- Puka Pukara
Cusco City Tour Half Day
Be inspired as you walk through the ancestral streets and plazas of Cusco! You can walk through each historical era in this royal city; it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Americas! We can trace time from Native Americans to Incans to Spaniards and now to modern-day citizens of Cusco. Besides its historical importance, Cusco is a breath-taking city with a living culture and a cuisine highly-acclaimed on the world stage!
Before You Go
For your first day in this majestic city, we recommend visiting all nearby archaeological sites and admiring the surrounding landscape. Cusco maintains its customs, traditions, the mysteries, and tales about a legendary past as a city.
Cusco holds excellent cultural richness. This tour is highly recommended for those who would like to know more about our culture. You will enjoy and visit the Main Plaza, the Historical Center, Main Cathedral of Cusco, Coricancha (Temple of the Sun) & Santo Domingo Convent, and the archaeological sites of Saqsaywaman, Tambomachay, Qenqo, and Puca Pucara.
Itinerary at a Glance
Cusco | Cusco´s Cathedra - Koricancha Temple - Saqsayhuaman - Q`enqo - Puka Pukara - Tambomachay
You will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco at 13:20 - 13:50 hrs to begin your City Tour. First, we will visit the main Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas where you will have the opportunity to see a wide range of paintings from Cusco’s School of Art, old writings, and works in gold leaf and embossed silver. Once finished, you will continue on to Koricancha or the ‘’Temple of the Sun’’ to appreciate its architecture and perfect stone constructions only seen in Inca temples of high importance. Continuing on, we will head outside the city to visit the archaeological circuit of 4 sites: Saqsaywaman, Q’enqo, Puca Pucara, and Tambomachay. At Saqsaywaman, you will see its famous stones all carefully carved and enormous in size. At Q’enqo, you will learn some more about this archaeological site’s religious importance in the Inca times. At Puca Pucara, you will see an ancient military construction, part of Cusco’s ancient defense system. Lastly, at Tambomachay, you will see a temple dedicated to the Water Cult with fountains that still work in today.
Your return to Cusco will be at approximately 18:30 hrs.
Located in Cusco´s Main Square, the cathedral is a colonial monument of great artistic value. It was built on top of the Wiracocha Inca Palace and houses works of carved wood such as the choir, pulpit and altars, beautiful paintings from the Cusquenian School of Art (including a Last Supper painting in which Christ and His disciples eat cuy – guinea pig!) and works of embossed silver. This cathedral flanks the grandiose Plaza de Armas – the historical and cultural heart of Cusco.
Koricancha Temple and Santo Domingo Convent
This religious center was built to worship the Sun, the most revered deity during the Inca Empire. Inside the temple, you will find smaller temples dedicated to the sun, moon, stars, etc. Outside are beautiful, regal gardens and fountains on the grounds of the monumental temple. Here, the combination of the extraordinary Inca architecture and the Spanish colonial architecture is what stands out the most. In addition, the Cusquenian School of Art´s gallery offers you the opportunity to appreciate some of their colonial art pieces.
Located 2 km from Cusco City, this fortress was built using enormous carved rocks joined with compelling precision. It is composed of three overlapping platforms with an average length of 360 meters. In its construction, you can see stones as big as 9 meters in height! From here, you can enjoy a spectacular view of Cusco city along with the beautiful landscape formed by the surrounding mountains.
Located 1 km from Saqsaywaman, this complex was an Inca ceremonial cult center. The most prominent feature of this complex is an open space called the amphitheater. Back in its day, you would have found Inca mummies in the 19 trapezoidal niches found here. Today, the amphitheater is half of its original height.
This complex is known as the ´´ red fortress´´ due to its reddish tints resulting from the vast amounts of iron in its rocks. It is thought that this fortress was perhaps an old tambo (dairy farm?) that served both as a resting and guarding spot to protect Tambomachay. Here you can see attractive architecture, fountains, aqueducts, and several Incan enclosures.
This complex is made up of a combination of finely carved stones, waterfalls, and aqueducts to carry water coming from nearby springs and hot springs. For this reason, Tambomachay is associated with the water cult. In front of this construction, there is a tower that is said to have served as a guarding post and communication tower.
Why Take the City Tour Cusco?
- Cusco, Peru’s cultural capital, offers its visitors a rich historical legacy.
- Cusco holds various titles, including UNESCO World Heritage Site, Archaeological Capital of America, Historical Capital of Peru, and Navel of the World.
- The Inti Raymi or ‘’Sun Festival’’ is celebrated in Cusco.
- During the Viceroyalty in Cusco, houses and colonial churches and convents with magnificent art pieces were built on top of Incan walls and foundations.
What Is Included?
High Quality Service & Safety
You will meet your guide and group in our office for an orientation before your trek. At this time, we will provide you with the duffle bags which will be carried by our porters. The meeting will be at 6:00 PM the evening before the trip begins.
All our guides are graduates of the professional career of Tourism of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco. Also, they speak English. As good cusqueños, they feel a great commitment to transmit the knowledge they have inherited from their grandparents. They are very friendly and professional. They’ll make sure you are safe and happy.
All Cusco Expeditions guides have received specialized training in first aid. We hold mandatory training sessions with our guides every February. Your guide will always carry a first aid kit to face basic emergency situations (altitude sickness, traveller’s diarrhoea, cuts, scrapes, etc.) as well as oxygen. If necessary, we’ll evacuate you from the path as quickly as possible and ensure that you arrive at a clinic for treatment.
Customer Service 24/7
We have telephone service available 24 hours/day for ease of communication and preparation with the agency leading up to your trek.
What Is Not Included?
Boleto Turistico (Tourist Ticket) for entrance to archeological sites
Tips for our staff
Tips are usual on any excursion. Although we pay good salaries to our entire team, something extra is always welcome, especially considering the hard work they do. Typically, group participants collect their tips to hand out to the porters and chefs together.
Additional costs or delays out of control of the management
Landscape, bad weather condition, itinerary modification due to a safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability/strike, etc.
Personal clothing and gear
Entrance to Koricancha
Entrance to Cusco’s Cathedral
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.
Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
Briefing or informative meeting
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the Cusco Expeditions offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
Payment of Trek Balance (in Cusco)
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Storing your luggage at our Office.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Cusco Expeditions can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations:
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
The City Tour Cusco of the Incas can leave any day of the week, from March through January. We do not run this trip in February because rainy season & maintenance.
2020 Land Cost
- This small-group journey is guaranteed to operate with just two guests.
Private Tour - 2020 Land Cost
Private tours are available and priced by party size.
- 2 Trekkers: US$200 per person
- 3 Trekkers: US$180 per person
- 4 Trekkers: US$140 per person
- 5 Trekkers: US$110 per person
- 6 Trekkers: US$80 per person
- 7 Trekkers: US$40 per person
- 8 or more Trekkers: $20 per person
If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to your travel professional.
Extensions & Offers
There are several extensions you can include to your Adventure:
- Rainbow Mountain: $100 $80
- Sacred Valley: $100 $80
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information
Thank you for your interest in having an adventure travel experience in Peru curated by Cusco Expeditions. Please take a moment to complete our short form, so one our friendly Adventure Consultants could provide you all the information for your trip of a lifetime in Peru.