Cusco Meet the locals

Our most recommended Cusco Meet the locals

From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

1. From Cusco: Moray and Salt Mines Quad Bike Tour

Get your adrenaline pumping as you ride quad bikes through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Visit the Incan archeological site of Moray and discover the Maras Salt Mines on a trip from Cusco. Depart Cusco and head to Maras where you'll receive instructions on how to drive your quad bike safely. Start your adventure riding through the Sacred Valley while taking in beautiful views of snow-capped mountains. Reach the Moray archaeological site and enjoy a quick visit with your guide. Drive your quad bikes to the Maras Salt Mines. Park the quads and take the van to visit the mines. Hop back on your quad bikes to continue your adventure back to the base.

From Cusco: Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac Tour

2. From Cusco: Chinchero, Moray, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac Tour

Explore Cusco's Sacred Valley and see Incan Ruins, salt mines, local markets, and textile production. Make stops in Moray, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo, and Pisac on this full-day tour by van. Be picked up from your hotel in Cusco in the morning before heading to an archaeological zone and textile center located in Chinchero. See how locals dye alpaca wool with natural plants of the region. Visit the archaeological site in Chinchero and see its terraces before moving on to Moray to learn about the history of the Incas and wonder at their mysterious circular terraces. Head to the nearby village of Maras and learn about its history as a center for salt production at the Maras Salt Mines. Admire the unique quilt work of over 3,000 salt ponds spilling into the Sacred Valley. Travel to Urubamba and enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant. Stop at the ruins of Ollantaytambo and marvel at the remarkable Incan architecture built during the Incan Empire's heyday. See an amazing rock formation that represents the Incan god of Wiracocha. Arrive at the last tour stop, the archaeological park of Pisaq, after which you will visit the nearby town to explore the craft market. Return to Cusco and be dropped off in the town center after the tour is over.

Cusco: Full-Day Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain All-Inclusive Tour

3. Cusco: Full-Day Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain All-Inclusive Tour

Experience Peru's famous rainbow mountains on this day trip from Cusco. Get picked up from your hotel in downtown Cusco and begin the 3.5-hour journey to Palccoyo, admiring rural mountainous villages on the way. Upon arrival, enjoy a hearty breakfast before beginning your trek. After breakfast, begin your 2-hour trek in the company of an expert local guide. Stroll around the breathtaking rainbow and rocky mountains and get the opportunity to interact with local people who live with the llamas and alpacas.  Having worked up an appetite from all your walking, take the bus to the nearest town to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before beginning the journey back to Cusco. Get dropped off near the Plaza de Armas, just in time for dinner or a stroll around the city center.

Cusco: Half-Day Horseback Riding at Devil's Balcony

4. Cusco: Half-Day Horseback Riding at Devil's Balcony

After pickup in your hotel, your guide will make a briefing about the activity. Then, head to the ranch near Sacsayhuaman where you will meet your horses and muleteers.  Upon arriving at the ranch, guide will make a brief induction to know how to control the horses and be able to lead them safely. Horses will be selected according to your experience and mood. Start visiting the archeological place of the Temple of the Moon, a big hill with two caves inside it, probably used to evoke fertility during Pre Inca and Inca times. The caves contain altars and cracks in the walls that let in sunlight or more significantly moonlight that strikes the altars on certain nights.  Then, head to the “Inca Face” and finally the fabulous Devil’s Balcony or also called “Chacan”. Located on the backside of the Saqsayhuaman, this archaeological attraction and natural architectural heritage is a large rock with a spectacular view of a chasm in the middle. There is a window, a balcony overlooking the river that runs underneath rock. Below the balcony, the river goes through a huge cave towards the other end of the rock. Here, in this natural cave formed thousands of years ago, which was used as Inca Shrine, you will stop and taste a snack. In each of those places mentioned, your guide will stop to tell you a detailed explanation about it. Then, head back to the ranch and return to the city.

Cusco: Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Early Morning Hike

5. Cusco: Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain Early Morning Hike

Enjoy a hike to discover the colorful landscapes and alpacas of Palyccoyo Rainbow Mountain. Unlike its more crowded and touristy neighbor, Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, a hike on Palyccoyo Rainbow Mountain allows for a more calm and serene setting while also offering beautiful views. Begin the day with 3:45 AM pickup from your accommodations in Cusco. The early start is worth it to beat the crowds. On the way, enjoy breakfast at a restaurant in the area, picked for its quality food and service. After our arrival, you'll be briefed by your guide and receive a hiking stick if desired. Start your hike and admire the colorful landscapes while meeting the alpacas that roam the mountains. Even enjoy the opportunity to take one for a walk. Get ready to leave for lunch just as the tourist crowds are arriving. Enjoy lunch at the same restaurant where you ate breakfast and arrive back at Cusco at around 4 PM. Relax with drop off either right at the airport or at your accommodations.

Full Day – Tour to the Inca Bridge of Qeswachaka

6. Full Day – Tour to the Inca Bridge of Qeswachaka

First, you will be picked up from your hotel in the morning, then you travel through the province of Acomayo and stop to visit the different lagoons of Pomacanchi, Acopia, Asnaqocha, and Pampamarca or Tungasuca along the way. In these lagoons, you can see the local people fishing, totora hut camps, and pedal boats. You can also observe different species of flora and fauna in each lagoon. After the visit to the lagoons, you will go to the province of Canas. Finally, you will reach the main destination: the Inca bridge of Q’eswachaka, which is 33 meters long and 1.20 meter wide. Each year it is renewed by hand with the use of ichu by the inhabitants of the area - before carrying out the activity a payment ceremony is made to the Pachamama to ensure protection. You will cross the hanging Inca bridge, requiring courage in order to complete this very special experience that should not be missed. You will take great pictures of the authentic and unique panoramic views. Once you have visited the bridge, you will return to Cusco.

Cusco: Historical Walking Tour and Market Visit

7. Cusco: Historical Walking Tour and Market Visit

Explore the historical sights of Cusco with a guide born in the city and get an insight into what it is like to live there. Hear tales and historical facts about local highlights and marvel at colonial buildings and unique Inca monuments from pre-Hispanic days. Take in some impressive panoramic views of the city before making your way to San Pedro Market. Learn all about the regional produce on sale as you soak up the atmosphere. Continue to the Inca temple of Coricancha, dedicated to the sun god Inti and mostly destroyed after the 16th century to build the neighboring Convent of Santo Domingo . Visit the convent before taking a stroll from the artisan neighborhood of San Blas to the beautifully preserved street of Hatun Rumiyoc that originally led to the Antisuyu quarter of the Inca Empire. Continue to Plaza de Armas to visit the cathedral and marvel at masterpieces of colonial architecture.

From Cusco: Private Half-Day Maras and Moray Tour

8. From Cusco: Private Half-Day Maras and Moray Tour

Immerse yourself in the Inca culture on this half-day trip to 2 important Inca sites. Get picked up from your hotel in Cusco in the morning and head to the archaeological sites of Moray. Experience the site's unusual Inca ruins, consisting of several circular terraces. Learn more about the terraces function and their complex irrigation system before heading to the colonial village of Maras. In Maras, enjoy a visit to the nearby salt evaporation ponds at the Salineras Salt Mine and marvel at the vastness of the complex, which consists of over 3000 evaporation pools, and is still in use today. Get dropped off back at your hotel in Cusco in the afternoon.

Cusco: Private Pisco Sour Tasting and Making Experience

9. Cusco: Private Pisco Sour Tasting and Making Experience

Become a pisco pro on this Cusco tour that will sharpen up your cocktail mixing skills, and help you to get to know local Peru culture at the same time. Because let’s face it, there are few better ways to get to know a nation’s culture than through its boozy creations! Meet your friendly local guide at Plaza San Blas, the bohemian area of Cusco and a place that has been the heart of the “fiesta” in Cusco since a long time ago! You’ll get to explore the square a bit as well as all the outstanding buildings that make this plaza one of the most beautiful ones in the city before officially beginning your Cusco tour. From there, you’ll wander along ancient streets to admire the dramatic Inca Walls, constructed of mammoth granite blocks, side-by-side with colonial buildings. It’s here that you’ll also get to see a famed Inca masterpiece, the 12-angle stone. Then it’s back to the order of the day: Pisco! As you wander through the city, your local guide will tell you all about traditional Pisco as well as fill you in on the distillation process, how this sour drink is made, and its place in Peruvian history. The first stop will be at a local bar where you can taste a few different flavors of Pisco, and learn how to prepare the Chilcano, a cocktail made with Pisco, which is a very famous drink among the locals. Finally, it’s your time to shine! Get your mixologist hat on and try your hand at making your very own pisco sour, using all the knowledge that you’ve picked up along the way on this Cusco city tour. And the best part? You get to drink it afterward — Salud!

Cusco: A Cultural Day at a Cusco Community

10. Cusco: A Cultural Day at a Cusco Community

Pick up at your hotel is at around 8:00 AM for the wonderful tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where you will be heading to the village of Chincheros, as well as to the community roughly 20 minutes away from Chincheros. Upon arrival you will be greeted with local music and dance. After the welcoming, you will begin our activities in the fields, where you will be able to participate in local agriculture, with the most common crops being potatoes and quinoa. You will also learn about Inca methods of planting, harvesting, storing, and transporting crops. You will have the opportunity to feed and take care of the animals, and it may be possible to help milk the cows owned by the host family. You will also learn about traditional weaving skills and natural dyes by the local women, who create traditional textile products to sell at local markets. This tour will be followed by lunch where we will enjoy an organic meal, before arriving back in Cusco at around 4:00 PM.

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Frequently asked questions about Cusco

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Cusco?

The best day trips and excursions from Cusco are:

Machu Picchu

Other Sightseeing Options in Cusco

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What people are saying about Cusco

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 247 reviews

Get ready to get a lot of dust, but the feeling of riding through the mountains is very good. I hitchhiked and rode the quad when we were on a flat track, it's easy to pay attention and be careful. The guide was very attentive and explanatory.

Daniel our driver and Ishmael made sure we had a great time and ẹnoy our ATV drive. Ishmael was knowledgeable about the history and traditions that make Cusco so special.

The experience was amazing as the tour guide and his assistant, we enjoy a lot also a guy try to push me out from the road :)

perfect tour for those who in a short time want to see some of the most famous places in the Cusco area.

Joel our guide was the best. Quad biking is super fun and we went really fast