Thinking you don’t have much time in Cusco, Peru? Three days is plenty if you want to see all the best places to visit in Peru! It’s true! You can hit all the main tourist sites in Cusco within 3 days no problem.
Here’s how we would plan out your Peru trip itinerary:
Day 1: Acclimatization & Cusco City
Give yourself a bit of time to acclimatize to the high altitude, explore the city around your hotel in the historic center of Cusco and book the Cusco City Tour to see the main sites in and near the city in only half a day. Don’t forget – if you’re having a hard time adjusting to the altitude, try coca candy or coca tea.
You’ll visit all of these places on the Cusco City Tour:
- Cusco’s main or central square known as the Plaza de Armas where the city’s grand Cathedral is found
- Coricancha (the Golden Temple), which played a major role during the time of the Incas
- Four archeological sites near the city: Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, Pukapukara, and Tambomachay
In your free time, you can walk around the city as the center of Cusco is filled with history. These are the sites within walking distance:
- Neighborhood of San Blas, recognized for its culture and art
- 12-Angled Stone – one of the best examples of the genius of Inca engineering
- Sapantiana Colonial Aqueduct dating back to the 17h century
Day 2: Sacred Valley of the Incas
On our most popular Machu Picchu-Sacred Valley Tour, today would be the first day of the tour that includes visits to all the major sites in the Sacred Valley as you make your way toward Machupicchu Town (also known as Aguas Calientes) where you’ll spend the night, so you can be up early for Machu Picchu the next day.
These are the Sacred Valley tourist sites you’ll see on this day:
- Ollantaytambo was a military citadel, and religious and agricultural center of the Incas that served as the entry point to the Inca Trail through the Sacred Valley
- Chinchero (a.k.a. “The Land of Rainbows”) is a colonial town where you’ll find a church dating back to the 1600s that replaced the palace of an important Inca, Tupac Yupanqui
- Moray was the agricultural laboratory of the Incas, made up of circular terraces or platforms
- The Salt Mines of Maras have been used since the time of the Incas to extract natural salt
Day 3: Machu Picchu
The highlight of your time in Cusco will be your visit to the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. After an overnight stay in Machupicchu Town or Aguas Calientes, you’ll wake up early to take the bus up to the famous archeological site for a tour of the ruins that lasts approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.
Here’s what you’ll see at the Machu Picchu archeological site:
- A variety of temples and habitations used by the Incas
- Examples of Inca architecture, construction and engineering
- Extraordinary views of the surrounding Andes mountains believed to be gods