1 day excursions in Cusco

Cusco has tourist destinations that can be visited in just one day. The most popular of all is undoubtedly Machu Picchu. But there are also others just as incredible as the 7 colors mountain, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Humantay lagoon, Waqrapukara and more. All these places can be visited in an all-inclusive tour. It is also possible to go on your own. Know their prices, location, weather and more.

Laguna Humantay
Humantay Lagoon


Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

The Inca city of Machu Picchu is the most visited destination in the Cusco and Peru. The trip there is by minivan and train to the town of Aguas Calientes. From there you must take the buses that lead to the door of the archaeological site. The journey takes approximately 4 hours in total.

1-day tours include everything: transportation by minivan, train, bus, entrance to Machu Picchu, tour guide service and, optionally, lunch in town from Aguas Calientes. Tours last approximately 16 hours.

To go on your own it is necessary to buy the tickets separately: the entrance to Machu Picchu, the train ticket and the bus ticket. It is recommended to buy all these tickets weeks or months in advance.


The Sacred Valley of the Incas

Sacred Valley of the Incas
Sacred Valley of the Incas

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a natural area considered of great importance to the Incas where they settled the citadels of Pisac, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo as well as other temples and urban and religious sites.

The 1-day tour offers a visit to the towns and archaeological sites of Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. Includes full transportation, entrance fees, tour guide, and buffet lunch in the town of Urubamba.

To go on your own it is necessary to buy the ‘Cusco Tourist Ticket’ (includes entrance to the archaeological sites of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero and Moray). It is also necessary to take public transport (on Pavitos street or Puputi street). In Urubamba you can have lunch in one of the many tourist restaurants available.


The 7 colored mountain

Mountain 7 colors
Mountain 7 colors

The mountain of 7 colors, also known as the Vinicunca , is the second most visited attraction in Cusco. It is a mineral-rich hill that, after the thaw in recent years, revealed its unusual beauty of various colors. The bad thing is that it is more than 5 thousand meters high. And that to get there you have to walk about 5 kilometers on average.

Vinicunca tours include full transportation, breakfast, lunch, entrance fee and tour guide service. Visitors who can’t stand the walk can rent a horse from the inhabitants of the nearby peasant communities. Most tourists prefer to go with a tour.

To go on your own it is necessary to take public transportation to the town of Cusipata. These are taken on Huayruropata avenue in the city of Cusco. Then a collective taxi to the community of Pampachiri. From there the walk to Vinicunca begins. The entrance costs 10 Peruvian soles. Don’t forget to bring good shoes, a jacket and a raincoat in case of rain.


The city of Cusco

Cusco City
Cusco City

The city of Cusco was the capital of the Inca empire, also called Tahuantinsuyo. That is why the most important Inca constructions are there, such as the Coricancha temple, Sacsayhuaman and more. There the Spanish also built their most beautiful temples and palaces. As a result, today Cusco is a historic city full of places to discover.

The tour of the city of Cusco, called ‘City Tour Cusco’, includes a visit to the Cathedral, the Coricancha, Sacsayhuaman as well as the Inca sites of Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. The service is only half a day (4 hours) and includes: transportation, entrance fees and tour guide.

To go on your own it is necessary to buy the ‘Tourist Ticket of Cusco’ (entrance to Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay). The entrance to the Cathedral and the Coricancha is paid at the door. To get to each place you can walk and take public transport (the ‘Señor de Huerto’ line). Another option is to hire a taxi.


The Humantay Lagoon

Laguna Humantay
Humantay Lagoon

The Humantay lagoon is considered one of the most beautiful in Peru. Its turquoise waters are guarded by the immense snow-capped Salkantay, considered sacred by the Incas. Just like the 7 colors mountain, the final stretch to there is on foot, through 2 kilometers of uphill route above 4 thousand meters above sea level.

The tours to the Humantay lagoon include transportation, breakfast, lunch, entrance fee and tour guide service. Tourists who require it can pay for a horse that, guided by a muleteer, will lead them to the lagoon in the final stretch.

To go on your own you must take the route: Cusco – Mollepata – Soraypampa – Humantay lagoon. The first stretch by public transport, the second by taxi and the last on foot. The entrance to the lagoon costs 10 Peruvian soles. Don’t forget to bring good shoes, a jacket and a raincoat in case of rain.


Waqrapukara

Waqrapukara
Waqrapukara

Waqrapukara is an Inca archaeological site that looks like a castle because it is in the top of a mountain in the shape of a horned animal. Although it is not a very visited place, it offers Inca constructions full of mystery, an incredible mountainous landscape and an arduous hike. And all within a visit of only 1 day.

Waqrapukara tours include transportation, breakfast, lunch, tour guide, and entrance fees. After a trip in a minivan, a walk of approximately 2 hours must be carried out. At the end we arrive at the Inca fortress. Some tour guides perform Inca religious ‘payment to the land’ ceremonies at this location.

To go on your own it is necessary to follow the route: Cusco – Sangarará – Waqrapukara. The first stretch by public transport and the last on foot (approximately 15 kilometer route). Although many choose to do this route in just 1 day, it is also possible to camp on the spot and do a route of more days.


The South Valley of Cusco

South Valley of Cusco
South Valley of Cusco

The South Valley of Cusco is made up of Andean towns and archaeological sites such as Tipón and Piquillacta. The classic route to this place includes a visit to the church of the town of Andahuaylillas. This colonial temple stands out for its decoration in murals and canvases. For this reason it is called the ‘Sistine Chapel of America’.

The tour to the South Valley of Cusco lasts only half a day, approximately 5 hours. Visit the Inca site of Tipón, the pre-Inca site of Piquillacta, and the colonial temple of Andahuaylillas. Includes: transportation, entrance fees and tour guide service.

To visit the South Valley on your own it is necessary to follow the route: Cusco – Tipón – Piquillacta – Andahuaylillas. It is possible to do it with public transport (with the buses of the Tipón – Huasao company). To visit Tipón and Piquillacta it is necessary to purchase the Cusco Tourist Ticket.


Maras and Moray

Maras and Moray
Maras and Moray

Maras and Moray are two tourist destinations in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. They are very close to each other, only approximately 7 kilometers away. The Salineras de Maras are thousands of natural salt wells that provide a spectacular landscape. The Moray platforms are large circular terraces that also offer a spectacle to behold.

The tour to Maras and Moray is half a day (5 hours). In addition to Maras and Moray, it offers a visit to the town of Maras, famous for its colonial houses. Includes transportation, entrance fees and tour guide service. There are other tours that add ATV or bicycle routes. These routes are 1 full day.

To go to Maras and Moray on your own it is necessary to follow the route Cusco – town of Maras – Salinera de Maras – Moray. In Belempampa street there are public transports to the so-called ‘Maras detour’. From there you must take a collective taxi to the town of Maras. The entrance to the Salineras de Maras is purchased at your own expense. The entrance to Moray is included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket.


The Queswachaka Bridge

Queswachaka Bridge
Queswachaka Bridge

The Queswachaka bridge is known as the last Inca bridge. It is made of icchu, a wild straw that grows in the Andes Mountains. The bridge has survived time because the nearby communities have renovated it through ceremonies of Inca origin. Today it is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco.

Queswachaka Bridge 1-Day Tour includes transportation, entrance fee, breakfast, lunch, and tour guide service. The transport takes the visitor directly to the place so it is not necessary to walk. For an additional cost you can cross the suspension bridge, a feared but adrenaline-filled experience.

To go on your own, you must reach the town of Quehue, where the bridge is located. An excellent idea is to visit it on the second Sunday of June. That day the bridge renewal ceremony is held in which all the local communities participate. This ceremony of Inca origin involves dances, music and a lot of joy.

 

By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, December 20, 2022


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