The 10 most beautiful landscapes of Cusco

Cusco is the most touristic region of Peru. There the Incas decided to locate the capital of their great empire (the Tahuantinsuyo). In their high mountains they built formidable stone citadels. In this magical region, nature decided to shape unusual landscapes. Today, the hand of man and the caprice of nature have formed in Cusco some of the most beautiful landscapes of the Andes Mountains. Find out what they are, how to get there, and when is the best time to go.

Salt mines of Maras

Salt mines of Maras

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu – Cusco

Machu Picchu is the first tourist destination in Peru. It is considered one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. It is located approximately 100 kilometers from the city of Cusco. It was built by Emperor Pachacutec in approximately 1450. It was a citadel where the Inca gods were also worshiped.

Machu Picchu offers one of the most photographed landscapes on the planet. From the enclosure of the ‘House of the guardian’ the famous classic photographs of the ‘Inca City’ are obtained. The photographs from the peaks of Huayna Picchu and Machupicchu mountain are also famous. The visit can be done all year round.

The Mountain 7 Colors

Mountain 7 Colors

The Mountain 7 Colors – Cusco

This mountain is also known as Vinicunca, the rainbow mountain or simply the mountain 7 colors. As its name suggests, it is a summit with mineral sediments that give it seven colors: pink, whitish, purple, red, green and brown. It is located about 100 kilometers south from the city of Cusco.

Since its discovery at the beginning of the 21st century, this beautiful landscape is considered one of the most beautiful in Peru and the world. To appreciate it, you must travel by car and make a final walk of almost 2 hours through a geography that exceeds 5,000 meters of altitude. It is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cusco.

The Tres Cruces de Oro viewpoint in Paucartambo

Tres Cruces de Oro

Tres Cruces de Oro – Cusco

This viewpoint offers one of the most beautiful sunrises on the planet. It is that there, every winter solstice (June 20, 21 or 22) one of the rarest phenomena occurs: the so-called ‘white ray’. This phenomenon occurs at sunrise, which is reflected as ‘three golden crosses’. That day hundreds of visitors come to the place.

The sunrise that can be seen from this viewpoint is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Cusco. The place is located at 3,700 meters above sea level. It is known as the ‘East Balcony’ because at its feet lies the famous Manu National Park. The mountainous views and the jungle plain are a sight to behold hard to match.

The Humantay lagoon

Humantay lagoon

Humantay lagoon – Cusco

The Humantay lagoon, due to its turquoise waters and the high snow-capped mountains that guard it, offers one of the best landscapes in Cusco. It is at the foot of the immense Salkantay snow-capped mountain, one of the most important in the Andean worldview. The lagoon is 4,200 meters above sea level, about 127 kilometers from the city of Cusco.

The lagoon has a special beauty that distinguishes it from the many other lagoons in Cusco. Its waters are turquoise, as a reflection of the sky. It is in a place surrounded by mountains and snow-capped mountains. Although there is no archaeological evidence, it is presumed that the Incas left religious offerings there. Today it is one of the most visited destinations in Cusco. To get there, after the car trip, you have to do an arduous walk of approximately 1 hour.

The Taray viewpoint

Taray viewpoint

Taray viewpoint – Cusco

This viewpoint is one of the best points from where you have a panoramic view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The view includes the Vilcanota river, farmlands as well as the town and archaeological site of Pisac. The viewpoint is located 35 kilometers from the city of Cusco.

Most tourists know the Taray viewpoint during the 1-day tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The viewpoint is visited during the first journey to the town and archaeological site of Pisac. The tour also offers a visit to the towns and archaeological sites of Chinchero and Ollantaytambo.

The salt mines of Maras

Salt mines of Maras

Salt mines of Maras – Cusco

The salt mines of Maras are a set of natural salt wells formed thousands of years ago as a result of the whim of nature. It was used by the Incas and various cultures of ancient Peru. Today it is worked and marketed by the inhabitants of Maras. From its viewpoints there are incredible scenic views of the set of salt pools.

The Maras salt mines are located 50 kilometers from the city of Cusco (and 7 kilometers from the town of Maras). The landscapes can be achieved from any of its viewpoints. Also from the outside. Most tourists visit this attraction through the half-day ‘Maras – Moray’ tour. The service also includes the circular platforms of Moray.

The red valley of Pitumarca

Red valley

Red valley – Cusco

The red valley of Pitumarca offers a mountainous landscape with a red hue (as if it were the planet Mars) due to the proliferation of clay on earth. It is located in the same chain of mountains that make up the mountain 7 colors. Getting there is quite a challenge since it is located more than 5,000 meters above sea level.

During the rainy season (especially in January, February and March) the red hue permeates the nearby streams. This is how the ‘red river’ is formed, another sight to behold. To get there you have to make a final walk of almost 2 hours. Some tours to the Rainbow Mountain include a visit to the red valley of Pitumarca.

The Abra Malaga

Abra Málaga

Abra Malaga – Cusco

The Abra Málaga is a high area between mountains from which there are two spectacular views: on the one hand, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and its extensive network of mountains. On the other, the high jungle plain of Cusco. The pass is located 103 kilometers from the city of Cusco. From there you also have a spectacular view of the snowy Verónica.

The scenic beauty of the place earned it the setting for filming for the movie Transformers in 2021. Most tourists know this place through a 1-day bike tour. Also with the 4-day adventure tour to Machu Picchu called ‘Inca Jungle’.

The Chonta viewpoint

Chonta viewpoint

Chonta viewpoint – Cusco

The Chonta viewpoint is one of the less known tourist attractions for visitors to Cusco. However, the place offers a unique landscape with the peculiarity that from there you can see the flight of Andean condors. The viewpoint is located in the community of Chonta, in the district of Limatambo, about 98 kilometers from the city of Cusco.

In the place there are up to three viewpoints located at different distances. The highest viewpoint, after 3 kilometers of walking, is the one that offers the best views of the Andean condors. This site can be visited by tour or on your own. The entrance has a cost of 10 Peruvian soles.

The Cristo Blanco

Cristo Blanco

Cristo Blanco – Cusco

The Cristo Blanco is an 8-meter-high statue that guards Cusco under the figure of a white Jesus Christ with both arms open. From there you have a scenic view of the city of Cusco. The visit to this site is free. You only have to get there, either on foot, by taxi or by public transport. It is only a 1.5 kilometer walk from the city center.

The statue was built in 1944 (donation from the Palestinian Arab colony of Cusco). It has night lighting. It can be visited at any time: from the early hours of the day or at night. Just a few steps away is the famous archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman. Most tourists visit the Cristo Blanco through the ‘Mirabus’ tour through the main streets of the city.


By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, November 19, 2021

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