All about Three golden crosses in Cusco
The Three golden crosses viewpoint is a natural observatory from where you can appreciate a sunrise full of colors, shades and light. It is known as the 'most beautiful sunrise in the world'. The place where this spectacle is appreciated is called 'Akhanacu', from where it is possible to appreciate the immense extension of green jungle of the Manu National Park.
Throughout the year, but especially in May, June and July, from the Three golden crosses viewpoint you can see the sunrise from 5 in the morning. It is a natural spectacle of great beauty. The viewpoint is located near the city of Paucartambo, famous for its customs and typical dances.
The Three golden crosses viewpoint is located 40 kilometers from the city of Paucartambo in the department of Cusco. Geographically it is located on the border of the Andean mountains with the immense Peruvian jungle. It is 3,850 meters above sea level (12,631 feet).
According to the villagers of Paucartambo, appreciating the sunrise at Three golden crosses has a special charm that frees the person from stress, anger, envy, selfishness and more. From there it is also possible to appreciate the mountain chain of the Ausangate mountain (the highest in Cusco), the Paucartambo river, the fertile Andean valleys and other impressive landscapes.
How to get?
After arriving in Peru, the first destination is the city of Cusco. From there you take the asphalt road heading south. The trip takes approximately 3 hours.
Public transportation services charge approximately 20 soles (6 USD) per person. The buses are taken at the stop on Avenida Diagonal Angamos (Cuzco).
Once in the city of Paucartambo, a private service must be hired to ascend the 45 kilometers to the viewpoint. The cost depends on each type of service. Remember to go early enough to appreciate the sunrise at 5am.
This phenomenon is appreciated by thousands of people who come to the place to dawn at the Mirador and witness this phenomenon from the famous 'Mirador de Akhanacu', also known as the eastern balcony.
Map to get to Three golden crosses
The most beautiful sunrise in the world
The sunrise at the Three golden crosses viewpoint is considered one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world. The light is illuminated with a mixture of yellow and orange hues that are a visual delight for visitors. Also there, every winter solstice (at the end of June) a natural phenomenon occurs known as 'the white ray', which only occurs in Japan and Cusco. During this natural phenomenon it is possible to appreciate an optical illusion with three suns on the horizon caused by effervescent light and the proximity of the sun to the planet.
Paucartambo in Cusco
Paucartambo is a province of Cusco that is characterized by its Andean geography bordering the jungle as well as its deep-rooted customs and festivities. One of its main tourist attractions is the Three golden crosses viewpoint. However, its Inca and pre-Inca archaeological sites are also famous, such as: Watoqto, the chullpas of Ninamarca, the Mauk Allaqta archaeological complex as well as the petroglyphs of Kosñipata. In mid-July, the famous festival in honor of the Virgen del Carmen is celebrated there, where it is celebrated with dances, music, local cuisine and much joy.
When to go?
The dry season months (from April to October) are the best to visit the Three golden crosses viewpoint in Cusco. On those days, there are not many chances of rain, so you can see the sun without clouds to prevent it. According to tourist guides, in May, June and July; you can see a much more beautiful sunrise.
The cost of the entrance ticket to the Three golden crosses viewpoint is 10 Peruvian soles (3 US dollars, approximately). It is mandatory to be accompanied by a park ranger. The additional costs are: transportation, stay (at least 1 night) and food. The starting point is in the city of Cusco, where the majority of hotels and lodgings in the region are located.
An alternative is to travel to the Three golden crosses viewpoint through a private tour. The tours last 2 days and include: transportation, accommodation, food, tour guide as well as a visit to the archaeological site of the chullpas of Ninamarca. The tours ascend to the viewpoint making a short trekking route. The cost of the service is approximately 100 US dollars (varies depending on the chosen company).
Three Golden Crosses is available to visitors every day of the year. Of course, remember that from 5.30 in the morning until 6.30 in the morning is the time where you can appreciate the beautiful sunrise of the place.
What to bring
- Warm clothes for the night (gloves, chullo, jackets, etc).
- Comfortable shoes (preferably for trekking).
- A photografic camera.
- A cap or hat during the day.
- Mosquito repellent.
- Rehydrating water, snacks or fruits.
- Identity documents.
Photos of Three golden crosses in Cusco
The Three golden crosses viewpoint is located within the Manu National Reserve. In this area protected by the Peruvian State, you should not: pick flowers, capture animals, deviate towards prohibited routes, dump garbage and make bonfires.
The viewpoint is located 3,850 meters above sea level (12,631 feet). At that altitude the cold is intense, especially during the nights of camping. Because of this, visitors are advised to wear warm clothing. The temperature there at night can reach 0 degrees Celsius (32ºF).
The sunrise at Three golden crosses can be interrupted due to bad weather. This especially in the rainy season in Cusco: January, February and March.
Take advantage of your visit to Three golden crosses to take a tour of the Manu National Reserve, one of the most biodiverse areas in Peru. The cost of the entrance ticket is: Cultural Historical Zone 50 Peruvian soles (valid for 5 days), Limonal zone 75 Peruvian soles (valid for 1 day) and the Manu River zone 150 Peruvian soles (valid for 5 days).
In addition to the Three golden crosses viewpoint in Paucartambo, Peru has some of the most beautiful sunrises in the world, such as: Lake Titicaca (Puno), the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve (Loreto) and the Inca city of Machu Picchu (Cusco).