To visit a tour de Cusco and Machu Picchu and not miss any of the essential sites of the city and surroundings you will need at least three days. Remember that getting from one place to another can be complicated, so hiring excursions is the safest option.
Without a doubt, this is a spectacular place for all those tourists who come with the aim of knowing one of the oldest civilizations in history, which in turn is framed in an earthly paradise.
Day 1 of Cusco tour
The first day is dedicated to know the attractions of the historical center of Cusco and its surroundings. The most practical thing is to hire a guided visit to visit in a morning the essential places. If you decide to do it at your own pace, you can opt for the bus ride.
The tour begins at the Plaza de Armas, heart of Cusco since the time of the Inca Empire, in whose vicinity rise the Cathedral, with its impressive altar covered in silver leaf. Inside you can see important works of the Cusco School.
Next to the Cathedral is the Church of the Society of Jesus, one of the most beautiful baroque churches in the country. Its carved wooden altar and pulpit, both covered with gold leaves, are true masterpieces made by Cusco artists.
In front of the Plaza is the Inka Museum. We advise you to visit it to learn more about the history and way of life of the Incas before the arrival of the Spaniards. Along Triunfo Street, 100 meters from the Plaza de Armas, we will arrive at the Museum of Religious Art. If you don’t have much time, we advise you to leave the visit for another moment and walk along Hatun Rumiyuk, the most famous street in Cusco, where the Stone of the Twelve Angles is located.
Day 2 of Cusco tour
In the morning we will make a visit to fascinating ruins located very close to downtown Cusco: Sacsayhuamán, Qenqo, Puka Pukara and Tampumachay. It is advisable to make this tour with an excursion since there is no transport that takes from one place to another. If you prefer to do it on your own, you can hire a taxi to take you on the tour.
Don’t forget to take the Tourist Ticket, which includes the entrance to the most important archaeological sites. In Sacsayhuaman we will visit the walls and the remains of the immense fortress or ceremonial center that was built there.
In Qenqo we will be able to cross the mysterious underground room carved in the rock and to follow the route of the channels that transported the chicha for the ceremonies that were carried out there. In the Red Fortress, Puka Pukara, are preserved the remains of this citadel where the retinue of the Inka rested while the king continued his journey to Tampumachay, a really impressive place where the hydraulic system still works that transported water from a spring to the pools where the Inca took his baths and held ceremonies.
Day 3 of Cusco tour
The third day will be dedicated to know the villages of the Sacred Valley. Also in this case we recommend you to hire an excursion, since there is no public transportation from one place to another. The only way to do it is on foot.
Both the Integral Tourist Ticket and the Circuit 3 Tourist Ticket will allow you to enter the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo without paying an entrance fee. In Pisac we will be able to learn how the Incas cultivated, by means of a system of platforms or terraces. At the Pisac fair you will be able to get handicrafts made by local artisans. The archaeological site of Ollantaytambo still impresses today and gives us an idea of the majesty it must have had at the time of the Empire.