convention used in different contexts.

Historically, the original name of the city was “Cuzco”, which comes from the Quechua language and means “navel of the world”. However, with the passage of time and the influence of the Spanish language, the form “Cusco” has also been adopted and is more commonly used today.

Nevertheless, “Cusco” is the most commonly used form today and is the one that appears on most maps, tourist guides and official documents. It is important to note that both forms refer to the same place, the city located in Peru that was the capital of the Inca Empire.

 

We invite you to discover the exciting ancient legacy, charm and magic hidden in the fascinating city of Cusco before embarking on the legendary Inca Trail. Get ready for a transformative experience that will transport you back in time and awaken your senses.

At Inkayni Peru Tours, we are passionate about bringing you the best of Cusco. Immerse yourself in the history that permeates every corner of this ancient city, marvel at its rich culture and experience it authentically. From the majesty of the Plaza de Armas to the hidden secrets of the traditional neighbourhoods, every step will reveal a historical and cultural treasure.

👉𝗦𝗨𝗦𝗖𝗥𝗜𝗕𝗘 𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗕𝗟𝗢𝗚 ▶ 👈
👉𝗦𝗨𝗦𝗖𝗥𝗜𝗕𝗘 𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗧𝗜𝗞 𝗧𝗢𝗞 ▶ https://acortar.link/E4XQ8C

Compartir:

If you liked this article and the information you found, give us 5 stars!

1 estrella2 estrellas3 estrellas4 estrellas5 estrellas (1 votos, promedio: 5.00 de 5)
Loading...
×
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial