The famed Imperial City of Cusco offers many historic and cultural attractions. We suggest the following 3-day itinerary to make the most of your visit:
Day1Rest during the first morning, so you can acclimate to the altitude. In the afternoon, visit the city's main attractions: Main Square, Cathedral, Koricancha Temple, Tambomachay Ruins, Kenko and Sacsayhuamán Fortress.
Day 2Take the "Sacred Valley" Tour (preferred days Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday), where you will visit the Indian market of Pisac, the Ollantaytambo fortress and the Chinchero town. If you wish, you can spend the night at Sonesta Posadas del Inca Sacred Valley, located just 15 minutes away from the Ollanta train station.
Day 3Take the train to Machu Picchu. This is an all-day tour and you can enjoy lunch at the restaurant located at the entrance to the citadel.
MACHU PICCHU – ONE OF THE NEW SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD
Machu Picchu is located 130 kilometers northeast from Cusco City, 2,200 meters above sea level. It is one of the world's most outstanding archaeological sites, the most important in South America and the most popular attraction in Peru.
Koricancha is the Quechua word for “gold zone.” This site, built during the government of Inca Pachacútec, is thought to be a religious building where the Incas worshipped the sun. According to the historians, Koricancha's interior walls were covered by gold plates.
Visitors to this magnificent Inca fortress, which overlooks the city of Cusco, will be impressed by the beauty and monumental scale of this important Inca construction. Sacsayhuamán can be translated as either “speckled falcon” or “speckled head.” The last interpretation refers to the belief that the city of Cusco was created in the shape of a puma whose head was the hill of Sacsayhuaman.
Unlike other ruins which build stone over time, these ruins shave the natural base rock and form a straight line with rectangular stone steps.
Referred to as the "Baños del Inca" or Inca baths, Tambomachay was a site for ritual bathing. The high quality of the stonework suggests that its use was restricted to the higher nobility, who may only have used the baths on ceremonial occasions.
One of the most impressive architectural complexes in the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo is usually called a "Fortress" due to its magnificent walls. Actually, it was a Tambo, or shelter, located in a strategic place in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The fine architectural work, as well as the quality of each carved stone, make Ollantaytambo one of the most spectacular and amazing sites made by the Incas.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is known as the most famous trekking route in South America, mainly due to its offerings of its scenic vistas and a wide variety of native flora and fauna.