Cusco & Machu Picchu
In this corner of Peru, you’ll find everything you need for a once in a lifetime adventure. Peru’s top destinations for travel, Cusco and Machu Picchu, rarely disappoint visitors in search of the unforgettable. Enjoy the gorgeous colonial churches and vibrant festivals of Cusco before standing in a sea of cloud forest mountains and marvel at Machu Picchu. Then, discover the lesser-known enigmatic Inca ruins and thriving Andean towns of the Sacred Valley.
Cusco was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and currently ranks among Peru’s most popular destinations. As a requisite stop before Machu Picchu, the city draws its fair share of visitors. But take the time to find your own pace amid the bustle and Cusco may prove to be the unexpected highlight of your trip to Peru. Browse our guide below for essential facts, travel tips, and top attractions on a tour to Cusco.
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Tantalizing remnants of South America’s greatest civilization are scattered in and around the former imperial capital. You won’t want to miss the gargantuan stones of Sacsayhuaman or the impressive hydraulic engineering on display in Tipon.
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Cusco Cultural Calendar
Witness living traditions in action when you travel to Cusco for one of the city’s festivals. Among them, Inti Raymi, Corpus Christi and Señor de los Temblores are sure to take your breath away with sensational costumes and dance rhythms representing hundreds of years of Peruvian history.
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Tucked between Cusco and Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley feels like a special place. A slightly warmer climate, the gentle presence of guardian mountains, a sprinkling of ancient fortresses, and villages steeped in age-old traditions is what you’ll experience on a tour to the Inca heartland. Browse our destination guide for essential facts, travel tips, and top attractions on a Sacred Valley tour.
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The living Inca city of Ollantaytambo boasts spectacular fortress ruins and a small town with streets laid out by Inca urban planners in the 15th century. It’s also a great place to spend the night before catching the train to Machu Picchu.
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Central hub of the Sacred Valley, bustling Urubamba is a point of transit on the way to and from Ollantaytambo. Sample Peruvian cuisine at one of the many restaurants or enjoy the tranquility of an overnight stay in a nearby resort.
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Maras & Moray
Two of the Sacred Valley’s less-visited sites are also among its most intriguing. The centuries-old salt pans at Maras are still productive in today, while the 500-foot-deep circular terraces at Moray will cause you to scratch your head in wonder.
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Nestled between the rushing Vilcanota River and the soaring mountains of the Sacred Valley, a tiny town of whitewashed adobe walls and red-tiled roofs boasts two outsized attractions.
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