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7 unmissable places of Cusco
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7 must-see places during your visit to Cusco

Cusco is the main tourist center of Peru and one of the main destinations in South America. The attractions begin in the same city and extend along its valleys and snowy mountains. Machu Picchu is the most visited place. However, there are many other places to know. Below is a list of 7 fashionable places that you should not miss during your visit to the sacred lands of the Incas.


Cusco is one of the main tourist attractions of Cusco. Most visitors arrive to see Machu Picchu. However, there are other amazing places like Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, the San Blas neighborhood, Choquequirao and the 7 Colors Mountain.

Machu Picchu an unmissable place during your visit to Cusco
These are some unmissable places during your visit to Cusco

1. The San Blas neighborhood

  • Within the city of Cusco you will not find a more traditional and picturesque place than the San Blas neighborhood.
  • You get there through Hantun Rumiyoc Street, where you can see the spectacular Stone of the 12 Angles of Cusco.
  • In the Plazoleta de San Blas you can see the colonial temple that has a beautiful pulpit carved in baroque style.
  • In the neighborhood of San Blas are the workshops of the most renowned artisans from Cusco. There handicraft stores proliferate such as: paintings, carvings, sculptures, alpaca clothes, jewelry and more.
  • You can also find many hotels, restaurants, pubs and mystic tourism centers. Many tourists simply like to sit on a bench and contemplate the place.

      Location – Cuesta San Blas S / N, Historic Center of Cusco.

      Price – Free.

Typical streets of the San Blas neighborhood
Streets of the traditional neighborhood of San Blas

2. Sacsayhuaman

  • The fortress of Sacsayhuaman is one of the most amazing constructions made by the Incas.
  • The archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman is also made up of several Inca precincts such as: Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. All were made in order to monitor the city of Cusco as well as the Inca’s resting place.
  • They highlight its cyclopean walls as well as its towers located on the zigzag walls and its huge trapezoidal doors.
  • In Sacsayhuaman, its chincanas (tunnels), its doors, walls (bastions), towers as well as suchunas (stands) stand out.
  • The Inti Raymi is held every June 24 on the Sacsayhuaman esplanade. The Fiesta del Sol is a celebration whose origins date back to the Inca era.

      Location – Calle Don Bosco S / N, Cusco (2 kilometers from the Plaza de Armas).

      Price – Partial Tourist Ticket I (70 Peruvian soles / 22 dollars).

Sacsayhuamán fortress walls
Walls that can be found in the fortress of Sacsayhuamán

3. Pisac

  • Pisac is one of the most picturesque villages in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
  • The craft market of Pisac will surprise you with its countless stalls in the streets until you reach its main square. In this market you can find crafts of all kinds: poles, footwear, jewelry, sculptures, paintings, ceramics, etc.
  • On top of the mountain you can find the Inca constructions of the archaeological site of Pisac.
  • This archeological site is one of the best preserved that exist, with magnificent structures such as the Temple of the Sun or its spectacular andenería system.
  • The landscapes that surround Pisac as well as the traditions of its inhabitants attract foreign tourists. Most arrive to visit the market and the archeological site.

      Location – Road to Calca (30 kilometers from Cusco), Sacred Valley.

      Price – Partial Tourist Ticket II (70 Peruvian soles / 22 dollars).

View of the archaeological complex of Pisac
View of the archaeological complex of Pisac

4. Ollantaytambo

  • Ollantaytambo is a must-see point for visitors heading to Machu Picchu. In this town is the main train station that transports tourists to the Inca site.
  • However, Ollantaytambo has its own Inca site whose constructions are as amazing as Machu Picchu.
  • The Inca city of Ollantaytambo was a sacred enclosure that also functioned as a fortress during the Spanish invasion.
  • His most famous buildings are: the Royal House of the Sun, the Monumental Front, the Bath of the Ñusta and the Temple of the Sun.
  • The town itself is also a delight. Its houses and streets retain their original Inca structures. There you can also enjoy restaurants, bars, hotels and cafes.

      Location – Road to Ollantaytambo (72 kilometers from Cusco), Sacred Valley.

      Price – Partial Tourist Ticket II (70 Peruvian soles / 22 dollars).

View of the archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas

5. Choquequirao

  • Choquequirao is a spectacular Inca city that is located in a remote place near the snowy Salkantay.
  • It is considered the ‘Sacred Sister of Machu Picchu’ due to the resemblance of the environment and its buildings.
  • There is no way to get to Choquequirao with transportation, so you must take a 60-kilometer walk that lasts approximately 2 days.
  • The route is not simple. Start with a bus trip from Cusco to the town of Cachora. Then the hike through mountainous landscapes is abundant in flora and fauna.
  • Due to the difficulty in getting there, few tourists visit Choquequirao. Unlike Machu Picchu, this is a place that can still be enjoyed in peace.

      Location – Choquequirao archeological center, Santa Teresa, La Convencion (Cusco).

      Price – 4-day tours cost between 350 to 500 dollars per tourist.

Inca city of Choquequirao
Landscape of the Inca city of Choquequirao

6. The mountain of 7 colors

  • The fashionable tourist attraction in Cusco is called Vinicunca, Rainbow Mountain or simply Mountain of the 7 colors.
  • Vinicunca Mountain is about 5,200 meters from sea level (17,060 ft). It is located at the foot of the snowy Ausangate, the highest in Cusco.
  • This mountain was discovered in recent years after the thaw that revealed the beauty of its multicolored minerals.
  • The beautiful landscape offered by the mountain attracts hundreds of visitors every day. The place became one of the most photographed tourist attractions.
  • The tour includes transportation, lunch, tour guide and entrance. To reach the top, visitors must travel on foot approximately 5 kilometers. The other option is to hire a horse from local people.

      Location – Pampachiri Community, Canchis, Cusco.

      Price – The 1-day tours cost approximately $ 38.

7-color mountain tourist
Incredible view of the 7-color mountain or also called rainbow mountain

7. Machu Picchu

  • A trip to Cusco would not be considered as such if the Inca city of Machu Picchu is not visited.
  • The Inca city stands imposing between the Cordillera de los Andes and the eyebrow of the Amazon rainforest. It is considered one of the greatest works of man. In 2007 it was chosen as Wonder of the Modern World.
  • What attracts visitors is the natural beauty that surrounds Machu Picchu as well as its mysterious well-preserved stone constructions.
  • Despite its difficult location, Machu Picchu can be reached in 3 ways : through the 4-day Inca Trail, with the train route (4 hours) or with the alternative route by Hydroelectric (8 hours).
  • The entrance ticket to Machu Picchu can be purchased online or at the authorized offices of Cusco.
  • There is no excuse not to visit the masterpiece of the Incas, a must-see place for everyone who arrives in Cusco.

      Location – Hiram Bingham Road S / N, Aguas Calientes, Urubamba – Cusco.

      Price – The ticket ‘Machu Picchu Solo’ has an approximate cost of 152 Peruvian soles (47 dollars).

View of the Inca city of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, the jewel of the Inca empire

Advice from people who have been there

Cusco and Machu Picchu

Mayté TBy: Mayté T

“Much to do and experience!“

“My view of Cusco turned out to be more than I expected, is that it is not only Machu Picchu, it is a whole set of beautiful places. And not only that, but live many adrenaline doing adventure sports and hiking in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. I totally recommend it, a place where you can find absolutely everything. “


 

By Ticket Machu Picchu – Last updated, January 27, 2020