Around Cusco: City tour and the 4 ruins
You will start early, being picked up from your hotel in transferred to the spectacular fortress ruins of Sacsayhuaman above the city. Here you have the choice of mounting up on local horses or continuing by vehicle to TamboMachay, PucaPucara, the Temple of the Moon and then to Q’enqo. The first half of the day concludes with a guided visit to the impressive Sacsayhuaman with views across Cusco. Our flexible itinerary allows you to walk down from Sacsayhuaman to Cusco (an interesting walk that helps in acclimatization for trekkers) or take private transport. After lunch, we will have a walking tour of Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas and the “Belly button” of the world. Our afternoon visit includes the Cathedral, the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun) as well as eminent weaving houses in Cusco so you can learn a little about this living tradition of the Incas.
The difference of travelling with Apus Peru!
- Option to go horseriding & walk from Sacasayhuaman
- Lunch in typical Peruvian restaurant
- Visits to eminent weaving houses in Cusco.
For complete facts about many aspects of Apus Peru tours, check out our FAQs page!
- Professional, English speaking guide
- Collection from your hotel in the morning of trek departure.
- Cathedral and Coricancha entry fees
- Transport as described in itinerary
What is not included?
- Snacks and Water
- Boleto Turistico
- Horseriding - add an extra $15 per person to the price of the tour
You should bring:
- A light day pack to carry your things
- Your Boleto Turistico (Tourist ticket)
- Water bottle and water
- Money for snacks, souvenirs and tips if you wish to tip.
- Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- Jumper (sweater)
- Rain protection (or plastic poncho)
- the Cusco region can experience "all seasons in one day" therefore its wise to take a warm hat and gloves, as well as s sunhat, when you leave in the morning, in order to be prepared for all eventualities.
AVAILABLE DISCOUNTS (these discounts are not cumulative)
• 5% discount on treks only for members of South American Explorers Club (SAE)
• $30 off listed price if you are doing a 3 day plus trek with Apus Peru.
TO MAKE A BOOKING
Please visit our Make a Booking page.
You will need to email us to check availability, receive booking forms and then make your deposit. For our payment conditions and booking please refer to our Make a Booking page.
Visitors to this magnificent Inca Fortress cannot fail to be impressed by the beauty and monumental scale of this important construction. Sacsayhuaman can be variously translated as ´speckled falcon´ or ´speckled head´. The last interpretation refers to the belief that the city of Cusco was set out in the form of a puma whose head was the hill of Sacsayhuamán. The Plaza de Armas was at the heart of the puma.
The main ramparts consist of three massive parallel walls zigzagging together for some 400m, designed to make any attacker expose his flanks. The massive blocks, the largest being 8.5m high and weighing nearly 300 tons, are fitted together with absolute perfection. The foundations are made of Yucay limestone brought from over 15km away. The outer walls are made from massive diorite blocks from nearby, and the inner buildings and towers are made from dark andesite, some of it brought from over 35km away. With only natural fiber ropes, stone hammers and bronze chisels the construction must have been an enormous task. The chronicler Cieza de Leon, writing in the 1550´s, wrote that some 20,000 men were involved in the construction of Sacsayhuamán: 4,000 men cutting blocks from the quarries; 6,000 dragging them on rollers to the site; and another 10,000 working on finishing and fitting them into position. According to the legend, some 3,000 lives were lost when a huge stone that was being dragged uphill broke free.
The four ruins
Inca cosmological belief held large rocky outcrops in reverence, as if they possessed some hidden spiritual force. Q´enko is one of the finest examples of an artfully carved rock and an excellent example of how the Incas worshipped. This large limestone rock shows complex patterns of steps, seats, geometric shapes and a puma design. The name of this small but fascinating ruin means 'zigzag' because it is covered with zigzagging channels. These channels were used for the ritual sacrifice of chicha (local corn beer) or llama blood. Inside the rock are large niches and a possible altar. This may have been a place where the mummies of lesser royalty were kept along with gold and other precious objects.
Puca Pucara (Red Fort)
Situated on a hill with a superb view over the surrounding countryside, Puca Pucara was more likely a tambo, or kind of rest house than an actual fortress. Travelers may have lodged here with their goods and animals before entering, or after leaving Cusco. An alternative theory is that it served as a guard post that controlled the flow of people between Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
This small ruin consists of beautifully constructed ceremonial stone bath and is therefore often called 'El baño del Inca'. It was a site for ritual bathing. The excellent quality of stonework suggests that its' use was restricted to the aristocracy, who maybe only used the baths on ceremonial occasions. The ruins basically consist of 3 tiered platforms. The top platform has four niches that probably were used as seats. On the next level an underground spring emerges directly from a hole to the base of the stonework. From here it cascades down to the bottom platform, creating a cold shower that was just high enough for an Inca to stand under.