Destinations to visit in Cusco and Machu Picchu – Practical Guide

One of the best options for trips to Peru will always be Cusco and Machu Picchu. In this blog we want to talk about some tours that can be organized in Cusco along with some alternatives that can be done on the route. If you already made the trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu you can stay to see and know some new alternatives. Likewise, we will know more of the traditional trips so we can combine them with new activities. Dare to travel to Cusco and Machu Picchu with these options that we are sure will help you, at least, to plan your trip.

Inca Temple of the Sun - Qoricancha
Inca Temple of the Sun – Qoricancha

Cusco: variety of options for an unforgettable trip

Tourist visiting Maras by bicycle
Tourist visiting Maras by bicycle

In Cusco you can find a variety of activities. Most of these can be done upon arrival in Cusco. This great variety of destinations and options in activities can be seen thanks to the changing geography of Cusco, which is why you can see beautiful landscapes.

Cusco is comprised of high mountains that will gradually connect with the jungle. This is the reason for the formation of the high jungle, where Machu Picchu is located. Likewise, the mountains surrounding Cusco also form beautiful valleys both in Cusco and its surrounding towns.

On the route you can find several valleys, the most outstanding are the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the South Valley. In both places you can find Inca constructions. Also, Cusco will be characterized by its natural attractions, where you can hike, bike routes and even some extreme sports.

In short, Cusco is one of the destinations with more options to do. Do not be fooled that you will only find Machu Picchu and Inca constructions. These places are only a sign that, for many years, the geography of Cusco offers great variety. Also, nowadays it will surprise you thanks to its natural attractions and its particular climate. Next, let’s see more of the natural destinations.

Natural destinations in Cusco

Vinicunca also known as the Mountain of Colors
Vinicunca also known as the Mountain of Colors

Cusco has a special geography, since the consolidation of the ancient Inca culture, and even older civilizations. In Cusco, you will highlight the geographical variety that allows a better interaction of the human being with nature.

That’s not all, in Cusco besides finding fertile land and excellent quantity and quality of water, you can find beautiful snow-capped mountains that crown the extensive valleys. The beauty of the waters of the rivers that flow through the rugged terrain of the mountains, are also a spectacle.

Likewise, there are some natural destinations that many tourists wish to visit, these are the most recognized tours with the best services.

Vinicunca or Raindow Mountain

This is one of the most representative mountains of Cusco. Although to get there you have to hike, after a journey of about 3 hours, the landscapes and views of all the mountain ranges are a spectacle. Not for nothing is the second most visited destination in Cusco.


Visit it after 2 days in Cusco or after visiting Machu Picchu, to avoid altitude sickness. This is because it is located at an altitude that exceeds 5,000 meters above sea level.

Humantay Lagoon

It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Peru. Among its composition highlights the presence of the snow-capped mountains that surround this lake. Among these snowy will highlight the Salkantay. You also have to make a route on foot. Upon arrival you will be surprised by the color of its waters and the imposing mountain that is seen throughout the route on foot.


In both cases, the service of a muleteer is available. They will have horses ready to facilitate the passage. Likewise, it is recommended to have a previous acclimatization.

Archaeological sites in Cusco and the Valley

Puka Pukara archaeological site
Puka Pukara archaeological site

Cusco being the capital of the ancient Inca culture, being, in the past, the largest civilization of the entire continent. That is why in Cusco and nearby you can find several archaeological sites. In these places you can observe the passage of time and the attempt to destroy them.

As it was a whole new civilization, the Spaniards who took power in the region were forced to eliminate the religion and ancient customs of this culture. In this sense it is possible to find the vestiges of the constructions and the attempt to supplant them.

We believe that the best option to visit these places is to purchase the Cusco Tourist Ticket, which will allow you to visit the following places, according to each of the partial tickets.

Partial Ticket I

Allows a tour near Cusco, you can access: Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pukapukara and Tambomachay.


All these destinations can also be included in the City Tour. On the other hand, the ticket can be purchased at any of these destinations or at the Cosituc office.

Partial Ticket II

With this ticket you can visit the following places: Tipon Archaeological Park and the site of Pikillaqta. It also allows you to do other activities such as visiting the following places: enter the Qosqo Center show, Museum of Contemporary Art, Regional Historical Museum, Qoricancha Site Museum, Entrance to the monument of Pachacutec and visit the Museum of Popular Art.


Plan activities so that they can be carried out smoothly. In some cases you will have to check the opening hours. Tickets can also be purchased at the sites to be visited. The address of the offices is: Av. El Sol 103, Office 101, Cusco-Peru.

Partial Ticket III

The tour of this circuit allows you to enter the destinations of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. In this sense you can visit the sites of: Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chinchero and Moray.


The destinations in the Sacred Valley are further away than the other options. It is recommended to do it with a transport. Although on your own it is also possible.

Cusco Integral Tourist Ticket
The Integral Tourist Ticket or BTCI, is the ticket that allows the entrance to all the destinations that each of the tickets indicates. In addition, it has a longer validity to plan activities more calmly. The way to acquire this and the other tickets is by visiting the offices at Av. El Sol 103, Office 101, Cusco – Peru. On the other hand, it is important to know that you can also find the tickets in the destinations to visit.

Machu Picchu tour between, one day activity

Machu Picchu on a sunny day
Machu Picchu on a sunny day

The trip to Machu Picchu could not be missed. Although we have already talked a lot about this destination, it is important to know how to do the route. For starters, it is important to always have the reservation of the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu. Otherwise it may compromise your entry to it.

Also for the activity to be done in just one day it is important to have the train tickets. Here there are different options and with schedules that will allow you to make the trip in just one day. The travel time from Cusco to Machu Picchu is approximately 5 to 6 hours.

It is recommended not to bring too many belongings. This is because it is only a one-day activity, you will not be able to leave them behind and they will be uncomfortable during the tour of the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Here are some tips to make your trip to Machu Picchu in only one day from Cusco.

  • Have the entrance tickets to Machu Picchu in physical or virtual form.
  • Make the trip by train, you can also access the bimodal service.
  • Make the ascent in the ecological buses, this will allow you to save more time.
  • Remember that it is better to make the trip with a tour guide.
  • The return, you can also do it in the ecological buses.
  • As for the train trip to return to Cusco, it is recommended to do it at 16:20 hours.
  • If you leave at that time it is estimated to arrive in Cusco before 22:00 hours.

Machu Picchu + Sacred Valley Tour

Sacred Valley of the Incas
Sacred Valley of the Incas

Another option and combining some activities is to make the trip to Machu Picchu after making a tour of the different options that the Sacred Valley has. In the blog Activities in the Sacred Valley before visiting Machu Picchu. There, you can find much more detailed information to explore the different options to do.

Now we want to inform you of a detail that could help many at the time of making the trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. It is about the way to connect with Machu Picchu. This comes as an answer to people who want to do more activities before going to visit the wonder of the world.

They take a whole day or even two days to tour all the destinations mentioned above. They are even encouraged to do extreme sports and community activities. After all this, the normal thing would be to return to Cusco, however, there is the possibility of staying in Ollantaytambo.

From Ollantaytambo you can make the trip by train in the afternoon, even at night to Machu Picchu Pueblo. In Ollantaytambo, you can find hotels and restaurants of different prices and categories. In this sense, the wait for the departure train will be comfortable and even pleasant.

To make this connection from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu you must take into account the following:

  • Book the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu and plan the activities accordingly. Even the day of travel to Peru.
  • If possible, book a hotel room in Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu Pueblo.
  • The next day already in Machu Picchu, you will have the time to make the tour from the early hours.
  • Also, and if possible (depending on your reservation), you will be able to access Huayna Picchu or another of the mountains, with enough time.
  • You will be able to return earlier to Cusco. Something that can be done, as long as you strictly follow the train departure times and activities to do.
  • Achieving this connection not only allows you to save money, but also time.


By Imachupicchu – Last updated, May 21, 2024

Enjoy the trip to Machu Picchu with the best services

Choose one of the 5 types of tickets

The entrance to Machu Picchu offers discounts for university students, those under 18 years of age and citizens of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. Children under 3 years enter free! Get your entry to 'mapi' here.

We take you wherever you want in Cusco

The private transportation service takes you to any tourist destination in Cusco. Travel with total security in a private service for you, your partner, your friends or family. Includes pick up service from the airport or transfer to Machu Picchu train station, book here!

An unforgettable train trip to Machu Picchu

In total there are four tourist train services to Machu Picchu: Expedition, Vistadome, Vistadome Observatory and the Hiram Bingham luxury train. They all belong to the prestigious Peru Rail company. Buy the tickets here! Take advantage of the discounts!

Get on the final bus to Machu Picchu

The train trip will leave you in the town of Aguas Calientes, 10 kilometers from Machu Picchu. For this last section you must get the bus to Machu Picchu, a comfortable service that takes care of the environment of the wonder of the world. Buy your bus ticket here!

Tour Machu Picchu with a professional guide

In Machu Picchu the tour guide service is not mandatory. However, most tourists decide to go accompanied by a guide. This way they will be able to fully understand the history and importance of the wonder of the Incas.

Machupicchu all inclusive 1 day

If you do not want to buy each ticket to Machu Picchu separately, it is best to hire an all-inclusive tour. Includes: transfer to the station, train ticket, tour guide, entrance fee and lunch option at the best ‘mapi’ restaurant. Book the tour here!