Things to do in
Cusco

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Our most recommended things to do in Cusco

Cusco: Full-Day Tour to Rainbow Mountain

1. Cusco: Full-Day Tour to Rainbow Mountain

Your full-day tour begins in Cusco city, where you will be picked up between 4:15 AM and 4:45 AM. You will then drive in a comfortable van for 3 hours to the town of Cusipata, where you will have breakfast in a local family house. Following breakfast, you will head to the starting point of your hike. There are approximately 3 kilometers of flat land uphill, leading to the majestic "Mountain of Colors". The hike will take about 1.5 hours, depending on your level of fitness. Throughout your hike, enjoy panoramic views of the valleys, wild llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, as well as of the Andes and the nearby glaciers.  Once here, if weather is good, you will be able to receive your first views of Rainbow Mountain. At the top, you will take a well-deserved break, which will also be your chance to catch your breath and enjoy the breathtaking views. After taking beautiful photos, you will begin your descent back, where you will enjoy a delicious lunch upon your return. You will then take private transportation back to Cusco, where you will arrive at approximately 5:00PM.

Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Tour with Meals and Entrance Fees

2. Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Tour with Meals and Entrance Fees

Your professional tour guide will pick you from your accommodation in Cusco between 4:00AM and 4:30AM. After a 2-hour drive, you will arrive in Cusipata where you will stop for breakfast and buy water and snacks for the trek. Following breakfast, you'll travel one more hour to the hike starting point, at 4,850 meters. From there you will start your 3.5-kilomter trek to Rainbow Mountain over both flat and uphill terrain. During your hike you will enjoy amazing views and encounters with wild alpacas, llamas, and vicuñas. Once you reach the top at 5,010 meters, you can make use of some free time to take a break, and if the weather is good, you will be able to enjoy views over Rainbow Mountain. You'll go downhill to the starting spot for another hour, where you will take transportation back to Cusipata where a local lunch will be waiting for you. Once you finish your buffet lunch you will travel back to Cusco, where you will arrive between 4:00PM and 5:00PM to Plaza de Armas.

From Cusco: Full-Day Group Tour of Machu Picchu

3. From Cusco: Full-Day Group Tour of Machu Picchu

Travel from Cusco to learn about the majestic Inca city: Machu Picchu and the ancient civilization living there. Discover the secrets that are hidden in it. Go back in time as you explore the streets of these ruins located in the Peruvian Andes.  Begin with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Cusco for transfer to the train station. Get on board and enjoy the comforts offered by the train during the journey to Machu Picchu. Choose from the option of a standard train or a Vistadome train that offers panoramic views. Enjoy the dynamic landscapes of the Peruvian Andes. Arrive in Aguas Calientes and take a bus to the entrance of the citadel of Machu Picchu. Learn about the history of this wonderful place. Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and get recommendations for lunch. Board the train back to the Ollantaytambo or Poroy station where transportation will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Cusco.

Cusco: Humantay Lake with Breakfast and Buffet Lunch

4. Cusco: Humantay Lake with Breakfast and Buffet Lunch

Your professional tour guide will pick you up at your homestay, hostel or hotel in Cusco between 4:00 AM and 4:30 AM. After a 2-hour drive, you will arrive in Mollepata where we will stop for breakfast and pick up water and snacks for the trek. After breakfast travel one more hour to Soraypampa. Once you arrive at this high mountain plateau you will be able to see the beautiful mountains Apu Salkantay 20400 feet (6230 meters) above sea level and Humantay 17225 feet (5250 meters) above sea level. After a short time preparing your day pack you will start the 2-hour trek to Humantay Lake. The way up to Humantay Lake is steep however your group is small and your guide will let you take your time to enjoy the trek. Enjoy the views of Humantay Lake and enjoy an optional small climb above the lake to the right or left where you can enjoy a panoramic view.  Next, you will have the easy part of your trek. Go downhill to Soraypampa for another hour. Then you will take your private transportation back to Mollepata where a local lunch will be waiting for you. Once you finish your buffet lunch you will go back to Cusco arriving between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM to the drop off near Plaza de Armas.

Machu Picchu Ruins + Machu Picchu Mountain Official Tickets

5. Machu Picchu Ruins + Machu Picchu Mountain Official Tickets

Explore the magical Lost City of the Incas high up in the Andes. This official ticket will allow you to walk among the ruins of Machu Picchu and hike through Machu Picchu Mountain at your own pace.  Be one of the 800 people allowed to enter the Machu Picchu Mountain per day, divided into 2 groups. The first group can access the Mountain from 07:00 am to 08:00 am and the second group from 09:00 am to 10:00 am.  The ascent time depends on the physical condition of the individual and can range from 2-3 hours. From the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, you will be able to enjoy impressive views of the surrounding peaks, valleys, and winding Urubamba River.

Machu Picchu Lost Citadel Official Ticket

6. Machu Picchu Lost Citadel Official Ticket

Explore the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu at your own pace with a standard entrance ticket to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site. Reserve your entrance ticket to enter the site. You can independently organize transportation and tour guide for the visit.  Discover landmark attractions at your own pace, such as the Temple of the Sun, the terraced fields of the agricultural sector, and the Intihuatana stone, and take the famous picture from the observatory with the lost citadel behind.  For entering the Lost Citadel of Machu Picchu, it is mandatory that you are accompanied by an accredited guide. You are able to hire the tour guide directly at the entrance of the ruins.

From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

7. From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

Get back to nature in the dramatic landscapes of the Andes Mountains and experience the amazing scenery of the Sacred Valley by Quad Bike. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Cusco, and then journey through typical villages to reach the colonial town of Maras. Admire the pretty church and rustic buildings of the pretty town center and watch the locals going about their everyday lives farming the surroundings. Visit the archaeological site of Moray to see the incredible terraced holes that form an amphitheater-like depression on the surface of the land. Learn how the holes were used by the Incas in ancient times to acclimatize seeds from the Andes Mountains. Next, visit the salt ponds that the locals continue to work to obtain salt at the mines, just as their ancestors did in the days of the Inca Empire.

Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Entrance Ticket

8. Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Entrance Ticket

Discover the landmarks of Machu Picchu Lost Citadel and be one of the 400 people allowed to climb the Huayna Picchu per day. Explore the attraction at your own pace, such as the Temple of the Sun, the terraced fields of the agricultural sector, the Intihuatana stone, and take the famous picture from the observatory with the lost citadel behind. The climb of Huayna Picchu is available in 2 groups: 7:00 am or 10:00 am. Be sure to get there on time for your given time slot for your hike up the mountain. Take in the stunning views at Huayna Picchu, be amazed as you see this infamous, historical city in real life.

From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Full Day Trek with Meals

9. From Cusco: Rainbow Mountain Full Day Trek with Meals

Depart Cusco and get back to nature on a vigorous approximately 6-kilometer hike in the Andes. Experience the majestic beauty of the Rainbow Mountains as you trek in the foothills of Mount Ausangate. Keep a look out for native wildlife, such as the mighty condor - the largest bird in the world - pumas and different types of camelids. Learn more about the extraordinary geology and the flora and fauna of Peru from your knowledgeable guide. Soak up the stunning views before you return to Cusco for a refreshing cold chicha drink (a fermented or non-fermented beverage usually derived from maize).

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Classic 4-Day Trek

10. Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Classic 4-Day Trek

Hike the unforgettable Inca Trail, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Participate in one of the world’s oldest pilgrimages on this 4-day program that is consistently ranked among the 10 best hikes on the planet. Pass through a number of different ecological zones home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Spot a variety of orchids and bromeliads, as well as hummingbirds, foxes, and deer. Strike lucky and you may even catch a glimpse of the magnificent South American Bear. Explore archaeological sites and farming terraces that were left behind by the Incas and remained undiscovered for over 400 years. Finish the hike in Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most spectacular historical sites on earth. Day 1: Training day! Cusco – Km 82 – LLactapata – Ayapata (14km, 6hrs).- Depart from your hotel around 4:30 am and drive to Km 82 to start the 6-hour hiking on the first day of the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu. The first campsite is located at 3300m (10826ft); we spend the night in comfortable tents. Day 2: The Challenge! Ayapata – Warmiwañuska – Chaquicocha (16km, 10 hrs).- The most challenging and longest day of the 4 day Machu Picchu Trek, passing two mountains in 10hrs of hiking: The first mountain is Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point of the Inca Trail with 4215m (13829ft). The second mountain is Runqurakay Pass, with 4000m (13123ft). Day 3: The easy day! Chaquiccocha – Phuyupatamarca – Wiñaywayna (10km, 6hrs). The most beautiful and relaxing day, hiking is only 6-hours passing through different ecological zones. Today, you will also visit several beautiful archaeological sites, including Wiñaywayna, located at 2600m (8530ft); we camp only 2 hours from Machu Picchu. Day 4: Discover Machu Picchu! Wiñaywayna – Machu Picchu – Cusco (6km, 2 hrs), Wake up early and hike for 2 hours to Machu Picchu through the Sungate from where we will have a unique view of Machu Picchu. After exploring Machu Picchu, you will board the Panoramic trains to return. Drop off back at your hotel around 7:30 pm.

Frequently asked questions about Cusco

What top attractions are a must-see in Cusco?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to visit Cusco?

    Give yourself at least five days for a trip to Cusco—the first couple to adjust to the elevation and navigate the city, the last few to make it to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.

  • When to visit?

    The summer is the best time to visit for the climate, which also makes it peak tourist season. To avoid the crowds, early fall could be nice. Anytime after November and before April, however, is not recommended—Cusco’s rainy season could ruin your sightseeing.

  • How to get there?

    Fly into Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, located on the edge of the city.

  • Should I worry about elevation?

    It is advised to spend at least 3 days in Cusco to acclimate to the high elevation before heading out on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, especially if arriving from sea-level.

Good to know

  • Language
    Spanish, Quechua and Aymara
  • Currency
    PEN (S/.)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +51
  • Best time to visit
    To avoid the rainy winter and the tourist-packed summer, try to visit in early fall, when the sightseeing is still incredible!

Other Sightseeing Options in Cusco

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What people are saying about Cusco

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 4,071 reviews

We were contacted the day before the trip and provided with all our tickets and told the time of pick up . We were picked up promptly and dropped off at the station. A guide was waiting at the other and she stayed with us through the tour of Machu Picchu.She was really nice and informative. We were taken back to the station and picked up at the said location and returned at our hotel. All went smoothly and to plan

It was an amazing tour! Our guide Elizabeth made it really fun, entertaining and educational. She’s a real professional with the pictures (what everyone wants nowadays). The buffet lunch was quite good. The time flew really fast. Thanks for an amazing experience

I received my official Machu Picchu tickets quickly and had no issues getting in. Great experience.

The food was delicious and the show was so entertaining! I'd highly recommend this! Very worth it!

This is a great trip that includes all the main sights in the sacred valley!