As we had time we decided to visit by ourselves the main sites around Cusco, and more! With this solution you can see more parts of the sites, take your time and walk cross the lands and cities in total freedom!
Day 1: Cusco
We took a “tour for tips” starting at 10am every day from the main square, in front of KFC (look for the red T-shirt). The guide (talking english) lead you to Pizarro house, San Francisco place, calle Loreto with the Lama and Alpaca market, Coricancha, calle Hatunrumiyoc (with it huge rocks) and San Blas mirador.
After this 2h tour we went to San Pedro market where you can eat for 7 soles and buy whatever you need. We also visited Coricancha (10 soles) and enjoyed San Cristobal mirador for the sunset.
Where to eat in Cusco?
– San Pedro Market
– Calle Loreto (small restaurant with local food)
– San Blas in the Aura, or Chakruna terrasse
Transports from Cusco:
– Colectivo to Tambu Machay (2 soles, 20min) and to Pisaq (5 soles, 45min): Calle Puputi or avenida Qollasuyu (above the Mercado de Rosaspata)
– Colectivo to Ollantaytanbo (10 soles, 1h): Calle Pavitos
– Colectivo to Chinchero (4 soles, 30min): Calle Jiron 21 de Mayo
– Bus to Piquillacta (3 soles, 45min): Avenida Huayruropata, terminal Cusco-Sicuani
You will need it if you want to visit the region. You can buy it at the entrance of each site (except el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo y Monumento de Pachacutec) or at Municipalidad del Cusco located Avenida del Sol. You must present it every time (better have a copy of your ID also).
You have 2 kind of tickets:
– Full: 130 soles including all the 16 sites and museums (available 10 days)
– Partial: 70 soles (available 1 or 2 days) with 3 packs available: Visit the sites around Cusco OR Visit the museums, Pikillacta and Tipon OR Visit the Sacred Valley
Not included: Coricancha (15 soles), Museo Inka (10 soles), Salineras de Maras (10 soles)
> More info on their website
Note: The Museo de Qorikancha and museo de Arte popular were closed.
Tours: If you don’t have time you can take a group tour to visit in one day Chinchero, Moray, Salineras de Maras, Ollantaytambo and Pisaq (around 70 soles with a guide and lunch).
Day 2: Around Cusco
We took a colectivo and arrived after 30min ride in Tambomachay. We walked back to Cusco passing through a beautiful valley and visiting Puka Pukara, Chuspiyoq, Chukimarka and templo de la Luna. From this temple you can decide to keep going to Q’enqo and Sacsaywaman, but we decided to go visit Inkilltambo (a guide we met told us to go, and indeed it was a huge site lost in the mountains so with no tourist).
Where to take colectivo from Cusco to Tambomachay:
Calle Puputi or avenida Qollasuyu (above the Mercado de Rosaspata) – 5 soles
Note: Tambomachay, Pukapukara, Q’enqo and Sacsayhuaman are included in the full boleto turistico but also in a partial one. The rest of sites were free!
Templo de la Luna
Day 3: Sacsayhuaman and Q’Enqo
We crossed San Blas to get to the Cristo Blanco, nearby Sacsaywaman. In Sacsayhuaman we paid a guide 30 soles for 1h visit. The Inca throne and the Chinkanas (underground tunels) were closed.
After this visit we went to Q’enqo, a very mysterious rock with a sacrifice table, stones with perfect cuts and a lot of stairs leading nowhere!
Day 4: Pisaq
To go to Pisaq you need to take a colectivo avenida Qollasuyu (above the Mercado de Rosaspata). It costs 5 soles and leaves you in 40min at the entrance of Pisaq. From there you have taxis which take you up to the ruins (we paid 25 soles).
Careful with the time as the road is closing during some slots:
Day 5: Ollantaytambo
This beautiful village worth to pass an entire day visit the ruins and the streets!
A guide offered us 3 different tour options at the entrance of the main site (from 80 to 160 soles). We preferred to ask a family to join their tour until the Templo del Sol. After almost 1h on this site we went to Pinkuylluna, the second archeological site on the other mountain (free entrance until 4.30pm).
Where to take the colectivo from Cusco to Ollantaytambo:
Calle Pavitos (10 soles)
Where to sleep in Ollantaytambo: El Legado (30 soles for a double room with private bathroom)
Where to eat: 2nd floor of the market (especially for breakfast!)
Day 6: Maras, Moray, Urubamba
From Ollantaytambo we took a colectivo to Urubamba (2,5 soles – 30min from Calle Hilloc). At the same terminal we took a colectivo to Maras (usually 3 soles) and the driver offered to bring us to Moray laboratory, wait for us and leave us at the walking path from Maras to the salineras. We paid 45 soles for this plan. Moray is not so big, we passed around 40min there.
From Maras you have a nice (and easy) walk to do starting north of Calle Jesus. It leads you after 4km to the salineras where you no longer can walk into this labyrinth of baths but only appreciate them on Miradors. Entrance fee is 10 soles.
We walked again 3km until Tarabamba where we took a colectivo to go back to Urubamba to enjoy a nice fruit juice on the 2nd floor of the famous market.
Day 7/8: From Ollantaytambo we went to Aguas Calientes to visit the Machu Picchu
Day 8: Chinchero
Back from the Machu Picchu we slept at Ollantaytambo and took a colectivo in the morning to Urubamba (2,5 soles). At the terminal we took a bus to Cusco (4 soles) and stopped at Chinchero.
We arrived during the mass on Sunday. The church built on top of an Inca temple is really amazing. The terrasses outside and the « wakas » stood there.
After 40min walking around the site we’ve been to the market where we tasted a chicha made with fermented corn. We took a colectivo to go back to Cusco (4 soles).
Day 9: Museums in Cusco
With the Boleto Turistico you have included the entrance of the Museo historico regional about the region of Cusco, the Museo de Arte contemporaneo and the monument of Pachacutec. We only visited the regional museum and preferred to visit the Inka Museum (entrance not included in the Boleto Turistico: 10 soles).
Where to stay in Cusco?
Posada Azul where Vanessa and Peter will receive you in their beautiful place with nice terrasse! (we paid 40 soles for a double room with private bathroom)
Day 10: Piqillacta
On our last day we went to Piqillacta by bus (from Avenida Huayruropata, terminal Cusco-Sicuani, 3 soles). It left us on the road nearby the entrance of the site. We started by visiting this pre inca city (made by the Waris), visited the small museum there and went to Rumicolca, the old aqueduc turned by the Incas into a huge door (15min walking from the main site)!
On our way back it started to rain so we missed the last site we had on our list: Tipón. We went back to Cusco and took a night bus to Arequipa.