Day Trips From Cusco: Exploring Cusco’s Top Recommendations

by | Jan 8, 2022 | Peru Travel Blogs | 0 comments

Day Trips From Cusco

Due to its prime location, Day Trips From Cusco is a popular starting point for Inca Trail Treks and other adventures in Peru.

Most people base themselves there to explore the Sacred Valley’s Incan ruins, take long hikes around the Andes, or go on an adrenaline River rafting trip. If you have just a day or two spare here, it is best to leave the city and explore some of its surroundings.

Whether you want to visit one of Peru’s top attractions or prefer a more relaxing day hiking in stunning natural landscapes.

We have compiled a list of our favorite Cusco day trips so you can choose where Sacred Valley: Chinchero & Pisac Full-Day Tour.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is the most famous, and least adventurous, of Cusco’s day trips. You can’t come to this area without stopping by Pisac or Chinchero. Both are charming Incan villages with impressive ruins.

The stone walls still stand tall in both towns. Offering great photo ops for anyone looking to capture some of the Andes’ beauty on camera.

Chinchero is the more famous of the two with spectacular views over the valley and beautiful traditional clothing (especially as worn by its women). The Incan ruins here are also older than those at Pisac, which makes for a slightly more interesting visit.

This is one of Cusco’s most popular day trips, which means you’ll find the whole range of options here to go by yourself or with a tour operator.

Entrance tickets you need for your day trips from Cusco

Cusco Boleto Turistico: This entrance ticket allows you to visit many archeological sites in the Cusco region you can buy a partial ticket or a full-price

Partial entrance 70 Soles – 25 USD

Full-Price 130 Soles – 40 USD

Transportation

A Mini Van or Taxi will cost you 90 USD approximately

Train Tickets

A bunch of options buy Here

Machu Picchu Tickets

Buy Here –

Pisaq-cusco
Sacred Valley Tour Full-Day
Sacred Valley Cusco Tour
Ollantay Tambo Tour Half-Day

Pisac & Ollantaytambo

One of the most popular side trips from Cusco is Pisaq. The town itself isn’t that exciting, but its ruins are unlike anything else around. You can hike through tunnels and between rocks to reach the huge carved stones here.

Pisac sits high on a mountain overlooking everything below it, so you’ll have stunning views

If you want to explore more than just ruins, Pisaq and Ollantaytambo are much better alternatives to Chinchero and Pisac. You can visit both on the same day trip or just opt for one of them according to your interests.

Pisac is more than just an Incan site; it’s also home to an impressive fortress built by the Spaniards in colonial times. It’s worth taking a look around this picturesque town before heading over to its archaeological site.

Ollantaytambo is another popular stop on the Sacred Valley tour, with its Incan ruins and unique architecture making it one of Cusco’s top attractions. The town itself is also really pretty

You might even feel like you’ve gone back in time as you walk along its picturesque streets. You can then hike up to the ruins (or even get a horse) and explore the abandoned temples.

Machu Picchu

Best Hiking Tours to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu Hiking Tours

I have been to Machu Picchu many times and I don’t think a Cusco day trip is the best way to truly experience it (the Inca Trail is hands down the most magical entrance). However, we understand that many of you may be short on time during your Peruvian adventure. So a day trip from Cusco to this iconic site might be your only choice.

To independently visit Machu Picchu from Cusco, your best bet is to catch a train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.

From there, it’s just a 30-minute bus ride up to the ruins. We’ll create a detailed post on this soon for your convenience, but in the meantime, check out our Machu Picchu guide for more information.

Embark on a Journey to Machu Picchu: While we usually advocate for self-guided adventures, Machu Picchu stands out as an exception. The intricate planning involved can be daunting for those not well-versed in travel logistics. Opt for a guided full-day tour that provides a bilingual guide, round-trip train ride, and entry ticket to the citadel for a seamless experience.

Discover this fact: The Inca Trail, a 4-day journey to Machu Picchu, permits only 500 hikers daily. Due to limited availability, reservations may need to be secured up to six months ahead.

Relates: Short Inca Trail One Day With Hotel

Rainbow Mountain Full-day Tour From Cusco

Tour Leaders Peru Travel Tours
Tour Leaders Peru

If you are looking for a day trip that will take you to the top of the Andean Mountains, you must hike the Rainbow Mountain Tour. The trail is known as vinicunca, which means “house of the rainbow” in Quechua.

It is located close to Cusco on one of its highest peaks, touching some 4,200 meters. As you climb the mountain, the colors change gradually, starting with oranges and reds, then changing to yellows and finally blues as you reach the top. A rainbow is created by sunlight reflecting on water droplets in mist at certain points of this Andean hike.

Rainbow Mountain is a bit of a misnomer, though. The mountain changes color due to the different types of mineral deposits found in the area, not from colorful rainbows. It takes about 3.5 hours to reach the top and 3 hours to descend from it.

You can visit Rainbow Mountain either alone on your private transportation or with a tour operator (recommended). The hike is very strenuous, so you have to be reasonably fit to do it. And be ready for a lot of dust and the possibility of altitude sickness in Cusco.

Admission Fee: Alongside the tour cost, there is an entrance fee of 30 soles, as per a recent update. Your confirmation in the comments would be greatly enjoyable.

Fun Fact: Prior to 2018, reaching Rainbow Mountain (known as Siete Colores and Vinicunca in Spanish) required a challenging seven-hour hike. Surpassing all expectations, a new road now welcomes 3,000 to 5,000 visitors daily during peak season.

Plan to Explore our comprehensive guide for visiting Rainbow Mountain Tour.

Humantay Lake Full Day Trip From Cusco

Umantay lake with Salkatay Trek
Hike to Humantay Lake and Salkantay trek

As beautiful as the Inca Trail is. A day trip from Cusco to Humantay Lake will give you an opportunity for some much-needed rest before tackling one of Peru’s most famous trails. The hike isn’t difficult and only takes about three hours if done in daylight; however, it can be challenging on your body (especially knees) after doing so many steep grades with heavy packs along gracious curves where there are no guardrails! So pack up those snacks though not too many because this place does have its unique offerings apart

As Humantay is a stop for those who want to take the first day of the Salkantay trek 5 days. We imagined that getting around would not prove too difficult – after all, there is only 3 hours difference between reaching Mollepata (the village near Start Point) and returning home again!

Humantay Lake is a must-see for those interested in hiking. The entrance fee to get there varies depending on how long your tour lasts and at what time you leave, but it will only set you back about (10 soles). However this does not include transportation costs from wherever company buses start their routes during daylight hours – so plan! You should take care before going up high if considering any hikes with altitude levels above 2200 meters; Humantay Lake itself reaches 4200 masl

Moray And Maras Half-Day Tour From Cusco

Moray Maras Tour is an impressive Incan ruin used for agricultural and experimentation purposes; Maras is a still-functioning (and highly photogenic) salt mine. One on the Boleto Turistico postcard.

The other requires separate admission fees but they shouldn’t be combined because of geography – whether you choose to visit independently or opt for organized tours these two sites are double acts!

Admission fees for Moray & Maras | Visiting the Moray ruins necessitate either a Partial Cusco Tourist Ticket Circuit III or a full ticket. Access to the Maras Salt Mines is priced at 15 soles per individual.

Maras Moray Tour Half Day
Maras Moray Tour Half Day
Maras Moray Chinchero tour
Salt Mines Cusco Sacred Valley

Sacsayhuman Kenko and PucaPukara, Tambomachay half-day Tour from Cusco

What’s better than one Incan ruin Cusco City Tour? multiple ruins, of course! In just 6 hours you can see four impressive structures that were once part of an ancient empire.

The best option would be to visit the Sacsayhuaman site which is only 45 minutes away from Cusco by car or public transport and has some great views to look at while exploring its wide compounds.

With stone walls up high enough so no mortar ever leaked into their foundations during the rainy season since this was done intentionally according to top designers’ blueprints kept alive through time immemorial – even if people

However, both Incan and Maya architecture were so fascinating that this never happened to us! UNESCO-listed Sacsayhuaman also has an admission fee; however, if there is enough space on your itinerary (or budget) consider taking a taxi or colectivo from Cusco City

You can take in all of Cusco on this one-day trip, but it is often recommendable as the first thing to do. This will help you adjust the altitude and there are many reasons why visiting these ruins is fun!

You should buy a ticket at least for 1 day if not more upon arriving – then again just get any type that suits your budget because they’re so affordable tour here!

Cusco City Day Tour
Day Tour in Cusco Peru

7 Lagoons Ausangate Day Tour

The 7 lagoons of Cusco are located approximately 100 kilometers from the city of Quispicanchis. It belongs to the province of Pacchanta and town 4200 meters above sea level, at top Ausangate mountain provides water for them all which makes it one amazing natural attraction in Peru
How can I go there? Your best bet would be through an All-inclusive tour around these Seven lakes)

As its name indicates “the circuit” consists of 7 different lakes – all within scenic view distance of each other so you’ll never get bored while driving around! One-way trips take about two hours depending on how fast your vehicle goes or if there is any traffic.

They’re beautiful! The set of lagoons that make up this tourist attraction is fed by the thawing Ausangate snow-capped mountain, which reaches 6384 meters high. To take advantage of its natural beauty people created a circuit with 7 different lagoons: Pucacocha Lagune, Patacoccha Lagon( predecessor), Qomercocha
To enjoy all these places, you should come here during your next vacation because if not it will be difficult

7 Lagoons Day Tour
The Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek 4D offer you an unforgettable experience relatively quickly. You will travel deserted roads and deep valleys.

Conclusion

Ensure you allocate ample time to explore the finest day trips from Cusco. Kickstart your journey with these comprehensive Cusco itineraries.

Cusco serves as a central point to gear up for top-notch multi-day treks. Remember to equip yourself with the necessary gear and check out my Peru Packing List tailored for trekking adventures.

Cusco boasts a plethora of captivating attractions. Embark on a half-day hike to discover free Inca ruins nestled in Cusco. Indulge in a variety of exquisite culinary experiences in Cusco, savoring the delights of its finest restaurants.

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Cesar Conde

I’m Cesar Conde Licensed Tour Guide in Peru, owner of Tour Leaders Peru and Travel Advisor. My other side job is a Digital Nomad. I share my amazing travel experiences, stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!

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