The 8 most economical tourist attractions in Cusco

Peru is one of the best tourist attractions in South America. The Andean country has important destinations such as the city of Lima, the Colca Canyon, the Nazca lines, the Amazon and, above all, Machu Picchu. The tourist can make the trip in luxury, with excellent quality services, but also with an economical trip without spending more. Cusco, the archaeological capital of America and its most visited destination, has excellent cheap options. Learn more!

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The 8 most economical tourist attractions in Cusco


Machu Picchu by Hydroelectric

Machu Picchu by Hydroelectric
Machu Picchu by Hydroelectric

Machu Picchu is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The price of the entrance ticket is not entirely economical as it costs between 20 and 50 dollars per visitor. However, if you are looking to save some money on the route there, the trip via Hidroeléctrica is definitely the best option. The bus trip from Cusco to Hidroeléctrica costs only approximately $15 (5-hour trip through the landscapes of the Cusco jungle).

Once at the Hydroelectric station, the visitor must walk 10 kilometers (2 hours on average) to the town of Aguas Calientes. The next day the tourist must visit Machu Picchu. On the way through Hidroeléctrica the visitor can appreciate beautiful landscapes, as well as relax in the Cocalmayo thermal baths or the Mandorpampa waterfalls. This route is recommended for visitors of all ages.

  • How to get there? Los transportes turísticos para la ruta Hidroeléctrica se pueden contratar con una agencia de turismo en la ciudad del Cusco.
  • Visit price El ticket de bus turístico para realizar esta ruta cuesta 15 dólares aproximadamente.

The rainbow mountain

The rainbow mountain
The rainbow mountain

Vinicunca, also called 7 Colors Mountain, is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cusco. It is famous for its beautiful mountain landscape dyed in various colors due to its soil rich in minerals formed millions of years ago. Furthermore, because it is located more than 5 thousand meters above sea level. To get there requires a challenging hiking route of approximately 3 kilometers.

The tour to the 7 Colors Mountain is one of the most economical services in Cusco. The service includes pick-up from the hotel in the city of Cusco, complete round-trip transportation, professional guide, breakfast, lunch and, in some cases, entrance. The ticket costs 15 soles (approximately $5). Due to the high altitude climate, it is recommended to take this tour on the penultimate or last day of visiting Cusco (for better acclimatization).

  • How to get there? From the city of Cusco, on your own or with an all-inclusive tour (visiting with a tour is the most economical and safest option).
  • Visit price The 1-day tour costs between $20 to $35, depending on the tourism agency you hire.

The Humantay lake

The Humantay lake
The Humantay lake

The Humantay lagoon is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Peru. It is located on the slopes of the imposing Salkantay snow-capped mountain in Cusco. The lagoon has turquoise waters under the snow of the snow-capped Humantay, which gave it its name. To get to the lagoon you must walk almost 2 kilometers along ascending paths. The lagoon can be visited on a 1-day tour or on the 5-day tour to Machu Picchu called Salkantay trek.

The 1-day Humantay lagoon tour is one of the most economical services in Cusco. The service includes pick-up from the hotel in the city of Cusco, complete tourist transportation, professional guide, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and, depending on each tourism agency, the entrance fee. This costs 10 soles for foreigners and 5 soles for Peruvian visitors. Optionally, the visitor can hire a horse to complete the walk.

  • How to get there? From the city of Cusco, on your own or with an all-inclusive tour (the tour is the safest and most economical option since there is no direct tourist transportation to the lagoon).
  • Visit price The 1-day tour costs between 20 and 35 dollars, depending on the tourism agency you hire.

The Coricancha

The Coricancha
The Coricancha

The Coricancha is the temple of the sun, the most important religious site in the Inca empire (Tahuantinsuyo). Its name, translated from the Quechua language, means ‘Golden Temple’ because in Inca times its altars were decorated with sheets of gold, silver and precious stones. Their shrines to the god of the rainbow, the god of the stars, the god of lightning, the sacrificial enclosure and, of course, the god Inti, the sun and father of the Inca, are famous.

The Coricancha can be visited as part of a Cusco City Tour or on your own. The tour includes a visit to other historical tourist attractions, such as: the Cathedral, Sacsayhuamán, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. However, going on your own is the most economical option since the entrance costs only 15 soles. Getting there is very simple: you only have to walk 600 meters from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco.

  • How to get there? From the Plaza de Armas of Cusco walk 600 meters passing through Loreto and Pampa del Castillo streets.
  • Visit price General admission costs 15 Peruvian soles (less than 5 US dollars).

The Salineras de Maras

The Salineras de Maras
The Salineras de Maras

The Salineras de Maras are one of the most famous tourist attractions in Cusco. They are located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 8 kilometers from the town of the same name. As its name indicates, it is a set of hundreds of salt wells formed naturally thousands of years ago. Salt was used by the Incas, their predecessors, as well as by the people of Cusco. Today Maras salt can be found in the main markets of Cusco.

The Salineras de Maras can be visited on your own or with a half-day tour that also includes a visit to the circular platforms of Moray. However, the most economical option is to visit on your own. The entrance to the salt mines costs only 15 Peruvian soles. During the tour the visitor will be able to appreciate the beautiful landscape from one of the available viewpoints. The salt mines are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • How to get there? From the city of Cusco, a trip is made to the town of Maras in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Then an additional trip to the Salineras de Maras, located 8 kilometers away.
  • Visit price General admission costs 15 Peruvian soles (less than 5 US dollars).

The thermal baths of Cocalmayo

The thermal baths of Cocalmayo
The thermal baths of Cocalmayo

Cocalmayo is considered the best thermal baths in Cusco. It is located in the town of Santa Teresa, province of La Convencion, in the high jungle region of Cusco (about 202 kilometers from the city of Cusco). The thermal baths are visited on the tourist routes of Salkantay trek 5 days and on the alternative route by Hydroelectric to Machu Picchu. This tourist attraction is only 35 kilometers from the famous Inca citadel.

Cocalmayo is an economical tourist attraction in Cusco since the entrance costs 10 soles for foreign visitors and 5 soles for Peruvian visitors. The place has three swimming pools with turquoise waters whose temperatures range between 38ºC. and 44ºC. The place is surrounded by high mountains, the Vilcanota River and the greenery of the Cusco jungle. The visitor can go on their own, on the route to Machu Picchu by Hydroelectric (excellent economic option) or on the Salkantay trek 5 days.

  • How to get there? From the city of Cusco, travel 202 kilometers to the town of Santa Teresa in the province of La Convencion (you can hire tourist transportation). Then by taxi or on foot to the thermal baths.
  • Visit price The entrance ticket costs 10 soles for foreign visitors and 5 soles for Peruvian visitors.

The abode of the gods

The abode of the gods
The abode of the gods

The abode of the gods is one of the new tourist attractions of the city of Cusco. Its name in the Quechua language, the language of the Incas, is Apukunaq Tianan. It is an area where immense carved stone sculptures were made. Sculptures stand out, such as: the puma, the Pachamama, the three-dimensional door, the Andean shoulder, the jungle man and more. It is a very photographed place in Cusco. It is located just 12 kilometers from the city.

The abode of the gods is one of the cheapest tourist attractions on the trip to Cusco. The entrance ticket costs only 5 Peruvian soles. In addition, you can get there by public transport bus (3 soles). There is also the option of hiring a tour, including an ATV option. However, the most economical option is to go on your own. Every day this tourist attraction grows in popularity and number of visitors.

  • How to get there? From the city of Cusco in a taxi or public transport (buses from the ‘expreso Santiago’ company).
  • Visit price The entrance ticket costs 5 Peruvian soles (approximately 1.3 US dollars).

The 12 angle stone

The 12 angle stone
The 12 angle stone

The Stone of the 12 Angles is one of the most popular Inca constructions on the trip to Cusco. It is a rock fitted and carved to perfection in an Inca wall, which belonged to the palace of the Inca ruler Roca. It is located just 300 meters from the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, on Hatun Rumiyoc street. As its name indicates, the stone stands out for its twelve angles that fit perfectly with the rest of the wall.

The 12 Angle Stone is a tourist attraction located in the middle of the street in Cusco, so its visit is free. However, during the visit there are some prohibitions, such as touching the stone or damaging it. In the place, a person dressed as an Inca is responsible for ensuring that the rules are followed. The Inca also offers photographs next to the famous rock. It is an Inca construction much photographed by travelers in Cusco.

  • How to get there? From the Plaza de Armas of Cusco walk 5 minutes taking Triunfo Street and Hatun Rumiyoc.
  • Visit price Free.

 

By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, March 7, 2024


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