CUSCO CITY TOUR – PRIVATE GUIDED TOURS EVERY DAY
In the morning (9 am) or afternoon (1pm)
In the morning or afternoon, we will tour the Imperial City of Cusco, a living museum with a mix of Andean and Spanish cultures. You will visit Koricancha, the ancient Inca Palace and the main worship center of the Sun Inti, which was once filled with gold until plundered during the conquest. Our tour continues to the unmatched archeological site of Sacsayhuaman fortress and its military Inca architecture, which dominates the city and is constructed with 100 ton boulders, the heaviest being 128 tons. No nearby quarry matches these stones and archeologists do not agree on how they were transported here! Finally, we explore the archeological sites of Q’enqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay before heading back to your hotel in Cusco by early evening.
Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo
The convent was built on the spectacular Koricancha ‘Field of gold’. This was the most important temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun and the walls of which were lined with solid sheets of gold. All that remains now is the fine stonework because conquistadors took the rest and destroyed most of the temple to build the convent on top. Koricancha was also an observatory, where priests kept track of major celestial events. Today, some of the original architecture has been restored and it also houses an impressive collection of canvas paintings from the Cusco School of Art.
Sacsayhuaman (which means ‘satisfied falcon’) is one of the most impressive sites built by the Incas. It is generally referred to as a military fortress. The stones in the wall are incredible and the largest one weighs 128 tons, with no clear explanation on how they were transported to the site. The Incas designed Cusco in the shape of a puma, with Sacsayhuaman as the head. Sacsayhuaman is still used today for the Inti Raymi festival held to celebrate the winter solstice on the 24th of June.
The site of Q’enqo (meaning ‘maze’ in Quechua) contains very impressive hand-carved sections of bedrock. There are carvings everywhere, although some are very indistinct, such as a llama, a condor and snakes have been identified. There are many zigzag channels on top of the natural rock, probably used for pouring sacrificial chicha (a local fermented beverage made from corn). Below the rock, there are a number of caves and passageways, and an altar which was used for the sacrifices of llamas. Mummifications of buried people have been discovered by archeologists in these caves!
Puka Pukara is translated to ‘the red fortress’ in Quechua. This is a small site and although the name suggests that it was a fortress, it does not appear to have had any defensive purpose. Archeologists theorize that it could have been used to protect the water source at Tambomachay.
The name means “place of rest” in Quechua. It was the royal home of the Inca Yupanqui when he went to hunt in the surrounding area. This site was also thought to have been used as a Temple to the Water. There are some interesting aqueducts, canals and cascades sculpted out of stone, designed to channel water flowing from a nearby stream.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Pick up from your hotel
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Private transportation to visit all Inca sites
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
- Entrance to Archeological sites: Purchase the Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) of 70 soles (about $22 USD), at the first site you enter. This can be used for 1 day to visit archeological sites in the Cusco region. (See important info, for other options)
- Entrance ticket for Koricancha ( 10 Soles per person)
Please Note: The Cusco City Tour is only offered to our clients doing at least a 2-day tour or trek to Machu Picchu.
|No. OF PEOPLE||PRICE|
|Group from 1 to 6 people||$ 127 USD for the total group (not per person)|
|Group from 7 to 12 people||$ 157 USD for the total group (not per person)|
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
- Entrance to Archeological sites: The Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) soles (about $20 USD), at the first site you enter. This can be used for 10 days to visit all sites in the Cusco region. (See important info)
- Entrance ticket for the Koricancha (10 Soles per person).
The Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket)
You have the option to purchase a 1 Day or a 10 Day Boleto Turistico.
The partial ticket, or 1-Day ticket costs 70 soles (about $20 USD) and is valid for 1 day. You can visit as many sites as you like in one day with no further charge. There are no discounts with this ticket.
Both tourist tickets, 1-day or 10-day, allows the access to different archeological sites in and around Cusco, the Sacred Valley, various museums in Cusco, the Main Cathedral, the Qoricancha and more. This is the best way to visit all the archeological sites of the region and the Sacred Valley. Most of the main archeological sites are not accessible for free.
The general ticket, or 10-Day Ticket is 130 soles (about $38 USD) and is valid for 10 days. This is the cheapest and most convenient way to plan to see different sites in a few days.
Here is a list of sites where you can use your Boleto Touristico:
- Puca Pucara
- Pachacutec Monument
- Cusco’s Native Art Center
- Museum of Popular Art
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Museum of Regional History
Note : The entrance ticket to the main archeological sites such as Sacsaywaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Tipón and Moray cannot be sold individually; you must buy the Boleto turístico to visit them. You can get it in Avenida el Sol near our office or at the time you enter the first site that you are visiting. YOU MUST PAY IN SOLES, NO CREDIT CARDS OR US DOLLARS ARE ACCEPTED.
Important: These tickets are not included in the Boleto Turistico.
- The ticket for the Koricancha or Santo Domingo Convent (10 soles)
- The ticket for the Cathedral (25 soles)
WHAT TO BRING FOR CUSCO CITY TOUR?
- Warm jacket
- Sun protection
- Some money for souvenirs
- Money in soles to purchase boleto turistico and ticket for the Koricancha (80 soles)
- Original passport