Por: By: Alenka V. (Chile) – Edited by Admin.
Not long ago, I was in Cusco and visited Machu Picchu and its main tourist attractions. Cusco is beautiful, but I prefer other sites such as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Mountain of 7 colors, and of course: Machu Picchu. In this article, I share my experience in Cusco and the most beautiful places I saw on my trip.
The Plaza de Armas of Cusco
I have passed the Plaza de Armas many times and it always seemed like a beautiful place to sit and breathe some fresh air. The place is almost always full, with many tourists turning around. EIt is the perfect place to start getting to know Cusco. The photo with the Cathedral in the background is unmissable. USome ladies offer to take a photo with a llama in exchange for a tip. Nor should they forget to have a coffee on one of the surrounding terraces. The night landscape of the square is beautiful. They can also look for a bit of rumba in the nearby bars. In short, almost everything beautiful is close to the main square of Cusco. Now that I’m away, I miss sitting on one of their benches and forgetting about work for a moment.
- More information: One very early Sunday I passed through the Plaza de Armas and saw that the Cathedral was with its doors open. It was time for mass so I went in, as many tourists do, to appreciate the fantastic paintings that adorn the walls of the Cathedral. It is not allowed to take photos or make noise.
The Temple of the Coricancha
I estimate that three blocks from the Plaza de Armas are the Coricancha temple, another of the places that most memories in Cusco. I visited this site paying an entrance fee of 15 soles, about 5 American dollars more or less. A guide accompanied us for the 30 minutes that the tour lasted and the truth is that I ended up more than impressed. You can tell that the Incas built this temple with a lot of dedication and effort. Its walls are made of stone and are just perfect. There they built shrines for the sun, the stars, the moon, the earth, and all their gods, the elements of nature. PFrom the outside, it looks beautiful and it is worth taking a picture of. Inside everything is amazing. It is a place even more important than Machu Picchu.
- More information: The Coricancha can also be visited with a ‘Cusco City Tour’. This service lasts 5 hours. It also includes the Cathedral, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, and Tambomachay. The price of the tour varies from 20 to 40 dollars depending on the agency you choose. I went to Coricancha on my own and paid 15 soles for the entrance and 15 soles to get a guide to accompany me.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
To visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, I hired a tourism agency in the center of Cusco. We paid 50 dollars for a service that included entrance fees, lunch in a good restaurant, a professional guide, and complete transportation. Of all the places I liked Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. The first was because his town was so quiet. For a moment I felt that I was transported to the Inca era. The second is because it also seemed like a quiet place where people kept many customs from the Inca era. I loved the textile center that we visited in Chinchero. I took a baby alpaca poncho with me to Santiago of Chile, where I fell in love. Overall it was good service. The super professional guide and the lunch were also excellent. I recommend it!
- More information: The tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas lasts 11 hours (from 7 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon). Includes entrance fees to Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero. It also includes the buffet lunch in Urubamba. Finally, it includes a professional guide service and full round-trip transportation. Going on the second or third day of travel in Cusco is ideal. Prices range from $40 to $70 depending on the tourism agency.
The Mountain’s seven colorss
On my last day of visiting Cusco, I did my tour of the mountain of 7 colors. I was scared before this day because they said it was difficult. LThe truth was not so. The hike did include a hard walk, but it was not something impossible to do. I did very well. I was already used to the geography of Cusco so I had no problems. The tourism agency included breakfast and lunch as well as complete transportation, the entrance fee, and a professional guide. Many tourists (especially older adults) were unable to complete the trek so they had to hire a horse. The mountain is beautiful. I will never forget its landscapes. I was amazed at this place. It is rightly said that it is one of the most beautiful places after Machu Picchu. I would go back a thousand times!
- More information: I did not go to the Humantay lagoon but they told me that it is a fantastic place with many similarities with the mountain of 7 colors. The prices of the tours are also similar. They range from 20 to 50 dollars depending on the agency they can choose. Humantay is a beautiful lagoon with turquoise waters. I saw it in the photos and I think I missed it. The bad thing is that it involves a walk as difficult as that of the 7 colors mountain. If you choose to go to Humantay, you no longer have the strength to go to the Mountain of the 7 Colors and the other way around.
Words do not fit me to describe the beauty of Machu Picchu. It is simply a unique place in the world. It has a special charm that you stay with your mouth open contemplating it. Then you react and take the photos you are looking for. I went on my own. For that, we bought the tickets online. The same is the case for train and bus tickets. We hired the guide right there at the entrance door. I think that in general terms it was cheaper than going on a tour. But I still think that however you go, it is worth knowing this wonderful place. I only advise you to wear a poncho because the rain caught us. Without one, you will surely get soaked. I will take the memory of my visit to Machu Picchu with me everywhere.
- More information: I chose the ‘Machu Picchu Solo’ entrance for my visit. There was also the option of choosing the entrance ‘Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu’ but that ticket includes an arduous walk to the top of the place. The truth is that I did not want to wear myself out since in a few days I would do my tour of the mountain of 7 colors. I think I chose well. In any case, I warn you that the entrance to ‘Machu Picchu Solo’ costs 152 PEN while the entrance to ‘Machu Picchu with Huayna Picchu’ costs 200 PEN.