If you are reading this section, you have taken the wise decision to dedicate enough time to learn about the ancestral culture of the Incas and appreciate its amazing architecture, in a city that will offer all the nightlife you are looking for. During your first day, wake up early and go to the Urubamba Valley. We recommend you to follow the same advice as per the first day of our short-term stay recommendation article: Go directly to the Ollantaytambo’s Incas fortress located on the Urubamba Valley, and stop in your way in the famous artesian Pisac Market. Start your trip visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is a great idea as the Valley is located at 2,700 meters o.s.l., while Cusco is at 3,350 m.o.s.l. This difference altitude could be very helpful in your acclimation process.
Return to the city at the end of the day to rest a bit and get ready to start enjoying Cusco’s nightlife. During your 2nd and 3rd day, we recommend you to stay in the city and discover all the secrets of Cusco and its surroundings. Don’t forget to buy your Cusco’s touristic ticket to get access to all sites and local attractions at a better rate. On the second day, stay on the city and walk around the plaza, get into the Cathedral, visit the Koricancha Temple and get lost on the small streets of San Blas District while looking for the famous 12-angle stone. If you enjoy museums, check out the MAP. During your third day take the entire day to check all surrounding Inca’s impressive fortress and temples: Sacsayhuaman, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Kenko, etc. You can also rent a horse expedition to enhance this experience.
On your fourth day you will be much better acclimatized to the altitude and ready for an entire day adventure into the Urubamba Valley. Recruit 4 or 5 friends and share a taxi into the Inca’s agriculture laboratory of Maras and the beautiful Salt mines of Moray. Maras is mine salt complex full of salt ponds in which the sun gets reflected generating a beautiful sight. Moray was he agriculture laboratory that have hundreds of terraces (each one located at an specific altitude) creating a temperature gradient of 15° C between the terrace on top and the last one in the bottom. The Incas used this laboratory to study the impact of the altitude on different crops. Moray and Maras are only 7km (4.3miles) away from each other. A one day visit is more than enough to check out this two sites. You can first visit Moray, then continue to Maras, and finally walk a one-hour trek from Maras to the heart of the Sacred Valley, where you can easily take a bus to return to Cusco city. On the fifth day Machu Picchu. You can visit the following blog entry for more information on Machu Picchu.
If you don’t have enough time (4 days) for the Inca Trail you can take a train from Ollantaytambo for a single-day trip to Machu Picchu. We understand if you prefer not to take the Inca Trail, and instead you rather spend those days visiting the sister citadel of Machu Picchu: Choquequirao or enjoying a couple days on the heart of on of the last virgin Jungles: Manu). After your day trip from Machu Picchu, you can relax in our bar-lounge as we will understand you will be quit tired. On the sixth day you can relax in the main plaza in the city, check out more museums, enjoy some of our restaurant and bars recommendations for Cusco, or just do some shopping. We recommend to visit and walk around the typical local market: San Pedro. In the afternoon you can go to the theater for on of the Kusikay plays.
This play is a well mounted local “cirque de soleil” play that will tell get the audience to know more about the ancient Peruvian culture. If you hav more days in Cusco, don’t hesitate to read about our blog entry on the local adventure sports activities near Cusco, there ar emany and are awesome: treks, mountaing biking or motocrossing on the Sacred Valley, rafting, Paragliding, or among others.
We understand every traveller has its own preferences. Used the above recomendations as an overall draft agenda. Don’t hesitate to discuss with Pariwana Hostel recepcionists and staff on your different alternative travel options. They will be pleaced to help.