DAY TRIPS FROM CUSCO
Cusco has several remarkable tourist attractions, colored mountains, snow-clad peaks, ancient ruins, lakes, and all; consequently, tourism is a fundamental industry for the heart and soul of Cusco. It also offers handicrafts and souvenir markets, restaurants, cafés, and shops around the traditional neighborhoods. So, if you are planning on visiting Cusco, here is a list of the notable day trips from Cusco that you can make.
Machu Picchu Day Trip By Train
This is a quick jump to Machu Picchu, frequented and doable for those who are short on time. The day starts real early at the hotel, about 4 am, with a quick ride to Poroy train station a few miles behind Cusco or two hours drive to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.
If you are planning on doing the Machu Picchu day trip from Cusco, bear in mind not to plan a heavy itinerary for the following day; instead, take your time on a more leisure activity, so you can recover enough strength.
Rainbow Mountain Day Trip
Venture high in the rainbow mountains in Cusco and contemplate stunning views of the Andes mountain. The beauty and colors of the Rainbow Mountain area are just so seducing for visitors that although the height it represents, they will go for it.
Hire a guided tour for a more enjoyable trip and make it an easy and memorable trip. Also, get to the Red Valley mirador for a more complete experience of the hike and this may be the highlight of it all.
Palcoyo Mountain Day Trip
Explore the stone forest viewpoint and overlook the three rainbow mountains all together in a 360 ° view. The colored Palcoyo mountain is the alternative tour to the renowned Rainbow Mountain and is easy to hike without great effort from the trailhead.
Tour groups start in Cusco city early in the morning and drive through the scenic Vilcanota River Valley across several little townships, hamlets, and villages. It is for sure that everyone doing this tour will see the way of life of the highland shepherds and many camelids grazing around, which adds delight to the trip.
Pallay Punchu Mountain Day Trip
Travel to the southernmost towns of Cusco and hike to the sharp rainbow mountains of Pallay Punchu. For the last years, this has been the main focus of the municipal officials of Layo to promote the natural formations of a mountain named Pallay Punchu that indeed has its charm, and it seems that finally, the effort was worth it.
Nowadays, this beautiful natural mountain attraction receives tourists and at the same time is added to the record of the rainbow mountains in Cusco, being this the third. Nearly all pictures taken at the site include as a background the great Laguna de Langui Layo.
Humantay Lake Day Trip
Its turquoise waters reflecting the snow-covered peak in the background and the small dry sluffs occasionally crashing the mountainside make the hike to Humantay Lake exciting. This is a popular location for a Cusco day trip, and visiting on a guided tour will make it easier.
There is another option to make the Humantay Laguna hike, and this is by going the complete Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu for five days. If not, considering you are short on time, the best choice is taking the one-day hike that demands a moderate 1.5-hour hike one way through the rolling hill.
Ausangate 7 Lakes Day Trip
The Andes mountain of Peru is full of lagoons and lakes; the Ausangate 7 lakes prove it. Going to Ausangate 7 lakes is rewarding as it allows you to view surreal countrysides and beautiful deserted rolling hills and snow peaks. One thing you should definitely do here is to soak in the Pacchanta Hot Springs, once the hike is over, you will be seduced to do that, and this for sure will be for the sake of your body. Won’t regret it.
Prepare yourself for the symptoms of high altitude Soroche sickness, therefore it would be ideal to do this on your last day visiting Cusco. And for those planning to cover the complete Ausangate route, know that this will be just as awesome an experience because you are going to walk beyond the Ausangate 7 lakes to see even stunning vistas.
Maras Moray Salineras Day Trip
Day after day, tourists from different nationalities travel the pampas de Maras back and forth, visiting Moray terraces then returning to Maras Salt mines. If you want a visit to these two places, get in contact with a tour operator to make it happen. The tours can start either in Ollantaytambo the following day of the Machu Picchu excursion, Cusco city, or the Sacred Valley on your way to Machu Picchu. Additionally, for real adventurers, the suggestion is to cover part of the tour in Quad Bike rides.
It is not only the ring terraces of Moray and the Maras salt ponds, but the tour works well for acclimatizing leisurely before doing other activities at higher elevations in Cusco.
Sacred Valley Day Trip
Do the classic Sacred Valley, which includes Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero; places that present various tour options from textile demonstrations centers to archeological sites, museums, silversmiths, chicha bars, and among others.
Sacred Valley tour is outranked as one of the best day trips in Cusco, not to be missed when visiting Peru. Guided tours can begin in Cusco or the Sacred Valley if you want it to be your base for all your excursions. As the day goes on, you will be touring the land of Corn, just look at the broad extensions of cornfields in different seasons and follow the curse of the Vilcanota River, the same river you see in Aguas Calientes Machu Pichu.
Chonta Canyon Day Tour
The views of the towering and rugged sheer cliffs above the Apurimac River, cliffs covered with dark greenish vegetation, the roaring Apurimac River, and the habitual condors soaring the air with their outspread wings are the highlights of the Mirador de condor Chonta route.
If you are looking for a non-conventional day tour in Cusco, you should pin this place. Besides experiencing the flight of the big white collared birds (condors), you also have the opportunity to make a stop at Tarawasi and Quillarumiyoq, both Incan ruins that add some extra delight when visiting Chonta Mirador de condores.
Qeswachaca Inca Bridge
The skills of the Inca engineers exceed every expectation, and that is to say, besides being masters in stone masonry, they could even build bridges with great originality and in perfect locations. One of the last surviving Inca bridges is over the Apurimac river way deep into the mountains of Cusco Canas and is renewed by the Andean men and women of Quehue not just now, but it has been so along in life; since the expansions of the Inca empire.
Experiencing this section of the Inca path and bridge is something special and unique. For visiting the Inca bridge, you can hire day tours organized from Cusco city, in which not only you will see the bridge but so much more either culturally and ecologically.
Waqrapukara Day Hike
With two naturally formed columns resembling horns on a hilltop, a central plaza, and layered terraces as if circling the temples between the horns, Waqrapukara is a destination for adventurers looking for something different than the regular tourist´s experience. A few years ago, it was hard to visit and was an obscure, seldom visited location but nowadays thanks to the new open road, visitors can get it in a day tour or two-day tour from Cusco.
Waqrapukara sits in the Apurimac Canyon, about 70 miles south of Cusco. For you about to set off on a long journey, overall, the hike to Waqrapukara is rewarding, in a tranquil environment and embracing cultural experiences with locals.
Singrinacocha Day Excursion
Singrinacocha is equivalent to Humantay lake due to its greenish-blue hues and proximity to snowy peaks, and this is yet one more tourist attraction to set eyes into when visiting Cusco. Though this lake is reachable independently, it’s also advisable to get it with a guided day tour from Cusco.
What makes this lake stand out a bit more from Humantay lake is the unrivaled views, the camelid population, and the tranquility of the Andean People with their cultural traditions. If you feel you need to go here, take into account the altitude you will have to reach, consequently carry and sip a lot of water. Also, you can add it to your Ausangate trek and make an extended hike.
Given the overview of all the doable day trips from Cusco, choose the best destination that suits you. Take into consideration the elevation gain for each tourist attraction. With that said, now it is time to start the adventure.