5-day itinerary for adventurers travelers to Cusco, Peru
Are you looking for the perfect adventurous getaway off the beaten path but not too remote? Then, Cusco, in Peru’s unique Andean region, is the perfect destination. In just five days, you can discover everything there is to see and do in Cusco.
So whether you’re looking for thrilling outdoor activities, exploring Incan history, or want to relax with a nice walk – this itinerary has it all.
Cusco is the perfect base to explore the Sacred Valley’s natural beauty and its many small towns, such as Pisac and Ollantaytambo. In this article, I’ll share some ideas for what to see and do in Cusco, including recommendations on where to eat, sleep and get active.
Day 1: Explore Cusco’s Historic Center
Cusco, the “Navel of the World,” is the cultural capital of Peru. Since the times of the Incas, it has been the political and spiritual center of the Andes region. For this reason, the city boasts some of the most spectacular and beautiful ancient architecture.
Start your Cusco tour by visiting the Plaza de Armas or Plaza de Contina, the city’s heart, and soul. Next, visit the Museo de la Cultura, the Museum of Culture, where you can see a stunning collection of ancient Peruvian artifacts dating back to the Incan era. The Plaza de Torrebela, the Torrebela Plaza, is Cusco’s main square and a must-visit for history lovers.
The square is home to several beautiful colonial buildings, museums, and churches worth exploring. Finally, don’t forget to visit the Cusco Cathedral, one of the city’s most prominent churches.
The Cathedral, or the Cathedral Basilica of Cusco as it’s officially called, is also one of the most important religious places in the city. After touring the city center, head to San Blas, a charming neighborhood filled with traditional houses, colorful cacti, and a relaxed vibe. The neighborhood is an excellent place to shop for souvenirs.
Explore Cusco – Visit the Incan Ruins Day
Cusco lies at the foot of the Andes. There are several Incan ruins within the city and the surrounding area. The most famous is the site of the Incan city of Machu Picchu, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is off-limits to the general public.
However, you can visit several ruins, such as the Incan Wall of the Solay Temple and the Incan Sanctuary of Qoricancha. You can wander around Cusco and take in the city’s hustle and bustle while you explore the Inca ruins. To visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, you’ll need to make advanced reservations to get a permit.
Additionally, these permits are usually reserved for tour groups and can be challenging to procure. However, you can get a permit in advance if you’re flexible and patient. Finally, you can visit other ruins near Cusco, such as Ollantaytambo, Qoricancha, and Inca walls. These ruins are often open to the public and can be visited at any time of the day.
Day 2: Go hiking to the Condor viewpoint and Maran – Sacred Valley Day
If you’re a hiking enthusiast, this is the perfect itinerary. On your second day in Cusco, head out for a hike to the Condor viewpoint, which offers incredible views of the city and the Sacred Valley. From here, you can hike or take a taxi to Maran, a small town that sits at the foot of the Urubamba River and is often described as the “Gateway to the Sacred Valley.”
From here, you can take a day trip to the Intihuatana Observatory, a sacred Incan site where you can view the surrounding mountains. Alternatively, you can also visit the nearby town of Ollantaytambo, where you can explore the ruins of the Inca city or visit the market.
Day 3: Visit a Peruvian market, train to Aguas Calientes, and visit Machu Picchu Day.
On your third day in Cusco, head to the local market to pick up some local produce and other delicious foods. Then, take a train to Aguas Calientes, where you can trek through the Andean mountains to visit the city of Machu Picchu.
If you have time, you can also visit the nearby town of Ollantaytambo, where you can explore the ruins of the Inca city and visit the market. Alternatively, you can also visit the nearby town of Trujillo, where you can visit the Huaca Revolution Museum or the Huaca de la Luna Museum.
Day 4: Train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, visit the ruins of Tampu and hike to the Templo de las Ascension Day
On your fourth day, you’ll travel by train to Ollantaytambo, a city that lies at the base of the Sacred Valley. Here, you can visit the Inca ruins and explore the market. Alternatively, you can also hike to the spectacular Chapel of the Ascension, which offers incredible views of the surrounding villages.
If you’re here during the spring or summer, you might want to visit the Sacred Valley Music Festival, which takes place at the end of April or August. Alternatively, you can also visit the nearby town of Machu Picchu or the nearby town of Huanuco.
Day 5: Hike Yanamarca Ruins and see Huaynapicchu or Chinchero village
Next, travel to the nearby town of Vilcabamba, where you can take a day hike to the Yanamarca ruins. Alternatively, you can also visit the nearby town of Huaynapicchu, which is best known for its enormous Inca ruins. What to eat in Cusco: The rain shadow effect of the mountains surrounding Cusco makes the local produce very flavorful, with unique ingredients such as quinoa, an Incan grain that is now grown in many parts of the world.
If you’re looking for some tasty food, try the following: – Aji de Gallina, or roasted aji or chicken stew – Chilcano, or potato and quinoa balls – Choclo, or corn dough with white potatoes and quinoa – Carne asada, or grilled meat – Queso de Qatari, or curd cheese – Arequipeas, or Arequipa oranges – Chontae, or corn condiment.
Cusco, Peru is a city that never fails to charm visitors with its rich culture and fascinating history. For this very reason, the city is a favorite travel destination for many travelers.
So if you’re looking for a perfect getaway off the beaten path, then Cusco is the perfect destination. In only five days, you can explore the city’s Incan ruins, walk through the Sacred Valley, visit Machu Picchu, and more.
So whether you’re looking for a city break, a hiking adventure, or a relaxing retreat, this itinerary is the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. So book your tickets, pack your bags, and prepare for an exciting Cusco adventure!
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