Cusco

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The lush agricultural region of the Urubamba Valley, better known as The Sacred Valley of the Incas (El Valle Sagrado de los Incas), lies about an hour from Cusco. This 62-mile stretch of land encompasses magnificent ruins, terraced fields, and the villages of Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantytambo, and Chinchero. You can visit all four of these villages in a single day with a guided tour. Winding above the western half of the valley is the 27-mile-long Inca Trail, which ranks as the most significant – and popular – hiking trek in all of South America. Combine a day-trip to the valley with a two-day Inca Trail hike; tour operators around Cusco's Plaza de Armas will help map out routes. No trip would be complete without visiting Machu Picchu, the site of Peru's most remarkable Inca ruins.

Day Trips from Cusco

Chinchero

At 12,500 feet (higher than the rest of the Sacred Valley and Cusco), Chinchero is home to some 12 distinct indigenous communities, where the ancient Inca language of Quechua is still spoken and bartering for goods, instead of using money, is paramount.

17 miles northwest of Cusco in the Sacred Valley, www.peru.info
Tags: culture | history | day trip

Macchu Picchu

Whether hiking the Inca trail or traveling by train, this fabled lost city was curiously untouched by European conquerors and overtaken by dense jungle vegetation until Hiram Bingham's rediscovery in 1911. Now it’s the most visited site in South America.

74 miles northwest of Cusco, www.peru.info
Tags: culture | history | day trip | world heritage site

Ollantaytambo

Walk from the charming town center to find remnants of a massive temple-fortress built by Inca leader Pachacútec: 200 stone steps carved into the lush mountainside, with temples, baths, fertility stones and a canal system that still transports water from the mountains.

60 miles northeast of Cusco in the Sacred Valley, www.peru.info
Tags: culture | history | day trip

Paucartambo

From July 15-18 this peaceful colonial town springs to life during the annual Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen (the patron saint of the Mestizo population – about 37% of Cusco’s total population), where revelers camp out and kick back in celebration.

68 miles northeast of Cusco, www.peru.info
Tags: culture | history | day trip

Pisac

Perhaps best known for its Sunday artisan market, this quaint Andean village is dominated by some of the most massive ruins in the entire valley, showcasing remnants of religious temples, military structures, and impressively steep agricultural terraces.

20 miles northeast of Cusco in the Sacred Valley, www.peru.info
Tags: culture | history | day trip

Tres Cruces

Standing 13,200 feet high on an Andes mountain ridge overlooking the vast green jungle of the Amazon, this site is known for phenomenal sunsets and sunrises. Hiking and camping here will invoke a deep connection with Pacha Mama (Mother Nature).

96 miles northeast of Cusco, www.peru.info
Tags: hiking | outdoors | day trip | adventure

Urubamba

Nestled in the magnificent countryside, with the snowcapped Cordillera Urubamba Mountain Range rising in the distance, this is one of the busiest villages in the Sacred Valley, with buses ushering visitors throughout the Sacred Valley daily.

48 miles northwest of Cusco in the Sacred Valley, www.peru.info
Tags: art | culture | history | day trip

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