The Mysteries of Machu Picchu
Since its discovery in the early 20th century, Machu Picchu has taken off as a world destination, being named year after year as a best travel destination and one of...
There are many places you can visit in Cusco that will definitely take your breath away but… which one should you begin with? There are many options for tourists but sometimes you may not have enough time.
Besides Machu Picchu, there are tourist attractions for travelers like beautiful lakes, mountains and valleys.
This is why we want to invite you to discover some of the best must-see tourist places in Cusco. Are you ready?
If your goal is to enjoy visiting other places besides taking a Machu Picchu tour, this list will come in handy for your next stops in Cusco.
One of the most traditional and picturesque places you can visit in Cusco is called ‘Barrio de San Blas’. It is easy to get there, you only need to cross Hatun Rumiyoc Street where you will be able to see the famous Twelve-Angle Stone from Cusco.
By the time you arrive to the neighborhood, you will have the opportunity to observe the colonial temple that has a Barroque-style beautifully carved wooden pulpit.
Additionally, you will have access to stores with quality handicrafts; as well as tradition and culture.
The majority of the businesses are from families or have maintained their handicrafts to modern times from generation to generation. You will also find: alpaca clothing, jewelry, sculptures and carved handicraft stores, and much more.
You will also have at your disposition different: hotels, tourist centers, restaurants and very interesting night venues.
We are well aware your main objective is to go to Machu Picchu; however, Ollantaytambo is a route you should have in mind during your travels.
Many are not knowledgable that Ollantaytambo also has its own Incan compound where the buildings are as impressive as the ones from Machu Picchu.
Ollantaytambo was built with the purpose of being a sacred compound. At the same time, it was also used as a fort during the Spanish invasion. Without a doubt, it is one of the must-see spots to visit in Cusco.
There are many available tour options but we recommend you also check you hire authorized agencies with an official website.
Another important construction the Incas built and you ought to visit in Cusco during your stay in the city is the Sacsayhuaman fort. This place began to be raised during Inca Pachacutec’s command in the XV century and it is located 3,700 meters (12,139 feet) above sea level.
From here, you will have the priviledge of a beautiful view of Cusco and enjoy the Ausangate, Pachatusan and the Cinca summits, considered sacred by the Incas.
Very close to this fort are located Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara. The principal misson of these sites was to keep watch of the city of Cusco and also serve as a resting place for the Inca.
From here, you will see its Cyclopean walls, large fortified towers on the outer walls, and their colossal trapezoidal doors.
Finally, if you travel in June, you cannot let the opportunity pass you by of attending the Inti Raymi celebration which takes place every June 24th. It is a festivity full of joy that has its origin from the Incan era.
One of the tourist attractions from Cusco that has become very popular is the Mountain of 7 Colors (also called Vinicunca or Rainbow Mountain). It is located approximately 5,200 meters (17,060 feet) above sea level and can be seen from the foot of the snow-capped Ausangate (the highest of Cusco).
The Mountain of 7 Colors is one of the most beautiful sites or views that gathers hundreds of travelers every year. The route is not quite simple but it is worth the experience and reaching the very top.
The locals already knew about the incredible landscape Vinicunca offered thanks to its multicolored minerals. However, it became known to others later on because the snow began to melt from the mountain.
A piece of artwork from nature that deserves recognition.
Pisac is also considered an inevitable sight in Cusco. If you decide to travel through the city of Cusco, these ruins need to be in your itinerary.
While visiting Pisac (one of the most important Incan compounds), besides observing the overlaying terraces; you will live the experience of witnessing the ceremonial baths, the residential settlement, and the biggest Incan cemetery (and the oldest of all of South America). You will also appreciate the temples and palaces constructed in stone.
Among other sites of interest you can visit in Pisac, are:
If you are thinking about taking a trip to Pisac, the best time to go is from April to October because there is less chance of rain and the hike will be easier.
Get the most out of your visit to Cusco!
Although Machu Picchu is a main destination for many traveleres, we want to invite you to explore more about our traditions and other tourist attractions in Cusco you cannot miss out on.
Gastronomy, unique places, its people and much more; explore and take with you a memory of one of the best experiences of your life. Visit us son!