Cultural Tours in Cuzco and the Sacred Valley
Perfectly designed half day or full day cultural tours to experience the Best of Cuzco and the Sacred Valley
Visit the main Incan sites in and around Cuzco on our half day tour - including Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay
Full day tour visits the incredible Sacred Valley and famous villages of Pisaq, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero
Local english-speaking guide with expert knowledge of traditions and cultural heritage
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1 day (Half Day Tour)
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1 day (Full Day Tour)
We offer a full day tour to visit the main towns and markets in the Sacred Valley or a half day tour around the town of Cuzco which can be added on to any of our treks.
Day 1Half Day Tour
This half day tour covers the main Incan sites in the Cuzco region, including:
- Cuzco: The Andean city of Cuzco was once the foremost city of the Inca empire, and is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city. At the heart of the city is the Plaza de Armas. Colonial arcades surround the plaza, while alleyways leading away from the plaza are bordered by Inca walls. On the plaza's northeastern side is the imposing Cathedral, flanked by the churches of Jesus Maria and El Triunfo. On the southeastern edge is the ornate church of La Compania de Jesus.
- Sacsayhuaman: Situated on a mountain overlooking Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman is a huge, stunning ruin of both religious and military significance. The most striking part of the site is the magnificent three-tiered zigzag fortifications. Some stones weigh more than 360 tons but were still carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.
- Q'enqo: Also known as the Labyrinth, this temple dedicated to Mother Earth is a unique centre of celebrations and astronomical studies and has numerous ceremonial carvings, holes and zigzagging channels cut into the rock. Q'enqo is thought to have been used for ritual sacrifices –letting the blood flow and determining whether they were intended for heaven or hell depending on which direction it flowed.
- Puca Pucara: Puca Pucara, or the Red Fort, is a smaller Inca site, thought to have been used as a resting place for guards. The complex contains several rooms, inner plazas, aqueducts, and has some great views over the surrounding jungle.
- Tambomachay: The archeological site of Tambomachay is thought to have filled an important altar function linked to water and the regeneration of the land and closely linked with Pucapucara. The site consists of large terraces, canals, and aqueducts which carry water –presumed to be from an underground spring further up the mountain.
Day 1Full Day Tour
This spectacular full day tour takes in three iconic areas in the Sacred Valley:
- Pisaq: Located 33km northeast of Cuzco, Pisaq is dominated by the ruins of the Inca citadel perched high above the quiet colonial village. The Pisaq ruins include a Sun Temple, ceremonial baths and water channels. The site is famous for its agricultural terracing which sweeps around the mountain in huge, graceful curves. The village holds a bustling market on Sundays which attracts traditionally dressed locals from miles around. A smaller craft market is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Ollantaytambo: Dominated by a massive Incan fortress, the village of Ollantaytambo is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been inhabited since the 13th century. The huge steep terraces that guard the Inca ruins above the village mark one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Although an effective fortress, Ollantaytambo was equally important as a temple, and a ceremonial centre comprising temples and baths.
- Chinchero: Known to the Incas as the birthplace of the rainbow, Chinchero is a typical Andean village where local people continue to wear traditional dress. The church in the main square is built on Incan foundations and houses baroque altars and decorative frescos. The extensive Incan ruins consist of terracing, with wonderful views of the mountains and the town below. The Sunday markets include a craft market and a local produce market.