8 tourist attractions of Cusco to go on your own

Cusco is one of the most visited tourist destinations in South America. This Andean region has important places to visit such as: Sacsayhuaman, Coricancha, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the thermal baths of Cocalmayo, the South Valley of Cusco, the churches, the jungle region and more. All these tourist destinations can be visited with a tour or on your own. Learn how to visit them on your own!

Machu Picchu
The mysterious Inca city of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world. The Inca citadel can be visited with an all-inclusive tour. However, it is also possible to visit on your own. For this it is necessary to buy the entrance ticket through the official website. Then you have to buy the train tickets (also online).

To enjoy a memorable experience in Machu Picchu, it is also recommended to hire the service of a professional tour guide. At the entrance gate of the Inca citadel it is possible to get a guide in Spanish, English or other languages. Machu Picchu can be visited the same day or spending a night in Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu town).

Sacsayhuaman and four ruins

To Sacsay

Sacsayhuaman is one of the most famous Inca archaeological sites in Cusco. It is located just 4 kilometers from the city center. Its fame lies in its carved stone walls that weigh up to 120 tons. How did the Incas manage to carve and perfectly fit such large and heavy rocks?

While most tourists visit Sacsayhuaman with the City Tour Cusco, it is also possible to do it on your own. For this it is necessary to purchase the Cusco Tourist Ticket Circuit 1, the same one that includes the visit to Sacsayhuaman and the four nearby ruins: Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. You can reach Sacsayhuaman by taxi, public transportation or walking.

The temple of Coricancha


The Coricancha was the most important Inca temple dedicated to the sun in the entire empire of the Incas. Its name means: “Gold Enclosure”. The reason? The chronicles indicate that its most important enclosures were covered with sheets of gold, silver and precious stones. With the arrival of the Spanish (in the 16th century), these temples were looted.

Like Sacsayhuaman, the Coricancha is included in the City Tour Cusco (it also includes a visit to the Cathedral of Cusco). To visit it on your own, you only need to buy the entrance ticket at the door of the same enclosure. Right there you can get the tour guide service (for an approximate price of 15 soles).

The churches of Cusco

Catedrald el Cusco
Catedral del Cusco

Cusco is famous for its many churches of colonial origin, which show a baroque architecture of great beauty. Although it is possible to visit them one by one (it is free on ceremony days on Sundays); An excellent option is to buy the Ticket for the Religious Circuit of Cusco.

This ticket includes a visit to: the Cathedral, the church of San Cristóbal, the temple of San Blas and the Archbishop’s Palace of Cusco. The ticket allows you to save because only the entrance to the Cathedral costs 25 soles while the ticket costs 30 soles. The opening hours of all the churches are from 10 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon. Take advantage!

The Sacred Valley of the Incas

Pisac – Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a geographical area of ​​Cusco full of mountains, rivers, lagoons and where the Incas built their main citadels such as: Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and more. This area is visited by most tourists on the Sacred Valley 1 day tour. Another option is to go on your own buying the Cusco Circuit 3 Tourist Ticket.

This ticket allows the visit to the Inca sites of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Moray. You can visit all these tourist attractions from 7 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon. To make the visit you can hire a private transport, taxi or public transport bus. On Belenpampa street there are buses to Chinchero. On Puputi street, to Pisac.

The thermal baths of Cocalmayo


The thermal baths of Cocalmayo are considered the best in Cusco. Most tourists visit it on the 4-day Inca Jungle Tour or the 5-day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. These thermal baths are located 206 kilometers from the city of Cusco, in the town of Santa Teresa, province of La Convención.

Visiting Cocalmayo on your own is not easy. If you depart from Cusco, you must take public transport ‘Turismo Ampay’ to the town of Santa María. Then a collective taxi to Santa Teresa where the thermal baths are. Another option is to go from Machu Picchu, located just 20 kilometers from Aguas Calientes.

The South Valley of Cusco

Valle Sur
Piquillacta – South Cusco Valley

The South Valley of Cusco is a geographical area located to the south-east from the city of Cusco where important archaeological complexes and Andean towns are located, such as: Tipón, Piquillacta and Andahuaylillas. These three destinations can be visited with the South Valley Tour of Cusco. Another option is to do it on your own by buying the Cusco Circuit 2 Tourist Ticket.

This tourist ticket allows entry to the Inca site of Tipón and the pre-Inca site of Piquillacta. Does not include admission to the Andahuaylillas church (cost 15 soles per tourist). What it does include is admission to: Regional Historical Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Popular Art, Coricancha Site Museum, Qosqo Center of Native Art and the Monument to the Inka Pachacutec. Take advantage!

Quillabamba and La Convención

Quillabamba – The Convention

The province of La Convención is the jungle region of Cusco. Its capital is the city of Quillabamba, located 201 kilometers by road from the city of Cuzco. There, in addition to enjoying a warmer and more tropical climate, you can visit places such as: the Illapani waterfall, the Siete Tinajas waterfall, the Yanay Mandor waterfall, its Main Square and more.

There are few tours to Quillabamba that depart from Cusco. It is best to go on your own. To do this, it is necessary to take a bus from the company ‘Turismo Ampay’ (approximately 30 soles). The trip takes almost 5 hours. From there they depart to the different tourist attractions of the place. Enjoy the delicious coffee at La Convencion!


By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, July 19, 2022

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